What are the things that turn you green with envy?
For me, it’s being able to growl, to write a novel of Tom Clancy’s calibre, and a rock music album. But these are not the only things that I envy. The long list goes on and each of them screams in my face and tells me that if I have none of these, I should be miserable.
I don’t want to be just a follower of the awesome. I want to be awesome too. But I found out that accompanying my dream to be awesome with envy will make it a toxic mix which is emotionally draining and mentally exhausting guaranteed to zap your energy.
But lately I’ve been thinking: instead of being enslaved to envy, why not use that envy to my advantage? Yes, we can harness that negative energy by converting it to something affirmative and productive.
First Step of 3: Never Resent People for What They Have that You Don’t
Before we can harness envy, first is we need to rip off that resentment towards the person who has in his hands what we’ve been drooling over for quite some time. That someone may have earned it (like a promotion). Perhaps he worked hard for years and he took upon himself the rigid discipline required to do the dirty work and grab his dreams by the balls when it came. Bottom line is, that person probably deserves it.
And next, get rid of that “I’m a victim” mentality. If you are reading this right now, you might as well have some glimpse of the reality that whatever you are aspiring, you’ve got to wake up on your daydreaming and do the hard work required. Enough blaming your parents or circumstances or whatnot. Thing is, if you want it, you can get it. But you’ll have to work hard for it.
Second Step of 3: The Concept of Play and Trial and Error
That feeling of you being miserable just because you don’t have that thing that the other fellow does, has to go to the garbage bin and cultivate instead a childlike attitude such as this:
“What he’s doing is amazing! I can’t do that as efficiently as how he does it yet, but I want to be able to do it effortlessly. I want that skill in my arsenal. What is there to lose if I try?”
As a child, we saw things in the perspective of play. This doesn’t work? Try again. Nothing happened? Improvise. Still a no? Try something else. No frustrations, no rage, just pure fun of discovery. Not everything we lay our hands on is guaranteed to prosper. What will work? Let’s keep discovering but let’s not keep out the fun.
Second Step of 3: Do it and Have Fun Discovering
Instead of seething, sulking and letting envy get the best of us, why not use the energy to actually try and do what we want to do and see if it prospers or whether we really want it at all?
After all, it’s not a necessity (be honest). It’s just your hurt and bloated ego telling you you’re not enough because you don’t have it. Cavemen never thought of upgrading the iSpear5 to iSpear6 while running from a sabre-toothed feline. They can and they did live without it.
So you want it badly? Work hard for it.
So how do I actually use this envy to work for me? Let me share something more personal on what I’m up to lately.
I envy the growling prowess of Jamir Garcia of a local metal band Slapshock. I am a frustrated-and-still-hoping-to-be heavy metal frontman who wish he can growl. And so I graduated from just a listener to wanting to learn to growl. And because I envy Jamir Garcia so much, I started downloading videos on how to growl. Well, turns out I do love growling. When I’m on my way home at night and there’s no one around earshot, I’d growwwwwwlllll! It’s a lot of fun I tell you. I’m nowhere near Jamir’s skills but I’m working on it. My vocal chords are very very much at home with the bestial growl.
I envy Tom Clancy’s skills in writing my favorite genre. Whenever I finish one of his books, I would get my pen and paper and try desperately to write a novel with the plot as grand as his’ (of course it’s a long shot which always end up short.) After getting tired of envying him, I tried to write my own version entitled Ang Huling Bukang Liwayway which is a story about a local sniper fighting in the fronts to ward off ISIS from overrunning the whole country. Yup, it got 1 like so far which I fully believe she didn’t read 😄 Despite that, I discovered things I should be working on if I really wanted to pursue writing a novel like having a more convincing plot, and reading some more, among others.
And since I envy international rockstars, I wanted my voice heard and my songs played all over the world. And due to persistent public demand (public meant me and a blogger friend Aysabaw) I decided to record my songs. I managed to record and release a few (contact your local music store. Just kidding.) and I’m finally getting used to the sound of my Eddie Vedder voice. Ok, I also envy Vedder’s raspy baritone and as such my first ever recording is The Last Kiss by Pearl Jam. How I wish I could record it in a formal recording studio. That sounds impossible but who knows?
Will I succeed in all of them? Maybe. Maybe not. What matters is I’m enjoying the growls, the shitty manuscripts and the sound of my voice. And just as I said, I don’t just want to be a follower of the awesome, I want to be awesome too.
So get envy to work for you. How? Let’s wrap this all up:
1. Never resent the awesome dude.
2. Remind yourself that this is an awesome process of discovery, this search for the things you may become awesome at, and finally
3. Go and do that awesome stuff you want to do with passion and focus. If it clicks, then good for you, you’ve expanded your comfort zone. If not, then it’s time to keep playing and discovering.
And remember: Let’s keep discovering but let’s not keep out the fun.
Photo from fanpop.com