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Leadership Thought #203 – The Grass Isn’t Always Greener…

August 25, 2011

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The funny thing about clichés is that the reason they stand the test of time is that they are usually true.  Oddly, even though we all know this, individuals continue to fall into the same traps.  I cannot tell you how many people I have seen make unwise professional and personal decisions out of desperation and/or for the wrong reasons.  It is as if they are grasping at straws and hoping that by blowing something up, they will end up with a better reality.  It will be different, but not always better.  In fact, the consequences of their decisions often result in significant collateral damage because life isn’t lived in a vacuum.

In my mind, there is something to persevering and hanging in there.  There are no quick fixes to deep issues.  Life can be challenging at times, but it is always worth it.  The question you must ask yourself is, “Are you willing to do the work?”   If not, the same negative patterns will reappear and may even have worse consequences for them.  Happiness does not come from something external, but from what’s insideYou must be happy with yourself first; otherwise, EVERYTHING else will fall short.

I don’t subscribe to the theory that there is a perfect job or spouse or lifestyle.  I worry that our generation has started to jump into things too quickly only to find out that we cannot handle the ensuing challenges or commit to anything substantial in the long term.  If it’s acceptable to bail out when the going gets tough, then that’s the route most people will take.

I urge you to step back and reconsider before you change jobs, switch careers, end your marriage or long-term relationship, walk away from your financial responsibilities, uproot your family, cut people close to you out of your life, or buy more things you can’t afford.  In all these situations, consider the common variable contributing to your unhappiness.   It’s you.   Instead of blaming others, maybe it is time to work on yourself.

  • Are you willing to look in the mirror and honestly assess the part you played in getting here?
  • Is the current situation salvageable?
  • If so, what would it take?
  • How much would you grow and learn if you stuck it out?
  • How much stronger would your bonds be if you were able to persevere and work through whatever it is?

There are few worse emotions in life than remorse and regret.  Chasing rainbows is a fool’s errand, but successfully navigating the emotional roller coaster of life is a real and self-affirming activity. Try and remember that the grass isn’t always greener.  In fact, the other side of the fence is uncharted territory.  There is a high likelihood that all the green you see is a bunch of weeds well hidden by someone else