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The Grass May Be Greener, But Have You Checked the Roots?

“What happened to my beautiful green grass?” I thought, as I surveyed my patch-work looking lawn, following an unseasonably cold weather period in Florida. My first instinct was to feel some irritation toward my lawn for betraying me after I doted on it all summer long. Next, I found myself looking over into my neighbor’s yards to see if their grass was somehow greener; some were, and some weren’t. Luckily, it occurred to me to look a little deeper at the roots of the grass, to assure myself that this was just a temporary situation. Just as I had hoped, just beneath the thatched appearance, sturdy bright green roots waited to emerge to the surface.

I felt much better about the future of my lawn, but I couldn’t shake the realization of how quickly I was willing to question my methods and switch my loyalty and admiration to someone else’s enviable lawn.

The phrase “The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence“ instantly made me think about one of my clients who has been proactively working to keep their employees satisfied with their careers, despite the fact that perks and lofty pay raises may be on hold for the immediate future. Though it may seem that we should be happy just to have a steady income, human nature will typically tempt us to “look on the other side of the fence” when our own grass doesn’t look quite so green. With this in mind, here are a few questions you might find helpful when measuring whether to overlook a “dry patch” in your career (or any other area of your life).

Question #1: Primarily, how have you felt about your job, career, or relationship in the past? In other words, over the months or years, have you felt satisfied, proud, and/ or happy with your circumstances for the most part? It can be tempting to judge our situation by what we see directly in front of us. Yes, you may have found yourself in the middle of a dry spell, but with a little care and attention, you are likely to see growth again in your future.

Question #2: How deep do your “roots” run? Last Spring, I laid new sod in my back yard. At first, the new grass appeared lush, green, and full of potential. Unfortunately, that portion of the yard didn’t receive the consistent sunlight needed, and because the roots weren’t well established, the sod eventually died off. However, the sod in the front yard was well established and survived a long, hot summer.

Think about the “roots” you have in the different areas of your life. It may be tempting to chase after brand new opportunities, but keep in mind that your odds of success may be greater if your roots are healthy and run deep. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t plant new seeds or stick with something that hasn’t displayed growth in the past. It simply means that when you find something that has consistently worked in the past, and you have seen steady growth, you may want to hang in there a little longer when you may otherwise be tempted to look elsewhere.

Question #3: When’s the last time you “fertilized?” Just like grass or any living thing, our careers and relationships won’t continue to thrive without proper care, preventative maintenance, and the right ingredients to prompt future growth. If you find that you’re feeling stagnant or run down in your current scenario, step back, survey the whole situation, and put together a plan to help you create the growth you want to see.

The important thing is to keep in mind that most things appear bright and shiny when brand new; it’s really up to you to provide the upkeep when things begin to fade.

Let’s be honest, many businesses and relationships have been affected by the current economic situation and are working hard (and differently) to maintain success. If you find yourself feeling tempted to move onfrom what has been a primarily satisfying situation in the past, make sure that you’ve considered your options and taken steps to promote your success before moving too quickly.

It’s almost always easier to maintain something that’s worked well in the past than to plant new seeds and simply hope for success.

Activate Potential. Realize Results. ™

©2014 Actualize Consulting Group, All rights reserved. Permission granted to excerpt or reprint with attribution and notification.