Personal Growth

I’m Great! – IDC #18

September 26, 2012

This post is part of the IDC Project. The IDC Project’s mission is for us to take a stand for who we are and what we believe without worrying about what others may think. Read more about the IDC Project here and view completed IDC’s here.

For our most recent IDC project, we answered the common question, “How are you?” by saying, “Great!” for seven days. Not only that, we invited our readers to join us! There were quite a few that signed up and we kept each other accountable and reminded one another of our intended response.

An over-the-top I’m great

What if we didn’t feel great? No problem. Claudia wrote this post recently which helped and we tried a little perspective on for size. The fact of the matter is, we all have many things to be grateful for. We decided to focus on those for the 7 days.

I must say, the habit of responding to, “How are you?” with “Good” or “Fine” is a tough one to break! At the beginning of the week, many times I responded this way before remembering to say, “Great.”

As the week went on, my record got better and I was less self-conscious too. I did keep thinking people were going to call my bluff when I answered great without truly feeling it. I had to remind myself many times I actually was great, it just depended on my perspective and how I framed it.

Ann Musico, one of the participants, mentioned that she really enjoyed responding this way because it actually helped her to feel better once she said it. I totally agree. It’s quite amazing. You should try it. People won’t think you’re weird, I promise!

Question: How do you normally respond to the common question, “How are you” and why?


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  • Reply Jenny Everett September 26, 2012 at 7:06 am

    I was at market, yesturday and was busy finding and purchasing my items.  While there I was self centered and easily irritated.  My day was going fine, but could easily see the negative.  Wouldn’t you know the people there were genuinely sweet and cheerful!  I dont know if I brought the regular grocery store attitude with me, but their spirit rubbed off on me and made me smile.  Maybe, I will bring the market to the grocery store next time.  Thanks for your post.

    • Reply Michael Good September 26, 2012 at 10:24 pm

      Hmm, the grocery store attitude verses the market attitude… I think you might be onto something, Jenny.

      Market is so much more fun to go to, plus you don’t have to sort through 20 different varieties of one item! That’s the beauty of Miller’s and especially Leroy’s.

  • Reply Alana Mokma September 26, 2012 at 7:07 am

    haha. GREAT PHOTO, Michael! 🙂 

    This is an interesting exercise. I can definitely see how continually answering, “I’m great!” would help me feel better myself – because you are right, I have a lot to be thankful for too! 

    I used to find myself replying with “I’m good” or “fine” like you said. Then I felt like I was being deceptive – even to myself. For the past year or so, I’ve tried to be honest when people ask how I’m feeling. If I am doing well, I say so, but if I am tired or frustrated, I say that too. I’ve found that when I answer with something other than “good”, it almost always sparks a conversation – which is fun for me and that conversation usually lifts my spirits. 🙂 

    • Reply jodyberkey September 26, 2012 at 1:27 pm

       Alana, I agree with you about being honest with your response and have it be a conversation starter when the situation is appropriate.  In public, with strangers, I’ll try to be “Great”, but with people whom I know, I actually say how I am doing. 

    • Reply Michael Good September 26, 2012 at 10:29 pm


      I’ve tried that in the past and that can feel just as awkward because everyone is so used to good and fine. 

      I think that’s pretty neat how it leads to a conversation and then lifts your spirits. Might have to give it a try again!

  • Reply Michael Wright September 26, 2012 at 8:35 am

    Michael, I bet if you walked around with your over to top pose in the photo – you’d get some kind of reaction, huh?  Love it!   How i respond to how i’m doing just depends on me, actually.  Some days it’s “Good” or “Great” or “Alright”.  If I have “time” and want to dig a little bit, I’ll add a comment or to.

    • Reply Michael Good September 26, 2012 at 10:32 pm


      Yeah, I’ll bet that’d get a reaction! Your response is similar to Alana’s in that she will sometimes respond by honestly telling the person how she’s doing, good or bad.

  • Reply Ann Musico September 26, 2012 at 8:35 am

    “Good” is my default response I think, but since I did this IDC challenge – I’ve been remembering to say great!

    • Reply Michael Good September 26, 2012 at 10:33 pm

      Awesome, Ann! Good has been my default too. Glad you enjoyed to challenge!

  • Reply jodyberkey September 26, 2012 at 1:24 pm

    My default is “good” as well.  It just becomes a habit.  Like I mentioned before, people, including me, don’t really listen to the other person’s answer.  We say it in passing as a habit.   Your IDC Challenged called attention to this about myself.  Getting better 🙂

    • Reply Michael Good September 26, 2012 at 10:36 pm


      So true. This is most times used as a greeting, not an actual question. However, this challenge has helped me see the potential it has. Why not use it to our benefit and share enthusiasm and lift our spirits at the same time!

  • Reply Alex Barker September 26, 2012 at 4:17 pm

    A banker once said to me “Best I ever was!”
    Stole it, used it, love it

    • Reply Michael Good September 26, 2012 at 10:15 pm

      Alex, I like it! I might just steal that one as well.

    • Reply Claudia Good October 5, 2012 at 7:43 pm

      woa, just saw this Alex, I love it!!

  • Reply Rob Clinton October 3, 2012 at 2:15 pm

    Wow, great exercise! My natural response when I’m not thinking about it is something like, “Doing great, how about yourself?”  I know pretty boring… I guess we’re so much in a rush that sometimes we typically hope for short responses that it’s a quick way to check off something in our minds that says, “Okay good, that parts covered, we acknowledged them, let’s move on”…

    When I’m thinking about this, I’ll actually respond with how I am truly feeling and what’s going on in my mind at that moment. That can be risky, but my way of trying to be real.

    We probably could all use a little bit more ‘real’ in this world anyway… Great stuff! Thanks for the post… 

    • Reply Claudia Good October 8, 2012 at 9:05 pm

      That sounds like a great response! 😉 hahahaaa I couldn’t resist!

      Thanks for your thoughts Rob, always love your input!

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