A better side of envy
Compersion for the win
Howdy! Welcome back to Traipsing About, a newsletter about reclaiming creativity and ditching tired personal paradigms.
Here in Central Oregon, it’s full-swing fall. I’m biking a lot and getting my butt kicked by Chopin and Debussy on the piano. As usual. Like cyclist Greg LeMond said, “it never gets easier, you just get faster.”
Meanwhile, our garden zucchini yield threatens to crush our planter beds and every meal involves tomatoes. My plan is to eat as much as possible. By the time I’m sick of something, it’s onto the next season. Come to think of it, is that how I live my life?
This week on Peripatetic(ing) About:
Ditch envy for compersion
How to get rich as an influencer (and the costs)
A safe 9.62% return (that isn’t crypto!)
Traipsing Tidbits (a new quick-hit link section)
ICYMI: Last week I wrote about my Myers-Briggs personality swinging from Commander to Entertainer. A good idea from Traipsing reader George was to have one’s partner take the test for them to see if the results differed.
The act of compersion
Until my late 20s, I struggled with envy. People with money, people who took cool trips, people who did Ironman triathlons…color me jealous.
Along the way, I (slowly) realized something: those people either carried baggage or made tradeoffs to achieve those things. Identifying those helped me unwind the knot and recenter:
A rich college friend had a terrible relationship with his dad. Later, friends with the big house and fancy car worked nonstop.
Taking far-flung, expensive trips meant not investing or saving as much money for a house, which I wanted.
Training for an Ironman required untold hours per week of panting along at a low heart rate to build a huge fitness base, eschewing other hobbies or relationships along the way.
But how do we deal with envy?!
I love the idea from James Altucher for dealing with it: simply envision trading lives with the person. ALL of it, not just the positives.
Are they famous? Well, you also get the pain of never going anywhere without being bothered. (Better to be rich than famous!)
Do they have a rippling 12-pack and beach ball biceps? You gotta get up at 5:30 am to work out and never eat dessert. Sad face.
Brilliant musician? Hours upon hours of solitary, monotonous practice. (Damn you, Chopin.)
For me, the act of mentally flipping the Success Coin to the other side is a potent cure against envy. Nothing fantastic, be it wealth, fitness, fame, or skills, is handed to us without tradeoffs.
A better side of envy
Forget envy. Practice compersion! (Say what?)
Compersion is our wholehearted participation in the happiness of others. It is the sympathetic joy we feel for somebody else, even when their positive experience does not involve or benefit us directly.
In other words, awesomeness isn’t a zero-sum game: when friends, colleagues, and others around us experience success or have amazing experiences, we can CELEBRATE them. Yep, even if it doesn’t benefit us!
Rising tides lift all boats, but swamp the captains tied to the Pier of Envy.
How to get rich in the Creator Economy
Fun fact: the #1 profession kids dream of these days is
doctor engineer pro athlete influencer.
Yup. In-flu-encer. (Cue sighing for anyone over 40.)
Perhaps you’re considering the influencer path or have one an aspiring TikTok star in your life? If so, I implore you to read or forward this how-to on getting rich in the Creator Economy.
The best part is the author captures the glitz AND the hollowness of what creating a huge fan base requires. It reminded me of something a wise friend shared with me: how we make money absolutely shapes who we become.
The post may be a blueprint, but it’s also a not-so-subtle evisceration of the tradeoffs of succeeding in the Creator Economy:
You traded in one trapped life for another, but you can’t grumble about this new cage you’re in because you built it for yourself. It’s not your parent’s fault, it’s not society’s fault, it’s not your race, sex, zodiac sign, or that trauma hidden behind your left shoulder blade. It’s all on you. You chased money into this strange new space you’d never expected to find yourself in.
Choose carefully….with any career!
Stock markets are cratering. Crypto is in a cryo freezer. Interest rates are lashed to rocket ships. HOW TO INVEST?!
I of course have no idea what to do. Mostly, I’m staying the course by liquidating my assets and buying lottery tickets with a brilliant strategy based on the Fibonacci sequence. It’s gotta work.
Oh, and I also took advantage of the excellent return on the U.S. I-bonds for some hedging.
The yearly return is 9.62%.
You can buy 10k worth of them per person per calendar year.
They’re backed by the US gov (aka solid...US would need to default to lose the money.)
They’re free to buy.
They’re redeemable after a year hold (you lose 3 months of interest if it's before a 5 years).
To me, it's a no-brainer right now with so much uncertainty in the markets! Buy them here. Or other Treasury bonds too; six-month bonds are around 4%. (Zero benefit to me, to be clear.)
Traipsing About Tidbits
This little dongle allowed me to adapt my existing camper van shore power to use with lithium batteries for $15, saving me hundreds of dollars. (Make sure you buy your brand’s version of it!)
Pic cleaner: a browser-based, magic AI tool for modifying pictures. Example: Don’t want that dorky tourist in your vacation photo background? POOF. Gone.
Forget Google Translate, Deepl is WAY more nuanced.
Cool photos of a soon-to-be-bulldozed capsule tower in Japan. (No, I didn’t know what that was.)
Quote of the Week
The trick to staying out of resentment is maintaining better boundaries—blaming others less and holding myself more accountable for asking for what I need and want.
From Rising Strong by Brené Brown. (Revisited via Readwise.)
You’ve reached il fine of Traipsing About newsletter #110.
This week’s unsolicited advice: next time you’re feeling envious, consider what it would be like to have someone’s ENTIRE life, not just the glitzy part.
Til next time…arrivederci.
P.S. Death metal cello played in tighty-whities = magnificent. (Thanks, Semirad.)
Thanks for reading Traipsing About! Want more like this? You know what to do!
Two new words and some great drawings. I enjoy every newsletter you send.
Yeah I love your newsletters but I must say I’m not crazy about this new substack platform but from your point of you I guess it’s easier to see all the comments in one place