Project 2012: Day 161

How often does someone tell you “The Grass isn’t Greener on the other side you know!” Bunkum I say! Total codswallop. Of course the grass is greener.

People don’t mind change. If that were the case, no-one would go to university, get married, have a baby or move house. There wouldn’t be a car, motorbike, or computer industry. Music would still be classical, and we wouldn’t have the diversity of instruments we have today.

Of course the grass is greener.

Why the platitude then?

Usually you hear this from the 20/20 retrospective commentators after you made a change that didn’t quite work out as expected. Or from someone who finds it hard to change when you’re discussing a new job, or even a new relationship.

This is often the cop-out to stay in a boring, underpaid job; abusive relationship; or location. It’s the “our grass may be brown, but despite all evidence to the contrary, the grass isn’t greener” excuse.

And the platitude is dead wrong.

Always.

Why?

I have a very good friend who worked for the better part of a decade for Microsoft. In Services as a Technical Account Manager. His job was to work with clients that have a support agreement, and co-ordinate the resolution of technical support issues. He’s exceedingly good at his job.

After 10 years with the company though, he’d had enough and decided to become an Operations Manager for a legal firm. Essentially the same job, but working within an organisation, rather than as a service provider to one.

After 3 months of struggling uphill against archaic management practices, and some pretty unethical behaviour from peers, he decided to move on again. He works for another US technology vendor, again as a TAM.

So was the grass not greener? As all of his (MS) friends said.

Of course it was. Or rather could’ve been.

You see, speak to anyone who has a lawn. Green grass requires significant work. Mowing, weeding, watering, spiking, fertilising. It requires dedication, discipline, patience, and not insignificant skills.

The grass may well be greener on the other side than your side. Not because of magic, or something the universe declared, but because of the diligence of the gardeners.

Choices

This leaves you a choice then.

Can you ‘green’ your own grass? Is there still opportunity for you to apply discipline, passion, and skills to regain the joy and success of your current situation? Then do so, because…

If you can’t, understand that greener grass requires more dedication, discipline, and passion. Speak to any of my divorced friends and they’ll identify (if not tell you) that the new relationship is just as much work as their previous marriage, and often they have to deal with their ex-wife + double expenses as well.

The grass may well be greener, but it is always up to you.

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