Neighbour’s envy


Ofcourse you do remember the infamous Onida ad. Cliché yet works. The agenda this month is simple. To help you become enviable. No compulsion, however. You are free to boycott this one.

I have been jealous of people. Actually a lot of people. Those days it was almost as if I could smell my burnt heart. Call it part of growing up that the objects of jealousy kept graduating. As a kid, I was jealous of someone’s dress or popularity. As a teen, I envied a certain skin type. As an adult, I was jealous of skills or intellect. Nevertheless envy is envy. We shall keep the envy-jealousy differences apart today.

The way I have dealt with it most of the times is create a world to make others envious. The same Old School logic that our teachers gave us on a black slate. In order to leave others behind, draw a longer line instead of rubbing that of the others.

Without much ado (read gyaan), here’s a check list that shall make you enviable in this jealous world where jealousy can make or break your life. All these ‘characteristics’ work best when taken with a pinch of an assumption that it is possible to become worthy of others’ jealousy.

Demeanour: Clothes don’t make a man, designers do. Jokes apart. Clothes ALONE will NOT make you enviable, but the way you carry yourself will. I worked with an incredibly genius Chief Editor in Pune. He wore half pants and chappals to office. Guess what we envied apart from his witty headlines? His appearance and demeanour. He was weird to the core. Yet he carried off his weirdness with such élan, he almost became an icon. But take it with a pinch of salt. Wear it not for fashion but for comfort, not for attention but for confidence, not for showing but for covering.

Communication: We don’t have much of a choice here, do we? If you work hard on your core subjects, work harder on your communication. Do not treat it like any other topic or a subject. It is a life skill that has the ability to take you places. Work over it painstakingly. It’s an investment that pays rich dividends all through your life. Pronunciation, correct sentence structure, attractive one-liners – communication is a world in itself. Explore it. Start now.

Knowledge: You ought to be knowledgeable about some very basic things about yourself. What’s your city known for? Why do you like Math? Who are the who’s of the field that you like? And so on. How do you get this? By reading and by being aware of your surroundings. Remember knowledge is something no one can ever steal away from you. Even your best looks shall be a passé, but your knowledge shall get you respect and your neighbour’s envy.

Practicing before preaching: Every time I write a blog and share an experience in it, I make sure I have followed what I am writing. The reason why I don’t write articles/blogs on time management is that I am still struggling hard to come on time. This makes me a real person. Everybody loves real, down-to-earth kind of people. Avoid double standards. Try ‘doing’ things instead of ‘saying’ things. The biggest advantage of practicing? You will be able to preach it!

Acknowledging: This is the deadliest of weapons I have often used against my rivals. Usually, the people who envy you or have a rivalry with you, don’t expect you to be nice with them for some reason known only to them. So when you do talk to them nicely, it surprises them. Treat your rivals with respect. Acknowledge their skills publicly. If earlier you were jealous of them, now they will be of you. However, generally speaking, acknowledging others’ talents actually elevates your rank as a good human being.

More than size, style matters: Style is such a stylish word that everybody wants to be stylish. I am sure you have heard – ‘ The biggest things come in small packets’. Here’s a rejoinder –  ‘That’s because they are more stylish to look at’. The way you present yourself  – your body language, the throw of your voice and gestures – speaks volumes about you. Presentation today is one of the biggest marketing concepts in product management. How can it not be in your life management? Work hard over it.

Interesting not boring: I always joke with my friends that they must forgive every single sin of mine except one – being boring. Being boring is almost not allowed in a person in today’s context where people lose interest even in an SMS in a fraction of a second. You ought to be interesting. How do you do it? By following the above six points. To start with, don’t just talk, let others talk too. Don’t just brag, let others speak out their talents too. Don’t just inform, elaborate with examples. Learn to create jokes on yourself. Then share them with friends.

Thank you, Sorry: Of course your friends will tell you to not say these two words. Listen to them. Don’t ‘say’ them, ‘do’ them. Apology is more important than a Thank You. And saying sorry cannot be Rocket Science either. It may be crucial in keeping people in your life. You need them at every stage so value them.

I was pretty jealous of a girl during my school days. Unfortunately, I carried that jealousy for many years. I disliked her for many reasons but the biggest was jealousy. I didn’t want anyone else back then to share my popularity. I was obsessed with perfection. And I wanted no rivals. Today as I look back, I realize the only person who was badly affected by my jealousy was myself. She is still the same. I dislike her for many reasons. Only that I can say confidently that jealousy is not any of those reasons anymore. And I can go to sleep peacefully. That’s what matters at the end of the day.

Oh by the way, this doesn’t mean I abandoned my mission of making myself and you enviable. That’s so much more fun than being jealous of others. Isn’t it?

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