In Buddhism, the term irshya is commonly translated as either envy or jealousy. Irshya
is defined as a state of mind in which one is highly agitated to obtain wealth and honor for oneself, but unable to bear the excellence of others.The term mudita
(sympathetic joy) is defined as taking joy in the good fortune of others. This virtue is considered the antidote to envy.
Moreover, psychologists (van den Ven et al., 2009)
have recently suggested that there may be two types of envy: malicious envy and benign envy - benign envy being proposed as a type of positive motivational force.Do read the article here http://www.spring.org.uk/2011/05/why-envy-motivates-us.php
and note the following:
We tend to feel malicious envy towards another person if we think their success is undeserved. This is the type that makes us want to strike out at the other person and bring them down a peg or two. However when another's success feels deserved to us, we tend to feel a benign envy: one that isn't destructive but instead motivates.
...people who felt they had little control over their ability to improve resorted to admiration. On the other hand, those who thought they could improve experienced benign envy and were motivated to work harder. It's the feeling of control that motivates.
Benign envy encouraged people to perform better on measures of intelligence and creativity, when compared with both admiration and malicious envy.