It always looks better. The other side, the grass on the other side. Not just the grass, also the neighbor’s wife, your friend’s sports car, your boss’s apartment, your colleague’s job and how ever many examples you want to hear.
So many people are not entirely satisfied with what they have. They think that all the above examples would be a better way to live their lives. What they don’t realize, is that often they already have so many perfect things in their lives (their friends, partner or spouse, job). The sad part is that is usually takes losing or nearly losing what they have in order for them to realize how much it means to them (and how happy they were with what they had).
We All Take Things For Granted
Freedom, health, food in the fridge, love and friendships – these are all among the things that we take for granted simply because they have been in our lives every day. The more frequent they appear in our lives, the more we grow a certain expectation for them to stick around forever.
We all take so much for granted. It takes a lot of emotional stability to be content with what you have. To be able to resist the temptation of thinking that other people have it better. When that perfect woman comes along who gives you butterflies in your stomach and makes your world swirl, that you can say “No thanks, I’m married”.
It’s not just us people who have this issue. I see it with cows all the time. They have a perfectly big field full of green grass, yet the always venture to the end of their field and stick their head through the barb-wire fence just to be able to get a bite of that forbidden grass on the other side (that may just look so much tastier).
You Don’t Realize What You Have Until It’s [Nearly] Gone
A personal example is the fact that I hated going to the gym when I was younger. I wanted to do it because I liked being in shape, but I really, really disliked lifting weights. It was just so much effort. Then, a few months before I would turn 18 and get a car to drive around in, I crashed my motor bike head-on into some dumb tourist who u-turned in front of me. The bike was a total write-off. I hit him on the bonnet of his car and flew over my handlebars at 80km/h (55 mph). I landed with my entire weight perfectly on my shoulder and this cause the bone to shatter and the tendons to tear off. (It sounds gross and painful but I didn’t feel a thing, I just could not move my shoulder at all, zero control over it).
Initially doctors actually told me I may never be able to use my arm again and will never be able to lift it with my own strength. Luckily I had one of the best shoulder surgeons in the country who was in my town, and with an operation and 6 weeks of wearing a brace, I slowly got the use back of my arm and shoulder. A year later it was as good as new. Now I am so thankful that I can lift things, pick up weights, go to the gym.
“Sometimes the dream and the desire for something are much more appealing than actually getting the thing that you think you want.”
A sports car, bank balance or supermodel girlfriend may be what you think will make you happy, but when you get it, you may feel empty and unsatisfied. The deception with seeing things that you think will make you happy is the fact that you only see the good side of those things. Once you have them, you will see it without the rose-colored glasses and experience the lesser or bad side of it as well and this may leave you thinking that it was better when it was just a dream.
The Key to A Happy Life
I think the key to a happy life is being content with who you are and where you are right now. Life is an awesome journey. That is not to say that you should settle for average or a life you are not happy with. You can and should work hard to where you want to be, to achieve your goals and dreams, but don’t wish away the present moment for some future happiness that you think you will achieve by copying someone else’s lifestyle. That is the recipe for waking up one day when you are 40 years old and realizing that you spent your life chasing happiness, while you had the means to be happy all along.
Everyone always wishes for something they don’t have. Maybe you want to be like someone else in certain ways, maybe you want to live someone else’s life because you think yours sucks. Truth is, you may not have an easy life, but it is your life. You are not in control of the cards you were dealt when you were born (your parents, your city, your country, your skin color, your religion and so forth). What you are in control of is what you do with those cards that you were dealt. The rest of your life is what you make of it. If things are hard and you take a victim mentality (moaning and complaining about how hard you have it), then chances are pretty good that your life will not magically get better and you will live a very mediocre life at best.
“It’s not an easy life, but it’s MY LIFE”
It is your life, your adventure. It is a gift. If you are lucky enough to have your freedom and your health, then I believe that anything is possible. Where there is a will, there is a way.
Just remember that what you dream of may not give you what you want from it (happiness, pleasure or love). If you are lucky, then what you dream of will give you exactly what you want. Just think about the real reason of your dreams and desires. Do you want something because your neighbor has it and it seems as if that thing is responsible for his happiness? Or do you want it because you’re really crazy and passionate about it? Choose the latter.
You don’t want to be that person who slaves away for years to make millions of dollars (so you can have a mansion, fast sports cars and jets to travel the world) while all you really want is someone who loves you and friends that care about you. That same someone and those same friends that you gave up because you were chasing the dollar signs because you thought that it would make you happy.
So next time you think someone has it better than you, just stop and think about how others may think you have it better than them. The grass on your side may just be greener.
|Written on 1/06/2010 by Diggy. Diggy writes all about self improvement at his blog UpgradeReality. If you enjoyed this post you can subscribe to his RSS Feed and never miss a new UpgradeReality post.||Photo Credit: urbanlegend|
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“The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.” Humans are never completely satisfied with where they are in life; they see their own flaws more vividly and don’t consider the possibility that they may have the “greener side”.
We human as social animals they keep looking at the life of others, how their friends’ lives are shaping up; how successful their next door buddies are today and what paths they have taken. It is human nature to want what one doesn’t have. People may have this envious feeling subconsciously, not recognizing the peculiar longing that is occurring. It is hard to get rid of this feeling; to do so one would have to be completely satisfied with what they have.
Standing in a yard of green grass one may look down. Up close one can see the brown patches and the flaws of the section of grass. The grass further away seems greener as one cannot see the flaws from so far away. Compare this to life; one’s life may seem perfect and flawless to an outsider until it is seen in detail. Some may not know that everyone has flaws and that no earthly being is perfect.
There are people who live comfortable lifestyles but have complaints mushrooming from the baseless comparisons with their peers. You NEVER know what happens behind closed doors. We all wear facades, sometimes the happiest people are the saddest people. It depends who can “act” better than the “others”. You might think you have it rough, but sometimes others are better at hiding what REALLY happens. I feel that Facebook or any social networking site is a curse for these kinds of people; for they are always updated about what others in their network are doing and how successful they are. People themselves are successful if they try to portray their life on social networking site the way others do hiding all their frustration of the life, no matter whether their bosses make their lives a living hell, no matter if they are buried neck deep paying the EMIs for their debts, they enjoy what is left of their lives.
Life will make us meet successful people, more successful people and most successful of the lot. And I believe 99.99% of them have really worked hard to reach where they are today. I am not saying that it’s bad to learn from others and seek the way their lives are heading. But in doing so we forget how much amount of efforts they might have taken to reach their goals. How many days of midnight oils might have been burnt to achieve the success they have. Calling them lucky isn’t any justification; for luck favors only those who work hard and earn their position. It’s their hard-work which we see as sheer luck.
However, sooner or later one must realize that they are not the only one with flaws. An outwardly perfect character may be confidentially flawed. One should enjoy the little pleasures of life for these small happy moments will bring euphoria of surprises that will intoxicate the soul to high spirits and breeze out all the melancholies and never gauge your life with the success of others.