Slay the Green-Eyed Financial Monster

Ready to slay the green-eyed financial monster?Some people sure look like they have it all, and sometimes we wish we could too.

Maybe our neighbor drives the car we’ve been lusting after, if only we could afford it. Maybe our friend vacations for a month in the south of France, while we…don’t. Maybe our cousin loves his job and is wildly successful at it, while we’re busy trying to find any job at all.

It can be hard.

Feeling down

Sometimes it just sucks. We want the things we want, and we see that others have them, but getting them doesn’t seem to be in the cards for us.

When things like that happen, we often tell ourselves stories to make ourselves feel better. They’re usually along the lines of “They’re probably up to their eyeballs in debt” or “We’d be able to do those kinds of things too if it weren’t for x, y & z.”

Basically, we’re jealous and a little depressed. It’s easier to blame outside forces for not having what we want ourselves than it is to take a good hard look at why we’re really feeling the way we’re feeling.

Which is sad, because if you really want to get or do something — and I mean really want to — you’re a lot better off just saying “Hey, you know what? I’m jealous. I want that too.” — and then sitting down and figuring out what you need to do to get to where you want to be.

Change how you look at things

Instead of looking at the question “What’s the difference between me & them?” with an eye to excuses or explanations that will make you feel better, look at it with an eye to strategy. Ask things like, “What are they doing that works well that I could do too?” and “What am I doing or not doing that might be holding me back?” instead.

That green-eyed monster is really just there to point out areas you might like to see changes in. Open up the closet, shine a light on the monster, and get busy slaying it. You’ll feel a lot better with a plan.

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4 comments

  • We have been changing the way that we look at things. Jealousy and trying to keep up with the Joneses is never good. Be happy with what you have!

  • I’ve found that when I get jealous of something that someone else has, it’s usually because I’m too narrowly focused. If I can step back and look at our situations side by side, I wouldn’t trade any part of it with them. Envy and jealousy are extremely difficult to try and logic through, though.

  • The grass does look greener on the other side of the fence and as you aptly point out, instead of envying your neighbours yard, its better to take care of yours and water it :)
    Above everything else though, One should always be grateful for where they are already, there are countless others who are trying to get there.
    Daily gratitude = Daily Happiness.

    Buddha said it best: “Health is the greatest gift, contentment the greatest wealth, faithfulness the best relationship.”

  • I think contentment is great.

    That said, frugality and minimalism has been a journey for me, not a destination and I have found that knowing when and where to give in to wants refreshes me. There’s only so many years of telling myself no before I get kinda looney. The answer of how many was 2 years and 7 months last time. I am seeing how far I can go this time. Longer I hope, but really, it’s a long journey. A few pit stops are to be expected.