The Buddhist Practice of Mudita

Mudita means sympathetic joy — to take joy in the good fortune of others. The opposite of this is jealousy or envy. Mudita is one of the four Immeasurables, or four mental states of Buddhism.

In the book I’m currently listening to on Audible, The Book of Joy, the author describes something about comparison that we already know: it’s poison. Comparing where you’re at in your work, projects, goals, growth and achievements to that of others is a recipe for disappointment, negativity and envy. As they say, comparison is the thief of joy. Learning not to compare yourself to others is crucial to becoming successful in any pursuit.

Like most areas involving self-improvement, the simple and seemingly obvious concepts such as Mudita can have a powerful effect when we take time to consider them deeply and more closely. Because simple concepts seem so obvious, it makes them easy to dismiss and overlook.

Happiness increases when it’s shared. When someone is successful, that doesn’t mean there is less of it out there for you. Success and happiness are infinite. When you feel true happiness for others — your own happiness increases. When that happens, your own personal growth accelerates, successful experiences increase, leading to (you guessed it) more joy.