How to admire and not envy others

By Matt Danswan

The older I get, the more I see just how talented some people are. It’s no surprise to me though, as I believe God has given everyone special talents. Some use them, some don’t.

I love watching the World Surf League. I love watching rugby. I like reading about the captains of industry in business. All of these people are ridiculously talented.

When I was younger and finding my way, I found it was easy to get intimidated, or even envious, of others who excelled at whatever their talents may be. I guess I was trying to find what I was put on this earth to do, and so as part of this it was easy to be intimidated by others.

In fact I share this in my new book, NOT Business As Usual. I grew up wanting to be a professional surfer, but when I realized that I was not going to be in the world’s top 20 surfers, I decided to quit competitive surfing in my teens and find what else I may be talented at. I didn’t want to be in my late twenties and then realize I wasn’t going to make it to the top.

I found out in my twenties that it was business, but at the same time, back when I started, there was no internet. That meant that if you were successful in business, you were generally rich, as it took a lot of money to start a business. Now there are online ways of running a business and it seems just about everyone is an entrepreneur. So being a businessman in your twenties back in the nineties was not easy.

One thing I have learned as I have aged though is that you need to learn to admire, not envy. And do you know the best way of achieving this? It’s by finding the thing that you are good at, not what others are good at, and sticking to it. It’s what they call ‘staying in your own lane’.

If you’re forever looking at others, you’ll very easily be so focused on what they are good at and then miss focusing on your own life. Envy – and jealousy – comes from being dissatisfied with your own life. You cannot be envious of others if you’re happy with where you’re at.

Discovering your talents is one of life’s great treasures. You don’t have to be a world champion surfer, you don’t need to play rugby for your country, and you don’t need to be a billionaire. But if you can simply find what you’re really good at, then master it, your life will be richer for it.

“Do you see someone skilled in their work? They will serve before kings; they will not serve before officials of low rank.”
Proverbs 22:29


Matt Danswan is the CEO of Initiate Media, publishers of Christian Woman. He also blogs at www.mattdanswan.com. His new book NOT Business As Usual documents the story of the building of Initiate Media debt-free.