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Is the Grass Really Greener on the Other Side?

Updated on June 29, 2016

It’s a well-worn phrase. One you might hear or even want to say daily. And it pops up when we compare our situation with one that appears more favourable. ‘The grass is greener on the other side.’

But what do you feel when you think someone has a better deal than yours? Jealous? Frustrated? Resentful? Restless – as if you’re always searching for something you haven’t got? They’re all negative and time-consuming emotions. So what can you do to stamp them out?

Robert Fulghum was an American author and clergyman who pointed out that the grass isn’t greener on the other side of the fence, it’s greener where you water it.

There are 2 tricks to learning how to water the grass where you are and to stop craving everyone else’s greenery.

1st trick: Apply ‘what if’.

Look as objectively as you can at your life by stepping out of yourself and looking in from a stranger’s perspective, list all the things you’re grateful for.  For example, your home, your family, your job (even if you hate it, you have one in the current climate), your health etc.

Now take a moment to think about these things and apply ‘what if I didn’t have –‘ to each item.  How would your life be different?  If you didn’t have all the things you’re grateful for, chances are your life wouldn’t be greener.  This exercise aims to help you realise how much green you already have on your side of the fence.

If your ‘grateful’ list is long then that’s great.  But if you’re struggling then consider the folk who don’t have enough food, clean water to drink and air to breathe, a job or loving parents, or who live under the constant threat of violence or war.

Trick 2: Watering the Grass.

No one lives a charmed life so if you still feel there are areas where your greenery doesn’t measure up, what can you do to improve it? Are there little tweaks to make or do you want wholesale change? If so, who do you need to be to make those changes?

A wish list of changes can help you start the process and from there, once things are clear in your mind you can start to shape the life you want.

So don’t just wish the grass was greener – get watering!


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