Each and every one of us encounter those daily greetings, whether in the office or passing by folks you know or may not know in any setting. “How are you today?” and the reply usually, “I’m fine, and you?” We encounter that on a daily basis, but I often wonder, how many of those people are truly “fine.” How many instead, get up each day dreading what is to come. Dreading the work day and that commute into to earn that next paycheck. Dreading to just to get out and encounter others and meet that days challenges. This may seem like such a simple thing, but I often wonder how much of it is just politeness and courtesy versus a true and genuine look into how someone is doing.
Thinking of this, I start reflecting on a short movie/documentary that my brother, Rob, introduced me two a few month’s back. This film is called, “I’m Fine Thanks.” The film is narrated and directed by a gentleman named Grant Peele. Grant and his crew set out on a journey across the United States to meet people to meet people and discover how these people stepped away from their ordinary lives, lives that they once thought were the right and proper way to live and now most of them live a life that they are truly happy with as they stepped away and found a calling away from the norm. Even Grant, who had been in Real Estate for years, because he thought is was the right path finally stepped away to do something that he has always dreamed of doing, which is to make films.
The ultimate goal of this film was to document people that had settled into complacency, but ultimately, found that many of those people stepped back and found a way back to living the life they love. I’m not talking about a life of riches. I’m talking about loving what they do or moving to simplistic living or setting off for adventures that they once thought were just far fetched dreams. What’s so remarkable is that many of their stories sound so much like people we all encounter day after day and even ourselves. Have you ever questioned your direction in life or if you have made for yourself a life of complacency versus truly going for what lights a fire in you and what it is you were meant to do? I certainly have.
Our lives take so many different directions and often times we settle into a life of complacency and settle for that “normal” career. Often times, even when we find that we have a fears of making those life changes toward a life we truly dream to live. There may be negative connotations from others who say you can’t do that. My answer to all of those people is to give me one good reason why not. Who says that your life has to follow the script that others set for you. Trust me, I have and am down this path but I know now that I and we all have to take the steps and have the courage to step away change our lives.
When I think about this more, I look at my kids. Often times we ask our children what they want to be when they grow-up. When we were kids, we all faced those same questions and our answers were so huge. As kids, we have great dreams and passions, but often times, not all the time, people lose site of that. Many people love what they do, don’t get me wrong. But all too often there are many of us that question if there is more. My wife and I always tell our kids to purse the life that they want and work their tales off to reach their dreams. Why can’t we do that even as adults? Why can’t we pursue those real dreams.
The fact of the matter is that, we all can. We do not ever have to settle for the complacent life that may have crept up on us. We can ALL change to live a life that makes us happy that drives a fire in us and makes us light up when we get up in the morning. So we all have choice. Choose to continue down this path we have or make the changes that are needed to live life. This is a huge step to coming alive. When you reach that point, that is when that greeting can become truly genuine. You can answer that you are in fact doing great. Not just fine, but great! If there is something burning within you that says this is not the life I wanted, this is not the career I was meant to have, I feel like I am not alive, and I am not fine, then you have a choice to make. Stay complacent, or change and come alive!