Wearing expensive suits, carrying the latest gadgets or vacationing in Monte Carlo won't make you the most sought after person in room. Even my friend James Bond would agree--if we could ever stop playing phone tag--that it's not his impeccable Tom Ford suits but an inner je ne sais quoi that makes others swoon with admiration.
Maybe James Bond isn't your icon of cool. From Atlanta's hip-hop culture to Australia's surfing culture what's considered cool is both varied and beautifully individualized. Whether you live in Soho or Tokyo, the key to cracking the code on coolness is to realize that true coolness comes from knowing yourself.
How can you tap into the source of your inner awesomeness and discover your best self?
When my dear friend Dr. Suess and I were vacationing in Katroo, he shared something that will always stay with me, "Today you are you! That is truer than true! There is no one alive who is you-er than you!"
Authenticity arises from knowing yourself. The journey to self-knowledge begins with the question: Who am I? Sit by yourself and ask yourself this question. Keep asking yourself this question and allow all the labels and identifications that come up--profession, gender, race, religion, nationality, personality traits and the roles we play--to fall away. Let the question lead you to silence.
It's hard to exude authenticity when your sense of self comes from other's opinions and labels about you. Questions such as Who am I? and What is my purpose on this planet? are tools for introspection. Once glimpses of clarity dawn, our presences radiates with transparency, integrity and purpose.
Be Confident but Humble
There are voluminous tomes...okay, thousands of blogs...about increasing your confidence. But even a 10-year-old can spot someone feigning confidence or bravado. True confidence comes from a space of contentment. It comes from a trust that you'll always get what you need when you need it.
Before departing this world, Ernest Hemingway shared this tidbit of insight with me, "There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self." Confident people are sometimes arrogant, while humble people sometimes lack self-assurance. Confidence combined with humility is a rare and wondrous quality.
Be Happy for Others
When you find your happiness in the joy of others, your happiness never diminishes. When you play a game with your kid, you're happy whether you've won or they've won. What if we extended this attitude to our friends? You'll be the first person people call to share good news, because they know you'll share their enthusiasm. Research on altruism indicates that giving of yourself not only increases happiness but is an instinctive human trait.
As Mark Twain mused on our last riverboat cruise on the Mississippi River, "Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow-mindedness." No one likes to feel excluded, yet we sometimes forget this when we interact with others. When you include everyone in your circle, your network of friends becomes unlimited. Make everyone feel part of you, and you'll be the most popular person everywhere you go.
Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar has magnified the ancient Indian principle of vasudhaiva kutumbakam or one world family to truly global proportions. On March 11-13, 2016, his Art of Living Foundation is hosting the World Cultural Festival in New Delhi. The celebration features 35,973 artistes showcasing music and dance from around the world on a seven-acre stage. An audience of 3.5 million people is expected to attend the event.
Gurudev believes, "The knowledge of the oneness that we share with the world can bring people out of their narrow mindsets. A bigger vision of life can kindle human values, enabling one to see diversity in oneness and unity in diversity."
It's hard to project awesomeness, when the vibe you're actually sending out is stressed and agitated. Research on meditative breathing techniques suggests that it not only alleviates everyday stress but also post-traumatic stress and stress-related medical illnesses. Aside from relieving stress, meditation also improves your perception so you don't sweat the small stuff.
While iconic locations such as Ocho Rios and Lake Picchola may be on your bucket list, your daily meditation is a vacation you can take everyday. Then you'll find that every day is a vacation and celebration.
To join the World Culture Festival click here.
This post is part of a blog series produced by The Huffington Post in partnership with the Art of Living Foundation for the World Culture Festival. The goal of the series is to present thought leadership, opinions and solutions from leaders of multidisciplinary sectors of business, politics, arts, culture, music and religion who are assembling in India for the World Culture Festival, along with 3.5 million people, to celebrate humanity and promote peace, harmony and harmonious co-existence. The effort is also part of The Huffington Post's "What's Working" solutions-oriented journalism initiative.
Courtesy : The Huffington Post