The Nonprofit Marketing Blog

How to figure out what you want to do: the jealousy test

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.

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About This Blog
Caryn Stein hi res

Caryn Stein
Vice President, Communications and Content, Network for Good

We’re here to help you win hearts and minds—and donations.

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