The Grass is Greener on the Other Side

Is the Grass Greener on the Other SideWhen life starts to get us down, whether it’s work, family or life in general, we often think the grass is going to be greener on the other side. In other words, we imagine the ideal life or the ideal job, and then fantasize about how happy we will be when we make that change. Unfortunately, what often happens is once we are in the new, “ideal” situation, our fantasy or what we thought was going to be the perfect change (e.g. the ‘greener grass’), we find out that it actually does not make us any happier. Why doesn’t the ideal situation we fantasized about make our life better?

It’s the never-ending cycle of always trying to achieve something better. A new job or promotion, a bigger house, more money, a better car, a better relationship… the list can go on and on with things we need to change in our life that will be ‘better’ than what we currently have in order to be happy.

Appreciate Your Life Now

Squirrel in the Grass
The grass is beautiful where you already are.

Instead of fantasizing about greener pastures elsewhere, if you appreciate where you are, you may inevitably find yourself happier in your life already. Your job, your relationship, your car, your house satisfies your needs and is good the way it is. A few ways I’ve found to enjoy and appreciate life right where you are:

  • Be grateful for something in every situation. For example, if your boss treats you poorly, or maybe doesn’t like you at all, instead of getting down in the dumps, be grateful for the learning opportunity. You can take the experience, understand what it is your boss is doing that you don’t like as an employee, and know how to not be a poor leader to others. You can also be grateful that you have a job at all, when there are so many people that are unemployed trying to find a job to support themselves and their family.
  • Stay positive. Try to always look on the bright side, and remind yourself that this situation won’t last forever. I love the quote: “The only thing constant is change” because nothing stays the same. As I’ve pushed through the bad times in my life, I can now look back on my past and truly appreciate where I am now. And even though certain things in my life aren’t ideal, change is going to happen, so I choose to roll with it.
  • Be confident in yourself. Personal mantras can be self-fulfilling statements. When you are down, tell yourself “I am happy” or “I am beautiful” or “I am smart” to combat negative feelings. Confidence can be shattered quickly in a bad situation, but if you develop habits to spring back quickly from a negative situation, you can ward off stress and depression easier. I like listening to upbeat music or getting into a fun workout to bring up my confidence and  quickly pull me out of a negative situation or bad mood.
  • Even if you feel like you are failing, know that failure is part of learning. Embrace failure and know you will be more confident when faced with your next challenge.
  • Don’t let problems from one area of your life follow you into another. If you’re stressed at work – you hate your job, you hate your boss, you made a mistake – you need to learn to leave your problems at work. If you constantly rehash all the horrible things about your job to your friends, family, even your neighbors, you are just making yourself more miserable. Try to find a way to incorporate ‘transition’ time to let go of your problems. My best transition times are spent doing a hard core workout, walking my dog, getting lost in a book, or relaxing in a warm bubble bath.

Change Your Mindset – Focus on Positives

Be HappyAlthough you may be frustrated and think you can’t take it anymore, more than likely it is your own mindset putting those thoughts in your head and causing you stress. Focus on ways to turn around a negative mind and not dwell on the bad things going on around you. Stress and negativity ultimately undermine your ability to be happy. I understand there are times when making a change and moving on is the best option. However, I recommend, before doing that, you learn different techniques to  improve your current situation if you can.

Turn that frown upside down! Smile! Be grateful! Feel the positive energy flow through you… and above all… remember… you can control your own happiness and you can turn your grass greener yourself. Because what is really on ‘the other side’? It may turn out that what you thought was beautiful grass is really fake grass lying on top of dirt and decay; the fantasy in your head is not going to be reality.

Learn to enjoy life and love what you already have. If you don’t improve your mindset and outlook first, you will never really find your own “green grass” right where you are.

6 thoughts on “The Grass is Greener on the Other Side

  1. Hi Jennifer, great article! I get into the rut of wishing I had more money, time etc. and really it is just a waste of time. You make some great points in the post, especially appreciating what we have, because if we look at news from day to day, people all over the world have it much worse than we do. Just look at Syria or North Korea, and really, we don’t have it so bad. Also, being confident helps me keep going forward. Great, helpful post, thanks for sharing!

    1. Thanks Eric! Looking at other countries and what is going on around the world really helps put your life in perspective and be confident with what you already have. I appreciate the comment. Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Hey Jen:

    Your web page makes me smile in recognition of all the greener-pasture temptations that always seem to hit me when things are going not-so-well.

    You are right: gratitude, positivity, self-confidence, failure as lessons and letting go do help to fight off the Greener mind-attack.

    I do have to keep reminding myself that the greener pasture on the other side of the fence still needs to be mowed….and I’m probably going to be the one who has to do it. (Sigh!)

    1. Exactly! What a great analogy! It feels like we are always fighting off the greener pasture mind attack. Things are not always greener or perfect on the other side of the fence. 🙂 Thanks for the comment and stopping by!

  3. I’m going to guess that you weren’t thinking of what popped into my mind when you wrote this article – the challenges of being a Stay At Home Mom to a 2 and 3 year old. Sometimes I find myself YEARNING for the time when they go to school and I can have some breathing room for a few hours every day! We chose to have me quit my office job and be at home raising them, and it sounded so ideal, so fun, so “grass is greener on this side” but wow…
    I needed to read your reminders to enjoy the moment, smile and be grateful, and look for the good stuff! Especially right now as I’m in the middle of potty training my 2 year old boy… grass isn’t looking so green on my side right now… I miss my old cushy computer job LOL.
    Anyhow, great reminders. Thanks!

    1. Hi Marlaine – No, it’s funny, I didn’t even think about that type of change and its challenges. Wow – that would be a lot different than sitting at a computer job all day. And expectations are really different than reality, huh? I’m glad you like the reminders. Always enjoy the moment and appreciate the little things! Thanks for stopping by. ~Jen

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