Today while working out I stumbled upon an article which content almost made me fall off of the elliptical I was riding in the effort to burn off my beloved whit wine spritzers.
The Science Of Simplicity: Why Successful People Wear The Same Thing Every Day
I never thought this headline could hide such horror.
This written piece basically states that successful people are as such also because they do not waste their time accessorizing and more generally they do not allow frivolous details to distract them from the bigger picture.
The writer says that this is precisely why individuals like President Obama, Steve Jobs (the late Apple magnate wore his signature black turtleneck with jeans and sneakers every single day), Mark Zuckerberg (the Face Book dude typically wears a gray t-shirt with a black hoody and jeans) and Albert Einstein decided to make life easier by adopting a monotonous wardrobe.
I call bullshit.
Those individuals have adopted a monotonous (I call it depressing) wardrobe not to achieve their goals. They moved to sad-outfits-land only after they became powerhouses.
Once they became a brand they had to keep that brand up by attending public gatherings always looking like the image that made them globally recognizable. An image I find rather shitty but nonetheless a lasting one.
The crazy "people of Wall-Mart" are perpetually wearing the same wacko outfits but I don't see any of them leading a country or inventing the next electronic gadget that is going to change our lives. They just grab the same damn acid wash t-shirt and stripper Plexiglas heels and go out into the world to get rid of the last bit of dignity they have left.
This writer also related the time we spend planning an outfit to the concept of decision fatigue. Allegedly this is a real psychological condition in which a person’s productivity suffers as a result of becoming mentally exhausted from making so many irrelevant decisions.
I call bullshit again.
It's an outfit we are putting together not a plan to solve third world hunger.
Many jobs can be a little monotone, thank god most of us do have the liberty of wearing something that expresses who we are. A make-me-feel-good outfit can definitely cheer up an otherwise irritating Monday morning at the office. A decently cut suit can make you look more like Richard Gere in American Gigolo rather than Bozo the Clown.
We still need to make decisions in order to look demure or simple.
Still decisions, just different ones.
If you have to wear an uniform to work fair enough. I will still give you my most heartfelt condolences. I had to wear an uniform while working on cruise ships during extra duties hours and I always felt as if I was wearing a full burka. I may be exaggerating but I hope I got the message across.
But wait because the fashion slaughter-house is not over.
This deranged author also adds:
Indeed, having a diverse collection of clothing is overrated. We waste so much time worrying about things that have no substantial consequences, and don’t even realize how easily we could change this.
This is exactly why President José Mujica of Uruguay rejects conformity and refuses to wear a tie, stating:
The tie is a useless rag that constrains your neck.I am sure for the next fall/winter collections all of the major fashion houses will hire the president of Uruguay as a consultant.
I’m an enemy of consumerism. Because of this hyperconsumerism, we’re forgetting about fundamental things and wasting human strength on frivolities that have little to do with human happiness.
Have you ever been to Uruguay? I have. Let's just say they have bigger fishes to fry. They are not against consumerism, they just cannot afford it.
The article's last pearl of wisdom is:
True fulfillment is acquired by going out into the world and fostering palpable and benevolent changes.
Now everything is clearer: this dude was probably following one of those self-empowering online courses.. His daily consumption self-affirmations fuel his need to go out into the world and foster palpable and benevolent changes.
If we really want to say that life is complicated enough to allow the little things to dictate our happiness and all we need to do is to simplify, fair enough.
But let's not expect the same results that Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg or Albert Einstein managed to achieve.
Whatever form of laziness we indulge is not going to bring us any kind of success.
The only way to not let our appearance interfere with the perception others have of us is to make sure that we present ourselves at our best ALWAYS. Best doesn't mean fancy but it doesn't mean wearing a self imposed pseudo uniform either.
In the end it does come to looking the part.
If you are an iconic business groundbreaking entrepreneur you must look like one. You can either go simple or you can go fancy.
Just don't go with depressing.
And don't forget to foster palpable and benevolent changes...of clothes.
Ciao for now.