I’ve always loved books written in prison.
Not because I’ve been to prison but I can understand that things get real when you are in jail.
There’s no tolerance for bullshit.
Yesterday, I was reading The Boron Letters by Gary Halbert -another book written in prison.
The book is a great read, filled with solid advice drawn from life in prison.
Towards the end of the book, Halbert tells a short story about an inmate:
I just came back from the TV area and there is a guy out there who lives across the hall from me.
At first, I didn’t recognize him. He’s a white guy, a body builder, and he has long flowing shoulder-length hair.
He’s been down for a long time and the reason I had a hard time recognizing him is his hair is now very short and neat.
And, I’m telling you, with his short, neat hair and his no-nonsense glasses, he looks like Clark Kent.
Well, anyway, I heard him explaining to another inmate that he is getting ready to go before the parole board, and he is going to make sure he doesn’t give them any reason to not turn him loose.
The inmate in Halbert’s story understands the importance of appearance.
Self-help gurus will tell you it’s what’s on the inside that counts, just be yourself blah blah blah.
The real world doesn’t work like that.
How you look on the outside counts.
How you look on the outside matters.
Everybody will judge you for your appearance.
You never know when the opportunity will knock.
Always look your best.
Always be in excellent shape.
If you are fat, lose weight.
If you are weak and frail, build muscle.
Take a shower.
Groom your hair.
Shine your shoes.
Take pride in your appearance.
Looking sloppy is not the way to go through life.