- Bin every piece of clothing that fails to make you look great. Yea, even those really comfy track suit pants that your kids say you look like Miss Piggy in.
- Wear great shoes. Aidan Malone of Geraghtys Mans Shop in Galway, and the super salesperson in my article ‘Anatomy of a Sale’, tells me you can make a €200 suit look like a €1,000 suit with the right shoes. The converse is equally true. In addition, great shoes directly impact your energy levels. Aidan reliably informs me that there are 200,000 nerve endings connecting your feet to every organ in your body. Better shoes improve your posture, your balance, your agility, your confidence, your performance, your results.
My son Ogie plays out half for the Jes senior rugby team. Only last week, against arch rivals Garbally, I watched as he kicked three kicks out on the full and gifted the Garbally full back with three others. In a standard coaching debrief after the game he put it all down to the footwear – ‘Yellow Puma Powercats’ to be precise,
and a ‘steal at €165’. Call it the placebo or whatever, but today he informed me that his performance against city rivals ‘The Bish’ was in the ‘Ronan O’Gara league’
- Get great accessories – belt, bag (even Clive Derham, that most macho of men in SMACHT Glasson carries a great ‘ManBag’), briefcase, cuff links and a writing implement.
- Go to a great hairdresser and change your hairstyle constantly.
- Find a great dressmaker. Only last week I met a wonderful Polish lady called Via, who is based in Middle Street in Galway, and she completely transformed an old suit of mine. If clothes don’t fit you, transform them or bin them.
- Wear a pink carnation or a red rose on your lapel each day. Mr Magliocco, father of the beautiful Magliocco family in Galway, always wore one to mass. What a dash he cut.
2. Your Bed:
‘The two most important things you’ll ever buy are shoes and a bed – because you’re always either getting into one
or the other’. Esther Ranson.
She’s got a point. We spend a good quarter of our lives in bed. Invest in a newly sprung mattress; a memory foam pillow; and some Egyptian cotton bedding. It will improve your sleep; your love life (my Mother reads these blogs); and your posture.
3. Your Body:
‘Your body is the single most important piece of equipment you’ll ever use yet many people take better care of their car’. Pádraig Ó Céidigh
- Buy a tracksuit. Exercise for 30 minutes on alternate days. It’s ok to miss a day. Don’t miss two days.
- Eat less and eat better.
- Tone up by sweating more.
- Get your teeth whitened.
- Move more quickly – watch how sprightly Clinton, Obama and Blair move.
- Get fit – like Madonna.
- Get a comprehensive medical every three years.
4. Your Car:
‘I’m in love with my car’. Freddie Mercury
Only this week I got my car serviced, the radio repaired and my tax renewed. You wouldn’t believe how much better it drives and how much better it made me feel. This weekend I plan to Hoover and buff it to within an inch of its life and I know it’ll go even faster as a result. Do yourself a favour this weekend and spend an hour loving your car. Incidentally, the SMACHT fraternity is replete with car doctors. Frank Byrnes is strictly into bodies and can give your car the exact body you want it to have. John Donnellan is our mechanic and can virtually bring dead engines back to life and put years and youth into the other ones. Liam Fitzpatrick is a better car salesperson than both Arthur Daley and Del Boy Trotter combined. Adrian Haines will give you the ride of your life on any motorised lawn mower of your choosing.
5. Your Dog:
‘If you want love, buy a dog’ Alan Weiss
The very first money we spent after getting married was on a dog. ‘Mac’ cost £100 back in 1987 and to put it in context, we hadn’t a kettle, a cooker, a fridge, not to mention a house. It was the singular best investment we ever made. Dogs are unconditionally loving. They sense intuitively when you’re in great form or in a huff and treat you accordingly. They force you to focus on them rather than on yourself. Walking or exercising is never a chore with them in tow. If you want love, buy a dog.
6. Your Environment/Senses:
‘Take time to smell the roses’ or as my uncle Stiofáin put it in context for me as a young boy ‘Padraiceen, when a trout rises and devours your mayfly, you could say he’s smelling the roses’.
Your environment informs your senses. Doesn’t it make sense therefore – no pun intended – to suffuse it with those senses that exhalt you!
- Smell:- What smells do it for you? For me it’s the smell of woodsmoke on the lake; a log fire; a turf fire; the almost vanished aroma of an expensive cigar; rashers and sausages on a weekend morning; freshly baked bread by the monks in Roscrea; strong coffee; freesia; sweet pea; Channel No.7. and Fahrenheit aftershave. Do yourself a favour and suffuse yourself in smells you adore.
- Taste:- Griffin’s batch bread; Georgie Herteriches black pudding; Paul Colleran’s sausages; Linnane’s Mussells Provencale; The Tea Room’s Spielberg Cheesecake; tea, from a bottle, in a bog; and a pint of cool porter with a bag of cheese and onion tayto’s anytime, anyplace ,anywhere.
- Touch:- the clutch of a baby’s hand; the lurch of a split cane fly rod as a salmon engages your fly; the coldness of Potters (current dog) nose as he nuzzles you after chasing snipe on a frosty morning; the roll and of a boat on a force six south westerly swell; fresh Egyptian linen;
- Sound:- the roar of the waves in the Burren on a stormy night; the sound of a cash register ringing when I was in retail; the squeal of a reel after hooking a fish; the crackle of a log fire on a winters evening; the gurgle of Guinness as it fills a glass; the roar of the crowd at a match; Tom Waits singing ‘Martha’
- Sight:- Natural daylight – my pet aversion is trying to engage people in rooms without light – its nigh impossible; sunsets on water; moon light on water; 50 shades of colour without a hue of grey;
The point is – you can change the quality of your environment instantly by appealing to all your senses.
7. Your Fears:
‘Do the thing you fear and the death of fear is certain’ Ralph Waldo Emerson
You may wonder why I include confronting your fears on a topic promoting kindness.
The reality is that confronting your fears is one of the wisest and kindest things you could ever do for yourself, or anybody else for that matter.
Dale Carnegie gave us a wonderful formula for doing this many years ago.
A. Write down what you’re worried about.
B. Establish the facts behind your fear.
C. Be prepared to accept the worst if needs be.
D. Ask yourself what you can do to improve the situation.
E . Ask yourself what you will do to improve the situation.
F. And take massive action.
There has been a wonderful campaign recently promoting awareness around mouth cancer. I inadvertently read an article about Shane Jennings, the Leinster rugby player, whose Mother discovered a small lump in her mouth and subsequently was diagnosed with mouth cancer.
I too have a lump on the gum line of my mouth. I was petrified for the last 6 weeks. And yet, I refused to do any of the above until last week. How unwise and unkind!
Fortunately I did take action this week, and thankfully my dentist informed me it’s a bit of bone, and harmless.
That decision was the kindest and wisest thing I did all week.
8. Your Home:
‘He is the happiest, be he king or peasant, who finds peace in his home’ Von Goethe
As has often been articulated, there’s a big difference between a house and a home. I’m fascinated by the study of feng shui which examines the impact of energy in our homes. You don’t however need to be a feng shui master to immediately improve the energy in your home. Begin by clearing clutter and systematically doing one thing a day that improves the homeliness of your sanctuary.
‘Money’s not the most important thing in life, but it’s right on up there with oxygen’.
It’s a summary of many old resonances on this theme but here’s 8 ways to be wise around money:
- Define what financial freedom means to you. I know people on the dole who’ve travelled the world, live a life of blissful richness and never worry for a second about money. On the other hand, I have clients who are multi-millionaires but miserable, lonely and live in constant terror of losing or being defrauded of their largesses.
- Make becoming financially free an absolute must. Many people hope they’ll win the lotto as evidenced by the millions invested in it each week. Many more hope they’ll inherit riches. Others hope to marry into a fortune. The bottom line is that hope is not a strategy. The lotto is nothing more tan a subtle tax on stupidity. Money tends to marry money anyway and anything earned easily is quickly lost.
- Get around others who are financially free and learn and model from them. Imagine if you’d had Warren Buffet or Bill Gates or Steve Jobs working for you for the past twenty years! Could you have had? Of course you could. Had you invested in Warren Buffets investment company you’d have made 24% return on your investment per annum. Had you joined one of our SMACHT Investment groups you would now be earning 3% per month. Simply put, poor people work for money. Rich people have money work for them.
- Get it that Compound interest is still the eight wonder of the world. And this works for you in equal force to working against you.
- Live on 85% of your income and invest the remainder in compound growth. This was the strategy utilised by a former FedEx van driver who never earned more than $17000 per annum but still managed to amass a fortune of $72 million on his death at 75.
- Most millionaires live in two up two down houses; never buy new cars; and are unrecognisable as millionaires. In other words, they are thrifty.
- Ultimately money is an energy and is attracted or repelled by the quality of your thoughts. Think scarcity and you attract scarcity. Think abundance and you attract abundance.
- Have a plan for financial freedom and have the SMACHT to follow it through.
10. Your Relationships:
‘When I want to end a relationship, I just say ‘You know, I love you. I want to marry you. I want to have your children’. Sometimes they leave skid-marks’. Rita Rudner
Relationships, more than anything require wisdom and kindness and SMACHT. Try these:
- Say ‘au revoir’ to emotional vampires. They’ll suck you dry – of your energy; of your radiance; of your contribution.
- Get around people, or animals, who energise you – who uplift you by merely thinking about them.
- Get around people who make you laugh like a child.
- Get around people who incite you to play at your best.
- Avoid gossiping. Period.
- Find the best in everyone.
- When you’re with people be with them 100%.
- Tell your folks you love them.
- Become comfortable with silence.
- Admit it when you’re wrong.
- MOFI – Make Others Feel Important.
- Be interested rather than being interesting.
In conclusion, wisdom and kindness are choices. You choose to either take action on creating them, or you choose not to.
Have a great week.
The SMACHT Guy.