Let’s quickly review a typical opening to a conversation:
“Hey, how are you?” or “How have you been?”
“I’m OK.” or “I’m good.”
“Good.” or “That’s cool.”
Why is “good” or “OK” our blanket response when asked how we are? We should never want to aspire to be just good or, even worse, just OK. We should want more for ourselves and for the ones we care about, yet day in and day out we verbalize that life is only good or OK.
One thing I love about my Dad is every time I ask him how he is, his response, without fail, is “Never better!” with enthusiasm and gusto. I cannot recall a time when he didn’t respond that way, and that is powerful. For as long as I can remember, he has put out to the Universe that his life in that moment could not be better than this and, in turn, the universe has rewarded him with a life filled with moments that could not get any better.
My response to him was always, “That is great, Dad. I love it, I am happy to hear it,” or some variation of that.
When someone in your life is doing great, do you celebrate the great with them, even if it’s just for a minute? Do you respond with enthusiasm in that moment and ask them to elaborate on all the great that is happening? We often do not. We usually respond with a flat “that’s good” and segue into whatever gripes we have going on.
The result is the person that is experiencing greatness then listens and essentially dulls down their joy. Why? Because we are naturally inclined to think expressing joy while another is in sorrow is boastful or insensitive. Then the person who is great will attempt to relate to the other person who is venting and literally start fishing for things to be aggravated about to relate to the venter.
Can we say counterproductive? This act of so-called “camaraderie” is literally self-sabotaging and we do it all the time. We live in a society that has oddly trained us to search for bad things going on in our lives in order to relate to the majority of people standing in the way of their own happiness.
We collectively must stop this. If anything, we should spend more time talking about the great person’s story! That will perpetuate joy into the world rather than create a ripple of sadness and frustration.
It is ok to acknowledge your gripes and work through them, but actually work through them and let them go. If someone is joyful amidst your frustration, hold onto their joy for as long as you can with them. That will remind you, the venter, that this too shall pass and you will be great again.
Actively choose to be better than ‘Good’ or ‘OK’ and Decide Bliss.