So, you've been out of school for a while and your full-time job is taking up all your time. One day, on the three-hour long train journey to work, you catch yourself in the mirror.
Who is standing there? Is it Mr. Miller in his brown vest, caterpillar eyebrows and tucked-in trousers pulled up to his bellybutton? Or, is it Mr. Coolzone, the man with glo-sticks for eyebrows and a verbose knowledge of fun subjects that he's keen to share?
If you're seeing Mr. Miller in the mirror right now and wish you didn't, then read on. If you're seeing Mr. Miller and thinking you look great, then you are already far more emotionally mature than this article and will gain just as little as anybody else by reading it.
1. The Visual Aspect
As the Cheetos creature so wistfully explained, "it's not easy being cheesy." In this scenario we're going to imagine that he said "cool" instead of "cheesy," and then tell him that actually, it is easy to be cool. The process of becoming, or remaining cool remains largely the same no matter what age of fashion you might find yourself in, either temporally or geographically.
Look at what is around you. Listen to yourself closely and with care until the mental alarm bells ring the songs of, "wow that is really cool!" Once that happens, just copy exactly what it is you've just looked at. It doesn't matter what it is, just emulate its visual character. If it's somebody on the TV then just search for the exact clothes they're wearing online and buy them.
If it's a piece of bark, go to a charity shop and find some brown, bark-like clothing. If it's a painting, then paint yourself. If you think it's cool, then there's a minute chance somebody else will and then they'll think you're cool and try to look like you, which means they'll be trying to look like a human that's trying to look like a piece of bark, which is cool, right?
2. The Zany Aspect
This is crucial to standing out as an individual, which is what somebody who's trying to be an individual alongside all the other supposed individuals really wants to be able to do, like you. So, how do you include this zany aspect of character into your new style? Just take the first thing that pops into your head and wear just one thing that resembles it.
In most cases, the mind's random first choice will be radically different from the thing you thought was really cool, to begin with. This means that when you borrow an element of it for your look, contrast will be formed and thus, brightness and a popping effect will occur. To increase the weight of this aspect, create the contrast in an unorthodox area of your body, like your elbow, the back of your knee, or your groin.
3. The Conversation Aspect
So, you're walking through the park wearing clothes that resemble the bark of a willow tree with Windows XP stickers on the backs of your knees, which succeed in creating a wildly radical contrast in your overall, wicked style. Everything's going well, you're feeling good and what's this?
A member of your preferred sex has noticed you and is closing in rapidly, that's what. S/He struts up to you, swinging her/is hips like the pendulum of a grandfather's clock and wailing so loudly that it hurts. You fall to the floor, trying to drown out the sound by clutching your poor ears, but it rises until the beautiful individual is standing over you. S/He says, "hey, wanna get some coffee sometimes?"
You stand up, brush the dirt off your bark, slick back your hair and say, "I haven't had a day off work in three years."
S/He laughs and says, "you're funny," as she catches a glimpse of the Windows XP sticker on the back of your knee and bites her/is lip.
In your mind, you smile, grow old and have six children together, all albino (except Thomas), but in reality, you start naming countries in alphabetical order. Not surprisingly, s/he's already turned to leave by the time you've reached the letter "H".
What do you think happened there? Obviously, your conversation was weak. You didn't have any opinions. There were no references to pop culture. Heck, you didn't even answer the question that began the conversation.
Start brushing up on topics that will interest other people, as well as yourself. That way you don't have to resort to meditative, anxiety-curing country naming, however impressive it may be.
4. The Response Aspect
Really, this is what all the other aspects have been doing. Coolness, lameness, sillyness and anythingness are all responses to your surroundings, whether it be visually, contrastingly, or conversationally.
The image, style and expression of yourself in a world amongst others is something that can be consciously manipulated in the hope to have an intended impact on the surrounding landscape of minds, as opposed to an unintentional noodle-like pile of random movements that may or may not result in an outcome you desire.
Though, perhaps even the latter is beyond our capabilities and something entirely different is happening in this apparently tubular experience.
Are you now Mr/Mrs Coolzone? Let me know how these steps did for you below!