The Man Makes The Man

Years ago, back before I had corrective eye surgery, I was buying something and was all “smooth and suave” with the cashier.

For whatever reason, I was especially upbeat and confident throughout that whole exchange.

When I got back to the car, I happened to glance in the rear view mirror and saw to my dismay that I was wearing my “grubby glasses.”

That whole morning I thought I had been wearing my “cool glasses.”

If you wear glasses, you know what I’m talking about. Your “cool glasses” are the expensive ones you wear socially. They are stylish, clean, and make you feel good when you wear them.

Your “grubby glasses” are your old spare pair. They are bent, greasy, ugly as hell, and quite possibly taped together. They’re the ones you only wear when mowing the lawn, painting the barn, watching TV, and other socially-invisible tasks.

If I had known I was wearing my grubby glasses… no way would I have been as smooth and suave as I had just been with that cashier.

In fact, after looking in the mirror, I actually felt a sudden stab of guilt, as though I had just broken some invisible law of the universe that says “thou shalt not exhibit more confidence than thy garb justifies.”

The point I want to share with you from this is twofold, and somewhat contradictory, so bear with me:

1. The Clothes (And Glasses) Make The Man

I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase “the clothes make the man.”

The idea being that the way we clothe and otherwise present ourselves to other people has a massive impact not only on how others perceive us, but on how we perceive and feel about OURSELVES.

The moment when I glanced in the mirror and felt that sudden pang was perfect proof of that statement.

And yet…

2. The Man Makes The Man

The fact that I gleaned power and poise from the MISTAKEN ASSUMPTION that I was wearing my “cool glasses” shows that, in the end, regardless of what we wear, it is WE ourselves that ultimately determine how we conduct ourselves in the world.

Our MINDS are the most powerful determinant of our power and poise.

Ultimately, the MAN makes the man.

What you wear and how you take care of your appearance DOES matter, even if you feel it’s petty, “so junior high,” or beneath you.

Don’t fight it… USE IT.

Being inspired is an ongoing practice, and leveraging the “lift” you get from mindful, intentional fashion is one of the many useful tools in your toolbox.

So wear your damn “cool glasses,” or whatever the equivalent in your wardrobe is. Wear clothing that makes you feel powerful and poised. Take that easy “hit” of confidence that dressing well gives you.

Don’t wear greasy sweats and a t-shirt to try to prove you’re “above all that,” because ultimately, you’re not. No one is. We all play the game.

Most important of all, remember how powerful a role your willpower plays. Power is ultimately derived from your state of mind.

The clothes may make the man to a large degree, but ultimately, confidence is a choice.

The MAN makes the man.

No matter how you look, if you have something of value to say, and you say it with courage, people WILL pay attention.

Use BOTH inner and outer goads. Use clothing AND your mind to supercharge your power, amp your motivation, and go make your dent in the universe.

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