Can jealousy be a positive thing?
I know, this blog post is a bit weird, or maybe it may sound pointless, but it's lodging in my head for a long time so...here we are!
The modern way of communicating, especially for what concerns marketing and above all marketing applied to social networks, has deeply changed and business companies try more and more to show a kind of "human face" to their customers (or potential customers): it's not just a simple "buy this product because it's cool/useful/worthy", but more "buy this product because it is a symbol of a value/feeling/experience important for you that we incarnate".
Obviously, I'm not here like Moses, revealing the ancestral truth to you: these are well-known facts since ages.
I needed this little predictable prologue, however, to talk about something that I feel has deeply influenced my life and, consequently, my work career, despite it's a thing that is often considered a bad one, or just a thing to be ashamed of: jealousy.
For sure, when we think about an emotion worthy of respect, we wouldn't think about that. Passion, abnegation, love, faith, hope: these are the positive feelings commonly used to "trigger" your empathy and make you like a project/product/company, and of course I made no exception. The more sincere you are (because everyone is able to distinguish a genuine statement from a faked one made only for commercial purposes), the more you'll manage to establish a link between you and the community you would like to reach, and the more chances you'll have to involve people in your projects. No one would seriously tell you "greed is what moves us: buy our products because we want to earn a shamefully big amount of money", it would probably be a sincere statement for many (especially for Ligurians, like me!), but it's not elegant to say something like that.
So, let's break the "bad emotion taboo" and talk about a controversial topic: I think that a particular type of jealousy can be ok and even important, to achieve our goals.
I say "type of jealousy" because I believe that there are two types of jealousy: the positive jealousy and the jealousy of the loser.
When you see somebody that is the way you've always wished to be (I don't know, a successful individual, or a rich one, or smarter than you etc) and you want to see him/her fail or his/her fortunes disappear, this is the jealousy of the loser: negative, awful and pointless.
The jealousy of the loser just keeps you stay in your comfort zone, giving you an excuse not to try to achieve your goals ("lucky him! if I had his body, I would be loved too" "it's easy to succeed if you have wealthy parents" and so on).
When, however, you see somebody that it's better than you and you transform that frustration, that little worm that gnaws your pride, in a fuel able to push you beyond your limits, I call it the positive jealousy.
I consider it positive because it gives you the push for improving yourself, for moving your ass and try to achieve your goals, for going outside your comfort zone and face one of the worst fear of the modern man: the failure.
In a way or another, we all have had a moment when we feared to fail: personally, considering how this job is precarious and full of unknowns, and how many limits I have, I live almost constantly with the fear of failure. Especially in these moments of economic disaster and uncertainty of the future, it's a fear I have to deal with, every day.
In a way or another, however, I always find a way to hold on, not only with my own will, but also thanks to all those that, luckily, are around me that love and support me. Concerning my personal "triggers", I realized that jealousy is an incredible fuel for my engine, probably because of my personal attitude: I've always been aware of not having a pure talent for the things I love to do. Since I was a little child, I always loved to draw, for example, the creative process has amazed me ever since I can remember. At that time, I used to spend a lot of time with a friend of mine, that was clearly on another planet: no matter my efforts, he simply had a natural talent for illustration and what I struggled to make for days and days, for him it was just like breathing air. I was extremely jealous, but despite I was aware that it would have been impossible for me to ever reach his talent, I always challenged him, trying to make my best.
I think you may easily understand why I always preferred Vegeta over Goku!
However, this particular attitude of mine I think has helped me to achieve results that my own, totally average, natural skills wouldn't allow me to do and I'm not ashamed to say that if I ever manage to turn DPF in something worthy, it would be probably thanks to my obstinacy on wanting to reach those that are clearly better than me. That's it.
Concerning my job, all this abstruse statement brings to a precise company that I deeply respect (and I'm jealous of, obviously!) and that is my first point of reference for, well, anything: Kingdom Death.
You all know, at this point, how much I desperately love anything concerning Rackham Confrontation, but they didn't trigger me, in that way. I deeply believe that they belong to another level, they live in the hyperuranium of miniatures. Once upon a time, the gods of miniatures descended upon France and gave us a precious gift that we clearly were not worthy of. That's how I explain to myself all the Confrontation history.
Kingdom Death, however, for some reasons, really triggered my inner ambition, probably because I see in that project something similar (but incredibly better) than mine: a single man who managed to create something unique, claiming an outstanding (and well deserved) success.
All about them is simply "how I've always wished to be": the unique and classy art direction, the immediate perception of "luxury product" that you feel when you look at their miniatures, a supportive community that is constantly eager to see more...oh well, also all the money!
Looking at KD, I don't see only an immeasurable talent: it's pure genius. At least, in my opinion, it's like they (well, he) didn't make a single mistake during all his project's life. An organic, I dare to say holistic, creative path where everything is finely imagined, designed and, then made. The commercial management of KD has been flawless: he designed a line of miniatures that no one would dare to do, and he managed to turn it into one of the most appreciated ranges ever. He managed to take one of the most abused (and, personally, less interesting) clichés of miniatures art, the pin-up archetype, and he turned it into something special, unique. He basically creates a whole new niche of products, in the 28mm landscape. "Boutique nightmare horror".
It's pure genius.
Of course, if I compare my little creature, full of limits, naivety and fails, to KD, I can't help but (as we say here in Italy) rosicare ("to gnaw", referring to an individual so frustrated with a thing that he starts to gnaw wood to relieve the frustration), but indeed this jealousy helps me to establish more ambitious goals to achieve.
So, all this to say what?!
Well, of course talent, passion, love, faith and perseverance are the basis of success, but we can also take the best from those not totally noble (but still, human..) emotions, and turn them into positive triggers for our lives.
Of course my pride bleeds, when I look at all the mistakes I did 'till now and I compare them to the great work of others, but I must turn this pang in the chest into something useful for me.
Seeing that somebody managed to achieve something that you struggle even to start to pursue, shall not be a limit for you: If I want to succeed, I must look at others' success not as an excuse for giving up, but as an objective proof that those goals of mine CAN be achieved, so it's only up to me to get better.
For these reasons, I think that even jealousy, in a certain way, can be positive: what do you think about?
PS: now that it seems that we are all quarantined, in a way or another, let's take advantage of this horrible situation to paint and grow our amazing hobby!