It’s human nature to want something that we don’t have. I see it in workplaces all the time.
It shows up in a multitude of ways. It’s evident when an employee wishes they had a job with more pay, better hours, or a more understanding boss. They may hear lofty stories of good times from friends that lead them to think the grass is greener elsewhere. It’s just usually not the case. In every organization, there are issues. But when we run into tough times, we start to dwell on what we don’t have instead of recognizing what we do have.
The irony is that the things we say we want (or need) aren’t nearly as important as we think they are. It’s often easier to make excuses for things we don’t accomplish by pushing the responsibility off to another person based on something they could do better. I believe that when we take ownership and responsibility for making change — even when we feel it outside our ability or control to do so — we can impact the situation positively. Rather than assign blame or disappointment in someone else or something, we should reach within to help the situation.
I fall into this trap often enough. I’m working on a big video project, a huge undertaking for me, lasting many months. It’s been so much more involved and difficult than I first imaged. At each stage, I’ve hit an obstacle or problem that leaves me feeling discouraged, even despair. And at several turns, instead of really addressing the root problem that I know exists, I offer up excuses to rationalize. I hear myself saying, “I don’t have the production resources that others do,” or “I don’t have the on-screen presence that others do” as a way to justify my approach. I’m not over the hurdle with the project, but it’s getting better. I’m working hard to look inside for the answers, and that means recognizing that I don’t have to do this alone. I had been putting an artificial limit on my resources, but there are creative ways to open up for solutions.
I kept thinking that others were the only ones that could create awesome videos. I had excuses for why mine couldn’t be of the quality that I had seen done by others. The grass was greener for others, in my mind. They had it easier than me, for whatever the reasons. I felt I had to settle for less, But that just isn’t true.
There is nothing wrong in wanting greener grass. But when I recognized that I had inside what was needed — the creative problem-solving ability — I could see that the grass under my own feet was very green.
When we find ourselves complaining about a situation, it’s a signal to pause and reflect on what we do have. Take inventory of what is working well and allow that to expand and develop even more. Be clear on the color of the sod under your own feet before you become miserable wanting something else that appears more lush and vibrant. Create the green meadow of your dreams by taking responsibility and action. What will you do today that makes your grass greener?