The grass on the other side may be Astroturf — V. 2

How to determine if your desires and fears are well founded and how to make the shift.

Marilyn Tam
4 min readJun 27


A scenic garden with a flower archway leading into the distant green mountains and semi cloudy blue skies.
The other side may look alluring, how do you decide whether to take the leap?

I touched a nerve! My blog on whether the grass on the other side is actually better got a flood of responses from people who shared their stories. Some took trial runs on what they dreamed of doing and realized that the reality is not as good as they imagined. Others were delighted that they made the jump and are happier than they even envisioned. While another group reviewed their reluctance to move and recognized that staying put may not always be the safe bet. Best of all everyone seemed to have gained insight from viewing the other side as potentially AstroTurf.

Common questions were: How can I tell if I am attributing good or negative qualities to the alternatives that may not be there? How would I go about making the change? Or, I want to stay, how can I improve where I am? Is it possible to make where I am now better if I remained in my current situation?

One reader shared how he took a six-month sabbatical from his law practice to work at a nonprofit, but realized that he missed his clients, his colleagues, and his litigation work. He returned to his company, more at peace and happy to be a litigation lawyer until he retired 20 years later. Now he supports his nonprofit passion by volunteering his expertise and time.

Ahigh-ranking public official was in the throes of being recruited for another position. She thanked me for reminding her that there are pros and cons to the other side, and took time to investigate the alluring offer more carefully.

A former coaching client of mine shared that he is energized, happy and flourishing in his new role as VP of a Tech unicorn (private company that is valued at over $1billion) after leaving his secure but highly stressful and unrewarding job at a Fortune 100 company. He was nervous about leaving the security of his prior position, but after the careful analysis and due diligence he performed before leaping, he has happily landed well.

Are you dissatisfied with your current circumstances? Have you reviewed the reasons why? What can you do about the causes of your discontent? Is it structural? Or inherent in the…



Marilyn Tam

Marilyn Tam, global speaker, best selling author (The Happiness Choice), business leader and humanitarian. Formerly the CEO of Aveda, President Reebok, VP Nike