I was recently asked to take part in The Why Factor for the BBC’s World Service. They were doing a programme on ‘envy’ and they invited me and a bunch of other much more interesting and intelligent people to talk about its cause and effect. It’s worth listening to just for the mellifluous voice of Nobel Prize-winning psychologist Daniel Kahneman – that man could say anything and I would listen though what he says is definitely worth hearing.
I, of course, was asked to talk about ‘Baby Envy’. Well what else? All I seem to talk and write about these days is some variation on the theme of having or not having them (babies that is). Please feel free to tell me if you’re getting bored and you’d rather I focused on current affairs. Actually, please don’t, I’d be shit on Syria and I don’t know where that plane is either.
Back to The Why Factor. One of the really interesting points raised in the programme is that there are actually two types of envy: good and bad. Good envy drives you to improve yourself and ultimately to succeed. Bad envy is a covetousness that consumes you from the outside in. No prizes for guessing which of these my baby envy is. It’s green not golden. As Daniel says – and I was listening – it’s the type of envy that is true pain.
So for this week’s question let’s focus on this powerful emotion. Does it drive you forward or hold you back?
And if you’d like to listen to ‘Envy’ on The Why Factor please click here.