The Grass is Always Greener…
…on the other side, right? It may be a cliché but the concept of someone else having more, or being better off, than us has crept into the consciousness of every one of us at some time or another. We find ourselves looking over the proverbial fence. But are we sure about what we really want? Do we know why we want it? And are we prepared to pay the price for what we think is a better deal? Because whether we realize it or not, there’s always a price to pay when trading what we have for what we want. It’s a mind game. We aren’t always sure, but things seem to be better somewhere else.
What is the green grass I’m referring to? It’s that thing we don’t currently have that we think will give us what we want the most – usually defined in terms of happiness, satisfaction, fulfilment or contentment. It could be a physical object such as a house or a car or a new pair of shoes. It could be a job that we desire. It could be an experience we see others enjoying. It could be a relationship with another human being that we believe will make us complete. This isn’t a new phenomenon but the constant stream of other peoples’ lives playing out on social media platforms fuels it now more than ever before.
Which brings me to the word, always… why is it that no matter what we have, we feel it isn’t enough? Why is it that we are continually discontent? The answer for me lies in two spaces. Firstly, do we know who we are in ourselves? Or do we allow others to define who we are for us? Secondly, we aren’t always running our own race and we’re constantly assessing how we’re doing in life versus everyone else around us, which leads us to feel like we might not measure up.
So, what are the challenges of thinking the grass is greener somewhere else?
Firstly, it makes us a victim. We believe that we are or have less than someone else and we strive to change who we are or our circumstances.
Secondly, it steals the opportunity from us to enjoy who we are, what we do have and to live in the present moment because we’re busy looking beyond these things to something we perceive to be better.
Thirdly, it never leads to where we think it will. We ultimately learn that the same negative emotion that drove us to want something is still present when we get it. The happiness, fulfilment and satisfaction we crave become moving targets because the more we change or acquire, the more we believe there’s something better, somewhere else.
Fourthly, we lose sight of our own goals and dreams and end up chasing those of other people, albeit inadvertently.
We hold within our own control the decision to change this thinking and to nurture ourselves right where we are to make our own patch of lawn the greenest on the block. Life’s value isn’t in comparing ourselves to others but by being the best versions of ourselves that we can be. For me, the secret lies in a few simple practices applied consistently:
Be grateful for what you do have. The constant comparison loop we live in every day prevents us from being truly content with who we are and what we have. Spend 5 minutes each morning before your day starts and write down three things you are grateful for and turn your focus back onto your own life instead of the lives of other people. When we start to acknowledge our own blessings on a consistent basis, we realize that our own patch of lawn is actually a great place to be.
Get back in touch with your own goals. When we focus on what we truly want instead of comparing ourselves to everyone else, we find that our happiness is multiplied as we start to achieve these things. Living our own life is one of the most empowering things we can ever do for ourselves.
Fall in love with enough. Most of us have more than enough “stuff” in our lives. We actually don’t need much more of anything. When we recognize that the constant pursuit of more isn’t necessary for us to be happy, we set ourselves free from defining our happiness through acquisition.
What matters most is where you are right now and that you know that you hold the keys to happiness and fulfilment within yourself. What are you doing deliberately and consistently to develop yourself and to nurture your own lawn every day?
#LIVELIFELOVELIFE #liveinthemoment #bebetteratbeingbetter #payitforwards #ShiftHappens #WinAtLife