Have you ever met someone who seemed to make up their own rules as they go along and you despised them for it? Maybe you were told no one could be promoted without x degree or before y years and you took this as gospel and along comes Mr. or Ms. Special and they get promoted without x degree and way before y years! Perhaps in other areas too they seem to be maddeningly effective, as if there was one set of rules for them, and another for everyone else, including yourself. And the thing that burns you up the most, is they are not unethical or undeserving - they just seem to be able to navigate better than everyone else.
When this happens, it can be easy for us to fall into the fairness trap and bemoan the special treatment that the Special is getting. We can even take it a step further and make it personal and start to despise everything about the Special. The problem with this approach is it makes you lose twice. First, you lose out when the Special got what you wanted. And second, you lose out because when you see the Special in a negative light, it makes it impossible to learn from them.
James Altucher put this best in his book, Choose Yourself, when he said,
"If you are envious, then you will distance yourself from success and make it that much harder to get there."
So what do you do instead? As much as it burns you inside, offer to take the Special out for lunch or coffee/tea. Get to know them. Try to understand and learn from them what it is that makes them so effective at getting what you want before you get it. In other words, what makes them Special. If you do this with humility and admiration, you may be surprised at how open and willing to share they are. You may find that the Special is not the jerk or diva that you thought they were when your perception was colored by your envy-tinted classes. And who knows, you may even make a friend or an ally for your own career advancement.
If you do this, let me know how it goes in the comments below.