How To Cope When You’ve Been Scooped

Have you ever read about someone’s accomplishments and think “I wish I’d done that!”? This can be doubly true if you’re a professional and you see how others in your field are surpassing you.

One of the worst professions for envy is journalism. The stories your competitors found — and you missed — are on full display. It’s a great way to gain humility, and everyone needs to find their own way of coping.

Bloomberg Businessweek’s solution is to publish an annual Jealousy List, where its journalists identify stories from other outlets they wish they had written. It’s a pretty comprehensive soul-bearing; I stopped counting at 25. And they are upfront about it: “…no year would be complete without a round of solemn introspection: How did we fail?” But at least they are magnanimous: “Swallow your pride and acknowledge a job well done, begrudgingly if need be, by someone else. So, congratulations to those on this year’s list. You managed to make 2020 even worse for us.”

And if you like to revel in other people’s remorse, at the end are links to previous year’s Jealously Lists.

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