Tag Archives: Motive

Monday Motivations: Shaking the Jekyll and Hyde Masculinity


Fredric March in production still from Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde (1931, dir. Rouben Mamoulian)

(photo by Gordon Head, via Hollywood Horror: Gothic to Cosmic)

“Man is not truly one but truly two”, is the essence of the Novella -The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. This novelette written by Robert Louis Stevenson in 1887- about 120 years back. It is still the widely read masterpiece today.

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, the two characters of the novella are but one; one body two conflicting characters, the good and evil. what I find interesting is that the attire Dr. Jekyll wears is the clothing of what gentleman wore back  then. Dr. Jekyll walks & talks like a well-groomed, well read and well-bred refined man. But as we know just underneath the surface lies something sinister, something that is nothing like the picture above. This picture got me thinking about being genuine and to question who we really are on the inside. Jekyll’s problems began with his motives and desires.

As men it’s important to aspire to refine our personality, take an honest look at our flaws and make the needed changes that will elevate us to a greater sense of self or more importantly closer to what it means to be a gentleman. No amount of clothing, acting or appearance of genteel behavior will change what we may really be on the inside. Alfred Hyde ultimately destroyed the life of Dr. Jekyll. This is a cautionary tale of how it is important for us to be genuine in our intentions and in our actions. Dr. Jekyll was a player who became a pawn in his own game. I equate Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde to “Players”, men who talk like gentlemen, act like gentlemen, dress like gentlemen, but just under the surface they are something quite different. Let’s change this. We live in a society that tells men to express their masculinity based on their clothing, possessions, sexual prowess, or their physical power. With so much emphasis on the surface and what is transient, it’s tough to really know who is genuine and who is not. In the end though what’s important is to aspire to be better, more in touch of who we are on the inside. “What good is a new suit if the man inside is rotten?”

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Fashion Friday: Style As A Meditation


I am attempting to live this philosophy everyday: Style as a meditation and not a mere regulatory affair.

I recently did a post on The 7 Habits of Sylish People and most of the advice was character driven. I believe 70% of style is Character and the other 30% is Clothing. Most  think clothing is important. And I tend to agree, I live and love them. They can take you places, give you access to certain environments. Yet, if you don’t have solid character to back it up you’re like a boy in his fathers clothes. You’re only playing “dress up” and that’s called “acting.” Dressing to enhance vs dressing to hide are two different things. The goal should be deeper than that. It’s about motive and intent. Let’s deepen the conversation from how we look and who we wear to how we act and why we should care.

“Elegance is a question of personality, more than one’s clothing.” Jean-Paul Gaultier

Nothing is worse than arrogance dressed in elegance. Substance always trumps surface.However, a Twitter user reminded me:

“there are far worse things than arrogance dressed in elegance, arrogance dressed in ready-to-wear would be one. A good suit is worth plenty on a rotten man! It’s usually the ONLY thing he’s worth, so he may as well look fabulous!” –  Alexander Stacey

I think he is right in of those statements, there are far worse things a person can be (I know his intent was light banter)  but I think there is something to be said for a person who gives the appearance of refinement but proves false to this by the way he acts toward people. ( I cover this topic in a previous post) what good is a new suit if the man inside is rotten? We must not use clothing as a way to deceive others by hiding who we really are on the inside.

For example: A man hires a stylist to help him pick out clothes for an interview. Together they pick an appropriate shirt and tie, pair it impeccably with a tailored suit, possibly even stir within him the confidence he needs by means of coaching and direction beforehand so that he actually lands the job. Granted, the boss/interviewer is impressed with his résumé and his interviewing skills. But soon after the boss notices things that may make him question the hiring decision. His constant tardiness, failure to meet deadlines, incomplete or inaccurate reports or even laziness may make him more of a liability. Sure, he nailed the interview, made a good first impression and was a convincing candidate. But an awesome wardrobe won’t cover-up bad work ethic. He may be the topic of discussion and even the resident expert around the office on how to pair this with that. However, his sharp suit won’t be enough to save him from a pink slip.  Even if he has entrepreneurial aspirations his behaviors won’t get him very far.

Clothing should enhance our persona, but we also need to do the work that is required to change traits, habits or more importantly, behaviors that may be counter productive to our personal development. How? Think about the last conversation you had with your boss about your performance, your good friend or significant other about your relationship? Were you listening closely to the things you needed to tweak or even change to become a better or refined version of yourself? Or did you scoff at their suggestions? Stylish people should balance what’s in their closet with what’s in their head. They know that teachers come in the form of people they meet, places they go and in events they experience. Thus, when we go out into the world dressed up or move through life rocking our killer “look” it will be far more than just mere sartorial elegance.

Start from the inside & the rest will follow. Less “clothes maketh the man” more “the man maketh the clothes.” – Dublo

Thank you MyrtleTakesTeadublonothing for inspiring this post and engaging me in some brisk debate on style.

TheStyleGent

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Transformations: Monday Motivation-Living The Life of Mastery vs Mediocrity


 


I write a lot on this blog about changing yourself from the inside out. Becoming an “Internal Stylist”  to your personality is a very revealing and often surprising endeavor. “Character Tailoring” forces you to look in the mirror and see how you really think and feel about the real important issues in your life. This gentleman’s journey has had some  interesting twists and turns. And now I’m on the path to become the best possible version of myself. I feel as if I am giving my mind and heart a complete system overhaul like I would do my laptop. I’ve upgraded my attitude, re-installed my motivation and tweaked little habits here and there to run a little smoother, quieter and more efficient. The process has been full of crashes and reboots but I think I’ve become more compatible with my purpose and I’m now at version 4.0.

Maybe you’re in that same place, looking to upgrade, reboot and make some changes in your life to gain some mastery over your purpose or passion. Well, for most getting started isn’t an issue. We all have pretty good internal motivations. Some of us may not even have a problem staying the course. For most of us the trick I believe is staying balanced.

“Try not to think and act in extremes. Instead,  become a student of balance. There is wisdom in balance. Balance is the ability to see danger in excess or inertness. It’s the ability to  keep up our physical, mental, emotional & spiritual health-become a student of Balance.”

When we are balance we are able to look at ourselves in a constructive way (not too harshly or loosely) so that real change can be made and goals achieved. I often think about it this way: If the thing that you are reaching out for throws you out of sync with your health, relationships, your mental, spiritual and emotional stability, then you may be in danger of not being balanced. Mastery comes when we can say no to the interruptions of that balance. Life makes all of us its students, the key is learning in the least amount of time so we can get to our purpose faster. We do that by knowing ourselves, we get to know ourselves by questioning our motivations.

Some  people might say: “I don’t want to settle, sounds like balance is another word for mediocrity.” But balance isn’t like someone having no motivation at all. It’s the difference between doing nothing and doing too much at all cost. Here’s a suggestion: the next time you watch TVOne’s Life After or VH1’s Behind The Music think about the energy that was spent on the goals the person had and the physical, emotional and mental cost vs the happiness they did or did not gain. Ultimately, most of the people are happy because they found purpose or better yet, balance in the things that they are doing in their lives now . but it was only AFTER they learned to be balance did they really realize the full mastery of their purpose.

We all should live a life of passion, move closer to the thing that drives us to wake up in the morning and conquer our fears. Go out there.Work hard. Be. Do. Just remember to master the balance of goals vs the true cost to our happiness.

Dress Internally.

TheStyleGent

“Think like a man of action, and act like a man of thought.”

Henri L. Bergson (French philosopher, 1859 – 1941)

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Transformations: “Diva’s Wanna Know”- Her Love Questions Answered Part III


A few months ago I was asked to take part in a blog series called “Divas Wanna Know” by @Jendiva of Mind of a Diva, a great blog for women full of empowering posts that encourage women to redefine what it means to be a Diva.

This is part three of questions that women wanted to ask men in a frank and honest way. Here’s part I & part II.

What questions would you have asked? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

1. How will you know when you’ve met the right woman? Or if you’re in a relationship how did you know?

For me it was a slow realization. As I spent time with her all my fears (yes we get scared too, no matter what we tell you) began to dissolve and I realized this was the person I NEEDED to be with (her personality complimented mine) and WANTED to be with (she is the one that I want to spend all of my time with) and when I realized this I had to marry her.

2. Is it important for you (as a man) to have a partner (wife) that is an intellectual equal or are there more important factors that you consider?

What’s more important is similar VALUES. What does she BELIEVE in? What motivates the course of her life? Sure intelligence is important, but what good is all that intellect if she doesn’t share the values you hold dear?

3. Why do men use texting, email, chat, and other nonverbal methods to end a relationship? Why do they feel that’s acceptable?

Unfortunately this is a generational thing, it’s irresponsible, disrespectful and lazy. What used to be a cop-out confined to High School and College is now infiltrated into “adult relationships.” Grown men in their late 20’s and up to their 40’s are using texting as way to deceive and avert responsibility. Why? Because way before the relationship is over, he’s already divorced his emotions and doesn’t want to deal with the woman. In his eyes sending a text, email or any other non verbal communication is his way of not dealing with the “emotional drama.” However, If a man needs to have a serious conversation with his woman it needs to face to face, period.

4. What does it take for men to commit to a relationship?

I can’t speak for other men but for me I needed to connect and feel that she appreciated the time and effort I put in opening myself up to her, sharing my values, goals. When I know she and I are on the same page or even despite our differences we are able to respect each others mental, emotional and spiritual pursuits, that’s when I knew that I needed to be with her forever.

5. Do you think it’s important to feed yourself spiritually? If so, how do you feed your soul?

I think it’s very important. I believe it’s what keeps you grounded to a theme and a purpose in your life. I try to stay actively involved my place of worship. I read a verse in the Scriptures that relates to a specific dilemma or even a character trait I’m trying to develop. Wisdom and humility are the two that I’ve tried to work on and master.

6. As a man do you feel that women’s standards are too high when they are looking for someone to date/be in a relationship with?

That depends on what their standards are. In reality it’s all about mirroring the qualities you want a mate to have in your own life. Honestly speaking, you can’t want a specific quality In a man that you don’t already have in yourself. That’s only fair. One of my Twitter friends once said “You can’t ask for Superman unless you are at least a Wonder Woman.”

Dress Internally – TheStyleGent

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Monday Motivations: The Power Of Intent, The Power Of Words


“What is the quality of your intent?

Certain people have a way of saying things that shake us at the core. Even when the words do not seem harsh or offensive, the impact is shattering. What we could be experiencing is the intent behind the words. When we intend to do good, we do. When we intend to do harm, it happens. What each of us must come to realize is that our intent always comes through. We cannot sugarcoat the feelings in our heart of hearts. The emotion is the energy that motivates. We cannot ignore what we really want to create. We should be honest and do it the way we feel it. What we owe to ourselves and everyone around is to examine the reasons of our true intent.

My intent will be evident in the results.” – Thurgood Marshall

What are you creating for the greater good? In a world where words hurt of heal, sometimes it’s good to pause and reflect on how our speech and actions resonate. Lately there has been a lot of nasty rhetoric directed towards women in the media. Political and social issues aside, It’s our HUMAN responsibility to watch what we say to each other. That rapier wit you may posses can cut long and deep into a persons psyche, causing irreparable damage to someone’s self-esteem. True, “We cannot sugarcoat the feelings in our heart of hearts. The emotion is the energy that motivates.” But snark and cynicism, while initially seen as intelligent social banter can carry a high cost. When we use words that berate and bully others, those words may actually cost someone their life socially or even literally. So men, women, take the time to measure your words, even when things get heated. If you do you’ll find that you’ll spend less time apologizing and more time enjoying the differences that keep us attracted to one another.

Think Deeply, Speak Quietly, Dress Internally.

The Style Gent

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