There’s a reason why envy is among the 7 ‘deadly’ sins. When you feel envious of other people, it’s likely that you wish to have the things they own rather than work to obtain these things. Such a desire causes you to be angry with these people. You may wish they weren’t more successful than you. Worse, you may also try to steal the things they own. When you can no longer keep your awful feelings in check, you might start a fight with them. If they are your friends, you’ll lose them. You also gained nothing and will remain the same person, who will become spiteful toward those you may feel envious of. Such a person would rather desire the success of others rather than achieve success for himself, making it unlikely he could ever learn how to improve himself.
But we aren’t telling you to be selfish. Being selfish is as bad as being envious of other people, for it can have adverse effects on your life as well. For instance, having concern for nobody but yourself causes you to be of very little to no help to anybody, making it unlikely anyone would like to be your friend. Friendship is in large part about help and support. Indeed, you need the help and support of your friends to grow; without them, you can’t become the best you can possibly be.
When we tell you to focus on yourself rather than others, we’re basically telling you to stop looking for the good in life in general outside of your own life. When you start focusing on the good in yourself and your life, we trust you’ll realize that you’re quite fortunate already. Once you start feeling this way, you are sure to be able to improve yourself and your life.
The grass may almost always seem greener outside of your yard, but this doesn’t mean you can’t make your little patch on God’s green earth as beautiful as you possibly can. To be able to start doing so, you have to first see the beauty it possesses. Once you realize how good you have it already, you’ll be able to stop comparing yourself to other people, and instead, focus on yourself, enabling you to learn the best ways to improve yourself and your life.