The Competition

George the Guitar and Peter the Piano were vital instruments in an American rock band, The Stingers. The band’s goal was to land a gig playing at The Knitting Factory in New York City, as it would provide their band with loads of exposure.

When The Stingers played a song that featured Peter as the main instrument, George the Guitar would grow jealous with rage. He would sneak away and yank out the cord that connected Peter to the amp. Unfortunately, George’s childish behavior occurred nearly every night.

One night, the pianist got fed up with George’s childish jealousy, stepped away from Peter the Piano and yelled, “George! Can you stop being selfish for just one session and do your job!? Not only do you ruin Peter’s performance, but you disrupt our entire show!”

George screamed back, “How dare you ask me to set aside my talents so Peter the lousy Piano can shine? Do you know what a disservice you’re doing to your musical career by putting me on the backburner?!”

Peter the Piano only said, “Uh, I really, uh, can’t say anything negative about George. But, I’d just like him to stop ruining our performances and let the band shine as a whole.”

“That will never happen! It’s either him or me,” George demanded.

At this point, the band’s leader joined in nonchalantly, “It’s your choice. We’d like to keep you here, but we have another guitar in storage that we can use.”

“Fine,” George grumbled, as he rocked his way out of the studio.

After just six weeks of playing without George, The Stingers landed a gig at The Knitting Factory. They never missed George, and from that point on, their music careers took off like a rocket!

George was jealous because he felt as if Peter was constantly taking the spotlight. But in reality, the spotlight was given to Peter. He hadn’t asked for the attention.

Rather than suggesting new song ideas that would allow the band to benefit from using him as the most prominent instrument, George chose to act childish. He allowed his petty jealousy and his self-centered attitude to consume him.

Like George, everyone deals with bouts of jealousy throughout their life. For example, maybe you have a coworker who gets all of the rewards even though you do all of the work. Or perhaps your kid brother mooches off of you because he claims that he has no money and yet just happens to dig up the cash to buy a luxury car.

These situations can cause us to be consumed by jealousy. Although unpleasant, jealousy is a normal human emotion. However, what you do about that negative emotion is what truly counts.

If you’re determined to succeed in your career, it’s vital that you learn to be a team player. You may not like it and you may even choose to grumble your way to the office every morning. Make sure you are putting in the time to be the master of your craft – some say it take 10,000 hours. You’re already paving the road to your dreams and you don’t have to love everyone along the way, but you need to act in the most respectful, professional manner.

Acting out in a jealous rage is petty. In many instances, it may also damage the impression you leave on others. Going into all situations with an open mind, especially if you have a goal to attain, will boost your chances of reaching your goals.

Self-Reflection Questions:

  1. How do I feel when a team member eats up the spotlight?
  2. Can I change something about myself that would prompt others to see me in a more inspirational light?
  3. Do my efforts grant me the ability to rightfully stand in the spotlight?

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