The New F-Word…Fine

A new four letter word gets used a lot. And it’s just as upsetting to me.

Growing up, there was one four-letter-word that was especially taboo, and the consequences for uttering it were serious. You know the word.

Today, a similar situation has emerged with a four-letter-F-word. Fine.

Not quite the same thing, I know, but it has similarly-serious (though different) consequences.

When I talk about ‘Fine’ here, I’m talking about it as an adjective for how you’re doing, how your life is, how much you’re achieving. We’ve all said it like this,

“I’m doing fine.”

Here, it means, “good enough.”

Let me ask you, do you want to be good enough? Why not just good? Fine suggests you are scraping by or satisficing (that means getting by or accepting the available options as being good enough.)

Doesn’t sound very inspiring, does it?

I was recently interviewing my friend, Aaron Keith Hawkins, for my podcast, and this is exactly what we were talking about. He talked about his life before a big pivot moment where he was getting by, or, “coasting,” as he put it. It all sounded, “fine,” to me, but not inspiring, rewarding, or at a more basic level, not fulfilling.

And that’s exactly the problem. He wasn’t fulfilled. And he wasn’t just talking about that for what he himself felt, but in terms of what he was putting out into the world. He didn’t feel he was fulfilling his potential for others. And that left him with regrets. In deed, he said one of the worst things he could imagine was looking back on his life when he was in his 70s or 80s and regretting all he never did for the world.

Are you paying a Fine for being Fine?

Living your life by satisficing or coasting by comes with a cost, and that’s regret. It is also the cost to the world–those around you that you care about, and those you could have benefitted–of what you did not give of yourself. And when we don’t give of ourselves, we don’t receive, so you end up costing yourself, too.

As yourself, are you fine? Are you doing fine? Are you performing fine? Do you feel fine about your life?

Stop using such language when you talk about your life. Don’t settle.

Do More than fine. Do Better than fine. Make a change and be Better.


This article is inspired by my book, Do a Day, available in print, ebook and audiobook at or at your favorite book sellers.

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Bryan Falchuk

Bryan Falchuk is a best-selling author, speaker and life coach. He has faced major adversities and learned how to overcome and achieve. From obesity to running marathons, from career struggles to success as a C-level executive, from watching illness threaten his family to finding lasting health, he has been through many lessons he used to develop his unique approach to inspiring others to succeed. Bryan's work has been featured in several top publications like Inc. Magazine, The LA Times, Chicago Tribune and more. He has spoken at multiple TEDx events, and has been a featured guest on over 100 podcasts and radio shows.