A few months ago, I walked into a tea house in Ballard (near Seattle, WA) and was struck by how positive the barista was. I walked up to the counter and said “Hey, how’s it going?” A standard greeting I used to use dozens of times a day. Hardly ever do I expect any reply, or at most perhaps a “good” or “ok.”
This kid let raised both hands in the air and belted out “Living the dream my brother.” He was beaming with the biggest smile I had seen in a long while.
Turns out this guy had just returned from a year-long around the world backpacking adventure. Spending significant amounts of time in India and Southeast Asia. This tea house job was just to hold him over until saved enough to go back on the road.
What struck me most about this guy was his super-positive and upbeat attitude. Instead of dreading the thought of coming into work after such a long “extended” adventure around the world, he was taking it in stride.
This short interchange left a big impression on my. So much so, that for the past few months, I’ve committed to never saying “good,” “ok,” or anything remotely negative when people ask me “how’s it going.”
After all, if I can’t at least muster up enough energy to come up with some reason why I am happy about the moment, I’ve got bigger problems to deal with! So I got in the habit of thinking about all the reasons why things are absolutely 100% awesome in my life on a daily basis…..no matter what..and when people ask me how it’s going….it’s completely natural when I say “I’m super fantastic,” or “having an outstanding day,” or “it’s the best day ever.”
Language has a huge impact on your outlook on life. Despite the hundreds of thousands of words in the English language, we resign to using small fraction. It pays to investigate language that is positive and upbeat, and incorporate it in your life.
With this in mind, and my consistent use of positive language to answer everyday “how do you do” type questions, I’m re-enforcing to myself just how good things are…and even if I am not feeling 100% for some reason, I find that just responding to the question in a positive manner will lift me up.
What’s also interesting is how people react to my responses, especially at work. People aren’t used to someone saying “things are super-awesome, couldn’t be better….but who knows tomorrow might be!” Some people just stare at me and ask more questions….as if they think I am joking! Others seems to get into a more positive state when they hear me.
Either way, it’s a positive outcome. Positive for me since I am consistently reinforcing a positive outlook on my life and how things are going in the moment…and positive for the person asking me the question….since it causes them to think about what is going on in their life that is great too.
Try it out for a week and see how it works for you.