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How are you?

I’m fine.

That is such a knee-jerk response to that question. I pretty much absentmindedly give that answer to that question every time, even in these times. But I do have to say that after I respond with “I’m fine,” I almost instantly add, “for these times” or “as well as can be expected.”

Why is my knee-jerk response “I’m fine?” Is it because that’s what’s expected? Or, I don’t want anyone to know that I’m not fine. Or, maybe I am fine. What the heck is fine anyway?

Back in the olden days, when I was a cool person working in the Skate and Snowboarding business, I had a colleague at TransWorld, Tim Wrisley, that used to say when someone said something was fine, “OK, that means it’s just OK, not really good enough, yet.” That was in response to the magazine’s work. In that context fine meant it could still be better, so we’d better get back to work.

But when it comes to life and how we are feeling, what does it mean to be fine? Is it that we’re good enough for now? Or that we’re just OK? I’m gonna go with that, sometimes I’m just OK, and give myself some grace. And even in “these” times, there are moments when everything really does feel just fine. Sometimes even better than fine.

So when I answer your question, “how are you?” and I say “I’m fine,” now you know the backstory to that knee-jerk response.

So I ask you, “how are you?” I’d love to hear your knee-jerk answer.


In this same vein of thinking, I received two emails that resonated with me today. Both are what led me to the above thoughts. Both are smart and very topical right now. Please read them and better yet, subscribe to their newsletters for more smart thinking.

During A Global Pandemic, You Aren’t Fine. Be Honest. Brought to you by Rabbi Brian Zachary Mayer of Religion Outside the Box. Rabbi Brian empowers adults to nourish their spiritual hunger by bringing ancient wisdom to modern lives.

Working Beyond Absolutes. Brought to you by Steven Morris of MatterConsulting. Steve is a trusted advisor, author, and speaker helping to build evolved brands and beautiful businesses.


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