By Brian McKay
I have this friend I don't see enough. Great guy. Don't tell him but his wife is even better. She makes him even cooler. Don't all wives kind of do that for us guys though?
So anyway, he is way cool. Every time I see him I get ready to have some awesome conversation and be around a happy and upbeat guy. He is probably 6’7” and makes me feel short at 6’2”. Even more noticeable is that he looks like a Norse god. To say he stands out in a good way might be a bit of an understatement.
Besides all of that though, there is one thing that sets him apart from everyone; it is a phrase. Yes, just a phrase that is all his. His own term for something is really a big part of his swagger.
If you see him out drinking and he wants you to step out and have a smoke with him, he says, “Let’s go smooth one out.” A smoke is called a “smoothie” and if you are in the act of smoking you are “smoothing it out”.
It is one of the coolest sayings in the world. Seriously. Everyone around this guy knows the term and adopts it for the time being. He owns it. It is his swagger.
Swagger doesn’t seem to be a word that is used enough. The Webster’s definition says it is “to walk in a very confident way : to walk with a swagger”. The longer definition treats swagger as a bad thing as it says, “to conduct oneself in an arrogant or superciliously pompous manner; especially : to walk with an air of overbearing self-confidence”. I think that definition sucks. What the hell is “superciliously” anyway?
The Urban Dictionary definition is much better and a modern interpretation of the word. It is, “How one presents him or her self to the world. Swagger is shown from how the person handles a situation. It can also be shown in the person's walk.” That’s more like it. We’ll call it 2016 swagger.
Swagger is a good thing and necessary in a world of Trumps, reality tv, billions of people and rock star CEO’s. It is how you handle yourself and how you make things yours, like my friend’s saying. A little swagger can go a long way to defining what is unique about you and then make it appealing to others.
Corporations almost require swagger anymore. It is pretty common to see the most qualified person get passed over for the one with some swagger. Sure it isn’t right, but it is a good reason to think about your own swagger and accentuate it.
Politics would be representative of too much swagger. Yeah you don’t want to over do it. If you do, then you become more like the Webster’s definition. Trump would be the Webster’s definition with a large dose of sociopath thrown in for good measure.
Make your swagger strong but also understated and humble. In other words, don’t be a dick. Be strong in yourself and those small things you create and own, that set you apart. Modern swagger says you walk tall, you don’t hesitate to create, have some sarcasm and happily set yourself apart with things that are all yours.. That is 2016 swagger.
I look forward to the next time I hear, “Let’s go smooth one out.”
Brian McKay is a co-founder of zenruption. He observes some weird stuff and makes some truly weird connections. Oh well. Someone has to be the weirdo every once in a while. He is currently working on his swagger.
Feature photo courtesy of Flickr, under Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial license