Why Do We Love To Hate Other’s Success?

Love them or hate them, and most prefer the latter, the Duke Blue Devils have one of the most prolific college basketball programs in the country. However, their fifth National Championship didn’t begin under the lights in Indianapolis.

As I watched Duke University defeat Wisconsin last night, I heard the commentator mention something that stuck with me.

Tyus Jones, the freshmen sensation and Final Four MVP, was at the free throw line shooting two shots that would maintain a two-possession lead late in the game. The look in his eyes was determined—the look of a competitor. That’s when the commentator alluded to a story.

The previous year, as a high-school senior, Jones watched his future Blue Devils lose in the second round of the NCAA Tournament to the Mercer Bears. It was a disappointing and devastating loss for the program. A loss that many Duke haters would cherish.

A loss that Tyus Jones would use to fuel his fire.

It was after last year’s loss, before he was even on the team, that this eighteen-year old sent a text message to his soon-to-be coach, Mike Krzyzewski.

“This won’t happen next year.”

Bold words indeed.

But now, as another National Championship banner hangs in the rafters, those words seem prophetic.

OPS – Other People’s Success

There are two types of people in the world:

  1. People who hate the success of others
  2. People who let other’s success fuel them toward their own greatness.

Here’s a free tip for the day: Be number two.

Some people look at other’s successes and failures as a way to validate their own greatness. They pick apart the reasons why certain people achieve or they relish in the moment when other’s fail. Both paths lead to mediocrity.

It’s easy to spot these type of folks because they use words like luck and they constantly scream bad call. And I’m not just talking about sports.

This is an ugly truth in life.

There’s a long list of people who would rather scream bad call than actually do something about it. As for luck, well, my dad always told me, “Hard work creates good luck.”

Take a quick assessment on how you respond to the success of others.

Does it discourage you? Do you envy them?

Don’t allow yourself to be brought down by those hopeless emotions.

Today’s challenge is to allow other’s success fuel your fire to achieve your own level of greatness. Today, pick out someone who is doing a great work and complement them for it. Muster up your sincerest praise and generously pour it out on someone else.

The sooner you’re able to recognize and praise greatness, the better chance you’ll have at replicating it.

And when you succeed, know that people will hate you for it. When you fail, some people will cheer. In fact, there’s not a successful person out there who isn’t, in some way, hated for their success.

But the truly successful folks are the ones who can build something remarkable with the insults that are hurled their way. Or better yet, those who don’t let the insults deter them from their task at hand.

Friends, greatness begins today.

Be number two. Let other’s success fuel your own greatness.


To subscribe to this blog, sign up here:

About the Author

headshot-footerMatt Ham is dedicated to guiding others toward rich living. His own experiences have led him to the understanding and freedom of a rich life, and through his RICH Principles he helps folks uncover true richness, identifying real treasure and discovering true joy and contentment.

His first book, Redefine Rich, is a journey of uncovering a deeper, more fulfilling life by shifting your perspective. It is available in both Kindle and paperback on Amazon: here

You can order a limited hardback version of the book at www.redefinerich.com

To contact Matt, visit www.mattham.com/speaking

, , , ,

4 Responses to Why Do We Love To Hate Other’s Success?

  1. Jon Stallings April 7, 2015 at 11:41 am #

    I have found that when I am Ok with being number 2 I have a lot less stress – Make no mistake the desire to be number 1 even at the expense of others can be a frequent battle if I am not careful.

    • Matt Ham April 7, 2015 at 4:05 pm #

      And it is a battle we must fight diligently! Thanks for being so engaged, Jon. I hope you’re well.

  2. Jason Sprague April 7, 2015 at 4:20 pm #

    I thought the same thing watching the game last night. It made me thing that there is a fine line between cocky and confident. I guess the results lean him more towards confidence.

  3. David Mike April 8, 2015 at 6:26 am #

    The best part about being an educator is being a catalyst or an influence of my students success. They often ask if I will be sad when they graduate and I respond, “No, I will be happy because that means we both have succeeded.” This might be out of context of your post but made me think of it.