Now, I hope that I don’t anger my lovely Philadelphian readers with this post, but the Schuylkill Expressway has a way of bringing out the worst in people.

For those not familiar with the City of Brotherly Love, the Schuykill Expressway leads from the airport into the city of Philadelphia.

Gremlins live there, I’m convinced. Only gremlins can make otherwise sane, rational people behave like maniacs. Only the possessed curse, shout, honk their horns and flip people off because of traffic jams.

It is not the gentile Philadelphian that behaves this way. It’s the gremlins of the Schuykill that possess them and turn them into monsters. Mean, nasty, cursing, middle finger wagging, horn honking crazies.

In defense of Philadelphia, Denver has a possessed highway called I-25. Pittsburgh has the Parkway East. I am sure that all cities have a gremlin-occupied thoroughfare or two. Geography doesn’t matter much to gremlins.

A few years ago, we were visiting my in-laws in the Philadelphia area. We picked up my Father-in-law to take him out to dinner.

We were not particularly hungry, but it was customary to eat dinner around that time of day. We did not have reservations or even a clue as to where we would eat, so we were not in any hurry whatsoever. Since it was a Saturday, traffic was light and the drive was relatively pleasant until a car approached us on the left and the Schuykill gremlins took possession of my Father-in-law.

He began to wave his hands wildly and point out the window, “Look, look, he’s going to pass you. Speed up. Don’t let him pass.”

“What’s the big deal?” We were not in a hurry and obviously the other car was, so why not let him pass? Gremlins aren’t very logical the way I see it. We let the other car pass.

My Father-in-law sucked his teeth in disgust and sank back into the seat, obviously disappointed with his first-born. He sulked for a few moments then brightened as he saw the offending car pulled over on the side of the road by one of Pennsylvania’s finest.

The Gremlin perked up. “Aha, good for him. That’s what he gets.”

I don’t understand why we get such joy when we see someone who “passes” us in life hit a snag.

Today is the Ides of March, a day to beware of betrayal. Should your friends beware of the gremlins in you?

  • Happiness and envy do not mix
  • Growth come from planting
  • Compete only with yourself

Happiness and envy

In the competitive world, the world of scarcity, jealousy plays an important motivating role. A constant comparison to others causes people to accomplish more. If you have more than I do, then I must get more than you in order to feel adequate.

Aside from the fact that we don’t have to live in the competitive world in order to succeed, living in constant jealousy destroys your ability to be happy.

If your reason for acquisition is based on impressing others, then your acquisitions are not really things that YOU wanted. If you pursue things in order to one-up someone else, you will never be happy with your accomplishments because they were never truly your idea in the first place. The only reason you wanted that thing was because someone else had it.

This is no foundation for happiness.

Another flaw in the competitive reasoning is that if resources are limited, then one can never have all of the resources. There will always be someone else with more than you have. You will never be happy until you have it all and you cannot have it all, therefore you cannot be happy.

Finally, jealousy is a dandelion seed. It takes root, spreads and quickly ruins an otherwise beautiful lawn. Envy diverts your energy away from the things that you want out of life. You will spend your time destroying rather than building.


Happiness is based on building and growth.

You can only grow in the creative plane when you let go of envy.

You don’t compare to anyone else, you are your own person. Excuse me for being cliché, but you cannot compare apples to oranges. Each person is his own variety with his own dreams and his own definition of happiness.

You must remember that seeds are shared.

You did not get to where you are alone. You must share your journey with others. You must celebrate their accomplishments as much as you celebrate your own.

Sharing is the path to success. You cannot share if you are envious.


To grow, you must compete only with yourself.

Many parents (mine included) make the mistake of rewarding or punishing their child’s grades on their report card. They pay them for As or punish them for Ds or Fs, thinking this is incentive to do better. This technique rarely works because letter grades are a comparison of your child’s abilities against the “average” child (whatever that is.)

A better method (one that I used with my children) is to reward them if they improve over their last report card. (You brought your C up to a B, good job.) In this way you are teaching them to compete with their best score, not everyone else in the class.

Growth is necessary for happiness, envy destroys.

Beware of the gremlins and the Ides of March. They may bring with them the green-eyed jealousy monster to suck up all your joy.

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About living4bliss

Mental Health Food is the place to stop to get your bliss on everyday. I give tips, hints and sometimes a little silliness to help you navigate the challenges of life. We have a great community of positive bloggers that keep the bliss going all day every day. Make sure to visit their blogs, too. Mental Health Food is a product of Believing Life Is Setup for Success, Inc. (B.L.I.S.S.) in Thornton, CO. We have been in the business of teaching success since 1991. We provide workshops, consulting services and now videos that help people just like you start and maintain successful businesses and personal lives using what you already have. Enjoy a daily dose of Mental Health Food; nourishment for the mind.

11 responses »

  1. This is so true! I love the way you put it with the use of the term Gremlins. This is great. I will remind my husband to let others be the Grimlin on the highway and not to become one himself. Love it!

  2. Great post, Saundra!! I don’t allow gremlins to take me over or steal my joy!!

  3. Aurora, HSP says:

    “Growth is necessary for happiness, envy destroys.”

    So true! 🙂

  4. […] It’s the Ides of March – Should I Beware of You? ( […]

  5. martingysler says:

    Envy is a very bad habit … I think your Gremlin is a good comparison to what this kind of feeling can cause in our mind. To know that the other has the right to have something in his life should be on everyone’s mind and if he has more than us, from something, it should not affect our lives, on the contrary, we should rejoice for him. In this idea I like your sentence who say “To grow, you must compete only with yourself.” It’s very true and a great advice 🙂

  6. Happiness is a choice that is made daily. Just as it isn’t possible to be in two places at the same time so is true for the feelings of “Happiness and Envy”. Make sure everyone, including myself, never feed the Gremlin within.

  7. […] It’s the Ides of March – Should I Beware of You? ( […]

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