How jealousy can serve a positive purpose – The Laws of Human Nature

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As humans, we’re all vulnerable to comparing ourselves to others and feeling jealous; comparing is actually a part of human nature. Although everyone views envy and comparing as something negative and something that creates hate, it can actually be used for a positive purpose. 

Let’s take a fictional character called Oliver. Oliver was one of the people that constantly compared themselves to smart, beautiful, and successful people. After spending most of his life being jealous of other people, he finally decided to change. He knew comparing was a natural human tendency and rather than overcoming it, using it for self-improvement would be easier. 

So, whenever he saw someone smarter or more successful than him, he used them as motivation to improve himself. For example, he knew people better than him made him competitive. So, he surrounded himself with wealthier and smarter people for motivation. 

In order to adopt this attitude, there are a few things you need to do. 

First, you must believe you have the capacity to improve yourself. Confidence in your ability to learn and improve will make you feel less insecure around successful people. Instead of being jealous of someone  and trying to sabotage them out of helplessness, think about getting on their level and believe you have the ability to do so. 

Second, we must develop a solid work ethic to truly implement the mindset. If we are diligent and persistent, we will be able to overcome almost any obstacle and elevate our position. People who are lazy and undisciplined are much more vulnerable to feeling jealous. 


Having a sense of purpose, a calling in life, is a great way to immunize yourself against envy. When you are focused on your own life and plans, you likely won’t compare yourself or try to be like others. 

You won’t need to compare or feel jealous. Because, a sense of self-worth comes from within, not from without when you discover your purpose. Meaning you will be satisfied with your life because of your goals and lifestyle rather than having attention and money. 

This lesson is from: The Laws of Human Nature by Robert Greene 

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