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Dear Jealousy

Dear Jealousy,

I ask for an apology in advance because you may not like what you will read in this letter below.

You see, we have lived together in peace for years now. But, off late, I have started feeling dizzy having you on my side. Please don’t feel bad because I will soon explain my reasons for what I’m feeling now with respect to our relationship.

I remember you as early as the age of five, when you clouded my mind as soon as I saw my richer cousins with remote-controlled cars, nicer clothes, and bigger houses.

You stayed with me even as I was passing through high school. Those years, you made me jealous of my friends who scored higher marks then me and thus got a greater appreciation from the girls in the class. Then, when I was in college, you held my hand tight as I saw other classmates who arrived in their own cars while I took rickety buses. When I saw them also having cell phones, I felt your hug even tighter.

There were also times I found myself jealous of people who had no conscience and were famous for that. You made me think that I should become just like them. Thank God I didn’t!

When I got my first job, you stayed with me as a live-in-partner. I found you much closer to me whenever there were appraisals in office. While any salary hike would make me happy, you would appear beside me as soon as I realized someone else in the office got a better hike!

Somewhere deep down, I was happy with my job…but you always reminded me that I deserved something better.

You see, Jealousy, you have been the only constant in my life.

When I was five and now when I’ve crossed thirty-five, you have been like an alter ego, like a shadow that has never left me.

I still find myself wrestling with you.

Despite the fact that God has given me such an amazing life, I am sometimes jealous of people who seem to be living an even better life than me, parents who are better than I can ever be, bloggers who have achieved success greater than me, and writers of my age who are busy writing their second or third bestsellers even as I struggle to pen this simple letter to you.

If that’s not enough, you have had a lasting impact on my investing life. I’ve always found you by my side whenever I see price charts of stocks like Titan, Page Industries, Symphony, Eicher Motors, and so many like these. You make me wonder what I was smoking when these stocks were so cheap just a few years back! But where were you then?

I can see some 4-5 baggers in my own portfolio, but somehow you’ve always managed to cover my eyes and instead push me to look only at the multi-baggers I’ve missed.

You make me feel rotten by telling me how lucky the other guys are who got rich by investing in these multi-baggers I missed. It’s another matter that I don’t know who these other guys are and whether they got their multi-baggers through skill or sheer dumb luck…but you still make me feel rotten.

Now, as I sit here pondering over how much I’ve loved you over the years, I realize that I gave in to the beauty of your close cousin ‘Fear’, which also brought me closer to you.

It was Fear that taught me to compare, always compare. Somebody else has a better house, somebody else has a more beautiful body, somebody else has more money, somebody else has a more charismatic personality, somebody else owns better stocks. Fear has always led me to compare myself with everybody else I pass by, and great Jealousy, you have been the outcome…a by-product of the conditioning for comparison.

So, I have been double-timing you and Fear…and both of you have hurt me immensely over the years. I will write to Fear later, but for now, I seek an apology from you.

I’m sorry to tell you that you make me feel awful and helpless. You’ve controlled my body for so many years – from the tip of my toes up to the highest point of my head…travelling all over my body, through my veins…making me feel an oversized, painful knot in the middle of my stomach.

If everybody was in misery, you made me feel good; if everybody was losing, you made me feel happy. If everybody was happy and succeeding, you made me feel bitter.

You have not allowed my own blissfulness to grow. You have not allowed my own being to bloom. Hence I’ve always felt empty inside, and you made me look at everybody’s outside because only the outside can be seen.

I’ve read Mr. Bertrand Russell saying that you, dear Jealousy, are one of the fundamental causes of human suffering. How much I know this for a fact!

Then, the 18th Century French philosopher and mathematician Marquis de Condorcet said, “Enjoy your own life without comparing it with that of another.” But with you firmly on my side, I’ve never been able to enjoy my life because I often find myself busy comparing myself with others.

But now I am feeling nauseated just by your presence within me. So I’m breaking up with you. No more patch-up discussions. We’re through. Whatever kept us together just isn’t there anymore. Let me tell you that you no longer have that kind of power over me.

We’ve lived through so many years together, like unhappy couples. Now, as I bid you goodbye, I am occupied by a strange feeling of freedom. I don’t expect any of this to make sense to you. It never has before.

But I can’t express all this to you in simpler words. In fact, what I’m feeling now after erasing all our memories together is beyond words. I know you hate it when I talk like this, but this is an honest truth that you must face. I know I’ve tried to let you go in the past as well only to welcome you back the very next moment. But not this time!

My friends think I’m crazy. They wonder what I’m going to do without you, Jealousy. They’ve seen what happens when we’re together, the crazy highs and lows, the bizarre behavior, but they still question my decision. But I know from the bottom of my heart that unhappy relationships like ours don’t get better, they just get unhappier.

It’s a small world and no doubt we may run into each other in the future. But please, please let’s try to maintain a respectable distance. As long as we maintain a proper distance, we’ll be fine.

You see, I need to be far enough away from you to clearly hear my own voice. So please don’t come barging into my life anymore. You don’t live within my heart anymore.

Finally, thank you for being with me all these years even though made my life a living hell. Thank you, even if you have no clue about what I just said.

Life is one big road with lots of signs, and I don’t want to complicate my mind. I thus want to flee from you, dear Jealousy. I want to wake up and live!

I hope you understand.

Your ex-love,
VK

P.S. My inspiration for today’s letter lies in an amazing post I read here.

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About the Author

Vishal Khandelwal is the founder of Safal Niveshak. He works with small investors to help them become smart and independent in their stock market investing decisions. He is a SEBI registered Research Analyst. Connect with Vishal on Twitter.

Comments

  1. Awesome letter as always. 🙂 I felt I was reading my story.

    Thanks for sharing this Vishal!

  2. Somebody else , somebody else ,somebody else…So true!!!

  3. Wonderful and simple.
    I (am sure others will agree) can relate to this. I guess it is a normal human emotion but to be aware of it and discard its negative aspects, is an accomplishment. The only positive side to any such negative emotion is if it can be chanelised to make something better.
    Thank you (and other contributors) for sharing and I admire your stamina and determination in putting out one well thought out article after another almost daily.

    • Thanks Sudhir! Yeah, jealousy has a positive side if one is willing to consider it and then act on it.

      BTW, the pdf/print link is back at the end of the post (see above). Regards.

      • Thanks Vishal for this simple and yet wonderful article. As always Safalniveshak articles are like ‘an apple a day’ to our overall well-being.
        How about adding a epub/mobi link? It would easier for us to read your articles offline(in ebook readers).
        Thanks in advance.

        Regards,
        Eeshwar

      • I agree with your observations on jealousy. Jealousy is useful only when channeled in the right direction.

  4. I dont find the save / pdf it link. I would like to keep this article.

  5. Hi Vishal,
    Awesome. What separates you from other bloggers is this – ‘human touch’, ‘your voice’ to your posts.
    I think you have beautiful mind and it shows in all your posts.

    Thank you for such posts, they help us make better human beings.

    Regards,
    Avadhut

  6. Harshad Parulekar says:

    Nice post .

  7. On a separate note, I liked the site revamp esp the rearrangement of articles. Congrats

  8. Amazing letter Vishal. As usual 🙂
    But I feel that sometimes, atleast sometimes, jealousy (if properly channeled) can help one achieve greater heights. Just a thought (a wicked one though) 😉

    • I quite agree. Every emotion or feeling can have a positive or negative connotation. It is up to us to channelize it.

    • I agree Dev. Jealousy can sometimes act as a powerful motivational force. Compared with feelings of malicious jealousy, benign jealousy can lead people to work with greater dedication. Regards.

  9. Prateek Chaudhary says:

    Awesome Post……So true 🙂
    Main page photo of urs looks great as well 😀

  10. Rahul Shah says:

    Good one mate…i think you need to be called a ‘Spiritual Value Investor’ 🙂

  11. Devaraj Krishnamoorthy says:

    Hello vishal,
    Wonderful post… Loved it, forwarded to many of my friends they loved it 🙂

    Keep sending more!

    Cheers
    Dev

  12. Krupesh Bhojani says:

    Superb sir..!

    Really very realistic letter…

    Please Grant me to post it somewhere .. I can’t stop myself from sharing this feelings …

    Regards,
    Krupesh K. Bhojani

  13. Rahul Kashyap says:

    The most important question is : “How exactly do you plan to get through this break-up? Your partner is very sticky, will never leave in a huff”

  14. Ashish Sethiya says:

    Good One Vishal.

    Regards,
    Ashish

  15. Shantanu Dwivedi says:

    Dear Vishal,

    Congratulations for a post like this. I enjoy reading your mailers almost every day, but this one is by far the best.

    Break-ups can be painful, especially after long-term relationships like this. Wish you all the courage to carry on without patching-up.

    Regards,
    Shantanu Dwivedi

  16. Gautamjit Singh says:

    Awesome article Vishal!

  17. A fantastic break-up, congratulations Vishal, u r one lucky b*#… I’ve been asking her to leave too. Mostly, she stays away now, but sometimes she tries to patch up. After reading your post, I am now even more motivated not to patch up, seeing one gladiator succeed against her!

  18. Its very difficult for Indians to get over jealousy. I say this from years of experience, and also from my frequent interactions with non-Indians. Its to do with our scarcity mentality which comes from a socialistic past where “allocations” are made to us by others above us (our elders, the government, and even God). And we become easily jealous if that somebody above us “allocated” more to someone else than us, especially if that someone else happens to be in our neighbourhood! And when that happens, we want to take matters into our own hands, driven by jealousy and fear within us.

    In an abundant world, we have what we need. So jealousy does not have an easy breeding ground.

    But just when I thought that the Americans had figured out a way out of scarcity, they are swimming deep in scarcity themselves.

    So I do not know the way now. Maybe abundance is just a state of being within us, rather than what we have outside us. Still need to reflect on this.

    Regards,
    Rajaram

  19. Thanks for the excellent post. Apart from driving our jealousy, Peace of Mind can be attained by letting go 3 “C”s –
    Criticizing others,
    Comparing with others,
    Complaining about others.

    Have a great day…

  20. Awesome!! Absolute reflection of current state of mind of Students/ Corporate Managers. By Overcoming Fear , one can avoid being jealous and set his own Standards and march towards Independence.

  21. Great piece of writing, this is something that i will always come back and read.

  22. Vishal,

    Writing a letter to ‘Jealousy’ within our-self seems interesting.

    People are Unhappy because they see others Happy.

    It needs lot of inner power to keep ‘Jealousy’ far away from us.

    I am excited to read return letter from your ex love ‘Jealousy’ …!!

    Anyways, keep guiding & helping us as our true ‘Big Brother’.

    Sachin Mendes, Vasai

  23. Dear Vishal,

    Red flag Raised by you. As if jealousy overcomes your mind you will make bizarre decisions though it is motivational sometimes but most of the times it is disastrous. Only This Jealousy, make you to lose big in even stock market as during flagging market we feel jealous of others who are making money by doing some short term trading and making money faster, we try to do this same thing even though we know that this can lead to a very dangerous short term trading.

    This Jealousy bring us to the situation like Duryodana of Mahabharat, As he said to Shri Krishna that,
    “I know dharma but i can resist myself to doing Adharma”. Like we know it is dangerous to trade in flagging market but because of jealousy and greed we do that.

    keep posting this kind of post to keep us alert.

    Thanks,

    Prashant

  24. Biju Janardhanan says:

    As Sachin rightly titled you.

    Hello Big Brother,

    Thanks for holding our hands in writing this letter to ourselves.
    “Amazingly Super”, are words to describe this article.

    Thanks again, for empowering many through your posts
    Biju

  25. Well narrated post vishal,forwarded to my family and friends. Liked it so much

  26. yogesh Agarwal says:

    Thanks vishal for the superb article about one of the basic fundamentals of human psychology. I got reminded of the scene from 3 Idiots which says “Dost fail ho jaye to dukh hota hai par dost first aa jaye to jyada dukh hota hai.” And only those who can claim to have attained a deep level of contentment with their lives can overcome this weakness. Other normal human beings have to, unwittingly or not, live with it.

  27. Thanks Vishal for emotional post 🙂

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