Monday, October 1, 2012

How Green Grass Lies

In my last post I mentioned that I can easily kill my own passion (zest, zeal, energy, love) for what I've been entrusted with (my work, my family, my writing, my home, my influence) by comparing it to someone else's.

Ever feel great about what you're doing -- until you see someone doing it better?

Ever get jazzed about a new idea you have for a new direction -- only to find someone has already been doing that for years?

Ever peer from the outside into someone else's life/job/ministry and assume it must be great?

When that happens, I can become uninspired. I can grow apathetic or even resentful. That positions me to appreciate and accomplish little. All because I'm looking elsewhere.

Here's the deal. And you may have heard this before but it bears repeating. Because it's imperative that we understand how green grass lies.

The grass isn't greener on the other side of the fence where "they" live or work; because it's theirs or it's some how a better breed of grass. It's greener where it's being watered, weeded and fertilized. They are not necessarily an intrinsically better gardener than you.  Green grass is the result of effort and focus over time.

If you and I were to have their "lawn," and we showed up to it the same way we are showing up to our lawn now, we'd soon see the same results we've been getting in our yard.

Are you tracking with this metaphor? (Note: we are not talking about blades of grass and dandelions.)

Green grass is a matter of how you tend it. Tend it with passion. And avoid things that drain that passion.

Avoiding the Drain

If comparing your stuff to others' can at times inspire you but at times drain you, you've got to be hyper-aware of when the latter is happening.

As you read on the Internet, or watch HGTV, study your business competition, or watch or think about someone else's life, train yourself to periodically stop and ask, "Is this inspiring me in a helpful way, or is this draining my energy, making me envious?"

Be careful ... sometimes we will drain our optimism for our own work (or appreciation for our own life) when studying someone else's while telling ourselves, "This is helping me. I'm learning from them."

Even if the content you are learning from them is good, if it doesn't also inspire you to apply it (or to continue doing your own thing with zeal), it's not really helping you at this time. It's likely stalling you.

When I ask myself the is-this-inspiring-me-or-draining-me question and I realize I'm feeling interested but overwhelmed or drained, I know I need to take my eyes off of that for now. At least until I can renew my mind about it and approach it or see it differently.

Bottom Line:

I know from experience, comparison is the fastest way to kill your passion.

So stop that, now.

Focus on your art, your craft, your audience, your spouse, your Bible. You get the picture.

Because change is possible, but focus is required. And passion fuels our focus.


  1. Thank you, Rachel, for your words ~ "Focus on your art, your craft, your audience, your spouse, your Bible."

    I have to stop saying, "I can't because I don't measure up to ...." God has a work for me to do and should not be compared with the work HE has called others to do. I must remember if HE's called me to do it, HE will also equip me to do it!

    I appreciate you!

    1. Amen, Pam. HE both calls and equips!

  2. Oh, this is so helpful! I needed this today. I was finding myself drained this morning, thinking that others have attained greater success than I ever will. Thank you for your helpful reminders.

    1. So glad this helped, Heather.

      Tend your garden, and leave the harvest size in God's capable hands.

  3. This is my exact struggle TODAY. Your words could not be more timely. I tend to forget that God has given me a life that is unique AND He is giving me everything I need to fulfill MY purpose. It is my job to live this life and not to worry that someone else is living their life better, happier, richer than I am. Thank you! I really needed to read this perspective today.

  4. I also have to stop and tell myself that for every person that I look at and think, "They do that so much better than me," there's a person looking at me thinking the same thing. ;)

  5. OK Rachel..

    I think I finally understand and "get this." :)

    Thank YOU!
    Dolores ♥


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