On my day job I work for a national lawn care company. You know, weed control, fertilization, disease control stuff like that. Making people’s lawns green and healthy.
The service isn’t cheap. Depending on the size of your lawn you can pay anywhere from $400 a year and up. So I’m always amazed when someone retains our rather expensive service and then refuses to ever water or mow their lawn; making it pretty-much impossible for the service to work.
These people are often very upset that their lawn isn’t improving even though they’re paying us lots of money. Mind you, we leave very specific and clear instructions every time we go see these customers for an application. The customer, for whatever reason, does not choose to follow the instructions, so the treatments don’t work.
Some of them get angry with us and quit, never taking ownership of their own failure and unwillingness to simply follow the very simple instructions that were provided with them. Some of them live on streets next to other customers of ours who have beautiful lawns using the same service being provided by the same guy. Yet they refuse to believe that it’s their own lack of effort that is hindering the service from working. No, it must be some other reason. It’s your fault. I’m doing everything I should be doing, and I don’t care what you say.
Indeed, some customers do follow the instructions. Sort of. They may water, for example, but they do it the way THEY want to do it. They may mow, but only when THEY feel like it. In other words we’re providing them with very clear instructions but they’re only half-following them and then getting angry with us because they don’t see the results they expected. But that tends to happen when you approach any given thing with a “bare minimum” attitude.
Perhaps the most tragic of all though, are the customers who continue to stay with us for years, paying several hundred dollars a year, yet never having the lawn they want. It’s tragic because everything they need to have it is there for them. We’re literally bringing it to their doorstep, putting it on their lawn for them and leaving them instructions. It’s all there waiting to be “activated” by just a little effort on their part.
But they’ve accepted the current state of their lawn so long that they don’t even have the same expectation anymore. They’ve reached a state of complacency so deep that they don’t even see it anymore. So they become content with a terrible looking lawn, even while they are receiving everything they need to make it better.
It’s kinda like my sister, who is an excellent cook, paying a delivery service to bring her everything she needs for a great meal. Then just dropping it off in the kitchen and coming back an hour later wondering why dinner isn’t ready.
But I’ll let you draw your own parallels. Just read through here and, anywhere you like, replace the word lawn with the word life.
Ps. Yes, the lawn in the picture belongs to a customer who has been with us for about a year now.