Get Up ! Dress Up ! Show Up !

People ask me how do you know what your next article in the blog should be on ? And like everything else in my life , my answer to this is also simple . The universe is so large and expansive with so many things going on at once. So I leave it to the universe to give me my next topic to write on . And true to my belief , the universe has once again dropped this conversation into my backyard, which compelled me to write this piece.

I was talking to my good friend, Yyteen , and he asked me , ” Juthka do you really believe in the concept of image – that you need to make an impression with the way you dress ? ”  I said , ” Yes , I do ” . He was perhaps a little perturbed by my conviction and said , ” Ok then , I won’t take your time to discuss this any further ” But I said, ” Wait ! I know what you mean . For you it is more about the inner beauty and the qualities a person has, that are more important than the way he/she dresses . Right ? ” His enthusiastic ” Yes, Yes ! That’s Right ! ” is still ringing in my ears and brought laughter to my eyes.

In many ways I agree with Yyteen. Because what we are at the core of our being, is what our true self is all about . However , realistically speaking , this core value or goodness can be seen by others only through our outer appearance. Isn’t that the reason why spiritual leaders, priests, pujaris, maulvis , saints, babas and even gods and goddesses are dressed in their spiritual uniforms ? The clothing of any individual is the basic identification of that person. Women wear feminine clothings and men wear clothes that are showcase their masculanity . Our outer appearance – that is our clothes , our behaviour and our speech show who we are.

Aha ! I hear you . You are saying that looks can be deceiving , right ? A sadhu wearing the right attire may not be a god-man that he professes to be . A good looking man dressed in a fancy suit and boot , may not be a sophisticated gentleman after all. True . Very True. I agree with you 100% . That is why inner beauty is also important . Clothes may deceive you to a certain extent but the inner goodness or ugliness will show itself in the behaviour and speech of the person. Like Yyteen had an amazing experience with some Australian delegates . Unfortunately , when he went to meet the foreign dignitaries , a crow did the unthinkable and Yyteen’s clothes were messed up. He, however, attended the meeting . Yyteen admitted , that the dignitaries were disturbed by his soiled clothes. But his confidence, his dedication towards his work and the passion with which he made the presentation (his inner qualities) won the hearts and minds of the Australians. For a minute , if we assume that Yyteen himself was upset by his appearance and faltered in his abilities, then the lack of confidence would have been evident in his speech and behaviour. So you see image is not just about your clothing . It goes far deeper into your core personalitiy . Building your inner strengths so that they reflect in your outer appearance of behaviour and speech as well. Image is all about knowing who you are – inside-out ; and presenting your best self forward .

On the other hand,  dressing well , also boosts your self-esteem and confidence to a large extent . Try walking into a high-end retail store in shabby clothes. Do you think the sales people there will give you any importance at all ?  Your unsightly appearance makes them draw so many conclusions about your worthiness , your purchasing power, your background, your job, and so amny other aspects of your life. However, if you are dressed in a smart attire, a string of salesboys/girls will be attentive to your every need. At a party , we do get judged by what we wear . The fact is , we get rated on the basis of our appearance almost everywhere. At an interview, for example , you will be considered capable and reliable if you have taken the pains to be attentive to the little things about dressing well. If not, then they might assume that you are careless and irresposible. So even before you get a chance to exhibit your inner qualities / qalifiications, you get rejected because of your appearance.

No matter how much people may deny its  importance, appearance rules the world  . Would you agree to marry a girl/boy who is unappealing ? Looks create that attraction and only after that do we explore the inner qualities of the person in question. Years down the line you may break up with your partner citing incompatibility and a mismatch in the other qualities like behaviour, treatment and even core values. But the fact remains that the initial relationship was built on the basis of appearance. I guess that’s how we got the clichè ‘love at first sight ‘.

So you see , to be successful in your personal and professional life, both inner and outer beauty play a role of equal importance. When the two are in tandem with each other , that’s when you have a winning image . Authentic and attractive in every sense of the words ! That is why your image needs to be beautiful inside out.

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