Maybe the grass IS greener on the other side…
Perhaps there is some truth to the saying “the grass is greener on the other side.”
We can always find greener grass than the grass we’re standing on.
But instead of getting caught up in comparison-mode, re-route your perspective back to yourself.
Pining for another person’s green “grass” (someone else’s life, career, marriage, etc) will work the opposite way you want it to. Instead of focusing on the condition of your own grass, you’re wasting time wishing you had someone else’s.
Maybe the grass IS greener on the other side.
But, so what?
Instead of being jealous or threatened by greener grass, see it as an invitation to water the grass you’re standing on. If someone has an amazing job, be inspired to lean in and set a goal to earn a promotion. If someone has the “perfect marriage,” figure out ways to work on your own marriage (the #staymarried blog is a great resource).
The secret to a better life isn’t seeing how you size up to someone else’s life (and thank you Facebook for making this all-too-easy). The secret to a better life is self-awareness…and knowing what fertilizer you need in order to be fruitful and productive.
Annie, I love these that you write! Comparing between people is something I grew up with. My parents comparing me to the neighbor kid or even my own siblings. I am the black sheep in my family so I know what that is like. One of these days I’ll share a few more stories with you about that.
I love what you’re saying about watering the grass you’re standing on.
Burning relationships, people, jobs, managers, seems like the easy thing to do compared with working to build or rebuild a relationship. Someone once said to me as I was going through a work issue, “It sounds like trust was broken, can the trust in the relationship be rebuilt? It’s harder to rebuild trust in that relationship than it is to just hire someone else.” He went on to say to me “If you rehire instead of try to rebuild/repair, you will start over with a person that is already trusting you and besides that you can hire someone with better skills and experience”. What I was hearing was that the grass is greener even in hiring a person’s replacement.
Some people suffer from the “grass is greener syndrome”. It’s easier to reset and start something over but you have to ask yourself if you’re actually moving forward or are you just going back to the start of something that you already know how to handle and that’s your comfort zone?
What if my wife said to me, you know I never wanted to be married to an entrepreneur. That certainly wasn’t what I was doing when I met her. If she knew that it was going to be like this would she have still married me? What if she approached it as the common thing that she liked in me when we met was no longer the thing that we shared in common? You can take this same situation and apply it to every thing else. What if the thing that originally your customers were attracted to is no longer the reason why they did business with you? I’m personally under the belief that it’s always about relationships for pretty much everything, they are either worth investing or they aren’t.
Annie Vander Pol
I love how you brought this perspective into relationships. It definitely is easier to start over as soon as the grass fades…but the investment is also then lost. Especially when it comes to relationships, I always ask myself “is it worth the risk?” If I’m going to continue in a particular relationship – is it worth my time, energy, and investment? Most often, the answer is yes. But every now and then, when the answer is no, I feel like a boundary gets built. Which is probably the best and most healthy thing to do in that moment.
Thank you for this perspective, Annie! If more people followed this sage advice, the world would be a much greener place to live 🙂
Annie Vander Pol
You are right Annie, this is a very easy mind set to let take over. I agree that we should all work on making our own situation better, but I feel you have to take that greener side with a grain of salt. In my opinion there is no perfect marriage/job/life. The thing you might be wanting, the thing you’re jealous of, may not be that perfect.
Annie Vander Pol
I agree, Jamie. Appearances are misleading. What may be green on the outside might not be all that great beneath the surface.
I’ve been comparing myself to everyone else’s lifestyles for years and years. What I’ve learned from it though, is that once I reach that level, I realize it’s really not that great. It makes me appreciate what I had originally. Thank you for sharing this Annie! It really is true that the grass is not always greener on the other side!
Annie Vander Pol
True Sami – sometimes what we compare to isn’t all that great. But even when the grass IS greener, there’s always hope for the yellow-gross grass you’re standing on.