It's easy to begrudge the success of others and begin sentences with, "Yeah, but..."

For example, a friend totally resents his college roommate's professional success. He'll say, "Yeah, I'd like to do as well as he does... but he's so busy he has very little downtime, and who wants to live like that?"

Another is surprisingly bitter simply because one of his friends is extremely fit. He'll say, "Yeah, I'd like to be in that kind of shape... but he has to run like 30 miles a week to stay that way, and who wants to be a slave to that kind of routine?"

Sound familiar?

It's easy to look at people who are successful and begrudge their success - and, out of self defense, to rationalize and excuse our own lack of success.

So we say, "Yeah, but he constantly watches what he eats..." about a thin friend. Or we say, "Yeah, but he's a slave to his schedule..." about someone who achieves multiple goals. Or we say, "Yeah, but he took on way too much risk when he started his company..." about a successful entrepreneur.

Yeah, but that's how success works.

Fit people are only fit because they work out. Successful people are only successful because they put in tremendous effort. People who enjoy significant rewards almost always take significant risks along the way (at least those risks seem significant to us; to them those risks are calculated.)

Nothing worth achieving comes without a price and to begrudge those who willingly pay the price is unfair. After all, when we're unwilling to pay the price, our efforts - limited as they typically are -- always end in failure.

The next time you think about trying to achieve a goal, first decide if you really want to pursue that goal. If the answer is yes then the rest isn't easy -- but it is simple. Just look around.

No matter the goal you choose, 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 an entrepreneur who has succeeded and follow her example. Do, at least in large part, what she does.

Then you get to flip the, "Yeah, but..." thinking around: "Yeah, it will be really hard, but it will definitely pay off."

Or if you want to run a marathon, don't use the guy shuffling along on the treadmill next to you for a role model; instead follow the training program of a person who has run a number of marathons. When you do, yeah, it will be really hard... but it will definitely pay off.

If you don't have what you really want you must be willing to pay the price it takes to get it. So don't begrudge the success of others: Do what they do. It works for them and will work for you.

And if you're not willing to pay the price, hey, that's cool. Simply accept the fact you aren't and take that particular goal off your list. When you let go of a goal you claim you want to achieve yet aren't willing to work hard enough to achieve, you eliminate the emotional drain caused by chronic frustration... and you free up mental energy to spend on the goals you really are willing to work for.

Then instead of begrudging the success of others you'll find it in yourself to be happy for them, just as they will be happy for you - because oddly enough, people who feel successful, in whatever pursuit they choose, tend to be a lot less judgmental than those who don't.

Published on: Aug 31, 2016
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