Genesis of Jealousy + How do you Measure your Fortune?

I had the opportunity recently to meet a HUGE celebrity. 

And when I say meet, I mean spend 4 hours with this person and a handful of other business people in fairly intimate creative brainstorming session.  During that time, he shared stories of his childhood and what got him to where he is today, and why he thinks in some part the way he does.  It was all very fascinating and for the most part confidential, so I will not be sharing those details here.  However, it got me to thinking about how “an ordinary” street kid, one of us you could say…becomes a huge, internationally-known entrepreneur, celebrity, and public figure.  

One of his comments referred to his mom and how she sometimes tells him he is crazy when he tells her he is going to give huge chunks of money away to charity.  The normalcy of that idea makes me smile: He calls his mom to make sure she and the family has everything that they need before he gives it all away to strangers.  I love that he checked on his momma first. She is obviously well cared for as he ended up giving it all away on public TV. 

And so I couldn’t help but think as I was falling asleep that night about the journey from a normal uneventful humdrum life to the journey of that of a superstar. Whether it is YOU who takes that journey or a close loved one. I started thinking of all of the relationship challenges that could present.  I suppose it is not very different than what one would expect when winning a very substantial lottery: People coming out of the woodworks with expectations of you, wanting money from you or to somehow profit from your good fortune or the limelight that would constantly surround you. And I thought of the jealousy of many who prove incapable of being happy for other people’s good fortune…on small scales and large. And I started thinking about the genesis and inherent nature of that jealousy when I realized something that moved me… 

Jealousy, I think, stems from an overwhelming sense of loss or lacking. Jealousy thinks that the universe or life in general has slighted them a little.  They think that success, that limelight, that talent or that dream somehow belonged to them and only them.  Why did it not turn out the same for them?  It seems a rather selfish thought that any ONE person might own an idea. And so the jealous focus on what is NOT instead of what IS.  They forget everything the universe has done for them and given to them already. They begin taking for granted their own fortune, on whatever scale. 

And so the more I reflected, the more I realized how TRULY blessed my life is…as it is TODAY. Without excess money or attention. This is not simply a platitude.   

I have little question as to who my friends are.  They either ARE or AREN’T in my life as it stands…when they have nothing to benefit. I have little question who it is that truly believes in me and my potential.  It brings no one benefit to flatter me where I am. My needs are met.  I have enough to meet the needs of others most of the time. I have free time (sometimes), which is the ULTIMATE luxury – that sometimes even the wealthiest or most exposed people in our society do not have. I have freedom to pursue my dreams, because one can’t forget…I still have the luxury of dreams and hopes. I have privacy, safety.

However, I do not believe that the life of the privileged-few is a life of misery and that the life of the normal-many is perfect. Our lives are what we allow them to be, because they are mostly about perspective…and I truly believe this.  Someone who is truly happy and grateful will be that way with 2 dollars or 2 million dollars. The person who will care for his neighbor and give the shirt off of his back will do so if he has one shirt or 100 shirts.

We are only as rich as the scale that we use to measure our fortune.

If you measure fortune by money or public success, you will find that there is too much room on your scale and it will be lacking. By this measurement, you will find yourself very poor and lacking your whole life.

If you measure fortune by what you already have, you will find your scale overflowing and heavy.  Nothing can be added on a scale that is already full. Anything else that is added will feel like a tremendous gift, and you will begin to see that sharing that fortune only creates room for more blessing. You will find yourself in an endless cycle of plenty.

Mostly, I want to be the person who is never looking at what someone else has and envying it.  I want to look at everything I have and consider it a gift. 

I want to be disconnected from things and connected to people.photo