I woke up this morning feeling envious, because I'm a musician, and everything around us exists to make us feel like we suck and shouldn't try at all, ever.
There’re two types of envy I experience - malicious and benign. Malicious envy's transparently awful, but isn’t it fun, talking shit and inventing whacky conspiracy theories? Clearly, other’s success is a personal affront, and oh sweet relief, I finally can blame my own inaction on some self-conjured boogieman.
Benign envy, on the other hand, is my friend. It’s normal, feeling a pang of something when you see a buddy holding up devil horns in front of ten thousand people. I don’t try to fight it, but rather harness that pang as motivation - to get in the gym when I’d rather shovel Cheetos into my face, to fine-tune lyrics, to write this newsletter.
Being surrounded by talented, ambitious and happy people means you’re doing it right, and I remind myself that the world’s already getting their stories. It’s up to me to tell mine.
No one denies that feeling envy is unpleasant, or feeling envious leads us down paths we wish we hadn’t taken. Envy is frequently corrosive and destructive. And yet, I’ve grown to appreciate over the years that the right kind of envy can serve an important function - competition and improvement.