By: Victoria Clark
It’s a phrase that we hear all the time. A word we use to describe anything we find intriguing or unique – something or someone that catches our eye and tests the depths of self-expression and imagination that we commonly confine ourselves to. Regardless of time, to be described as “cool” is a compliment that will never go out of style.
After researching the origin of the word and questioning what it really means to ourselves and to others, we uncovered some very interesting theories. For starters, and what may not be a surprise to know, is that the law of attraction is closely correlated to being cool. However, although physical appearance does play some part in the cool factor, most people find that how we act and compose ourselves is most significant.
So with that said, continue reading to find out what it really means to be cool… it may surprise you.
To be cool is…:
1. To love yourself. It is a tale as old as time – it is hard for others to love and appreciate you unless you learn to love yourself. Being cool is, in a nutshell, embracing your individuality in whatever you pursue. From the clothing you wear to the attitude you have, coolness is a result of how you view yourself. It is being proud of who you are and not apologizing for your differences or your style. At the same time, however, being presentable and well-groomed is a habit that we must all put into practice every day. The way we look is a very clear indication of how we feel about ourselves, so taking pride in your look and appearance says a lot about who you are and how you feel, especially to those around us.
2. To own what differentiates you and appreciate the differences of others. We are all innately born as unique human beings. We come from different places and different backgrounds (whether we like it or not), but rather than repel where we come from, it’s always an endearing and well-respected quality to be proud of your life story, because after all, it is part of who we are and it has shaped who we are today.
3. To be able to laugh at yourself and embrace your flaws. As a rule of thumb in life, try not to take yourself too seriously. We live in a world where we are constantly competing to be the best at work and in whatever we are passionate about, but in the end, and no matter how hard we try, we will never be perfect. So, rather than trying to prove the impossible, allow yourself to laugh at the silly things you do every now and then. It goes a long way and it shows others that you are comfortable in your own skin, which is one of the more sexier character traits you can own.
4. To be well-mannered. Nothing puts us off more than a rude and ill-mannered person. Manners are habits that lead to class and which have a lasting impression on those around us. Good manners don’t require outlandish gestures, but rather just a few thoughtful acts that show a level of class. Here are a few helpful tips to make the best impression: always show up with a small gift, especially when visiting a guest’s home. In other words, never show up empty handed. Another good practice is to try and remember things about others. This particular habit proves that you pay attention and that you are thoughtful, which shows selflessness and attention to detail. Because let’s be honest, we are all incredibly caught up in our own world so to show that you can step out of your own bubble, well, that goes a long way.
5. To be intellectually stimulated and well-read. Being a well-read and inquisitive individual is a trait that we often downplay in our youth as we fear that we may be called a “nerd” or a “geek.” But, like with most things, it isn’t until we’ve matured that we understand the significance and value of certain traits, and in this case, it is being educated. After all, being cool means being in the know and the only way to know about things is to read. This includes understanding current events, politics, fashion, music, sports, and the arts. Always remember, knowledge is power so it is important to immerse yourself in topics other than your own interests.
6. To be elusive. This one may come as a surprise, but in all reality, the people we think are cool are often times the ones who are a bit mysterious. In other words, they don’t disclose every single thing about themselves. It is important to save a little room for mystery – whether it is with a significant other, coworkers, acquaintances, or friends. It is an attractive quality to keep the people around you guessing from time to time. But let’s be clear, being secretive is not the same thing. So stick with being a little unpredictable, and let people ask and find things out about you, as opposed to always giving away the farm without any solicitation.
7. To be humble. It is one thing to be successful and physically attractive, but to be humble about it, well, that takes a very special person. No one wants to hear you brag about yourself or your accomplishments because as we mentioned in point six above, unsolicited information just always happens to be more interesting, attractive, and of course, cooler.
Of course, the above points are a lot easier said than done, especially with some people making it look so natural. But being cool is more than wearing certain clothes and hanging out with a particular crowd. It’s about that allure and that je ne sais quoi. The ability for someone to look so composed, yet to be comfortable enough with themselves to embrace it when they’re not.
Our friends over at Nitch compile quotes from history’s coolest individuals. Here are some of our favorites that we think emphasize what it really means to be cool:
Friedrich Nietzsche: “The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself.”
Anthony Bourdain: “Recognize excellence. Celebrate weirdness and innovation. Oddballs should be cherished, if they can do something other people can’t do.”
Vivienne Westwood: “I’m not terribly interested in beauty. What touches me is someone who understands herself.”
Jude Law: “My only obligation is to keep myself and other people guessing.”
Stanley Kubrick: “I’ve got a particular weakness for criminals and artists. Neither takes life as it is.”
Paramahansa Yogananda: “Millions of people never analyze themselves. Mentally they are mechanical products of the factory of their environment, preoccupied with breakfast, lunch, and dinner, working and sleeping, and going here and there to be entertained. They don’t know what or why they are seeking, nor why they never realize complete happiness and lasting satisfaction. By evading self-analysis, people go on being robots, conditioned by their environment. True self-analysis is the greatest art of progress.”
Alexander McQueen: “I don’t think it makes sense to play safe in these times. The world needs fantasy…”