I was pissed.
The meeting was set for 9:00am and I had to drive 3 hours to it so I had been up since 5.
My notes were organized, my spirits were high, and I was ready for an effective meeting of the minds to hash out some problems.
But there I sat, in his office, staring at the wall until 11:00am.
Part of me wanted to get up, scribble a passive aggressive message on the whiteboard and leave.
But I knew better.
As I sat there stewing in my own anger I kept thinking about why I was mad.
It wasn’t because I was kept waiting, I had other tasks to keep me busy. This was going to be an all day meeting and the extra two hours gave me some time to fix some problems before we discussed them as a team.
I wasn’t even really mad.
I was jealous, jealous that he was recording a podcast with two highly successful people.
I was jealous that he had the connections, the influence, and the ability to get on a podcast with two people who I would have had a very difficult time getting in touch with.
Jealousy is an ugly emotion.
Long story short, he came into the office, clearly energized (who wouldn’t be). He brought his energy into the room, we had a productive meeting, got a lot accomplished, and I left.
But, I couldn’t let it go.
I wanted to be in his shoes. I want to grow my network to a position where I connect with people, hop on podcasts, and create content with amazing people.
What was I doing wrong?
I was going about it all wrong
You know when you get mad and you think about it hours later and almost have to laugh at yourself with how petty, judgmental, and dumb you were being?
After thinking about why I was jealous of our missed meeting I had a complete breakthrough.
Instead of looking at it as a negative, I flipped a 180 and realized I knew someone who knew two highly influential people.
In a way, I was connected to those people (although I thought I wasn’t).
Instead of feeling a negative emotion towards the situation I realized that I could look at this as a positive.
I started to get excited as some answers became apparent.
- How could I create more value at my job to where I was included on those calls?
- Could I study what they were doing to connect with these people?
- Was there anyone I knew who I could connect them with to increase the effectiveness of the podcast
I was able to see this situation for what it truly was, a personal growth opportunity.
It was hard to see it before, but once I released the expectation of me being the one getting the recognition for being on the podcast and started to breakdown what I could do to create more value, I turned my attitude around and shed those negative thoughts.
I felt relieved and foolish
Life teaches us lessons every day. It is up to us to realize the lessons and learn from them.
But learning isn’t enough.
Because, life will teach us the same lessons over and over. For some, they fall into the same traps and make the same mistakes no matter how many chances life gives us.
We have to grow from these lessons.
So how do I grow from this?
The next time I feel jealousy that someone is operating a high level or achieving a goal that I want in my life, I plan to flip the emotion to a positive and understand how they got there. Appreciate that I know them, be grateful for what I have accomplished, and take it as an opportunity to grow.
Ask them questions that extract the most useful information they have learned and apply it.
Learning is great, but only when the learning can be applied.
One final thought
In order for all of this to happen it really came down to me letting go and releasing myself from my future self and not feeling bad for not yet accomplishing a goal.