It’s the time of year when a lot of us (including me) take stock. Why are we here? What should we be doing in 2013?
A few years back, I was lamenting to my wise cousin Elisabeth that I wasn’t sure where I should focus my work. What was the best job for me? What was I meant to be doing with my life?
She told me her method for figuring that out. She pays attention to when she feels jealous. If she hears about a job someone’s taken or a project someone has started and feels envious, that’s a clear sign it’s what she most wants to do.
We’re not talking about the nasty kind of envy - as in the deadly sin where you feel diminished by others’ success and want to derail someone else’s good fortune. And I don’t mean longing for the fame and money that can be a side benefit of professional success. I simply mean the telltale twinge you feel when you hear about someone’s endeavor and wish you could do that, too. Stop and wonder: What about that activity creates a craving in you? Was it something you’ve always longed to try? Something you’ve been afraid to try? Maybe you can and should attempt that very thing.
It’s a clarifying feeling. Jealous? Maybe you should be chasing that dream yourself.