Those are two words that we usually respond with, to the question “How are you doing?”
When things are normal, it’s a spontaneous response, with almost no thought given to it.
When things aren’t so good, we still respond with “Fine”, because we feel pressured to do it.
Either way, this initial exchange devolves into something like…“Let’s get these niceties done with, and move on to the real stuff”
What’s a better way to handle this interaction?
One thing you could do is, be honest about how we’re actually feeling.
“You know, these days..I haven’t been so great lately. It’s not like I’m sick or anything..but just bored.”
And then you go to explain…“But not always. I do get excited about certain things..but mostly it’s the same thing over and over again..work, kids, paying the bills..”
By the time you’re done, you can hear your friend snoring. All he did was ask a simple, harmless “how are you?” but you chose to bore him to death.
So, you can’t just brush it off with a simple, “I’m fine..let’s move on to what you really want to talk about” kind of answer.
But you can’t actually say the truth either.
What to do?
My teacher chooses to respond with “On top of the world”.
Every time you ask him how he’s doing, that’s his response.
Like always! I’ve never heard him give a different response.
How can anyone be feeling so great, every day? Is my teacher hiding the actual truth?
Since you’re reading this, you probably don’t need to worry about any of the following things:
- A roof over your head
- Clean clothes
- Enough food to eat
- Clean running water within your own home
- Enough money to pay your bills and then some
- Hopefully, you’re also in good health
- And a hundred other things that most people on the planet don’t have.
We all know that it’s important to practice gratitude. It’s the fastest way to feel more peaceful. But it’s one thing to know about something, and another to be able to actually practice it regularly.
So here’s a simple tactic: When someone asks “How are you?” the next time, take a second to zoom out, think about a few things you can be grateful for – and then say…
- “I’m doing fantastic”
- “I’m doing excellent”, or..
- “I’m on top of the world”
Beyond the fact that you’ll feel instantly better, this practice can also be infectious.It can make the other person feel better – and make them want to eventually practise the same method.
Is it a simple practice? Yes
Is it easy? Not always.
As humans, we tend to focus more on the negatives than the positives.
So, practising gratitude will feel unnatural and artificial initially.
The ego will come up with smart rationalisations to avoid this practice. So, we’ll need to build extra awareness to overcome the doubts of the ego.
But as with most things, regular practice will iron out the rough edges. And it’ll start to feel like your natural response over time.
I’m still in the early days of this practice. But I’m confident that I’ll start seeing good results with persistence.
I hope you will have a similar experience as well. Good luck 😊