The grass isn’t greener on the other side

Have you ever seen a hillside that looks like a perfectly manicured lawn? The grass looks unreal, so green and lush? You wished your grass looked like that and if only for a moment, you want to sit in peace on that beautiful hillside. However, as you get closer you see weeds, bare patches, and the ground is uneven. At a distance these things were undetectable but close up the grass isn’t as pretty. Our lives can be like that hillside. Our life isn’t going the way we’d like it to and this could be in the professional, personal or romantic part of our lives. Something is broken, it isn’t going the way we would like, and we encounter someone that seems to have the very thing(s) we are missing and that is when the trouble begins: contemplating that the grass is greener on the other side of the fence so why not make a change?

A change for the wrong reasons.

Victor started a website about technology. He was very enthusiastic and wrote at least one article every day. As the months passed he noticed that sites that started after him excelled better than his site. There was one in particular that really took off. He followed that site faithfully, watched it grow from making nothing to over $100K a month and he wished his site was like that. Life just isn’t fair.

Mark has feelings for Lucy but he has yet to tell her that. What if she doesn’t feel the same way or even scarier, what if she does and it doesn’t work out? Everything is lost. In frustration Mark started talking to Rachel. Talking to Rachel he noticed he didn’t have the issues he has with Lucy. It was fun talking to Rachel, flirting with her and sometimes thinking about “what if?” because the price wasn’t as high if things went sour. What would happen if Mark hooked up with Rachel?

Scott and Jason are best friends who love to go bowling. They play on a league together. Jason usually bowls a higher score than Scott but lately, Jason has been on fire – bowling better each game and playing a significant role in the league’s victories. Scott wished he could bowl like Jason and be the “king” of the evening.

There is a pattern in these examples. When problems or challenges arise the person loses focus on what is really important and the things we already have lose value. They were focused on wanting more (because the other people had it “better” than they did), instead of improving their situation. This is when the “grass is greener” feeling kicks in…essentially when we’ve lost our way.

Unfortunately when this happens it causes a snowball effect. Victor was so busy drooling over another site he let weeds grow on his lawn – his own site did not progress as it should. His focus wasn’t on his site but on his dreams, money, and someone else’s hard work paying off. Scott wanted to be “the king” of the night for once and while and was envious of Jason’s bowling abilities; he didn’t go to the alley on his own to practice in order to improve…allowing the weeds to sneak into his yard. While Mark was busy trying to connect with Rachel (instead of telling Lucy how he felt) he allowed weeds to sneak into his yard and Lucy’s. In each case unless the focus goes back on their own yards, Jason will continue to be a better bowler, Victor will never have a successful site and Lucy will leave Mark because Mark has become a weed.

A person’s worth isn’t measured by what they have. A person’s true worth is measured by who they are. Until a person is content within themselves he/she will never be satisfied and will continue to want more. How can Victor have a successful site if he is unable or unwilling to put in the hard work everyday, instead of being envious of someone’s efforts? How can Mark have true love or even connect with another person if he is unable to communicate? How can Jason and Scott maintain their friendship and compete on a team if Scott has insecurities with his own performance, but is unwilling to put in the work to improve?

I guess the real question is: it’s their yard, why aren’t they taking care of it?

Stay where you are. Distant fields always look greener, but opportunity lies right where you are. Take advantage of every opportunity of service. Your chances of success in any undertaking can always be measured by your belief in yourself. – Robert Collier