There are always going to be people doing what you want to do, being where you want to one day be, and doing what you wish you could do. Maybe this means holding a job in a field you love, being more physically fit, or just enjoying life more.
Research shows that a very common psychological habit in people is to over-estimate the positive in others while under-estimating the negatives. Then we do the opposite with ourselves. We imagine other people being super happy and successful while beating ourselves up and ignoring all the great things happening for us. It's like the saying, "the grass is always greener," applied also to the sheep grazing on it. "Look at them, they are so happy, have fewer problems than me, are more talented and lucky than I am, and have a great complexion too!"
Unfortunately we don't apply reason to the situation and we don't treat ourselves as kindly as we treat others. We focus on the bad in us rather than the good, and in others we see the good without the bad. We also ignore the fact that other people are probably doing the same thing. But there is a better way.
Being inspired by happy, hardworking and admirable people is a great thing. The more we learn about them, talk with them and learn from them, the more we see their qualities in ourselves. It becomes obvious that we aren't that different from one another. We too can be great. Today can be the best day of our lives and we can live a life that's inspiring.
Adapting means seeing the difference between where we are and where we want to be, and then making a change in our lives to get us there. You can wake up earlier. Work on the weekends to foray into that field you love. Park the car further away in the parking lot so you walk more. Do a few push ups right now (yeah, right now... Seriously. I'll wait).
You can also slow your life down a little to write, reflect, meditate, and keep track of the things that you love and appreciate in your life. When we adapt we take small steps at first, but eventually we walk miles from where we were. As Abraham Maslow, one of the greatest psychologists of the twentieth century, said, "You will either step forward into growth, or you will step backward into safety."
If you love the way someone does something, analyze it. Why do you love it? Have you told them how you feel? Everyone appreciates hearing that they inspire others. And as the say, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Take it a step further and emulate them, take what you love from what they do and then make it your own.
Think about your own life and how you can learn from them. Take a small step toward being like them. It will pull up your average and help you get closer to that dream of yours.
The next time you feel yourself getting jealous, pause, pull it apart, and turn it around to your advantage. Forget jealousy and choose inspiration, adaption and emulation instead!