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How to Win at Everything: The Rules of Healthy Competition

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Compete Only When It Counts

Don't get sidetracked by envy: Make sure the things you're competing for are the things that you value, says Betsy Cohen, author of The Snow White Syndrome: All About Envy (MacMillan, 1987). If you covet your friend's new Mini Cooper, pause before you race to the nearest dealership, and consider: Is it the car you desire, or do you wish you felt as happy and self-satisfied as she does? "Often it's the latter," says Cohen. "Ask yourself: What would make me feel that way? It may be something entirely different from what you've been envying."

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