Fuck. I tried really hard not to write this but I can’t focus on anything else. This wants to get written.
My little sister Jamie just made these two spoken-word videos (here’s number one and two) about the state of medicine and physician burnout and they’re genius. Creative and impactful and informative and raw. I’m so impressed. And… I feel defeated… *cringe.*
She just made something wonderful on her first try. Then something just as wonderful on her second try. And huge ripples. 16,000+ views already, and big names in the field are reposting her videos and people she doesn’t know are contacting her and singing her praises. How the fuck?
The two of us are very close. We’re supportive and proud of each other. We’re transparent and generous with each other. Whenever she’s successful, I’m excited, and vice versa. This isn’t about us, it’s about me wanting what she has.
She just had a huge win in an area where I want a huge win: creative impact. And now I’m wrestling with something I haven’t felt in a while. Something ugly and hard to admit: jealousy.
I just took a moment to think and realized something:
I just said that I haven’t felt jealousy in a while. I actively, consciously overcame it years ago (when my bestie Jason taught me about compersion). I thought jealousy was something of my distant past. It has become something I’m almost unable to understand when others complain about it to me— jealousy obviously gets you nowhere. It’s inaccurate and counterproductive. It comes from misaligned thinking. It’s inconsistent with the truth. I get it. I know it intimately. So what’s the purpose of it resurfacing?
It’s coming back up again so I can rediscover, publicly, in all its messiness, how to transcend it. Everyone experiences jealousy. It’s shameful and debilitating. It’s coming back now so I can write about it and go through it in real time for others. So I can remember it and relate to it from within its grasp instead of from the perspective of the advice-giver who can hardly remember how it felt to be in the shoes of the advice-recipient. I’m illuminating the truth behind an experience most of us never look dead in the eye.
Ok I see the opportunity now.
Here’s what I know about jealousy:
We all know the quote: “blowing out someone else’s candle doesn’t make yours shine any brighter.” In other words, wanting less for someone else doesn’t guarantee you more. That perspective assumes limitation. It suggests that there’s only so much success to go around.
Not to mention, I don’t want less for my sister at all. I just also want that kind of impact that easily. It’s inspiring. And… I suppose… elusive. Like how did she do that? And I know if it were a simple, reproducible formula everyone would be doing it and this wouldn’t be an interesting topic. She hit the nail on the head.
I took a break to think about this. I asked my friend Bentinho about jealousy—he said something that completely landed:
“Jealousy is the belief that you can’t have, do or create what someone else did.”
DING DING DING
When he said that it ended the search for me. It reframed the whole situation.
Do I believe that I can’t create what she created? Actually, no. I’m confident I will positively impact many people. I’ve known that since I was really young. Remembering this was a nice confirmation — I don’t doubt WHETHER I will create high-impact content… what I question is how.
I got wrapped up in the how. “Do I need to do a bunch of research on a topic like medicine in order to become competent on a niche topic? Do I need to be more of an activist about something? Do I need to be more creative?”
Maybe, but not from that perspective.
“When people are stuck and they say ‘what am I going to do?’ You’ll never get the answer from that state of mind. If you’re angry if you’re pissed off if you’re frustrated if you’re bored, your brain’s not gonna come up with the same answers as if you’re feeling inspired or hungry.”
From the perspective of “the grass is greener over there,” the solutions I was able to come up with were pathetic. Like I need to do something completely unappealing to me like research a niche topic in order to make something more impactful? Give me a break.
Something else is clearing up for me too …
I was more focused on the positive impact coming from me than on the impact itself. A very good friend and mentor, Michael Fitzpatrick told me (I’m paraphrasing): “The purpose of this life is to raise the vibration of the most people in the shortest amount of time.” In other words, we’re here to positively impact as many people as possible as quickly as possible — who cares how it gets done.
In that same Tony Robbins video, he says:
“People suffer because they obsess about themselves. What they’re losing what they’re missing out on what they’ll never have. And it’s not true. It’s only true because you’re letting your head take over instead of your body and your heart.”
This is not about me. My sister did something courageous and vulnerable and raw and it’s positively affecting thousands of people. She is in perfect alignment with my ultimate goal. Not to mention she’s bringing me clarity, exposing deep limiting beliefs, and leading by example.
I’m now shaking my head in appreciation. Frog in my throat.
Thanks for teaching me and inspiring me in more ways than you know, Melo.