Is the grass ALWAYS greener on the other side?
Created / Updated 25 Aug, 15:03
I've had many moments in my life when the thought crosses whether I would be better off if I leave my job for another one, or be single rather than in a relationship, or live life with a different set of values and outlook to life. I think it's a natural tendency for mankind to want or desire to experience a different way of life than he is currently living. It's part of what drives our ambition to achieve more or even 'have the cake and eat it too'.
Sometimes the decision to step to the other side is necessary but other times may be to the detriment of our own self with the consequence of regretting and cursing the moment we took that decision. But how do you distinguish when to cross or not? I believe an acid test to this question is by asking yourself: Are you trying to run away from something, someone or from taking responsibility?
Let's take a practical example which I recently came across. Luke was respected by everyone at his workplace and he worked hard and always delivered his best in what he did. He rated his job a 7 out 10, so he was pretty satisfied although he would consider other jobs should the opportunity arise...but he was happy and motivated overall. Because of his competency, Luke was given an extra chunk of responsibility delegated by someone who was resigning from work. Although Luke accepted he did not know what he was going in for exactly and the handing over was done in a very laissez-faire manner.
Being competent as he always been, Luke began to deliver wonderfully in this new task. Problems and obstacles however began cropping up as he realised that there were issues that were never dealt with in previous years of this project so the problems created a snow-ball effect an Luke had to deal with them. He could not understand the whole scenario since he was not there prior to his involvement. He had to endure scoldings and shouting by his superiors and further more he had to draft reports and be conversant of regulations that he was not fully capable of understanding.
Luke's motivation began to decrease over time and soon began complaining about his job and rethinking his position in the organisation. An opportunity within the same line of work arose and it was a critical moment for him to decide whether he should leave the job or not. His emotions pulled him towards applying for this job opportunity but he was upset for the fact that he would loose his reputation and respect by his superiors who trusted him with this task.
Luke wanted to be coached about this decision and soon we boiled the issue down to whether he is leaving his job because of the prospects for self-development which the new job could bring or whether he wants to leave this job because he did not want to take this responsibility any more. After some reflection, Luke identified himself with the latter response.
By exploring this issue further, Luke realised how much he is valued for being trusted with this responsibility and for the fact that he is taking charge of past issues and trying to resolve them. We also imagined his future after he would have completed the task and although Luke could not imagine the possibility for being praised or awarded, he would have gained the experience and knowledge which would have expanded his problem solving skills.
Following this realisation, Luke was at peace and although the issues of the task did not disappear he tackled them with serenity.