I’ve never been a jealous type of guy. At least, not when it comes to relationships.
If a woman I was dating was talking to another man, it didn’t make me feel insecure or mistrusting of her intentions. I always have felt a calm about it, knowing that it was okay, as she was with me.
However, when it comes to ambitions, I am the complete opposite. I hate to admit, but I can be horribly jealous of the achievements of others.
When somebody has something I want in my life, such as a nicer car, a more successful business, or a more lucrative speaking career, I can often feel green.
More than simple jealousy, sometimes I get angry. Not at the other person, but at me. I feel anger at myself that I am not at their level of success as yet. I feel this deep burn that drives me to reach the same level as them.
Now, for years I thought this was simply a weakness in me, a mark of immaturity, and something that needed to be ignored or somehow thwarted.
However, about a year ago I had a big realization: jealousy can be a great indicator of something I want. When I get a pang of jealousy, it shows me specifically that I’d like to be, do or have that same thing for myself.
If I look at jealousy as a guide to know what to aim for in my own life, I can do something useful with the emotion. I can strive to get to the same level. I can learn from the person to accelerate my progress. Most of all, I can channel my energy in a positive way.
In this way, a pang of jealousy can be transformed into a form of acute ambition.
However, there is one important caveat here: it must come from a place of abundance.
When you want the success more for yourself than you want it for anyone else, I believe that it becomes an unhealthy form of jealousy.
Falling into a pattern of unbalanced coveting like this comes from a scarcity mindset. The fact that somebody else has something you want means that you can also get it, or at least the equivalent. As long as you are willing to do the things they have done, and make the same types of life choices and sacrifices.
Jealousy, just like most emotions, can be used constructively if we channel it into ambitions and hard work.
The next time you feel a pang of jealousy, perhaps you should ask yourself if you have discovered something you want. If you have, then make a plan and a personal commitment to get it.
There is enough abundance in the world for you to have it.