The Grass On The Other Side Is Always Greener !

greener side

When you see how it can make things better, you get more interested in making the change happen.

(Spencer Johnson-Who Moved My Cheese?)


Five months ago we moved from Belgium to the U.S. because we decided to live in a place where we think  we will have more chances to be happy than in Europe where my husband and I were born. We do think the grass is definitively greener from this side of the Atlantic.  We think the education system in France is too rigid and focus on the negatives while we see the American culture more incline to do  praising and positive reinforcement at school or at work which make people more positive in life than focusing on the negative. In America people have an entrepreneurial spirit and we think just because the country is still the number one economy in the world that statistically  there are more opportunities here on several aspects of our life.

Some psychologists may perceive this attitude as not being able to be happy with what you have and  immature or even unhealthy,  but I challenge that idea because this thinking has also the power to make your life more extra-ordinary. This way of thinking is a strong motivator to change and it is a survival mode too when things turn bad. It is important to make choices without comparing what you have with what other people have in a negative way like being envious or jealous. You need to have an explorer mind to discover new ways of thinking or people who enrich your life.

I am an expatriate by choice because I do find more positive than negative to live abroad even after 12 moves, back and forth across the Atlantic and the Pacific Oceans. In a previous post, I explain that people who are overcoming obstacles in unknown environments like expatriates in new cultures develop more resilience .(See:  Are Expats More Resilient ? )

For sure you can make you own grass greener if you don’t take is for granted and continue to take care of it, putting water removing weeds. However, you won’t be able to bring the world diversity in your backyard easily. It is also hard to predict changes and adversity  like new bugs or weeds that will destroy your grass or the one on the other side of the fence,  but adapting to changes is about moving on and looking where the grass is greener.

Interestingly I hear very often  the same things from Americans thinking France and Western European countries are better in term of education, healthcare, employment and quality of life in general as opposed to what they think about their own country.

We all agree that our perception is our reality and thinking that you can start a new life in a new place and that sky has no limit, foster a great positive mindset and makes you do things other people think there are impossible.

Life IS change ! What do you think ?

Do you have a pioneer mind ?

Here a short movie about Spencer Johnson’s book  “Who Moved My Cheese”

About Anne Egros

Zest and Zen is a blog about Expat Life Challenges, Global Leadership, Intercultural Communication, Health and Wellness, Nutrition, Change Psychology, Life Transitions
This entry was posted in American Culture, change, Coaching, Executive Coaching, expatriates, Global Executives, international coaching, Life coaching, Travel and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to The Grass On The Other Side Is Always Greener !

  1. ResumeSmith says:

    I believe each life change, whether career related or family related, planned or unexpected, can be turned into an opportunity to “make your own grass greener.” We do reap what we sew and global cross-cultural moves immensely expand one’s perspective.

    I think the essence of your point is that if we don;t see opportunity for something better, we will stagnate and stop growing as humans. Great post.

    • Thank you Karleen for taking the time to read and comment. I like the way you made the summary of my thought. I’ll rephrase it a bit : “if we don’t embrace change we stop growing and eventually fail to adapt to new challenges as change is the only thing that is constant in life”

  2. TisaLira says:

    While I do mostly subscribe to the attitude of being content with what you have, I do believe that in order to better yourself or your situation there does need to be a certain amount of discontent. We do not strive to do more or be better than we currently are unless we recognize that there is room for improvement in some part of our lives or ourselves.

  3. I think that people just don’t understand what their perceptions keep them from. It is so important to question those perceptions and our ideas of what should be. This video is a great example.
    I also liked your reference to the sky. The sky is unlimited, it is every where you can possibly go, so why limit yourself?
    The movie Yentl, B. Streisand says that she realized that from her window, in her house, she could only see a piece of sky, yet when she stepped outside, she realized all that there is and that she didn’t have to settle for just that piece.
    Be proactive – step outside – wonder what to find – make change a positive thing in your life!!

    Thanks so much for sharing!!

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