First impressions are formed within seven seconds! Yes, seven grand seconds. And how you look and act contributes a whopping 55% to this first impression. Undeniably, appearance matters. In fact, good grooming projects a healthy self-esteem and the pride one takes in presenting him/herself to the world.
However, what if the importance placed on appearance becomes grossly imbalanced with the grooming of the mind?
Consider the scoffing commentaries that joy rides through your mind when you discover that the Chanel bag your oh-so-posh colleague is parading around is but a fake. In the same way, you may impress in your appearance, but if the quality of what is coming out from your mouth inhabits a polarizing universe from how you look, what could be an asset in getting ahead in life ricochets into a liability. The definition of a ‘bimbo’ nicely sums this up: “an attractive but unintelligent woman”. Men inclusive, A ‘himbo’ defined by GQ is “a man who is more attractive than he is smart”. If you are going to be all deck up, make every effort to support it with some good brain matter, otherwise be ready to be tagged with a second salutation.
The substance of the mind is (thankfully) not dictated by the trends of society just as education is something that no one can take away from you. The performance of our mind cannot be altered instantly the way a makeover can do to our appearance. It takes time, conscientiousness, appreciation and a desire to be engaged in the world beyond “me and myself”. Dee Hock, founder and former CEO of the Visa credit card association articulated this truth aptly: “Substance is enduring, form is ephemeral”.
Read a copious amount of news, books or articles to broaden your mind. Living in the Google era, we have no excuse not to. Personally, I find RSS Feed a brilliant tool to aggregate materials from various sources onto one platform. And if Facebook is your thing, it can pretty much serve the same purpose as well.
Surround yourself with people who can accelerate your growth and inspire you to learn. Motivational speaker Jim Rohn famously said “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with”. I am not advocating a snobbery approach to making friends, or a self-seeking motivation in deciding on who you socialise with. Rather, be aware of the kind of people you are spending most of your time with. Are conversations dominated by superficial mundane issues that barely requires any form of critical thinking? Do the interactions motivate you to articulate your thoughts precisely and meaningfully? Is your primary social circle a personified black hole, sucking in your time and energy while stringing you along a death march of personal and intellectual growth? What are you going to do about it?
The substance of your mind (or the lack thereof) easily penetrates through chiselled bones, perfectly manicured nails, false lashes, rippling muscles – you get the picture, the moment you open your mouth. No amount of powder can cover its shortcomings. You do not want your mouth to be the light switch of a neon display scripted “an empty vessel makes the most noise”.
You might also be interested in Vulgarity – As Ugly As Its Name
There is much we can do to tap into the potential of our minds. It is a lifelong journey of discovery and cultivation that we of the human species have the privilege to undertake. Invest in your mind the same, or even more, than you invest in your appearance and enjoy the compounding effect of the returns it reaps.
Share with us people of inspiration who possess the best of these two worlds!