Make Your Own Grass Green
I hear it all the time, in the midst of my coaching sessions…
If I had only…
I wish I hadn’t…
Why didn’t I just…
You fill in the blanks. We’re all guilty of it – wishing we’d done this or that, wishing we had made different, wiser choices over the years, choices that perhaps would have created a different and better life for ourselves.
It’s human nature to want what we don’t have, to be something that we’re not, or to not be something that we are. We can spend our lives wishing, wanting, whining, or even regretting why our lives aren’t what we want them to be. The truth is though, our lives are not getting longer, they’re getting shorter. There’s a verse in the Bible in James: 4:14 that states:
…you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.”
Now is the time to wake up and take notice. Now is the time to make a plan, strategize and make the most of our lives. Hence, this little series on “How to avoid a Life of Regret.” It’s important that we wake up now and make the most of what we have starting today. With this in mind, here’s the first way to avoid regret, and it’s a biggie…
Take meticulous care of your own grass!
If the grass is always greener, then what are we doing about our lawn?
It’s so true, and so easy to look over and see that healthy, green grass of our neighbor’s, taunting us, drawing us, so alluring and perfect. It’s almost as if that remarkable “grass” across the way is a constant reminder of what we’re not, or what we don’t have. And of course, it ALWAYS looks greener.
But why is that? How come what other’s have always seems better? Why is our neighbor’s lawn so seemingly green and perfectly manicured?
Well, in my opinion, there are two important reasons why the “grass is always greener.” Actually, there are probably more than two reasons, but I’m only going to discuss two here. The two that we really need to understand for ourselves to avoid regret.
Why our neighbor’s lawn looks better than ours
- We’re not looking at our neighbor’s grass up close.
- Our neighbor takes really good care of his grass.
This little example may sound overly simplistic, but I’ve found that in life – dealing with friends and clients alike (as well as with my own issues), that simple truths can be just as valid and transcendent as the complex ones. Simple analogies and metaphors penetrate our hard heads far better. Anyway, back to the point of the “grass.”
Green Grass at a distance
The simple truth is, what we see from a distance is not always what it is up close. Sometimes things are as they appear, but many times they are not. Just to give you an example, have you ever looked at a painting from a distance and been able to see a complete beautiful picture, but then when viewing it up close, it almost appeared completely different? From a distance, it looks complete and even beautiful, but up close you see all of the smudges and squiggly lines and even imperfections, much of which is done in such a way to create an illusion of beauty from a distance.
In like manner, many people appear on the outside to be well put together, put on a “good face” and are impressive. They carefully construct the “yard” of their lives in hopes of creating an impressive façade for those who drive by. The key here though, is not stopping and looking too closely, or we may actually start to see the imperfections of that “greener” yard.
My point here is this, Yes, the grass may be greener, but that’s only because we’re not really seeing it up close. If we really were able to get a good look, we’d see the weeds, the insects, and the imperfections. Let’s not forget this, when coveting our neighbor’s lawn.
Knowing how to keep the grass green
On the other hand, our neighbor may be right on target with his “green grass.” Maybe his grass really is greener, because the owner of the grass really knows his stuff and is tending to his lawn the right way – in an effective manner. His yard is a lush green because he knows how to keep it that way.
It is true, some people really have their act together. It’s not difficult to find others that are more successful, attractive, happier and wealthier than we are. Some things we cannot change and need to accept. But many things we can change. This is where our focus needs to lie – not on the things that we cannot control, but rather on the things that we can.
It may be that our neighbor has an entirely different kind of grass than what we have planted in our own yard, a type that is by nature a more lush shade of green. Perhaps this is something that cannot be changed. However, the question that we must each ask ourselves is this-
“What am I doing to maximize the beauty of my own lawn?”
We can spend all of our time admiring other people’s lives, even living vicariously through others, making excuses and giving an extended list of reasons why our lawns are brown, dried up and full of weeds.
Today, not tomorrow, but today, let’s all take a long, hard look at our own grass, our own yard, yes, our own lives. Today is the time to start meticulously, seeding, watering, cutting, manicuring and fertilizing the grass of our lives. We too can achieve that lush, rich green color and texture that we all desire.
Stay tuned for the second tip on “How to Avoid Regret” on procrastination. As always, feel free to leave your comments and suggestions. If you need personal coaching or help, contact me HERE.