As I blogger, I find it really easy to get depressed seeing what I perceive as other people's success. So to combat the blues that accompany reading other blogs, I have three messages that I regularly tell myself. They usually happen in this order.
1. Don't be jealous. It seems kind of obvious, but I will chant to myself, "Don't be jealous." Until the general angry feeling goes away.
Don't get caught in the web of jealousy. There's usually a large spider nearby. (Photo credit to Justin. I think he was playing with my camera when this was taken.)
2. Don't compare yourself. I think it's alright to admire someone's work, but comparing yourself to others is never going to end well. It leaves you with a dissatisfied feeling. The internal conversation tends to look like this: "I can do that. I can do that even better than that person. Why are they getting all that attention for something I can do better?" Or: "Wow, I'm really not good at what I do. Maybe I should copy some of there ideas, then I can get more attention." Or something like that. The minute you start comparing yourself, you set to go back to step #1. If you get past the comparison, you get to pass Go and move to #3.
Comparing yourself makes you feel rather small. But everyone has to start somewhere. Even trees.
3. "I'm really happy for them." You have to mean it. Usually I'm looking a someone's wedding or vacations photos when I start having to chant #1. In order to pass #3, you not only have to be genuinely happy for the person, you are not allowed to think, "They will probably get divorced in a couple years." or "Their art will be irrelevant in a year because it is so trendy." That won't improve the situation for anyone. But being happy for someone else's success will make you feel better in the end. Seriously.
Happiness is an open road. If you start looking towards someone's headlights, you'll crash. Freedom lies ahead of you.
The last little thing I have to remind myself on occasion is that even though some has been featured on a TV show, magazine, or something else you wish you were featured in, it doesn't mean that they are paying all their bills with that one job. It means they got a feature. And you should be saying to yourself, "I'm really happy for them." You should tell them too. Everyone loves a celebration, unless you are being jealous, comparing yourself, and wishing ill will towards them. Then you are a party pooper. And nobody likes to hang out with a party pooper.