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Instead of Worrying if the Grass is Greener on the Otherside, Mow the Grass You’ve Got
While everyone is engaged in speculation over where Lebron James will ultimately wind up at the end of this NBA free-agent season, let me touch on a pretty basic premise that will ensure you are happy: instead of wondering if there is something you are missing in your life, your relationship, or your job, take inventory of what you actually have. Revel in the stuff that gives you pleasure and figure out how you are going to change things in your current situation that are making you unhappy.
Sounds rather simple, yes? Yet most people pine away, fantasizing about how things would be so much better if only…….
If only I made more money
If only my girlfriend was hotter
If only my kids cleaned their room
The problem is, “if only” is a fantasy and it is not until you actually get to the grass on the other side that you can determine if it really is greener. And even if it is greener, you might suddenly discover that it wasn’t even green grass you were interested in in the first place.
You make more money only to discover you still have nothing that stirs your passion.
Your girlfriend is incredibly hot but is lousy in bed.
Your kid cleans his room but the door to his immaculate bedroom is always closed and the two of you have no relationship.
So let me bring this back to basketball terms: Lebron James is in the position to move to a new team. The Knicks, Nets, Bulls, Heat and others will be making the pilgrimage to Akron to woo James with images of what could be if only he came on board. He can win titles, be the king of marketing, and hang with the “in” crowd. Of course none of them are touching on all the down sides – the need for fertilizer to get the grass green in the first place is never part of the conversation. Fertilizer stinks, it smells. Of course you would never know that unless you needed to spread it. So from afar that green grass may look wonderful but upon closer examination you can weigh whether the odor of the fertilizer justifies the luster of the lawn.
So New York may be the media capital of the world but is that really a good thing if you want to go out for a run, walk your dog or just sit on your stoop and smoke a cigar? Miami has the beaches and Brazilians in bikinis but it also has hurricanes, South American drug lords using it for their playground and a less than enthusiastic fan base. Chicago is just a larger version of Cleveland but it will never be home. And none of these cities come with a guarantee of success. Neither does Cleveland but LeBron has been successful there. And I submit it is easier to tinker with what you presently know to be working and discard that which isn’t then to start from scratch.
I am usually much more successful when I take stock in what I presently have and figure out what I need to change to make it suit me. Apparently, I am not alone. Warren Buffet who is one of the richest men in the world could probably call any place home. Yet he continues to live in Omaha, Nebraska. The Waltons have made it a ritual of requiring merchants to travel to Bentonville, Arkansas to pitch their wares for inclusion on the shelves of Wal-Mart. Neither Omaha nor Bentonville is the epicenter of the financial or merchandising world but in both cases ego was trumped by the allure of knowing your neighbor and building from your strength. Most world conquerors fail because they try to take a bridge that is just a bit too far. Who knows what would have happened if Hitler was satisfied with Poland and Austria?
Of course in taking inventory you might realize there are some things you just can’t change. If you really hate snow, Minnesota is never going to be for you. It is important to remember this in one critical area….. relationships. Money can help you mold your environment but expecting to change another person’s DNA is just sheer folly. So if you are in a relationship and are miserable disregard most of the above. You are not going to change your partner. You can however, change yourself. But we’ll discuss that in another blog.