How to deal with envy?

A week before 20160724, I thought that I would attend more birthdays of Honey Panda’s friend’s son [1] than Little Prince’s birthdays, due to work restriction. Honestly, I felt sad and envious, but we can always convert negative emotions into positive forces. In contrast, Honey Panda has been around for all Little Prince’s birthdays hitherto.

According to Alain de Botton, “The closer two people are, in age, in background, in the process of identification, the more there is a danger of envy, which is incidentally why none of you should ever go to a school reunion, because there is no stronger reference point than people one was at school with.”

“The next time you feel tempted to be jealous of others, remember that they have their own challenges that may be even more difficult than yours. ”

In summer 2016, I brainstormed on some constructive strategies to deal with envy [2]:

  1. Be humble to minimize arousing an envy feeling of our friends, clients, colleagues, or bosses.
  2. Believe that The Universe (God) has a good plan for each of us, while accepting the fact that the grass will always be greener. Everyone is responsible for designing and directing his/her unique life story [3]. Be happy for the good fortune of another (mudita) [4].
  3. Cherish + use what we have [5]. Count our blessings [6].
  4. Give our talent, time and treasure [7] to nurture kindness and generosity.
  5. Do what we can. Start where we are. Use the feeling of envy as a positive driving force to better ourselves than our previous selves.
  6. Live a minimalist lifestyle. Simplify, declutter and avoid people who value things that discourage gratitude. Do media diet from advertisements, instagram, and facebook [8].

[1] His friend went with us to Turkey, and our families visited Bali in Summer 2015. He was generous to give us gifts from his family trip to Korea in Summer 2016. See also Asia2016/20160724_envy.txt for an inspiration for #pandaMnemonic LACY learn + adapt + create + yield (contribute)

[2] #pandaMnemonic HUG-GAS: Humble + Unique Life + Gratitude + Give + Act + Simplify that I thought of on 20160810.

[3] In summer 2016, I taught Little Prince to repeat affirmations of “I live everyday happily. I create my own (life) story.” Sometimes later, while Little Prince was hospitalized for the first time, wearing the uncomfortable breathing tube, he could still utter “I live everyday happily” on 20160808. Quoting Angela Schwindt, “while we try to teach our children all about life, our children teach us what life is all about.”

[4] Internalize the success of others; externalize our failures and challenges. For example, I hope that my younger brother and sister will live better lives (more success, more wealth) than me, in contrast to sibling rivalry present in some families.

[5] On 20160723 night, when Little Prince met his elder cousins who ride on their parents’ car, Little Prince proudly asked, “do you know which bus goes to Ikea?” It seems that Little Prince enjoyed riding relatively cheaper buses in a country where owning a car (according to #frugalPanda Honey Panda) will prevent one from saving, unless one is among the crème de la crème earners, who is earning the top 20% of the top 20% (iterative Pareto’s law). See also Asia2016/20160723_itinerary.txt

[6] To create a gratitude list, use a spreadsheet and visual diary e.g. 20160808_153932_gratitude.jpg

[7] #pandaMnemonic: the gift of 3Ts = talent + time + treasure (money, things, blood, breastmilk)

[8] To benefit from social media, one must be aware that people often share only good or successful stories (these may create envy in the viewers who do not realize that there are tonnes of struggles and pains behind the stories).  See also grep “20161019 lesson” ref2016*/



  1. […] to travel and explore the world, the recipients may think that I’m boastful or end up feeling envious or […]


  2. […] that Honey Panda and I, who started from relatively poor family in the past, ended up feeling jealous. We compared ourselves to others, especially those who had better starts than us (e.g. people from […]


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