As the rain begins to settle outside my window (and the clothes I’m wearing begin to dry from getting caught outside), I’m reflecting on this saying:
“The grass is always greener on the other side…”
I notice the tendency in myself and others to overrate what we don’t have. It seems we’re waiting for external conditions to fall into place (things we achieve, own, become…time and the weather!) so we can feel better on the inside.
When it’s sunny, we want the relief of rain.
When it rains, we want the sun’s warmth.
When work is busy, we complain about stress.
When work is quiet, we complain about being bored.
It seems that the grass really is greener on the other side, until we realize: it can’t work both ways! It can’t actually be greener.
What if what’s actually happening is that we’re spending a significant portion of our attention wishing something were other than it is. And that by doing this, we fail to notice what’s in front of us.
Another saying: “You don’t know what you have until it’s gone.”
Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve been practicing noticing what’s in front of me (not what I wish were in front of me), so I can see it better. I’m scared of living my life compulsively reaching for things I don’t have, only to find, I never noticed what I’d had all along and now it’s too late.
As always, I’m eager to apply this lens to language learning and challenge the undebated (until now!) notion that:
Knowing more Finnish is better than knowing less Finnish.
Is it true that when I’ll know more, I’ll somehow feel better?
That being further along is superior than being right here?
That the future moment will be better than this one right now?
If we stopped assuming that getting ahead is better than being right here, how would this affect our internal experience (and the choices we make going forward)?
Thinking back on my own journey, many things have changed…but it’s easy to keep looking for new things to change.
What if this is it? Can it be that there’s something to savour right in front of us?
You’re welcome to join me in sitting with these questions! Explore how playing around with the assumptions impacts your internal experience (does it?)… maybe even your how you approach learning at the next opportunity. If you discover something along the way, I’d love to hear about it in the comments below.