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Who are you jealous of?

Why I don’t ignore the voice of jealousy and how I make it work for me.


Someone once told me the definition of Hell: The last day you have on earth, the person you became will meet the person you could have become.

Few emotions manage to awaken people’s disgust the way Jealousy does.

To prove my point, let’s see what people throughout history have said about Jealousy:

Envy and jealousy are incurable diseases.— Robert Kraft
For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. — James 3:16
Jealousy is a mental cancer.— B.C. Forbes
A competent and self-confident person is incapable of jealousy in anything. Jealousy is invariably a symptom of neurotic insecurity. — Robert A. Heinlein

While four cherry-picked quotes do not a bullet-proof argument make, I think that’s enough to cement Jealousy’s spot on the throne as the “King of Awful, Life-Ruining, Really, Really Bad, No Good, Negative Emotions.”

Eat your heart out Greed and Pride, there’s a new sheriff in Negative Emotionsville.

There’s no doubt Jealousy can consume and ruin you.

But if you’re willing to pay it the attention it craves Jealousy can turn out to be one of your most productive emotions.

Let me show you.


Why I’m not jealous of Elon Musk

Elon Musk is impressive.

He has somehow managed to fit multiple lifetimes into 46 years. PayPal, SpaceX, and Tesla have all been world-changing. And who knows what he has up his sleeve.

But even though Elon Musk is Very Smart and Very Important and Very Successful, I’m not jealous of him.

In fact, I can look at him and say, “Congratulations for all your success Elon!” (we’re on a first name basis)

“Ahem…”

Umm, yes Elon?

“I think you mean successES, plural”

Right, of course. Let me try again.

In fact, I can look at him and say, “Congratulations for all your successES Elon!”

“That’s better.”

Anyway, here is what I was trying to get at before Elon interrupted me:

Though my Jealousy-free acknowledgment of Elon’s success might sound magnanimous, the truth is that what motivates Elon does nothing for me.

I have no interest in building rockets or getting to Mars or developing electric cars.

I have no reason to be jealous of his success(es).


Using Jealousy as an indicator

Who are you jealous of?

Who do you have trouble being happy for?

Be honest.

Give it some serious thought. Don’t shy away because you don’t want to be a Bad Person.

Jealousy is normal. It’s an indicator that you’re somehow unfulfilled, that there’s something missing, that there’s something you want and don’t have.

What is it?

I’ll go first.

I’m jealous of other writers. I’m jealous of people who have written books. I’m jealous of people on Medium who get thousands of reads a month.

Don’t let the hate flow through you, Luke

You might be scared to tap into your Jealousy.

You’re afraid it will consume you.

You’re afraid it will turn into that mental cancer, that neurotic insecurity.

The funny thing about Jealousy, though, is that it fades once you listen to it.

I don’t want to be anyone else.

My Jealousy of these writers stems from the fact that they’re doing something that I know I should be doing.

I have my own road ahead of me to explore. I have my own words to be written.

Once we determine our course and set out on our journey, the voices of Jealousy quiet down.

You’ve acknowledged and come to terms with it.

Jealousy no longer has control over you.


Are you doing what you need to do?

We have to distinguish between our Jealousy of someone’s success or ability and our Jealousy of someone’s journey.

I wish I knew how to draw.

I wish I knew how to play guitar.

Yet it would be silly for me to be jealous of people who can draw or play guitar because there’s nothing stopping me from learning. I’m just not willing to put in the time.

Be Jealous of the journey.

Are you willing to dedicate your limited time to this pursuit?

Are you willing to overcome the struggles and obstacles that will inevitably arise?

If the answer is no, then let it go.

Let it go before the Jealousy becomes that mental cancer, that neurotic insecurity.

If the answer is yes, however, then stop waiting.

Listen to your Jealousy, thank it for putting you on the right track, then start on your journey and let it go.

Don’t miss out on the person you can become.


Did you enjoy this?

Every Saturday morning I send out a letter exploring how we can be the best version of ourselves. I talk about financial independence, life, happiness, minimalism, personal growth, and more. I think you’ll like it. Join here.

If you want to read more of my writing, check out my thoughts on financial independence: www.windespair.com


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