Imagine, if you will, a massive snowball at the top of a hill. At the base of the hill, there are two men standing side by side. The snowball begins to roll down the hill toward the two men, growing in size and speed. One of the men looks to the other and says, "Look at this. This kind of [thing] always happens to me. Look at it! Its headed right for me. Just watch. I'm telling you." The other man looks at the looming threat, looks back at the other man and then steps out of the snowball's path. The first man gets clobbered and his theory is proven correct. The second man goes skiing.
The moral of this simple story is that if you expect the worst to happen, it will. At all times, even in the most dire situations, you have a choice. You can focus on that which is wrong or that which is right. You can appreciate the beauty in people or you can look for their flaws. The assumptions you make about your won life often become true for you, and the assumptions you make about others can ruin relationships.
A negative mind-set goes way beyond your immediate perception of a given situation. Your attitude is perceptible to others. People notice if you are critical, cynical and angry at the world. It makes people pull away from you, it lessons your chances of promotion or advancement in the workplace, and it makes you a lousy date. And as you find yourself feeling rejected, overlooked and denied, you sink even further into your black hole of isolation and resentment, and the situation worsens. This ridiculous cycle would be laughable if it weren't so destructive to so many lives.
Obviously life is never all sunshine and puppies, and nobody wants to be around a psychotically optimistic cheerleader, but a positive outlook and open mind have far more benefits than the obvious. Achieving a positive outlook is a matter of choice. Do not focus on the misery of being overweight - think about how good it will feel to be sexy, fit and strong. Do not wallow in the misery of your job - focus on your options and begin to visualize where you would like to be. The idea is to focus on what you want, and you will begin to move toward it. If you focus on the negative situation that is making you unhappy, you will stay there. Whether its debt, loneliness or boredom, think about what you want to replace it with and hold onto that picture like a randy pitbull with a new chew toy.
Bear in mind, though, that there is no job, no lover and no financial status that will bring you happiness. True, these things may increase your enjoyment of life and relieve stress, but you cannot spend your life waiting to be rescued by any one of them. You should always have goals, but living your life with some distantly imagined finish line is a sad way to go. Your life is happening now. It may change in the future, but that doesn't mean that today doesn't count. Just because you are digging your way out of debt, that doesn't mean you can't go for a hike in the sunshine. Carrying a few extra pounds doesn't mean you can't find someone to love, and there are few situations in life that are truly inescapable.
One thing that is certain is that if you feel sorry for yourself, assume that you are powerless or decide that a situation is hopeless, there can only be one outcome. You will be sorry, powerless and hopeless. Any sports psychologist will tell you that if you constantly indulge in defeatist thinking, you will surely be defeated. You may have great challenges or obstacles in your path, but if you know what you truly want and are prepared to make it happen, there is nothing that you cannot achieve in one form or another. It all comes down to the little choices you make on a daily basis.
- Michael Flocker, The Metrosexual Guide to Style
Mike closed his book with an interesting chapter on the metrosexual mind-set. Things like the power of positivity, confidence, humor, attitude, etc.. Near as I can tell, he subscribes to either a Hindu or perhaps Buddist religion, or perhaps just considers himself a modern day (essentially agnostic) spiritualist.
But I still think a good deal of what he said above is spot on. Its interesting how the secular can so often deal true wisdom in spades. It never seems to find a winning hand, though...
The book, while a wee bit pretentious, is a good read for the modern man. I'd say that personally, thanks in large part to my job choices the first 5 years out of school, and in lesser part to simply being a socially conscious individual living in the NYC area, only about 20% of the knowledge in this book was new stuff I could walk away with. I'm not saying that puts me in the top 20% of stylish men, but I do see guys my age on the train even here in New York wearing ties with short sleeves or still wearing the label on the sleeve of their peacoat.
I consider myself a heterosexual, and find it more than a little absurd that society saw fit to label this trend as a sexual one, because I really feel it has little to do with sexuality. Michael's book spoke precious little to the sexual nature of a metrosexual, and what little was there seemed forced (perhaps because he attempts to blend the line to imply that gay, bi, or straight men could all qualify for the honorable title).
While I identify with many of the preconceptions associated with the title, I feel the trend itself is grossly misnomered. The fact that I can recognize and assimilate the culturally relavent styles of my era have little or in fact nothing to do with sexual practice, something that remains unchanged by society on a historical scale. People have been perverting this God-given gift since culture itself began. Sin doesn't change.