Envy is the thief to joy
My entire life, I have prided myself on my accomplishments. I never explicitly tied it to my direct value as a human being but a part of me always felt better / worse than someone purely based on professional and academic achievement.
I was bullied a lot as in high school. I went to a classic high school with the nerds, jocks, band geeks, etc. with a clear peking order. You can imagine I was a nerd. With that bitterness, I was always determined to out-achieve my peers in life to "make them regret it". Flash forward - I graduated from a top Ivy, worked at a big three consultancy, MF PE shop and now amaking much more money than I deserve. The funny thing is, at this point in life, I do not even think about the kids in high school (and I'm sure they don't think of me either). However, it has left me with a habit to valuing myself and others based on our achievements. And there's always someone better than me aka I'm always jealous of others and quite down on myself.
Over the last few years, I've been trying to fix this issue. Earnestly, I have achieved more than I ever imagined. Historically, my approach has been to be more grateful for how far I've come and the opportunities given to me and that "99% of the world is worse off". However, I'm starting to think this is flawed and would love others thoughts. By making myself feel better by saying "I'm better than 99% of the world", I'm still making a comparison with myself and others i.e. rooting my value based on relative life differences. My new approach is to try to find non-relative meaning, value and happiness. In other words, ideally, I no longer look down on anyone or up to someone purely based on their professional merit. Rather, I look up to those who have found peace and joy in life and down on others who are assholes.
The above are loose ramblings I am having during lunch as I realized how unhappy I am with my way of living. I would love if others have advice / books to read to help become a less envious and jealous person. I just want to be myself.