“How are you?” is such a common question that most of us don’t even think about our reply when we say: “I’m fine.”
In fact, in the United States it’s even considered a greeting rather than a question. We say “’What’s up?” or “How are you?” instead of saying hello. And of course, the most popular answer is: “I am fine”. But this post is about, why saying “I’m fine” is actually a huge mistake.
Are you secretly sabotaging yourself by replying “I’m fine” … dooming yourself to a “fine” life instead of a “good” life? Do words really have that much power? Is it related somehow to the law of attraction? Or does it not really matter and you shouldn’t even worry about how you reply to the question: “how are you?”
Maybe next time before you leave your space, practice a few other options before replying to that question. Because whether it’s the clerk at the store you’re checking out your items purchased, your best friend or family member, or even your neighbor if you’re lucky enough to have neighbors that greet you … chances are, you’re going to be asked how you are doing if you leave your home at all that day .. you’re going to be asked: how are you?
Are words really that powerful? Maybe it’s because I’m a writer, but I like to think that they are.
Story time! So I never really heard of Dan Lok before early 2020. It was Q4 of 2019 and Q1 of 2020, the blissful days before Covid 19, and I took a gander in car sales. I know, pretty slimy, right? But I grew up in a sales home as my mom was a salesperson for magazine advertising for 40+ years and she was ahead of her time having a home office for much of her career when my brother and I were younger. And I would listen in on a lot of her sales calls while waiting for her to be finished to ask her for something (cue the meme of Stewie saying mom, mom, mom….) and I think somehow my subconscious picked up on her sales skills at a young age. Anyway, I mention my family history of sales because in Fall of 2019 when I was looking for work and saw an ad on Indeed for Car Sales, I thought my retail sales background and my mom’s work history would make me a good fit (was I wrong! Apparently I was too “nice” for sales they told me when they fired me lol) And it was during a slow sales day that I was sitting in my car watching sales videos to up my game, when I was first introduced to Dan Lok.
And love or hate “gurus” – there seems to be an entire audience dedicated to hating them and wondering if they’re scams and going to prison – Dan Lok does offer some good advice. Like all gurus you have to take them at face value and only apply what serves you. And one video I came across was about how to answer the question: how are you?
Like most people, I never really gave it much thought. And not many YouTube videos have really literally changed my life, but that video did, and it’s stuck with me even after all this time.
If you’ve not seen it, it’s a quick ten minute video and worth a watch, because even if you’re not in sales, “selling” yourself is an every day occurrence even if it’s just to make someone like you more. The video received 15K likes, so I’m not the only one who thought it was worthwhile. https://bit.ly/3ByFGi7 (click here to watch his video!)
Thankfully the year 2020 is in the past, and boy was it one for the history books! But it was early 2020 when I first watched that video. And while I have always been the type to say “I’m good” on autopilot to the greeting, I never really realized why. And it’s because I’m kind of a glass half full person, even with depression, I try to at least appear to have my Sh*t together.
Maybe it was because I grew up in no-nonsense-Chicago, but ever since high school I realized that people don’t really care when they ask that question how are you. It’s merely a greeting. But even when life is going wrong, I still say I’m good. Mostly so people don’t ask what’s wrong. But also because I knew they didn’t really care. And I learned when I moved to the south in 2013 to be with family, that you have to be careful when asking the question: how are you, because some people will talk your ear off if you let them. Personally, I usually do let them because that is one gift I can offer the world: is empathy. But I have also learned a delicate way of ending run on conversations without being rude. Because sometimes jobs need to get done and we don’t have time to talk about their sick aunt, chickens gone lose or their doggie needing surgery. I love small talk don’t get me wrong, but there is a time for action too.
That kind of brings me to the point of the post (yay!) it matters how you reply to the greeting because your words have power. Your words can help aid in control of your mood, and your mood can have control of your days. And your days make up your weeks. Your weeks make up your months. And your months make up your life!
So while it seems like a small significance to reply to a greeting, you are actually taking control of your life by taking control of your mood. And it starts with one “simple” question: how are you?
By switching this reply up, you are conditioning the mind to create a better life for yourself.
So even if things are not going well, try improving your mood even by a microscopic-bit by answering the greeting in a more positive way. It’s not lying or pretending things are good when they aren’t, but it’s better than saying things are fine. Because you deserve better than a fine life. You deserve a good life! Cue that One Republic song! https://youtu.be/jZhQOvvV45w
“Positive expectation, leads to positive outcome. What we want to do, is we want to take charge on how we use our words. So this is not lying to ourselves. This is not pretending everything is okay. This is how we choose how we use our words.” – Dan Lok
So by taking the question How Are You as an opportunity to present yourself in a better light than “I’m Fine”, you are taking a chance on actually engaging with that person you’re interacting with. Because you never quite know who is going to change your life. And even if that sounds a bit dramatic to you, you never know which how your day is going to be. So instead of saying “I’m fine” maybe switch it to “I’m fantastic.” Or “I’m wonderful.” The point is, when someone asks you how you are … try saying how you wish you will be. Because by imagining yourself as you wish to see yourself, perhaps you can even create that version of yourself into this reality.
But it is worth exploring the words we use oh so often. And even if you’re a hermit like me and hardly ever leave the house, you can even tell your inner voice that things are good. And, oh, that is when the power really begins. Because you might get up off that couch, you might actually do that thing you’ve been putting off, if you believe things are good and not just fine.
So … how are you? Truly? What reality do you want to create for yourself? Start that reality right now. By answering yourself this question … how are you?
Will you ever look at that question the same way again? While I’ve always said “I’m Good” on autopilot, I never realized how much power that greeting really had until I saw the Dan Lok video! Now I’m not praising Dan Lok necessarily, because I know how some people feel about gurus, but I am very glad I saw that video back in 2020 because it really did change my life!
Thanks so much everyone for joining me today! Don’t forget to hit subscribe to join Claire’s Cre8tive Club! And I will see you in the next one!
Take good care,