Connotations of cool

What is your definition of cool?

To me, coolness is something that creates an inexpressible feeling of interest. Anything can evoke coolness – music, clothing, philosophy, dinosaurs. The coolest thing about the word cool is its connotations. We use it to define anything; the meaning is fluid. Cool changes quickly, sometimes without warning. What we think is cool now may not be cool the next day.

Instead of talking about what cool is, let’s figure out what makes something or someone cool. It can be divided into three factors: nonchalance, novelty, and confidence.

On a daily basis, many of us try to be cool; we invest so much time and energy to achieve this. Nonchalance is indifference. So, stop trying to be cool and just be cool. It either happens or not. Either way, all that time and energy saved can go toward something worthwhile. Also, the paradox will work in your favor, and you will become cooler just for not trying.

Usually, anything new and fresh will be deemed cool. However, old things become new again on a daily basis due to reinvention. Basically, anything can be cool as long as it is, or appears to be, novel. This is the exact reason why retro is cool. One day, someone is going to say, “Remember how cool the iPhone was? I think I’m going to start rocking it again even though it is horrendously outdated.”

Last, confidence has a lot to do with being cool. The icons of cool – James Dean, Elvis Presley (before the jumpsuits), Johnny Cash – were very confident and comfortable with themselves. It can make enormous improvements on coolness. Even faking confidence works. Sooner or later, that counterfeit confidence will become real.

There are plenty more attributes of cool that I skipped over, but I think these are the most important ones. What do you think? Tell me what makes something cool by commenting on the story online at n