Greetings have become automatic. The questions and the answers are really just filler.
How are you?
How's it going?
Most people have stock answers for these questions that they respond with regardless of whether they are actually true.
As an experiment for a day I answered the question, "How are you?" with "Not good." I was amazed by how many people didn't even acknowledge that answer. A few people picked up on the "not" and asked follow up questions. Some people just assumed my answer was "good" without actually listening to what I said.
My point is that I am working toward taking meaningful actions. I have decided to use a new greeting with people.
How did you sleep last night?
I like this question because it is novel. How often has someone asked you how well you slept? This question also solicits thinking. When I have asked this question, most people actually stop and think and answer honestly. This sometimes leads to a conversation about the importance of sleep and allows me to share some tips I have learned on my own journey to improving sleep.
I like helping people and adding value to people's lives. A simple change to a common greeting can take a previously unremarkable moment and transform it into a real conversation that can lead to great things.