How Are You text

How Are You Really?

How Are You textHow are you?

Do you ever struggle with how to answer that question? Many times I answer with “I’m fine” or good or even great, without even thinking about it. Question A gets answer 1, no thinking required.

Or maybe you want to share, but don’t feel it is appropriate for the circumstance or situation.

I bring this up, because many times productivity or work gets compartmentalized. Whatever is going on in your personal life, whatever you’re feeling should be put aside while you work. That other stuff shouldn’t affect your work.

But it does.

If your answer to “How are you?” is “not fine” that’s OK! It’s normal to not always be fine, good or great!

We hear that question “how are you” so many times – that when you ask it to yourself you end up with your default answer.

So, here are a couple of alternatives:

  1. <Name> how are you doing? (with an implied tone of really wanting to know)
    I know someone who asks this question while looking directly into your eyes – she’s paying 100% attention to you and truly wants to know. I remember it being almost jarring when I realized she was really interested.
  2. How is it with your soul?
    I was reminded of this question the other day. It’s definitely a more personal question and not one to ask others (or yourself) in passing. It really gets at the core and can require some thought or searching before answering.

So, I challenge you to ask yourself one of these questions and really take some time with your answer. Then set aside some time to address whatever you need to in that regard.

Despite our inclination to compartmentalize – how you’re really doing affects everything.

So,  how are you, really? Leave me a comment and let me know!

Ideas and the Bathroom?

I was recently watching a YouTube video and at the end the girl talked a bit about her creative process.  She said she gets most of her ideas in the shower or while going to the bathroom.  Initially I laughed, and then I started thinking about it.  What do these two things have in common that result in her ideas? She’s in a place that is quiet and without distractions.

I don’t like to be bored. I like to have things to do, activities to keep my mind occupied at most all times. I’m not exactly sure when or why this started, but I have a couple of ideas.

One is our culture.  We’re expected to be busy (if not productive) as much as we can so as much as possible will get done in each day. If I’m not busy, I don’t feel productive.

The second one is much more personal: I don’t always want to be alone with my thoughts for too long. What if my insecurities or fears come to visit and I don’t have something I can distract them with?

The problem is that the source my insecurities and fears don’t go away simply because I’m ignoring them. It’s just pushing them down. The only way for me to move beyond them is to know what they are and work through them. Quiet time is good for that.

The interesting thing is, when I do have quiet time the insecurities and fears don’t pop up nearly as much as I think they will.  Instead, I have an experience more like the YouTuber where I get good ideas and inspiration for whatever I’m working on.

Take 10 minutes today to do nothing. Go sit on the couch and be bored (no TV!). Make a practice of it. Try it for a week and you’ll be surprised with the benefits.

Do you avoid quiet time or being bored?

Photo credit: Bathroom of Hotel De Tuilerieën by johncooke via flickr