The concept of cool needs to be resuscitated.
Images of washboard abs on Instagram or some startup bro bragging about a $100m investment are the poster child for cool. Yuck.
Is there a more normal version of cool? These stories can change your mind. Here are the overlooked traits of truly uber-cool people.
They think bad luck is good luck
I consider myself lucky in this situation.
Jessica is a recruiter and said this. She thinks she is lucky. Let me explain.
Her husband became terminally ill with a rare form of brain cancer known as Glioblastoma. She took care of him for five months. Then he tragically passed away. That left her to deal with her grief and with what she calls “end of life tasks.” So, she took a leave of absence from work.
Her employer let her finish up right away when she told them that her husband’s life was nearly over. They could have made her work the week out. But they didn’t and that ended up being a blessing. Jessica’s husband died two days after she finished work.
Had her employer not have seen the urgency, she would have missed those last two precious days. That’s why she thinks she is lucky.
It unfortunately doesn’t end there.
Back in 2017 Jessica went to a country music concert. She danced the night away. She felt free from the stresses of corporate life. Then a gunman opened fire on the 22,000 people in attendance. 58 people died and 500 people were injured.
Jessica survived the ordeal with only a few scratches, although she suffered survivor’s guilt. How did Jessica explain the experience?
I’m grateful for all the doors that have opened since then…I told myself: I’m living for a reason.
Uber-cool people can take unexpected tragedy and inspire others with it.
They challenge society’s rule’s when it’s logical
Reenie Peppler loved her daughter. She was an angel.
At 13-years-old Rennie had to bury her angel due to cerebral palsy. A person on the internet asked the question “What is the one picture that describes the lowest point in your life?”
Rennie replied to the question with a photo of her daughter, dead, lying in an open casket (see the original post here if you dare). I wasn’t prepared when I saw the photo for the first time. The reactions to the photo became negative.
People believed Rennie had done a very bad thing by posting a photo of a dead teenager on the internet.
The act she committed began in isolation. Until … another mother who lost her child posted a photo of the open casket containing her daughter.
Rennie is uber-cool. She didn’t break any laws. She simply disrupted a societal paradigm about children and caskets, to make people appreciate their kids more, and to hopefully get them to work less at slave-driver jobs so they can spend time with them.
They admit an unfair advantage
Imagine if you could be happy 24/7/365?
Entrepreneur David Rose has been happy every day for 64 years straight. He has the secret to living a happy life. It’s called hyperthymia. David describes the condition as ‘a benefit’ because he has been wired since birth to see the world better than it is due to his condition.
What makes David cool is that he admits he has an unfair advantage. He doesn’t walk around town shaming people for not being as happy as him. He understands that this condition gives him a gift, so he uses it to help others as a mentor and money guru.
Some of us are born with unfair advantages. Admit them. When you do it makes you cool.
They fight for the voiceless
A friend of mine on LinkedIn is uber-cool. He doesn’t republish viral posts, or share huge successes, or talk about never-ending promotions he gets. No.
His posts are bizarre. There’s nothing else like them on LinkedIn. My friend has chosen to stand up for the voiceless. He shares stories about people that society forgets about. He tackles hard topics like “More people question God or the existence of God than they do the honesty or ethics of their government.” A comment like this is sure to leave a bunch of people in pinstripe suits lost for words.
Somehow he finds factions of society that most forget and then shares their debate to bring light to their issues. There’s no right or wrong in the way he writes. The words simply act as a conversation starter that busts any paradigms you had on the topic before you read it.
Social media doesn’t think he’s trendy. These posts don’t rack up millions of views. But he’s the quiet guy in the back of the corner starting intelligent conversations that bring about real change. That’s uber-cool to me.
Turn bad luck into good luck through the lens you view the world through.
Challenge the rules when they’re unfair, and lean into the backlash. Admit any unfair advantages you have to actually be authentic rather than hashtag authentic. And fight for the voiceless. Why? Any of us can become the voiceless. The voiceless are all of us in at least one area of our lives.