Opinion

Message from the Morning Man: Dress for success

I love movies. I love sitting back and being told a story. It’s nice to escape this world for two hours or so and get lost in an artificial one where everyone is stronger, faster, smarter and better-looking. But, you know, apart from providing an escape, movies can also be a surprising source of valuable life lessons.

The best movies are the ones that are able to suspend disbelief. The ones that make you forget that you are watching a movie. The ones that make you believe that the actor in the camouflage is really a soldier, that the dirty-looking guy in ripped clothes is really a homeless drug addict, and not an award-winning actor with about 50 million dollars in his bank account.

A lot of this effect is achieved through wardrobe.

They say the clothes make the man, right? So right! The other night, I watched a movie called Parker. It starred Jason Statham and Jennifer Lopez, with Michael Chiklis as the bad guy.

Not the greatest movie I’ve ever seen, but sufficiently entertaining. Especially this scene where Michael Chiklis’ character and his crew stage a clever robbery at a diamond jewellery auction. 

After setting off fireworks in the auction hall, Chiklis and his crew turn up dressed as firemen and order everyone out of the hall so they can deal with the fire. Nobody questioned their authority for a second, because they walked and talked like they had been firemen their entire lives.

Full firefighting gear with a shiny red fire truck. Everybody just filed out of the room without question. Then the crew grabbed millions of dollars worth of necklaces and calmly walked out of the place with them.

So why am I telling you this? Because the clothes make the man.

Today’s Message of Motivation is about dressing the part. How many job interviews have you attended so far? How many times have you applied for visas? How many corporate executives have you pitched your business ideas to? How many scholarships, internships and apprenticeships have you put yourself up for and failed to secure?

The number one reason why people will say no to you is because they don’t believe in you. And if they don’t believe in you, it might be because you don’t believe in yourself.

You see, dressing the part is not about convincing others – it’s about convincing yourself. Have you ever put on a perfectly fitting suit that made your chest swell with purpose and conviction? Or a pair of heels that made your legs look like the taut, sculptured limbs of a greek goddess?

This is what the right outfit does to you. It gives YOU a boost. It makes you believe that you can do anything and be anything. And once YOU believe in your invincibility, others will too.

Today, I want you to start thinking about what you’ll wear tomorrow. And the day after. And the day after that. When you dress for success, you’re like a superhero, putting on your costume. Everybody knows who you are, and they all want to be a part of your story. 

So put on a crisp shirt, iron the heck out of that pleated skirt, take a trip to the barbershop, get your nails done. The better you look, the more faith you have in yourself. And the more people will believe in you. Dress the part and get the job done.  It works in the movies, and it certainly works in real life.

My name is Kojo Yankson, and I dress for success.

GOOD MORNING, GHANAFO.