So what if I’m jealous?

Jealousy isn’t the monster we make it out to be. In fact, it’s your friend.

I know that we’ve been brain-washed as kids to be like Cinderella. I mean, you know Cinderella was a good person because even though her life was shi!tty, she was happy and content and didn’t bother anybody by complaining.

And when her sisters went to the ball without her, she didn’t get jealous. She just quietly wallowed in self-pity.

What a good girl.

Jealousy, we’re told, is a monster. If we let ourselves get jealous it’s like inviting in some sort of demonic possession.

And in that sense, if you get jealous, it means you have a weak will and a feeble mind. You need to develop some character and become a better person.

What a load of garbage.

Jealousy can be your friend.

Now I’m not saying you should just let yourself go and act out every jealous urge. If your neighbor just got a brand new BMW, I’m not saying you should go over and accidentally spill nail polish remover all over it.

I am definitely not saying that.

But I am saying that jealousy is an interesting signal, and is something that you should listen to.

The thing to remember is that jealousy comes from a sense of missing out.

Like, you might see your neighbour take a lovely big breath of fresh air.

Would that make you feel jealous? Of course not. Even though fresh air is awesome, it’s not something that you’re missing out on.

Likewise, say you hear Michael Jackson had gold-plated toilet seats. Does that make you feel jealous? Probably not. You probably never thought about having golden toilet seats. You probably wouldn’t want them even if you could afford them. You’re not missing out and so you don’t feel jealous.

We only feel jealous when we feel like we’re missing out. It is the voice of the little child that says, “What about me? It isn’t fair!”

And so while I’m saying we shouldn’t act out our jealousy – we shouldn’t give that angry inner child a baseball bat – I am saying we should definitely listen to that voice.

Because there’s some really useful information in there.

Say your neighbor gets a new car, and it makes you feel jealous. You secretly hate your neighbor and you secretly hate yourself for hating him.

This is a gold mine of info. Why do you feel jealous? What exactly do you feel like you’re missing out on?

Is it the car itself? Are you tired of driving around your clapped-out Hyundai? Is it the status that comes with a shiny new set of wheels – the social esteem and signatures of success.

Or is it that he gave himself permission to buy something he really likes – a permission you never allow yourself?

It’s one of the things they never tell you, but figuring out what you really want is one of the hardest things in life. It takes a long time to get to know yourself fully, and a long time to separate out your own true desires from the cookie-cutter desires the world tells you you want.

And really, if you can figure out exactly, precisely what you want, the rest comes very easily.

So jealousy, with its full bandwidth signal about what you want – what you feel you’re missing out on – is a total blessing.

So welcome jealousy every time it comes to your door.

But as I said, that doesn’t mean you have to give it a baseball bat.

Spiro Kladis
Managing Director, Cashflow Capital

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