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One of my more consistent, and possibly more annoying habits is when people ask me how I am doing, I almost always answer……..
“I am fantastic!!” or, possibly “I’m GREAT!!!!”
Even at 5am.
Even when I am exhausted.
Or injured (often)
Or anything else, sometimes even great or fantastic.
Conversely, do you not know the person who when you ask the same question will answer with:
“I’m hanging in there” (one of the worst, in my opinion)
Or the very common:
Or how about,
Yes, we all know people who we find ourselves avoiding even asking how they are, for fear of the long winded dissertation of how terrible their lives are, or how tired they are, or how much their husband sucks, or how they hate their wife’s new haircut, or their Mercedes has a scratch, or their mountain home is having trouble with it’s 3rdair conditioner.
You get the point.
Why do I do this, you ask?
It is really a selfish thing, at it’s most basic level. I have found, through trial and error, if I I am down and I tell someone how I am really doing (tired, stressed, angry, etc.) I will feel that emotion even more. And, it will last longer. Or even get worse.
You have heard the term “fake it till you make it” or “smile and the world smiles with you” or “say you are fantastic all the time, even when you are not” – ok I made that one up!
Let’s be clear here, I am not saying to avoid “bad” emotions, or not to be authentic with people. Especially people close to you.
Trust me, I spend a lot of time having authentic conversations with good friends (mostly on trail runs, by the way) about the challenges in my life.
I have just found that the consistent habit of a positive answer will invariably put me, or keep me, in a much better mood than if I answered with something negative.
Of course, most days I can take the perspective (better now with my relationship with God) to see that even if I am tired, or stressed, or angry, or sad – my life really is pretty fantastic no matter what.
I am also working on embracing and learning from the hard times in my life – while I am in them – so if things are tough, they are still “fantastic”.
So, how are you today?
Try it for a week, you might really like it.