#852 Envy: The Ulcer of the Soul

Socrates Says (And Science Agrees)

The other day I was reading a great book called Company of One by Paul Jarvis. Sub-title: Why Staying Small Is the Next Big Thing for Business. Alexandra got it for me. (Thanks, Darling! 😘)

Cal Newport says this about it: “Jarvis makes a compelling case for making your business better instead of bigger. A must-read for any entrepreneur who prioritizes a rich life over riches.

It’s a REALLY fascinating book. We’ll talk about it more in the future.

For now, basic idea: Our business culture is obsessed with infinite revenue growth. What if enough was enough and we focused on creating autonomy and meaning and perhaps thought about being “better” a little more than simply getting “bigger”?

(After reading it, I thought another title for the book could have been “Business Minimalism.”)

Again. Awesome. More soon.

But that’s not our focus for Today.

This is.

In the context of encouraging us to focus on what we want to create with our lives (rather than mindlessly conforming to what everyone else is doing), Paul tells us about the toxicity of comparing ourselves to others.

Of course, we’ve talked about this before. (See this +1 on Social Comparison Is Toxic.)
Today we’re going to talk about what ancient wisdom has to day.

Specifically, one of the wisest of them all: Socrates.

You know what he tells us?

He says that “Envy is the ulcer of the soul.


That’s worth a reread (or three): “Envy is the ulcer of the soul.


True, eh?

Again, SCIENCE agrees. As Sonja Lyubomirsky says: “You can’t be envious and happy at the same time. People who pay too much attention to social comparisons find themselves chronically vulnerable, threatened, and insecure.


Envy is the ulcer of the soul.

The antidote?

CELEBRATE other people’s successes.


If you feel so inspired, consider unplugging from Social Media, Inc. long enough to cleanse your brain of all the envy-inducing (Photoshopped?) portraits of perfect and plug into Soul Media, PBC long enough to remind yourself of all that’s awesome about you and your life and all you’re up to.


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