From a young age we’re talked it’s a terrible thing, so when we feel it As we all do, we’re inclined not to examine it. We just feel ashamed and guilty. But that’s a pity. Because envy, like fear, is an important emotion that exists in all of us for some good reasons. It’s there to help us know what we want. It’s a call to action that should be heeded containing garbled but important messages about what we should be doing with the rest of our lives. If we can get past the humiliation of envious feelings we can start to see them as a set of clues about what we might do next. We should study and maybe even record on paper the situation and people that make us envious. We might learn to keep an envy diary, it will contain a fragment of a future self trying to break through. We often forget that the things we admire don’t just belong to one specific very attractive life. They can be pursued in lesser, weaker, but still very real doses in countless other places. Opening up the possibility of creating many smaller, more manageable and more realistic versions of the lives we are drawn to. Let’s no longer just think we’re bad people just for envying. Let’s do something far more productive, become diligent and careful students of our most persistent envious feelings. They’re trying to tell us something, and we should listen.