Everyone is Welcome, Always

Okay, so remember the dinner party with David Beckham and me from a few weeks ago? Well, this week I am throwing another imaginary dinner party, and this time everybody is welcome. Like, legitimately everybody. Two weekends ago, I went to Atlanta with a group of friends for a big party, and man, it did not disappoint. Like a 10+ on the fun scale. No exaggeration. So I got to thinking what made it so fun, and the usuals were covered. However, there was one big difference. The people in my immediate crowd and then the party crowd were so diverse, there was just constant conversation, laughter, and curiosity. Late Friday night at the bar, it hit me that I was the only American male in my group. The conversation had gone from Africa to England and everywhere in between, and it was fascinating and hilarious. The conversation Saturday turned to other matters, and it quickly struck me that I was the old man (I’m 35, settle down) in the group, and how different age groups view matters such as marriage and money so differently. I like to learn new stuff every day, so to be learning while I was partying and having a great time was just fantastic. And then the featured event Saturday night was just so much fun! The variety of ages, lifestyles, geographies, interests, and so on was likely the broadest spectrum I have ever been around. Everyone I met, I wanted to know more. What their story was. And before I knew it, it was 2am and it was time to go. But not before meeting tons of great new people, catching up with old ones, and dancing, laughing, and drinking the night away.

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There is a big problem in this world right now where people don’t understand each other, don’t want to understand each other, or are afraid to try and understand each other. I don’t get it. Just because something or someone is a little different doesn’t make it wrong or bad. If anything, to me, it has all the possibility in the world to be awesome and fantastic. I have believed that for a long time now, and this weekend just reaffirmed that for me a million times over.

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On a similar note, I feel like most guys either don’t understand what clothes make them look good, have no interest, or are afraid to branch out even the slightest bit, even though the results could be incredible. So let’s think about this on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being extremely plain vanilla and 10 being the late Craig Sager. If you are looking to up your style game, think about going from a 1 to a 3, or a 6 to an 8. Nothing too dramatic, because you still have to be you. But let’s think about ways to get these results. Let’s say you are a business casual kind of guy, and let’s start from the bottom. The shoes have to be quality. Have you heard this before from me? Try some no-show socks this summer, or go sockless. The pants must fit, and not just the waist and length. The cut should neither crush your legs nor make it look like you are walking around with pillow cases on your legs. Get an interesting belt that generally matches your shoes. Reference some of my polo pics from earlier posts for the shirt. Get a cool watch, and maybe pair it with a unique bracelet. All of this can be in muted colors, and you will still look a million times better. There is a guy in my building that is just a good ole’ boy. Yet, he wears killer loafers, cool belts, and a great watch/bracelet combo. Everything else is just plain and normal. And I think he looks fantastic all of the time. If you are already somewhat advanced, take it up a notch. Sometimes you get it wrong when you branch out. I know I have, and who cares, right? But not trying at all, to me, is always getting it wrong.

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So my challenge this week is easy. Just branch out. Simple as that. If you only talk to people in your own circle, find someone new to talk to. If you always wear blue shirts to work, try something different. It will feel uncomfortable at first, but then you will feel good about it. And that will be the first step to upping your game.

Have a great week.-Benj

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