The first and last time I felt envious was when my friend Kjell got a Mac before me. It’s not that I grew up in a particularly wealthy household—quite the opposite, in fact—but I had never wanted something as badly as my first Mac, feeling as though my future as a designer depended on it.

It took me a while to recognize the feeling, and I experienced quite the epiphany when I was finally able to label what was ruining my mood. I believe this was my first instance of practicing introspection.

It was also the first time I decided I didn’t want to feel a certain way and began to work on changing my perception of the situation. I wanted to be happy for my friend.

This experience was significant and continues to resonate throughout my life. I consider self-efficacy one of the most important skills a person can have. Writing about my first Mac brought these memories back, and I hope Kjell never noticed my feelings at the time. Though I doubt it, as I also wasn’t very good at being nice back then. That, however, is a topic for another time.