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

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

In my mind, there is something to be said for persevering and hanging in there.  There are no quick fixes to deep issues.  Life can be hard work at times, but it is usually worth it.  The question you have to ask yourself is, “are you willing to do the work?”   If not, the same negative patterns will inevitably reappear and probably with worse consequences.  Happiness does not come from something external, but from the inside out.  You have to be happy with yourself first; otherwise EVERYTHING else will fall short.  In addition, managing to work through adversity almost always builds character; avoiding it does the opposite.

I don’t subscribe to the theory that there is a perfect job or spouse or lifestyle.  Of course there are irreconcilable situations on the opposite side of the continuum, but they are much rarer than people would like to think.   I worry that our generation is becoming one that jumps into things too quickly and then can’t handle the ensuing challenges or commit to anything substantial long term.  If it’s acceptable to bail out when the going gets tough, then someone almost always will.   However, if you have to make it work, human beings are capable of amazing things.

I urge you to step back and reconsider before you change jobs or careers, end your marriage or long-term relationship, walk away from your financial responsibilities, uproot your family and move again, cut people close to you out of your life, buy more things you can’t afford, etc.

What is the common variable in your unhappiness?  It is usually you.   Are you willing to look in the mirror and honestly assess your role in how you ended up in this place?  And, instead of blaming others, work on you.  Is the current situation salvageable and if so what would it take?  How much would you grow and learn personally and how much stronger would your bonds be in life if you were able to persevere and work it out?   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, it’s usually unchartered territory with a high likelihood of being less green and possibly fraught with worse weeds.  Reality isn’t always what it seems from a distance…Change for the sake of change is often inadvisable.


2 Responses

  1. Love the article, you are so right.

  2. […] Leadership Thought #203 – The Grass Isn’t Always Greener… (edrobinson.wordpress.com) […]

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