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How to Hack Men’s Style

How to Hack Men’s Style

Silly Monster

    Too many men look like hell and don’t need to. It’s not about being messy, some guys look great messy (most don’t). It’s about style. Most of us want or need more of it. Here are the hacks to get you there.

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    Personal “brand”

    First. What is your personal brand? What are five words that describe you? Ask your friends for a few words to describe you. That is your current style. If that doesn’t work for you, what do you want instead? List those words.

    How conventional are you? Do you take risks? Are you serious? Playful? My personal brand has a lot of humor, and I am pretty comfortable being the center of attention, so I can get away with wearing a bright pink sport coat, or four different patterns (coordinated, of course), but I fade into the woodwork if I’m wearing a grey suit, white shirt and red tie. That’s me. Who are you?

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    Look for other styles

    Next, find magazines that speak to your style. Look at the ads and the photos. What are the guys wearing? Imagine yourself in that. Would that look good on you? (some of the things in magazines are to be avoided, by the way) Read the style articles, too, but don’t always believe them when they say that this or that trend is coming back. “Hats” have been coming back for almost 50 years, but have never quite recovered since the 1950s. Don’t buy one because they are trendy, buy one because you like it.

    Go to a store (that fits your style…) and browse. I know, we’re guys, we prefer hunting over gathering. So, think of this as scouting for your prey. Take a friend whose judgment you trust and run ideas by him / her, but make your own decisions! (BTW, you will make mistakes. That’s OK, that’s how you learn…) If you don’t have a friend you trust with this stuff, walk up to someone else in the store and ask his or her opinion about the shirt / suit / shoes you are wearing. This is a fun way to meet people, too.

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    Get some professional help

    Find a knowledgeable salesperson in the store and enlist his / her help. Remember, they may be on commission, so they may want to sell you stuff you don’t really want, you will need to use judgment here too. A good salesperson won’t do this, preferring to build a relationship instead. You want that too, so that they will tell you about upcoming sales and offer to put stuff aside for you. This is VERY important if you are in any way a non-standard size (says the guy who is 6’5″). Anyway…ask him / her what colors and cuts look best on you. Not everyone looks good in all colors and patterns. Blue is great for me, dark grey not so much. Similarly, bold patterns make people look bigger and broader, which is great if you are 5’6″ and 120 pounds, but not if you are 6’0″ and 350 pounds.

    Lastly, enjoy the process. There is a science, as well as an art, and you can learn both. Don’t take it seriously (except for those few occasions when you must, like funerals).

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    By the way, that is me in the photo above, no stock photo could capture the mood quite right….

     

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    Dave Kaiser

    An Executive Coach who helps people make better use of their time, from productivity to living their life's mission.

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    Last Updated on January 21, 2020

    The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

    The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

    Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

    your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

      Why You Need a Vision

      Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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      How to Create Your Life Vision

      Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

      What Do You Want?

      The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

      It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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      Some tips to guide you:

      • Remember to ask why you want certain things
      • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
      • Give yourself permission to dream.
      • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
      • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

      Some questions to start your exploration:

      • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
      • What would you like to have more of in your life?
      • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
      • What are your secret passions and dreams?
      • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
      • What do you want your relationships to be like?
      • What qualities would you like to develop?
      • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
      • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
      • What would you most like to accomplish?
      • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

      It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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      What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

      Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

      A few prompts to get you started:

      • What will you have accomplished already?
      • How will you feel about yourself?
      • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
      • What does your ideal day look like?
      • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
      • What would you be doing?
      • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
      • How are you dressed?
      • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
      • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
      • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

      It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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      Plan Backwards

      It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

      • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
      • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
      • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
      • What important actions would you have had to take?
      • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
      • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
      • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
      • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
      • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

      Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

      It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

      Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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