“Don’t worry about how green the grass is on the other side of the fence – fertilize your own lawn.”
I’ve been saying that for years and it’s still so very true today. It can apply to almost anything. Relationships, jobs, friendships, et al. Anything you can be envious or jealous about another person having, this quote is applicable.
There is nothing wrong with seeing something someone else has and wishing it were yours. Desire can inspire us to get off our butts and work towards something we want. That is fertilizing your own lawn.
Desire, however, has its dark side. It can give us tunnel vision. We only see what the other person has, and we want it. We don’t want it bad enough to actually work for it, but blindly bad enough to TAKE it from someone else. It doesn’t matter what it is – a job, a person, a material thing, a life. All that is seen is “that person has it, they don’t deserve it, I want it, I am going to take it from them”.
The thing about taking something FROM someone is that once you have it it’s not as great as you thought it would be. That person isn’t as perfect and wonderful, that car turns out to be expensive, that life isn’t as great and fulfilling, that job sucks worse than the one you had.
By working to earn what we have, fertilize our own lawn, we have the deep satisfaction of knowing WE earned it OURSELVES. No one can take away the pride of doing it ourselves. And when we do accomplish something ourselves it doesn’t matter what the naysayers say – it is ours – even if someone tries to take that accomplishment away, they never will be able to.
So go ahead and admire that lawn on the other side of the fence. Nothing wrong with that. But don’t forget to fertilize your own lawn. You might be surprised at how often you admire your own.