The Real 4-Letter Words

Fine… Okay…

We have all uttered fine, okay, and similar words from time to time; and that’s not a big deal, but it’s important to recognize if we are saying it frequently, and what we are saying it in relation to. For most of my life I didn’t even hear myself, or really pay attention to when and why I was saying these words. Or, why I was accepting it.

“Remember that you get in life what you tolerate.” — Darren Hardy

I started paying attention to how often I, and other people would say fine, or okay. I would cringe when I heard people saying it about their job, their relationships, their meetings, their day at work, their vacation, their anniversary dinner, their weekend…

Some people were describing just about everything as fine. This is jarring because these are not individual, little events in our lives, they all add up and are our lives.

These words, and similar ones don’t have any energy to them. At least the ‘classic’ 4-letter words show a level of emotion. Of course there are situations where I would much prefer “it’s fine,” to “fuck you!” Accidentally calling someone by the wrong name for example 🙂

Using fine and okay too much starts to sound like you are a victim, or weak, like you are just waiting for something, or somebody to sort things out for you. But we are all fully accountable for ourselves, and how we choose to go through life; nobody, and nothing else will change that.

The goal isn’t to just get through life, it’s to enjoy life, and do things that are meaningful to us.

Like most people I’ve experienced highs, lows, and the fine, or okay state of mind. Looking back I’ve realized that the fine, or okay state of mind is possibly the most dangerous. The lows and highs both seem to trigger movement; whether it is change, learning, or just reflecting on what matters to us.

Fine and okay are where we get stuck. It’s not bad enough, so we don’t know we need to, or have the motivation to change. In fact, we often don’t even notice the things that are fine or okay, but they add up pretty quickly, and will probably manifest in more serious states of mind; like frustration, anxiety, depression, resentment…

I don’t want to, and I don’t want anyone else to end any day, week or year, let alone our entire life, looking back and saying, ‘it was fine.’ What a waste that would be, and what an insult to everyone we spent that time with.

Of course this isn’t really about two specific words, but more the mindset of going through life by spending too much time in this sort of blah-zone; telling ourselves we will wait one more month, or when we get a promotion, or when we get a new place, or it’s fine for now…

It’s scary because it’s slow… and you can’t really see it changing, but it’s probably a little bit ‘less-fine’ each day.

Every day you let it go; it will contribute to what may become a habit, a way of thinking and living, and it becomes harder and harder to change.

Fine and okay are safe, they are familiar, but that isn’t really a very fulfilling life; and in my opinion being ‘safe’ is probably the least safe thing to do in the world today; especially in relation to your career, which is where many people start to get into the fine & okay mindset.

Every single decision changes something, but no single decision changes everything. — Ryan

Title Photo Credit: flickr