Easy to Be Cool

cool gray hairIt started awhile back, when a colleague complimented me and said I was one of the coolest people she knew. The impact was such that I wrote it down. I didn't know why it felt good to be cool, but it did. As I was recently flipping through my little book of things I write down, I saw it again and smiled. Cool feels great. Whatever it is.

How to define coolness? I thought it would be a struggle, but it turns out someone did it for us. Ilan Dar-Nimrod, Ph.D., is lead author of “Coolness: An Empirical Investigation.” Here's an article about the study you'll probably enjoy more than the study itself. Social scientists and their pesky data!

It turns out coolness used to be associated with rebelliousness and counterculture. According to Dar-Nimrod, there's still a tiny bit of that in there if you squint, but now most people have a different definition of cool. Cool people are friendly, warm, attractive, confident and successful. Comfortable in their skin, as we say.

Well, no wonder cool feels good. That's us, right? We are rocking the middle ages ... quietly confident mutations of our younger selves. James DeanEvolved, personable, opinionated, articulate, funny. We share our thoughts and support each other on the interwebs. We insist on being visible, and we try to look good, damn it. We may not be rock stars or CEOs, but we are passionate about what we do at work and at home. We are successful citizens of planet Earth.

We are cool. Not necessarily James Dean cool, but cool as only we can be. I saw this quote attributed to Oscar Wilde. I wrote it down in my little book of things I write down. Remember it when you feel anything but cool.

Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken.

Donna Pekar writes about aging with panache. It's about being fearlessly gray and relentlessly cool.

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