This column originally appeared New Year’s Eve on MensFlair.com; I decided to post it here in it’s entirely. Hopefully it conveys some of my thoughts about this blog and the importance of remembering that how we present ourselves to the world really does have an impact on others.
To be honest, I’ve been rather dreading this column. It is what you might call a keystone article; the kind that is supposed to be significant, exceptional, or at least special. That’s a bit intimidating considering everyone is trying to write that article – the one that makes you sit back and say, “whoa, now that guy’s a genius.”
I write about men’s lifestyle issues which means I don’t often get to cover other areas of my wandering interest, like geopolitics, economics, theology, sociology, and archeology (hence my affection for Dr. Jones’ sartorial traits.) Really, these are some of my pastimes; my father was ready to kill me in college until I settled on political science.
So, when I sat down and started writing this end-of-year wrap up, I decided to wax a little philosophical.
I have always looked at things like clothing, etiquette, and an appreciation of history as at least – and sometimes more – important than other top of mind subjects. How you present yourself to others, how you treat them, and your understanding of the world are vital and important skills to master. This is the core message I have always tried to convey through my columns for MensFlair and this blog.
Mastery of your own image and how you wish the world to perceive you is an incredibly important expertise that successful people understand. And when I say successful, I’m being democratic. I don’t care if you are the president of the United States or the head of Amity High School’s drama department in Woodbridge, Connecticut. If you are in charge of your own life, being a good steward of your community, and being true to yourself, than in my eyes, you are a leader.
In this New Year, resolve to become a leader yourself; in your community, your industry, your home, and most importantly in your own life. Are you where you truly want to be? Are you happy with yourself and with your role in the world?
Take control of the things you can and yes, your wardrobe is one of them. Take a long, honest look at what you are telling others about yourself through your clothes, your attitude and your knowledge of what’s going on around you. Do you like what you see? If not, take action.
Get rid of clothes that you don’t really wear, that are out of style or just don’t fit. Give them to a charity that can put them to good use or consign them and perhaps you’ll make a little back on the deal.
Look at your job and your family life, your friends, clubs or other organizations to which you belong and ask yourself, “Am I doing what I need to be doing here?” Are you playing the role you really want to? Do it one step at a time, but make a solid and personal resolution to be who you really want to be in each of these roles.
One of my favorite quotes is, “You can’t do everything you want, but you can do anything you want.” Decide who you want to be and start acting and looking that way. I’m not saying that you can, overnight, become whoever you idolize. I am saying that you can make a start and each day move closer to that person.