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Envy Used to Be a Good Thing, Why We Don’t Need It Any More?

Envy Used to Be a Good Thing, Why We Don’t Need It Any More?

Jealousy and envy is part of human nature, a trait that everyone has.

An experiment about envy was conducted by researchers from Oxford and Warwick Universities.[1] In the study, researchers created an online game that gave people the chance to win money. People who won were presented with the option to spend some of their winnings to burn the winnings of others. This at first sounds like a strange option. Yet during the experiment, 2/3 of the players chose to burn others winnings.

Their envy was so bad that, it was not enough for them to do well, other people had to do badly. Their victory had to be conclusive, and they were paradoxically willing to lose money to ensure this. In the end, everyone lost out.

If a person wasn’t envious of someone they considered more successful, they may not aspire to be like them and as a result, may not push themselves to greater success. However, make no mistake, envy is always destructive.

Envy Was for Survival, but Now It’s for Savage

It has been argued that envy originated as an early survival instinct. When humans lived as hunter-gatherers millions of years ago, survival and social advancement was based on competition. In such a world, it is easy to imagine that a person would have only judged themselves in direct comparison to others.

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The caveman would have been constantly on the lookout for rivals, or those in possession of things they desired. When such a person was identified, the caveman would have either eliminated that rival, or found a way to beat them in other ways. Not unlike how a wolf can become the alpha of his clan by beating them in other ways.

    But the fact is, humans no longer operate like this. We do not survive by eliminating our rivals anymore. Putting others down in order to raise yourself up is not the good way to succeed. While taking others down is irrational, it can be illegal too. As such we have outlived the need for envy.

      Envy makes us blind and unreasonable, think about it, have you ever seen a post on facebook by someone you know that makes it seem like their lives are different than in reality? Maybe it’s a flashy car a friend has just bought himself, or maybe it’s another friend traveling around the world. All of their lives seem perfect.

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        But the truth is, you never really know the real life behind each of these facebook posts. That friend who has a flashy car could be having loads of struggles that you don’t see, maybe he just wants attention from others yet he doesn’t really have true friends to share his thoughts with.

          You are assuming that they have a great life based on what they have showed others in a virtual world. Envy makes you admire another person’s life and believe that others are having better lives than yours. It’s like giving another person compliment in a way that make yourself feel bad.

          A Wise Man’s Take on Envy

          Next time when you feel like envy is popping up in your head, try these steps:

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          1. Stop Believing the Perfect Picture

          You’re not other people. You don’t really know the struggles behind that flashy car, that cool vacation, or that expensive house. For example, that friend who’s got himself a nice car doesn’t have real friends, that’s very sad.

          That “perfect” picture in our mind is purely imaginative. When we stop idealizing what others are experiencing, we will not be blinded by what we wee with our eyes.

          2. Reframe the Picture

          Ask yourself, the things that others have, do you really need them?

          Can you imagine how expensive it is to maintain a house like that? What’s the point of having nine or more rooms when they only have a family of three? Most of their money probably goes into merely keeping their house clean and in good condition. Ultimately, a house like that might not suit you.

          What about that car? Sure it looks nice, it’s probably comfortable and fast. But it’s pretty impractical for driving around a busy city. It might not be very fuel efficient. So right there, the two most appealing parts of the picture become less impressive and actually pretty useless.

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          Relate what you see to your own life, picture yourself being in that situation and what you really need to take care of. Then you’ll see the downside of those things too and realize that you don’t really need them.

          3. Look Away from the Picture and Look at Yourself

          It sounds like a cliche, but it’s always a good idea to be thankful for what you have. Look at the people and things you’ve already had and how these things have satisfied your needs.

          You might not think your car isn’t fancy, but it takes you to where you want to go. You might want a bigger house, but your current one could be cosy, warm and comfortable.

          Envy will only make you sadder. It doesn’t help you to make yourself better and happier. So when envy is hitting you again, stop, take a look at yourself and appreciate what you have.

          Reference

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          Brian Lee

          Chief of Product Management at Lifehack

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          Last Updated on December 9, 2019

          Positive Motivation vs Negative Motivation: Which One Is Better?

          Positive Motivation vs Negative Motivation: Which One Is Better?

          Do you need thrust to climb the life-ladder?

          I feel everyone needs it in a competition-driven world.

          That brute force is nothing but motivation!

          Do you strive for motivation? It doesn’t matter you take one big stride to pursue your dream career or a small step towards bowing down to a boring monotony; each move seeks it.[1]

          Whether it’s an excelling professional career or a steady personal growth, motivation inspires every dimension. And if it’s missing, the absence can bury anyone down under.

          But did you know there are two types of motivation- Positive Motivation and Negative Motivation?

          Positive Motivation vs Negative Motivation

          What Is Positive Motivation?

          It’s a reward-based encouragement method.

          Do you know what is the driving force of this motivational technique? It’s the imagination of possessions attached to success!

          Whether it’s chocolate for scoring good marks or a raise after promotion; positive motivation is the catalyst that keeps the fire burning in your belly.

          It could be the visualization of a bonus from the boss or foreseeing a smile on the face of a destitute. Irrespective of whether it’s a dream about a tangible materialistic possession or a zeal to attain an intangible divine feeling; expectation of any form of a reward is the drive of positive motivation.

          Want to ride high on it? Just break your realistic goals into short-term targets. Set rewards when you achieve those little milestones.

          Be it watching your favorite serial series on Netflix or a long drive with friends; make sure you treat yourself on every small achievement.

          An immediate sense of accomplishment provides you the timely boost keeping you hungry and hopeful simultaneously.

          What Is Negative Motivation?

          It’s a punishment-based boosting method. Its drive seeps from the fear of failing anything and everything.

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          It’s the driving force of some students who attend school just to fulfill the mandated attendance requirement. They know promotion to the subsequent class is impossible otherwise.

          Unlike positive motivation, it’s a method in which an employee slogs because he’s afraid of his tyrannical boss.

          It’s the motivational technique in which not the proud feeling after appreciation by the spectators but the fear of criticism by them motivate you to rehearse well for a stage appearance.

          It works best in do or die situations where doing is the only way out. In fact, most of us have one such inspirational push in common:

          We need to work hard to earn money which would otherwise deny us even the basic necessities for survival. And this fear keeps us rolling.

          So yes, it’s a strong, intense and effective technique enabling you to accept the constant change.[2]

          Which Type of Motivation Is Better?

          Both positive motivation and negative motivation are opposite sides of a single coin.

          When expecting rewards for success is your driving force, you excel on positive motivation. When the fear of punishment for failure is the thrust, you strive for negative motivation.

          While the thought of achieving inspires positive motivation; its counterpart is driven by the thought of losing.

          On which technique is better; I feel it depends- on the individual notions and the intensity of the situations.

          For some people, positive motivation do wonders and in some situations, negative motivation creates magic.

          We’ll assess a few practical illustrations to arrive at a conclusion on which type of motivation is better:

          • Suppose your motivational drive for a daily intense workout is you want to flaunt your tight abs in your upcoming beach vacation; you are riding high on positive motivation. And maybe your friend is a gym freak because he has six-pack abs. He fears if he doesn’t work out, he might lose his attractive body. Certainly, he’s is negatively motivated.
          • For some people, a luxurious lifestyle is a drive to work hard (positive motivation). And there is another set of individuals who work hard as they fear if they won’t, they might not afford bread today (negative motivation).

          Allow me to relate to a presumption:

          Suppose your boss agrees to promote you if you can make a lot of money in the upcoming project, it’s a reward-based positive motivation.

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          And assuming he says that he will fire you if you fail in the upcoming project, it’s a punishment-based negative motivation.

          So yes… both techniques play a vital role to make you strive, depending on variable situations.

          While thinking about rewards and recognition is the demand of a certain situation; the other situation may seek an inclination towards the measures to escape punishments and criticisms. And that’s fine!

          Still seeking a winner?

          While both together are important; I feel the density of positive motivation should be in excess over its counterpart.

          Let’s find out:

          You know the level of motivation must always be head-high… right?

          But did you ever introspect the intensity of which one?

          When the raised level of positive motivation pumps up the energy levels, the elevated level of negative motivation can overburden you.

          Let’s recall the scenario most of us have experienced.

          As a student, when your parents promise a new bike if you do well in your exams; thinking about possession of a new bike kicks the endurance level.

          And when your parents say they’ll cancel your vacation trip if you fail in your exams, the thought of losing on holidays infuses fear.

          Now if I ask you which works better, giving an option, you won’t deny it’s the pleasure of achieving a bike and not the pain of losing a vacation which drives you more towards performing well.

          That’s because it is pressure-free, stress-free, and the process is enjoyable. So in most cases, it’s the positive motivation winning!

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          I am sure you love working under a smiling boss seeking your committed output offering incentives. And nobody likes to work their asses off for a frowning employer demanding efficiency by a threat of job firing.

          Case Study: Which Type of Motivation Works Best for Me?

          I’d like to share which type of motivation works best for me:

          I am passionate about my blogging career. And trust me, it requires an immense level of dedication and energy to keep hanging on a broken branch against the strong flowing wind from the opposite direction.

          While the fear of falling down encourages me to hold on, the anticipation of success drives me to climb up. Both are important to me depending upon the situation.

          But yes, sometimes the negative motivation is tough to handle.

          That apprehension of failure dents the quality of operation. Sometimes, everything seems dark and gloomy. The fear of losing shudders the self-confidence and esteem.

          This leads to an observation:

          If you have a long-term goal, accelerating only on negative motivation can be accidental. It might break you halfway.

          If you have a weak enduring ability, the overdose of negative motivation can be dangerous.

          Beware! It can be a gateway to negative emotions like sadness, frustration and of course fear. You may get affected to an extent it demotivates rather than motivating you.

          If I ask you what motivates you to get out of your bed:

          The excitement or the fear?

          You won’t deny it’s the excitement; the reason is simple:

          Excitement is a positive emotion- a byproduct of positive motivation. On the other hand, fear is a negative emotion- an extract of negative motivation.

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          While excitement always keeps you on the hunt; trust me you cannot sail for too long pedaling your boat out of fear.

          Here’s the bottom line:

          Today’s fast and busy life is testing patience and self-belief. For that reason, motivation is important for everyone.[3]

          On which type to choose, both are integral in their own unique way. It’s you who needs to consciously choose the one you feel can push you to success.

          If you are blessed with the luxury to choose, I feel positive motivation is a safer option.

          Obviously, if you see a lion far away in a jungle coming closer to you, no matter how drained your body is, you’ll run the fastest you ever ran. And that’s negative motivation working for you as you know what could happen if you stay there waiting for it.

          I’m sure thereon, you’ll question yourself before choosing any of the motivation techniques.

          Summing It up

          The cornerstone of negative motivation is fear and the inception of positive motivation is a joy.

          What I feel positive motivation should be the customary go-to method and negative motivation should be the last resort.

          So my friend, when you know how to use rewards and punishments in the right way, it will seem as though reaching your goals is an inevitable outcome.

          You decide whether you want to be joyfully pumped up or fearfully pushed… Good luck!

          More to Boost Your Motivation

          Featured photo credit: Ali Yahya via unsplash.com

          Reference

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