We’re told that jealousy is bad and we should rise above it so people deny or suppress the feeling.
The problem? They are still jealous but now feel guilty and ashamed too and are no closer to understanding why the jealousy emerged or what they can do to manage the discomfort.
But if you really want to know what you value, then jealousy is a merciless guide.
Nothing cuts through the theoretical idea of what you think you value to what you actually value faster. Learning to read it is invaluable.
For example, tell me about a runner who broke the world record for the 100 meters and while I am glad for them I am otherwise unmoved. The same can be said for the Oscar winners, Grand Prix drivers, math geniuses, amazing business people or International Most Fabulous Persons Of All Time.
But mention a 20-year old novelist who has managed to shortcut the tortuous path to publishing and create an immediate best seller and that gets the heart pumping.
Why? Because my path to publishing has been long and at times tortuous. Apart from the published works I have 11 unpublished novels, umpteen plays and short stories in the drawer (of my Mac that is).