Jealousy is the world’s worst waste of emotional energy. It’s a ridiculous, counter-productive emotion.

So many men are frustrated, unfulfilled and disappointed in themselves. Even the ones with nice marriages, steady incomes and many other blessings feel like they’re unsuccessful. The Torah-oriented guys are envious of their old learning partner from Yeshiva who is now a well-known head of a yeshiva or Religious-Court judge. The business-oriented guys are envious of the ones who just sold their start-up companies for $50 million, while they’re eeking out a living in their shoe store.

Women are no different. They also have a tendency to be down on themselves constantly. One is jealous of her neighbor’s successful diet, when she went from a size 12 to a size 8 and she can’t seem to lose weight. Another is jealous of a different neighbor whose husband takes her for walks at night while she doesn’t seem to ever have one-on-one time with her husband. They don’t lack reasons to be jealous because they don’t look for reasons to be grateful for what they do have.

Look at it this way: jealousy is a lot more rampant than Coronavirus. Vaccinations, social distancing, masks and washing your hands prevent Coronavirus, but they can’t prevent jealousy. In that respect, it’s actually a worse pandemic than Coronavirus. According to tradition, jealousy causes severe osteoporosis. The source is most likely Proverbs 14:30 where King Solomon says that envy causes a decay of the bones. Calcium isn’t enough for healthy bones; avoid being jealous in any way!

I’ll prove to you how foolish jealousy is – it’s a useless negative emotion that the evil inclination uses to disarm you, and it wastes a lot of your brain power, clarity and self-composure. Worst of all, it gets you down on yourself. In that respect, it wastes your life.

Have you ever seen a carpenter who’s jealous of a plumber? Never! The carpenters are happy that they don’t have to unclog drains and toilets like the plumbers do. Sure, the plumber has all types of monkey wrenches and tools that you won’t find in the carpenter’s toolbox. But, you don’t need a monkey wrench to build a table. The carpenter is not jealous of the plumber, because he has his own job to do. Such tools as block planes, wood saws, lathes and nails are tools that no plumber will ever need.

And, if we look in the electrician’s toolbox, we’ll find tools that no plumber or carpenter has. He can replace a burnt fuse but he can’t unplug a sink or build a table.

Once you know what your task is in the world, you’ll never again be jealous of anyone. How do you know what your task is? Look in your toolbox. See what’s inside. You’ll find that even the tools you lack are helpful in helping you identify your mission in life and your best path to your peak. Do you realize what that means? Even your disadvantages are advantages! Let’s see how:

If you’re tone-deaf, your mission in life is definitely not to be an opera singer. And if you’re severely near-sighted, it’s not such a good idea to dream of being a fighter pilot. Why? You lack the tools. If you lack the tools, then that’s not your task in life. Being tone-deaf or near-sighted will not hinder you if your dream is discovering a cure to cancer or teaching special-needs children how to read.

The Creator gives each person what he or she needs to do their job in life. Look at your good points. They’re the tools in your toolbox. Each is like a piece of a puzzle; put them all together, and you’ll have a clear picture of what you’re likely to succeed in. Once you piece together your good points, you’ll see how the Creator is gently guiding along your own special path. Once you find it, you’ll be heading straight for happiness and fulfillment. It’s about time that you got to know your wonderful self and to perform your own unique mission in life.

Every person has his or her own “toolbox” just like they have their own pair of shoes. Nobody thinks of borrowing someone else’s shoes, for our shoes assume the individual contour of our feet. Even if someone else has the same shoe-size that we do, their shoes won’t be comfortable if we wear them. That’s why we are most comfortable when we carry our own toolbox. Don’t try to carry someone else’s.

With the above in mind, don’t ever compare yourself to others. Don’t ask yourself all types of questions that rob you of your confidence, self-image and inner peace such as, “Why can’t I be like John Doe? Why is Tony Ploni more successful than I am? Why is my sister-in-law so neat and organized,” etc.? Ask yourself one question only: “What is the job that the Creator wants me to do?” This year, if you focus on being your own wonderful self and not trying to be someone else, you’ll be really happy. Blessings for the very best year of your life, amen!

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