You’re Not as Cool as You Think You Are

“There’s no such thing as being cool. People who pretend to be cool have more emotional layers.” – Lee Yoon-ki

The other day, I had a co-worker say some less than cool shit to me. Went something like, “. . . you’re not as cool as you think you are, Jalito.” But of course she was wrong, clearly strung out on meth, and wrong again. I’m not mad, she’s just wrong.

Actually, she was very right.

This was all said in good fun, but it struck a chord because this has been something that I’ve been thinking about a lot lately. No, not me being un-cool, asshole. But this idea of, what is being “cool” really? What does it mean to be cool, because I’m not so sure that anyone is cool. And if they are truly a cool cat, it’s the same thing as someone who’s truly confident.

Someone who is truly confident is someone who’s not relying on their looks, or their ripped six-pack, or their intellect to bring them higher up on the social ladder. They’re confident because they’ve accepted who they are. This is true confidence––acceptance. Not all this self-help bullshit that people are trying to sell you on.

(But when you’re done reading this, for 3 payments of $69.95, I’ll email you the secrets on how to really be cool).

Chances are these people have looked at all the dark corners of the mind and have found acceptance waiting behind the veil. Or, they’ve been tested time and time again, but yet continue to choose love over everything. It’s easy to choose hate when we’ve been wronged, but to choose love? Shit, now that’s a superpower, dude.

So I think the same thing applies to someone who’s trying to be cool. If you’re trying to be cool or maintain an image, you couldn’t be less cool. Hypocritically, as I say this, two weeks ago I tried to be cool, and I couldn’t have been less cool.


About two weeks ago, I was in class and when the professor asked to elaborate on a question, I thought it’d be a smart idea to raise my hand, in the front row, of a class with 200+ students, to give a long winded answer to her question.

i regret

As I began to talk, little by little, every part of me slowly began to constrict out of fear. Not because I was answering a question. No, I had done that before. That was easy. I was constricting because before she even asked the question, as Chris D’Elia would say, I was fucking ready to drop some hot, hot heat on the class. I wanted to be the one to let these fools know how much I knew about psychedelic assisted-psychotherapy. Yeah, I’ll show these Mo Fo’s.

In short, I wanted to be cool and by wanting to be cool, I most definitely did not show those Mo Fo’s. What really happened? I barely got the words out of my mouth, and the words that did manage to come out, I’m not sure they even made coherent sense. Justice was served.

Those moments where she ask the class a question and I answer for the sake of simply answering the question, not a single twinge of fear is to be found. But, the second I add expectations to that, or my intention is for personal gain, that’s where everything changes. Now I have something to lose. Now I have a self-image that can be damaged–which is exactly what this was.

Someone acting like they’re cool is an insecurity. I’m human, and I have my insecurities. Instead of truly being myself, it’s easier to say a joke that I know will get a laugh and if it doesn’t, who cares. Wasn’t really me anyways. But, if I say that joke that falls flat, or do that embarrassing thing by putting myself out there and it’s not received with love, well that’s where real hurt is.

We all get caught up trying to act cool from time to time. We’re human, and it can actually work in our favor when needed. But when the ego goes too long without being kept in line, then we come across moments like these. Let my little reality check be a good reminder that we could all benefit from implementing more humility into our lives, and if we can’t seem to do it ourselves, don’t worry, because it’ll find us.

So, if you’re reading this, like me, you’re probably not as cool as you think you are.

“At 18, a rather triumphant Benjamin Franklin returned to visit Boston, the city he’d run away from. Full of pride, he had a new suit, a watch and a pocketful of coins that he showed to everyone he ran into. All posturing by a boy who was not much more than an employee in a print shop in Philadelphia.

In a meeting with Cotton Mather, one of the town’s most respected figures, Franklin quickly illustrated just how ridiculously inflated his young ego had become. As they walked down a hallway, Mather suddenly admonished him, “Stoop! Stoop!” Too caught up in his performance, Franklin walked right into a low ceiling beam.

Mather’s response was perfect: “Let this be a caution to you not always to hold your head so high,” he said wryly. “Stoop, young man, stoop—as you go through this world—and you’ll miss many hard thumps.”” – Ryan Holiday


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