There’s an interesting article in this Sunday’s New York Times, “The Upside of Envy.” The author (Gordon Marino) states that envy is the hardest emotion for us to own. Instead most of us will find a reason to disparage the person or thing that we envy. Perhaps we belittle the person who posts that they just finished their sixth marathon of the year as being obsessed, when in actuality, we wish we could be in better shape. Marino says there is something to be learned from our envy if we’re willing to self-examine. “Experience has taught me that while I can’t choose what I feel, I do have sway over how I understand my feelings and that self-understanding can modify and sculpt those feelings, envy included.”
This statement struck a chord with me. The basis of all my leadership excellence work is based on self-understanding as the first step. I don’t know if I go as far as Socrates “The unexamined life is not worth living,” but I do believe the examined life is much more fulfilling.