Feb 09

bondIt is better to appear teflon to people than it is to appear vulnerable. No-one likes a malcontent who bears the weight of the world on his shoulders, but everyone respects James Bond. What does 007 have to do with this? Well he is a master of “the cool”, thus his famous words “shaken but not stirred”. To the average guys defense though, I would say that if half of us could score prime quality tail as much as Bond does, we would be aloof to stress like he is… or would we really?

Mastering the cool starts with wearing a mask, it was the hardest part of the lesson for me being that I am not a liar. I have spent a lifetime trying my best to be upfront and honest with no need for facade with the flawed thinking that this would make me a “man of honor”. I took it too literally, since being a “man of honor” requires mastery of the cool amongst other things and to master the cool you must be a master of disguise. In other words, you must appear one way even though internally you are quite the opposite.

The main struggles I have been having lately is in answering the probing questions people ask about my life. “How is your business doing?”, “how’s your social life?” most of the time they come off as empty questions, things people ask to keep communication going etc. I used to be honest answering the questions with long explanations based on my current situation. The eyes would gloss over, they would get distracted, and I suddenly appear uncool, I may even seem to be bragging or at times pitying myself. All out of honest realistic answers. So how should I have answered them?

“Everything’s good”.

That’s it, short, simple, direct, and the interest they had (which was none to begin with), stays on the level, you can continue on more interesting subjects since you didn’t add to their woes. See Man is a selfish creature, filled with ego and “me, me, me”. To tell people you are doing extremely well or extremely poorly is like prodding them to look outside of their bubble and give you props or pity. They hate that.

So let’s rehearse a Cool exchange:

Friend: Hey Greg how’s your business going?
Greg: Things look good, how’s work? You guys have anything special coming up?
Friend: blah, blah, blah

See how “The Cool” works? The formula is to volley personal questions back tactfully within conversation being that the other person could care less anyway. Here’s a more detailed example:

Friend: Hey Greg you talking to any females right now?
What I really want to say: No way, don’t have much time for a personal life since I’m trying to get my business flowing at the moment.
The Right Response: I’m doing my thing, how’s the wife and kids? Everything alright?

Bam! Now that’s the cool, practice and perfect it and you will be happy. No more probing questions, nor the uncomfortable looks after your long drawn out explanation. Remember, nobody gives a sh-t about your personal life, cater to their ego and sieze the day.

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