The Grass Is Always Greener

The grass is always greener on the other side.

Cliché? Perhaps.

But in my experience I couldn’t have found this to be more true.

I very luckily get to produce both videos and still photos for my clients and often this variety helps keep work fresh and exciting. When you’ve been producing videos for several weeks, being able to completely switch your mindset to that of a photographer is hugely refreshing (you’re probably thinking they’re the same thing but the two require very different approaches).

Recently I noticed a thought that was ever increasingly popping up in my head. I’d be filming a video and would think “this is great but I really wish I was taking photos today instead”.

And on the days I was taking photos, all I wanted to do was be filming.

I love both, but whatever I was doing at the moment, the other one seemed the far more exciting option.

The grass was always greener on the other side.

I’ve tried to get to the bottom of this in my head and my intuition says it’s all wrapped up in the concept of trying to live a perfect life, to do the best thing everyday, to be working at your absolute maximum.

I’m still so young and have much to learn, but I don’t think life is like that.

Whilst studying for my Sports management degree I became fascinated with sociology (the study of people) and a key sociological concept is that everything is defined in relation to its other (and what it’s not).

Essentially we only define the sky as being the colour ‘blue’ because it’s not red, green, yellow or any of the other colours.

And so we need to have days where perhaps our work isn’t the most enjoyable otherwise we can’t enjoy the days when it is.

If every day was good, no days would be good, they would all just be the same. We need opposites and extremes.

Sadly for the little Lego men and women, if everything is awesome, nothing is awesome.

I hope your life has a ratio heavily weighted with a lot more enjoyable and rewarding days than the alternative. But to me it seems even on the good days, there will still be an inkling that you could be doing something better.

This whole blog has been a lot of thoughts so I want to finish on something that’s hopefully a lot more practical and is a little bit of value for you in return for your time and attention reading this.

Chase Jarvis is one of my favourite photographers and businessmen. I forget which article it is, but he talks about how everyday he does one piece of work for himself. Whether that might be as simple as going out to take a photo purely for his own personal enjoyment. But in a busy day when perhaps you’re doing lots of client work, to know you’ve got a little part of it where you’re doing exactly the thing you want to do (the greener grass) I’ve found personally to be a real help.

So remember, the grass is always going to seem greener on the other side and I wish you every success.



Jack Tompkins