When I was younger, my older sister created a “Cool Lady Club.” Pitching me on being cool, she convinced me to join. I wanted what she had -coolness. Over a few weeks she showed me how to ‘be cool’ -like her. She showed me new ways to scrunch my socks, how to do my hair, and how to walk and talk.
But through all the cool lessons, the one lesson learned is that it is wrong to be someone else’s idea of cool. Every time I went out in public, it just felt weird trying to be someone I wasn’t. I was awkward. What I needed was my own cool.
Have you joined a “cool club” that really isn’t you? Do you need to whistle your own tune? Then read on to discover…
Four things I am discovering about the true meaning of coolness:
1) Being cool is to down play. Have you seen those moments in movies where the new graduate gets her dream job. She squeals, then restrains the excitement. Then squabbles out a self-controlled, thank you? After the excitement passes, there must be self-control to allow the coolness to take over. It is her self-restraint that gives her the sustainability to keep up with her colleagues.
2) Being cool is to allow others to express themselves. When you give someone a gift, don’t be more excited than the other person. When you are sharing a heartfelt or dramatic story, share it without the passionate speech. Have you been in that position where either you or your friend start to cry in the middle of conversation? It gets awkward. Hold it back.
Keep your cool. If you moderate your own emotional expression, you give others a chance to discover their own feelings and thoughts about it.
3) Being cool is to know your value. What are you bringing to the table with your friendships, family, work, and social life? Know your value and position and be confident. You don’t have to pour out your value to solicit cheap compliments. If you’re truly confidently cool, you won’t be reaching. Hold your value back and wait.
When I come across a cool person, they rarely point out their own value. If it comes up: Let your value be understated. Don’t even mention it, or refer to #1: Downplay. Confident coolness is noted by others when you don’t bite the bait.
4) Being cool is to develop good timing. Timing is everything. Without good timing all coolness goes out the window. Practice restraint in telling a joke, a story, venting, anything at all. Wait. Consider the proper person and moment to share or have a conversation.
Tip for jokes: Don’t laugh at your own jokes. Refer back to #2: Restrain and allow others to express themselves.
Be the Change Devotional Week 21 is all about being cool. If you realize you aren’t being you, it’s a good sign you aren’t being cool. I dare you to be yourself. It could be the hardest challenge you have this week, but don’t sacrifice your value, self-worth, and all your coolness for someone else’s idea of cool (including mine, irony). Be yourself because everyone else is already taken.
If you become emotional, passionate, or overbearing, dial it down. Discover the cool you. When you are alone, look for your cool. And find new ways to work it into your social life. How cool can you be this week? How calmly can you express excitement, satisfaction, or new ideas?
Be confident, self-restrained, and independent.
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