My Dad turns 99 next week and even at 99 he is still pretty sharp mentally and still takes good care of himself, In fact, if you go visit him, it is not uncommon to see him dressed in a dress shirt and a nice pair of dress slacks. Even though he lives in an retirement community and doesn’t socialize much these days, he still dresses up. Why? He does so because he believes first impressions matter. In his first book, “99 & Still in Business”, he discusses principles related to his successes in life and business. Making a good impression is one of those principles.
My Dad shares a story of being stopped on the street and asked why he was so dressed up? His immediate answer was, “I am going to my own funeral”, with a big smile. If you knew my Dad, you would know that he loves to interject humor into conversations. The real question for him in that encounter was why was he asked the question? As if being dressed up was something strange. His belief is that no matter what the day holds the little details really matter and appearance is one of them. How he looks influences his mindset for the day.
The truth is first impressions are difficult to change. Psychologists agree that people form opinions about a new acquaintance within 3 to 10 seconds of meeting them for the first time. As Will Rogers once said, “you never get a second chance to make a first impression.” Most people do not recognize the impact of their outward appearance or persona on others. For example, a person with huge talent might be overlooked by a prospective employer because of how they dress or carry themselves or the language they use.
Of course, we know externals don’t make a person; however, feeling good about yourself and taking pride in how you look and carry yourself are important. It is a form of self-care and self-love.
What kind of vibe do we give off? Is it one that repels or does it invite people in? Are we putting up a stumbling block for people to know the real us? Maybe it would be important to consider that if you and I want more positive things in our life, we need to consider that first impressions do matter.
You can check out my Dad’s new book, “99 & Still In Business: Proven Principles for Business Success”, by William H. Garrison available on Amazon.