What has Jealousy Ever Done For You?

Winning arguably the most prestigious major championship in golf is remarkable achievement.

Doing so at 21 is close to mind-blowing.

As a golfer myself, I was glued to the television most of the weekend, watching history unfold. I would love to admit there was not a twitch of jealousy in my mind when he finished his record-breaking week to a roar from hundreds of adoring fans.

But I would be lying.

You know that little thing that lives in the middle of your chest? The little monster way down there sitting to the side of your heart? The one that loves to point out someone else’s success and ignore yours?

Mine got loud this past weekend.

Jordan Spieth has a little piece of a life I dreamed of. He is barely old enough to drink and just got a check for around $1.5 million to play a game. I am 25, writing about him for free during my lunch break at my desk job.

Although sports have been putting targets of our jealousy on screen for a while now, what’s interesting is how the monster now creeps into our daily lives.

Each morning we are treated to a parade of highlights coming from our friends and acquaintances:

“Shopping with bae! I’m so #blessed”

“Can’t believe I just got that promotion!”

“Life is good.”

And you, being the good friend that you are, like that status, favorite that tweet, or double tap that picture.

You bury the jealousy, leaving it to fester and boil up another day.

Do you know what I realized, though, when I was going through this recent display of fake approval? Spieth’s victory takes away absolutely nothing from my life.

If he’d choked and someone else had won, I would have still got up and come to work tomorrow (although this article would have a very different tone).

It’s the same with another friend I have. He is two years younger than me and making twice as much money. Would my life be different if we had the same salary?

Back in the early days of humanity, everyone had a role. Community reigned supreme. Do you think the people who prepared the food were very jealous of the hunter-gatherer’s success? Do you think the woman who created blankets for the rest of the tribe stewed with envy whenever everyone applauded the fisherman?

I doubt it.

It’s time for community mindset to make a comeback. When you begrudge someone else’s happiness, you reject it in your own life. Your trips around the sun are far too short to spend them bitter and angry.

If you find genuine happiness in someone else’s success, you are much more likely to get good vibes back.

So I will applaud Jordan’s week for the huge accomplishment it is. Then I’ll move on because hey, I’ve got my own legacy to leave, my own piece of the universe to fill.

This is an abundant world.

There’s enough awesome to go around.

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