Sometimes I think a lot more people would be happy if they would focus on themselves.
Didn't see that coming, did you?
I know it sounds selfish, but one thing I've observed is that people who are generally unhappy, perennially grouchy, and downright unpleasant to be around are the people who are always watching what other people are doing--or not doing--and how wrong they are doing it. It's no surprise that they are usually blind to the things they, themselves, do wrong or else have a perfectly justifiable reason for what they do or don't do.
A lot of struggling writers fall into this category and I'm not blameless. It can be depressing to see the numbers on amazon when one compares a magnum opus that took a whole year or longer to write, edit, and publish with a traditional publisher with that of a writer who cranks out a new book every two to three months by simply using the search and replace function on their word processing program and changing the title before self-publishing their latest creation. I've succumbed to reading a few that are offered for free and know whereof I speak.
It's not even the money that creates the rumblings of the green-eyed monster (as evidenced by the fact that many of these books are offered for free), but the effusive glowing reviews which number into the triple digits. Where do they find their readers (oh, right... free books) and, more importantly, how do they get them to write reviews?
This is what I've discovered and what's more, it works for every facet of my life, not just the writing part of it.
The answer is this: forget about what "they" do. "They" are not living your life, paying your bills, writing your story. What you are letting "them" do is take your focus off YOUR life and YOUR goals. You are wasting energy, time, and passion worrying about "them" instead of investing your energy, time, and passion in living your life, paying your bills, and writing your story. Learn what you can from them, but then focus on what YOU can do to reach your goals. Realize that not everyone works like you do or wants what you want. Define your own goals; don't let others' successes tell you what you really want. Sometimes you may have to sacrifice one thing to have another, sometimes you may have to take into consideration what is realistic. And sometimes you have to ask yourself if what you're striving for is what is really going to make you happy.
Sometimes, all it takes to be happy is to take the focus off what everyone else is doing and focus on what you are doing.