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Of style, flair and panache

July 24, 2012

Is it important to do things with a particular style, panache or flair? To me the answer is an unequivocal yes. Everybody is associated with a certain style of their own. Style here is defined as a particular kind, sort or type as with reference to form, appearance or character. Some people walk a certain way, sit and stand in a certain style. And almost everybody talks in their own unique way. In relation to that, everybody also has some sort of judgment against others for their style. “This guy hunches when he walks”, “she talks too fast” etc. There’s always something isn’t it? I’m not writing about people’s attitude or anything like that. It’s just the way you carry yourself physically and in addition, the way you talk. It really reflects on the person that you are.

I am very conscious of the way I carry myself in every way. Standing, walking, sitting, talking, the whole works. And I believe everybody should too. Because inevitably you’ll be judged based on all these things. At first. Obviously then all the other things, like substance matter. But your physical mannerisms form the first impression that people make. Sounds very superficial isn’t it? But that’s how the world works. We evolve and adapt. Wouldn’t pay too much attention to it say, 15 years ago. But it makes a lot of difference in today’s world.

As a lawyer, I was told that I am blessed with the ability to articulate ideas in a clear fashion. In short I can speak well. I really hope that’s true. I believe the key to speaking well is the choice of words and the speed in which you speak. Since English is not my mother tongue, I’ve largely learnt it from the reading that I do. As such, I start to speak grammatically correct English and have been doing so ever since. I remember Abah buying The New Straits Times every single day since I was in primary school and I would always spend time reading it. In doing so, the level of English became above average. I remember vividly reading the dictionary before my English exams and finding a few bombastic words to be included in my essay. I believe that makes a lot of difference in the final reckoning.

I also believe that all of us forge ahead in our lives based on a set of beliefs. Not religious beliefs (that’s a given) but beliefs that we apply in our everyday endeavours. One of my beliefs is that I strive to be different. You see, when you are different, you are remembered. When I was in legal practice, we had to strive to get clients. Competition was tough then. Half of the day is spent going to visit clients and prospective clients. I recall wearing bright coloured neckties. Not the very flamboyant ones but just nice in order to make that image stick in my clients’ minds. It’s a hit and miss exercise, but quite effective nevertheless.

When I was in my previous workplace, I rode my Ducati to work for one and a half years. That was an image which stuck in people’s minds. Once you reach that stage, you are easily identifiable. The black Ducati in the car park stuck out like a sore thumb. And not to mention the beautiful sounds it makes. Simply magnificent. It was indeed different.

Now, the strive to be different takes a huge step forward. Now it comes in the form of an black Audi TT. People ask me the rationale behind getting a two door car. A family saloon would’ve made more sense. To that I agree. But my answer to that question is that it’s all part of the plan. I can appreciate if they do not understand what “the plan” is. It’s an all-encompassing one. It symbolises character, uniqueness and the general world view. It shows a go-getter and an endless need for speed. All that combined with the physical characteristics mentioned above. Hopefully it all comes to something.

Of course all the above would come to nought if not accompanied by hard work and quality. People see through all these superficial matters quite instantly. But if accompanied by substance, it could mean the fine line between success and being so-so. Sure you can be successful, but style triumphs over slob any time of the day for me.


Style. Photo courtesy of Google.

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