“What good does it do to dress for success if your mind is bare? Seek first to dress your mind for the success you desire.” –Ciara Lilly
So I am guessing that we all have a favorite actor or actress. You know that actor or actress that releases a new film and, no matter what the film is about, we’re there to see it:
Cue the dramatic movie trailer music
“Kerry Washington stars in… Watching Paint Dry…”
It doesn’t matter what follows, I’ve already deemed that film Oscar-worthy and will be purchasing my movie tickets early. Okay, maybe that’s a little extreme, but you get the point.
Think about your favorite actor/actress. Now, think about them in character. You’ll notice that everything they’re wearing, even their hair cut, makeup, etc. is connected to the persona they’re playing on screen. But imagine what would happen if they didn’t memorize their lines. They would look the part, but wouldn’t be able to play the part, right?
Similarly, we have become a society that’s committed to looking the part, without being able to play the part; because in order to play the part, you have to dress your mind, first. Let me give an example:
Let’s say you’re interested in becoming a real estate agent. And you know that first impressions are crucial in that industry (like all other industries). So you decide to invest all your savings into a new wardrobe. On television, you notice that all the successful real estate agents have fancy clothes and jewelry, so you have to follow in their footsteps. How else will you look the part? Once you get the wardrobe, you schedule a meeting with a local brokerage firm. During the meeting, you’re being asked about your real estate experience, your credentials, etc. To which, you have nothing to show. You didn’t invest in real estate school, so you don’t have a real estate licenses. And without the licenses, you cannot establish any credentials.
What do you think the result of that meeting would be? The lesson that you would learn from that experience can be applied to any industry.
If you consider some of the most successful trailblazers of our generation, you’ll notice that they never became distracted with looking the part. Instead, they sought all the knowledge and wisdom that would produce the success they desired. And once they achieved insurmountable success, they didn’t run out to splurge on looking the part; they focused on building their minds’ wardrobe. Need an example, just look at Bill Gates.
Now, I’m not saying that dressing for success isn’t important. Trust me, it most certainly is. You want to look your best. But I often see more emphasis put on dressing for success rather than dressing our minds with the knowledge and wisdom needed to produce the success that we desire.
You will be tempted to look the part; you will be surrounded by people who confuse dressing for success with wearing all of the designer brands, but do not become distracted. A Rolex will not do it, the newest Air Jordan’s will not do it, your mind is the key that will unlock the success you desire.