I have a story to tell you today to start the week. You up for that? Good.
So there’s this guy who’s a farmer and he grows apples. They’re good apples and they sell OK. Then one day while he’s out walking he passes a neighbouring farm and looking over the fence he sees apple trees. Being an apple grower his interest is raised so he walks closer and notices that these apples are redder than his. This bothers him and as he thinks about it he decides that he’d rather be growing this brand of apple.
The following week whilst out walking he spots apple trees in another farm and having investigated finds these apples to be crisper than his own. Immediately he begins to think they are better and wants then.
Week by week this goes on. He discovers bigger ones, sweeter ones, shinier ones. All around him are apples that are better than his in one way or another. Life becomes miserable until one day a friend, having heard about the man’s dilemma, visits his farm and picks an apple from a tree. Taking a bite he comments on the quality of the fruit. The farmer immediately points out there are bigger apples at the farm down the road. “Ah, yes” the friend replies, “but have you noticed they are a little tart?”
“Really?” the farmer asks. “Well the farm over the hill has apples that are so crisp” he continues.
“Yes but those apples are not as full of colour as yours are” his friend says and before the farmer can reply the friend adds “and the ones over there”, he points, “the beautifully red ones, there’re smaller than yours”.
The farmer stands, lost for words.
“My friend” the friend says, “you have good apples. Not the crispiest or the most colourful, or the largest. But then all of those that are better than yours in one way or another come up short on qualities yours have.”
And here’s the takeaway for the week ahead. There will always be things, people, places that are better in one way or another than what you currently have, where you currently are. As often said, the grass is greener on the other side of the fence. You’ll meet people who are kinder than the people you currently call friends but given time you’ll discover that perhaps they are lazy, or are unreliable. Then, like the apples, there will always be possessions you feel you should have because, well, they are bigger, or faster or shinier but to be faster someone has had to sacrifice reliability and being bigger they will push other things out of your life.
Yes there will come times in life when you will need an upgrade because you’ve moved on. You’re better at what you do and need better tools, you’ve learnt all you can in this place and now need to be stretched further. That’s progress, you evolve. But you seek change or improvement for the right reason, not just because there’s a quality on display that you perceive to be better than you currently have in your life. Take stock of the situation and take in the whole picture. I say again, there will always be “better” out there but if you take time to examine I can assure you that you will find there are deficiencies in whatever is “better”. Sometimes good really is good enough!
Maybe we all need to examine ourselves and our motivation when we are filled with a desire to possess something. Maybe we need to judge that thing in its entirety and weigh it in the balance, so to speak. There’s a lot to be said in being happy with your lot and you can save a lot of time and money by not always seeing better over the fence. There’s a lot to be said for going all in with what you have. Many people want to move on before ever they have done so.
Enough. I will go into this week wondering why so many of us are seldom satisfied with what we have. I guess we succumb to the poison that is advertising. Maybe we let others determine our needs and don’t take time to think for ourselves. Give me the free thinkers, the liberated minds. Those who take what they have and strive to make the best life imaginable.
Yours, focusing on the pleasure my apples give,