How to be Cool
Firstly and most importantly, you must always understand that coolness is not something you can make visible to others. Don’t for one moment imagine that coolness has to do with actions or a way of being, or a way of dressing. Coolness is a thing of the mind and a fleeting one at that, for at any given moment, its mode can switch from one extreme to another without notice or regard to your desire for consistency. To understand coolness, you must dedicate some time to thinking about it.
When ties are expected to be worn, it is not cool to skip on wearing a tie because you want to stick it to the corporate stooges who are all wearing ties. Instead, skip on wearing ties because they are uncomfortable and totally useless. Do you see the difference? To not wear ties out of some sort of social rebellion is to commit an act of mental aggression. Nobody ever gets hurt from your mental aggression, but coolness cannot flow from this swamp of angst. If, however, you skip on wearing a tie because you do not like how they feel and have no use for them, then you are being practical. You do not have to hold others in contempt for wearing a tie to be cool, in fact, it is uncool to hold others in contempt.
It is okay for some of your political beliefs to land in one camp, while others land in the opposite camp. The important thing to remember about political beliefs is that they be consistent with regard to your core philosophy of life. It is okay to be for the legalization of pot and also be for gun rights because they stem from the same tree of liberty even though one falls far left and the other far right. If you destroy one principal for the sake of proper political alignment, then you are surrendering your values to the crowd. If you maintain a healthy core of political beliefs, especially those that may fall into opposing camps, you will have a much greater ability to feel personal serenity. And what could be more cool than personal serenity?
Its okay to be angry inside. Forget that I just told you to avoid internal aggression and forget that part about personal serenity for a moment and consider the fact that anger inspires the mind. Anger provides the energy you need to mold your reality to your liking. If someone aggravates you, passivity will not propel you towards resolving that aggravation. Accepting the shots that are taken at you turns you into a pussy and being a pussy is not cool. What is cool about passively accepting the pokes and prods of others? Have some dignity. Dignity is cool. Nothing is more exhilarating and life affirming than standing up for oneself. For those seeking to end bullying, might I suggest self defense as a response? You don’t need to turn the response into an MMA cage fight, but some sort of retaliation will send the signal that picking on you isn’t worth the cost.
Time wasted is life wasted, but being idle is not always a waste of time. Feel free to tweet that last sentence, I think its great! Your life consists of two modes. Mode one is your body. Your body holds your brain, which is the primary operator of mode two, the mind. Your mind is capable of great imagination. Being idle simply means that your body is not doing anything while your mind is figuring out the important things in life. Let your mind do its thing. I’m not suggesting meditation, just don’t feel so guilty for sitting around and thinking for long stretches. Think about anything you want. If you are constantly doing busy work so as not to be idle, you will feel stress and coolness cannot flow from stress.
Stress is fine for a time. You need stress to complete the important tasks. I know this sounds like a contradiction, but there is a fine line between idling in thought and being a lazy fucking couch turd. Use stress to push through and prevail at the things you want to do in your life. If you ever want to finish that novel you started writing, stress will propel you towards the end. In order to feel the appropriate level of stress, you must set a few unrealistic goals. Although the goals are unrealistic, they must seem at least plausible. Once the horizon line of that goal is in sight, stress will kick in and your body and brain will be wonderfully stimulated by a cascade of chemicals to finish the project. In other words, your body produces the best uppers and they are totally free and natural. Nothing is cooler than a person who can, when needed, jump into the task and push it to completion. Seeing your will made form is cool and rewarding.
You don’t know everything. Nobody does. Scientists don’t know everything. Hell, not knowing things is the whole point of science. If we knew everything, then we wouldn’t need the scientific method to figure everything out. You might think you know a thing, but that may be more an act of faith than an understanding of fact. If someone tells you something and everybody around you agrees with the statement including people who are much smarter than you, that does not automatically make it a fact. Accepting things as fact without challenging them is the epitome of stupidity, in fact, you are more likely to do something stupid if your actions are informed by poor information. The concept of stupidity exists only because of peoples refusal to challenge the information they are given. Being stupid is not cool. Watching TV doesn’t always make you stupid and reading doesn’t always make you smart. If you read a book describing things that are not true, then you are only taking steps to becoming an idiot. If you watch TV and challenge the information you are presented, you are well on your way to becoming smart.
Being yourself doesn’t mean being weird or unique or anything like that. Being yourself means only that you are being the way you want to be. You don’t need to go out of your way to be yourself. In fact, if you are trying so hard to be yourself, then you are probably just trying to look interesting to others, which is not necessarily being yourself, but rather being what you believe others think should be yourself. If that last sentence is confusing, here is another that should help. If you are outwardly weird because you think that is what you want other people to perceive as your personality, then you are acting for their benefit and not for yours. If you are acting weird because it is your normal state of being, then you are acting for your own benefit and this is cool. Note, you do not need to be weird to be cool. If your personality is not quirky or outside of some social norm, it is cool as long as you are not acting that way to appease others. And if appeasing others is your thing, then do your thing, but only if it makes you happy and not simply because it makes others happy. You do not owe the world a certain personality, so don’t suffer to deliver one you do not already have.
The final and most important thing is to throw everything I’ve just said out the window and write your own guide to being cool. This one is mine and you cant have it unless you’ve earned it. In order to earn this coolness, you have to write it out. Thats how it works. You cant just read a few words somebody else wrote about being cool and then magically become cool. Maybe you don’t even want to be cool. The point is, these words don’t do anything for you, they are just words. It is your brain that does all of the work of making you cool. Use it.