After you

A few months ago, I bought a single speed bicycle – one without gears.

Given Berlin is a flat city, this isn’t a problem at all. But I park my cycle in the office basement, which has a steep ramp. This ramp is difficult to climb on a gearless cycle. I tried my best – I went in with a good headstart, I stood up on the ramp, I zigzagged through it, but failed every time.

One day, I saw my colleague with another single-speed bike successfully climb this ramp. The next time, I decided to just follow him. I rode my bike behind him as he powered through the steep incline. And to my utter surprise, I could do it too. I cycled reached the top of the ramp before I knew how I did this. And ever since, I have succeeded in climbing that ramp every single time – even by myself.

When we perform a task with somebody who is better than us, some of their skill magically rubs off on us. This magic is what we call inspiration.

To use envy

We envy those who have what we don’t.

Envy helps us understand our hidden needs better. We are envious of what we truly want, but might not even be aware of. Therefore, envy can be a good servant.

But like most good servants, envy is a bad master. Instead of striving for our own betterment, it channels our energy into bringing anotherdown. Instead of nudging us into constructive action, it drives us to destruction – of others, and of ourselves.

Envy uses us. Instead, can we use it by transforming it into inspiration?