What You Can (and must) Learn From Gilligan’s Island

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You’ve probably heard of the 7 deadly sins. Here’s how they show up on the Island:

The professor: Pride

Thurston Howell: Greed

Mrs. Howell: Sloth (why else did she marry Thurston?)

The Skipper: Anger

Gilligan: Gluttony (forever eating everything)

Ginger: Lust

Marianne: Envy, because she wishes she could be Ginger!

Obviously none of these are good, but the worst of them is envy. The others have a potential positive side to them. Appropriate pride in your work holds you to high standards, wanting to better yourself makes you wealthy, a healthy appetite keeps your body nourished, and lust (properly channeled) means the species won’t die out. And so on.

But there’s no upside to envy. Envy is the absolute killer of happiness because envious people are missing the foundation of what makes a good life: gratitude.

Rather than looking at what others have that you don’t, why not take a minute to look at all of the blessings in your life that you haven’t earned?

Our world is convulsed with ingratitude at the moment, and it explains why so many people are so unhappy. An ingrate only looks at what they don’t have and views themself as a victim. And all a victim can feel is outrage, anger, disappointment, and bitterness. Not a recipe for happiness.

And while our world is not perfect, can you think of any time in the history of humanity in which you would rather live? I’m not sure I’d like to be a Roman slave, or a medieval serf. And the poorest of us lives in absolute luxury compared to the richest people throughout the long history of humanity on Earth.

So, what are you grateful for about your imperfect workplace? Make a list. What do you love about your imperfect spouse? What are your co-worker’s/boss’s/business partner’s strengths? In what ways are you blessed and lucky?

Start there and watch your happiness quotient go up.

Getting ahead is about getting started,

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Written by Trevor Throness
Trevor is a veteran coach, keynote speaker, and the author of the book “The Power of People Skills” released by Career Press NY in 2017. He’s also written for or been featured in places like Forbes, Inc, The NY Post, The Globe and Mail, Entrepreneur, CEO Magazine, and numerous podcasts and interviews.


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