Here's my favorite quote from Albert Camus (not that I've found tons of awesome Albert Camus quotes to choose from, but still):
"Whether or not one can live with one's passions, whether or not one can accept their law, which is to burn the heart they simultaneously exalt, that is the whole question."
That's a question every person who tries to achieve an incredibly difficult goal -- which includes every entrepreneur -- has to answer. Can I accept the downsides, or potential downsides? Can I accept the risk involved? Can I accept the choices and compromises required?
Of course there are no right or wrong answers to those questions. Everyone's definition of success should be different. Everyone's path to happiness is different.
But if you want to achieve something different, you can't have it both ways.
For example, a friend seethes when he talks about his brother-in-law's business success. "Sure, I'd like to be doing that well," he'll say, "but he has very little downtime."
Another is bitter because one of his friends is extremely fit. "Sure, I'd like to be in that kind of shape," he'll say, "but he has to run like thirty miles a week."
Sound familiar? It's easy to look at people who are successful and begrudge their success. So we say, "Sure, but he constantly watches what he eats," about a thin friend, or, "Sure, but he's a slave to his schedule," about a friend who achieves multiple goals, or even, "Sure, but he took on way too much risk when he started his company," about another entrepreneur.
But that's how success works. Fit people are fit because they work out a lot. Successful people are successful because they work incredibly hard. People whose family relationships are close-knit have put time and effort into building those relationships.
Nothing worth achieving comes without a price. To begrudge those who pay the price is unfair. That's the only way to be successful.
The next time you consider a goal you want to achieve, decide if you really want to pursue that goal. If the answer is yes, the rest isn't easy... but it is simple. Just look around. No matter what your pursuit, plenty of people have already succeeded. Great blueprints and easy-to-follow road maps are everywhere.
If you want to start a business, don't look at the guy down the street who only talks a good game; pick a person who has succeeded, and follow her example. Do what she did: It will be really hard, but it will work. If you want to run a marathon, don't use the guy struggling on the treadmill next to you as an example; follow the training program of a person who has run a number of marathons. It will be really hard, but it will work.
If you want something, pay the price to get it. Instead of begrudging the success of others, do what they do. It worked for them, and will work for you.
And if you're not willing to pay the price, accept that you feel that way and cross that particular goal off your list.
When you let go of a goal you say you want to achieve but are not willing to work to achieve, you immediately eliminate the mental drain and chronic frustration -- and get more energy to spend on the goals you are willing to work to achieve.
Do that and you'll also find that instead of begrudging the success of others, you'll be cheering them on -- just like they do for you.