Is it Wrong to Be Motivated by Jealousy?
“How you experience it and what comes out of it tomorrow is equally important.” —Sadhguru
Question: Sadhguru, jealousy is always considered as a really cynical emotion. But to be honest, for me, it has worked so well. It motivates me. So, every time my friend learns something new, I just get this innate urge to perform better. And it’s probably why I have landed up in my dream college. So, do you think that jealousy is actually a negative emotion, or does it motivate you to do better?
Sadhguru: Fortunately, these days it is gone but when we were growing up, in small towns one of the things people would do to have fun was to take a can full of firecrackers and tie it to a donkey’s tail. This was especially popular during the Diwali season. When the firecrackers would go off, the poor donkey would run all over the place faster than a horse. Do you think that is the way to motivate life? There are better and more intelligent ways of doing things.
When you feel like your tail is burning, you may run. People say that if a dog is chasing you, you will really run fast. But Usain Bolt did not run because his tail was on fire. He runs because he has prepared his legs and lungs in such a way that whichever way he runs, he is faster than everyone. Isn’t that the way to run? Now, you want to run because a dog is chasing you or because your tail is on fire – that is not a pleasant way to run.
One aspect is that you run fast. That is important. But another aspect is that your experience of running is fantastic. Isn’t that important too? You got into your dream college, but it could be three years of hell. Is it not important that these three years are a fantastic experience for you? Running is not the only important thing. How you experience it and what comes out of it tomorrow is equally important.
Suppose we ran because our tails were on fire. Then we will understand that the only way to make people run is to set their tails on fire. Just see how much damage we will cause to everyone because of this!
I have seen these donkeys running faster than a race horse, because they are terrified. That is not the way to run. Please don’t do that to yourself.
Editor's Note: Read this Sadhguru's article, where he explains, how you can use your jealousy to nourish you and how it can provide the perfect manure to produce beautiful, fragrant flowers.