This simple phrase is used all over the world as a dismissive greeting, sometimes as a “how are you?” or “what is going on?” I have been reflecting on this question for a while and feel like it can be much more powerful. I have been jokingly responding to this simple greeting with “a two letter word indicating a direction” for years. I’m not wrong. It truly is the definition of “up,” but what does that mean?
In my line of work, I work with people who want to improve their lives, emotionally, financially, in their careers, in their relationships and so on. Some of the people I work with feel as though they are at a low point in their lives, while some are quite successful, but looking for ways to meet their next challenges. The bottom line, is they want to get better at something. Moving forward is a common phrase. They want to get from that low point, to somewhere higher. Even if it’s not necessarily a low point, they want an improvement from where they are today. Don’t we all?
Moving higher, is essentially going “up.” But what that means from one person to the next can be very different. We spend a lot of time, during coaching sessions, discussing what success means. We talk about what it would look like to be where they desire to be. We discuss the possibilities and the rewards of getting there and why it is important. Essentially, we find out what is “up” for an individual, and what we can do to help them get there. “Up” is different for everyone and can relate to many aspects of their lives. The one common denominator is that the “up” that they are looking for is important to them.
This thought process and methodology that I use in my everyday life, makes the simple question of “what’s up?” mean so much more to me. Now, when I hear someone say that, I try to take a moment to reflect on what “up” really looks like for me. What are the important aspects of my life that I want to improve? What is important to me? What is up and what does it look like? How do I get there? How do I stay there?