Norton: Don’t shy away from the question, ‘What’s new with you?’ Be prepared for it (column) | VailDaily.com

Norton: Don’t shy away from the question, ‘What’s new with you?’ Be prepared for it (column)

Michael Norton
Valley Voices

We have all had this conversation, haven't we? You know the one I am talking about, when we run into someone we haven't seen in a while. It sounds something like this: "Hey, how's it going, how have you been, what's new?" and the other person responds politely and says, "Great to see you, too, everything is pretty much the same, what's new with you?"

The question, "What's new with you?" has been around forever. And most times, the responses are exactly like the scenario above, "Not much, same old-same old going on around here."

I think that sometimes we reply in this way because we feel like we don't want to share what is new in our lives. And I think that other times, we really don't think about all the new things happening or we do not have a full appreciation for them. And, maybe, the new things going on in our lives are new, but maybe they aren't necessarily good things that are going on, and we would rather not share that part of what's new with others just yet.

So new doesn't always connect with being good, but most times it does. A new car, a new dress, a new suit, a new restaurant, a new friend, a new or renewed love, a new attitude built on the pure, the clean, the powerful and the positive. The new way we look at one another, the new way we see the world and all the beauty that comes with it. You see, the marketing slogan "new and improved" isn't just for businesses; "new and improved" should be and can be about us, too.

Now, for most people, there seems to be two times a year when they think of things being new and maybe put a little more effort and emphasis on the newness of life. New Year's Eve is one, as we set goals and talk about resolutions, dropping bad habits and picking up new and healthier habits. And the other time of the year is right around now, springtime and Easter.

With springtime comes the flowers, the budding of the leaves on the trees, extra daylight, warmer weather, a little more spring in our step and bounce in our ounce and maybe even a new and positive attitude. And at Easter, we know that all things are made new as we celebrate the newness that the meaning of Easter brings.

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Are you prepared for the question, "So what's new with you?" I'll bet if you really think about it, the response will not be, "Not much, just the same old-same-old around here." I'll bet you can think of something that is new, something you are doing in your life, whether it is at home or at work, that has you energized and hopeful, something that is putting a little extra spring in your step and bounce in your ounce.

The "What's new with you?" question can also be a newfound appreciation and sense of gratitude. Maybe it's this year, this spring, right now that we can recognize just how grateful we are and how we fully and deeply appreciate all of the people, sights, sounds and things we have been blessed with in our lives. If this is a new concept for you, then give it a shot, as gratitude and appreciation are two of the healthiest of all of our emotions.

What's new with you? I really would love to hear what's new with you and your "new" story at gotonorton@gmail.com. And when we can identify and appreciate the feeling of something new, it really will be a better-than-good week.

Michael Norton is a strategic consultant, business and personal coach and motivational speaker. He writes a weekly motivational column for the Vail Daily.