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How green is your grass?

Jamieson Van Loan

With the inception of the internet, moreover social media, keeping up with the Jones’ has left the comfort of our neighborhoods and has broadened to complete strangers. We are no longer looking longingly at what the people around us have but what the rest of the world has. This desire for more or better is the constant state we are living in. This is the greener grass syndrome.

Now, I can easily say that I am content with what I have. I practice mindfulness and do my best to stay present. But I also have a travel list a mile long and see influencers traveling the globe taking gorgeous photos and living “the life” and I am envious. I want that. I want more. My desire to endlessly scroll through my Instagram, fantasizing that I’m in that hot air balloon over Turkey, supersedes my desire to just be content in the now.

Bottom line: we are no longer happy with the status quo. We are constantly inundated with what everyone else is doing and how AMAZING their lives are that we can’t help ourselves but think that the grass is always greener.

Take vacation last week. Everyone was posting their awesome beach or ski photos. They are all having a grand ol’ time. Life is awesome. And I was at work in the freezing cold wondering how I can change my life so that next year I’ll be sitting on a beach drinking a margarita. What is wrong with that picture?

Now it is not necessarily a bad thing to use the greener grass syndrome for motivation. I think competition, to an extent, is healthy. But this idea of never being satisfied with our current state is definitely not healthy.
We are all drawn to shiny new objects. New means excitement. It breathes new life into the mundane of everyday. The problem begins when we align our happiness to that desire for shiny new objects. Have you ever started a mental statement with “I’ll be happy when…” I’ll be happy when I can travel more. I’ll be happy when I can afford XYZ. I’ll be happy when I can get the same jacket as that influencer. It never ends. We are in a constant cycle of desiring more and better. And while we are doing so, we are neglecting the beauty of where we are and what we have right now. We want the shiny new object, we obtain it, we are briefly happy, and when that happiness and shine fades, we seek the next best thing to fill that shiny new object void. We need to get out of this insane cycle.

How satisfied are you in with your life? With your day-to-day? Are you constantly seeking more, someone or something better to fill the voids? Are you forgetting to appreciate what is right in front of you for the next best thing? Do you look at your life and negatively compare it to others?

Let’s do better. Let’s stop going out and buying things we don’t absolutely need. Let’s stop comparing our lives to anyone else’s. Let’s stop seeking more and start appreciating more. Let’s do our best to be happy with where we are right here and now. If you can say that you’re healthy and loved, then you’re already doing way better than most. The grass may in fact be greener elsewhere, but you’ve got pretty damn amazing grass right in front of you. Focus on your own grass because wanting others is doing you no favors.

Jamieson xo