Where the grass is greener.



Have you noticed that our natural inclination is to look to the other side of the fence and notice the things our neighbors have and immediately compare ourselves to them? If you aren't one of those people, then kindly skip through to the end. If you are normal (Just kidding)...then let's get into this.


The World Outside


I realized my world is not as small as I think it is. We think our circles and people that are connected to us make up the world as it is. Up until now, I have been in 4 countries and had 23 years of experience, to think "This is it", is way to early and naive. Why I mention this, is that the grass we think is greener usually just turns out to be a different shade of green and chances are that person is also looking to the other side, comparing his grass to another's.


The hard to swallow pill of life is that there will always be someone with a faster car or greener grass or better healthcare. The upside to this however, is that once we accept that fact, life get's way easier to navigate. The world outside is big enough for everyone.


Let's all get along.


No. Let's not. People are made different for a reason. Although varying personalities compliment each other and make up the complex system of the world, it doesn't mean we don't have to like everyone. By saying this, I don't advocate for indifference with others, but what I am saying is that we don't need to make friends with everyone on the block to make it in life. We can, however, smile at them and greet them politely.


Showing love to people means respecting their differences to us and treating them with kindness. Once again, this does not mean that choosing not to invite them over for dinner means you hate them...driving over their lawn ornaments would be hating them. That's easy then...loving people just means not driving over a garden gnome.


What does getting along have to do with greener grass? Crown and Marlowe conceived a psychological construct called 'Approval Motivation' which roughly comes down to people's need to belong. Although we all have this to a different degree, it's in all of us. Seeking greener grass then, or even associating with someone who has greener grass, might be a fundamental need for us all. The opposite is also true: we tend to avoid people with less greener grass than ours.


Focusing on our own.


In between wanting to fit in, being jealous of others or avoiding less cooler people...we have to strike a balance. I've realized that true freedom comes from not thinking about other people's grass in the first place. Getting along with people without knowing what their lawn looks like is the true key.


James Clear writes in his book, Atomic Habits, about focus:

'The Paradox of Freedom: The way to expand freedom is through focus. Stay Focused on saving to achieve financial freedom. Focus on training to achieve physical freedom. Focus on learning to achieve intellectual freedom.'


What this means for us, is that our focus should be on our own progress and grass. Stop comparing and life will be so much richer and enjoyable.


Be Grateful. Be Great. Help Others. Finish Strong.


My one professor at Hult mentioned this title to us in a webinar and it has stayed with me since then. Write this down on a piece of paper and put it where you will see it often.


I am thankful for everything I have, but gratefulness comes at a price: you need to truly take in what you have and be in the space where you are. It's crucial to dream, but not at the expense of other's and what they achieved. Your time will come, and you will reap what you sow...until then, it doesn't matter where the grass is greener, just do you.


TF



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