Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self-esteem, first make sure that you are not, in fact, just surrounded by assh*les.” ~ William Gibson.

Via Waylon Lewis
on Jul 31, 2011
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Update: let’s remember: even assh*oles repent, sometimes.

Don’t try to be cool. Try to be you.

Even if you has small breasts, or a receding hairline, or pimples, or a muffin top, or hair on your back, or thick glasses, or a penchant for some uncool hobby (I collected baseball cards and stamps and coins and played D&D and read scifi when I was a boy)…it’s always more attractive—and more importantly, more fun—being yourself. So go ahead: read that big book in front of the cool kids—just breathe and relax and remember that at the end of the day you’re the one who has to live with yourself, and you’d be best off if you like that self.

That said, learn from the cool kids how to dress and how to be outgoing…it’ll give your true you cover.

Those who chase fame, spend their lives trying to be cool, chasing a fake ideal that isn’t themselves? One of ’em, Heidi Montag, a C level reality star, just pretended to do yoga with her personal trainer…really a photo stunt to show off her new, well, you know. And that’s all well and good, I hope she continues and learns to love herself just as she is—but, for us, and the young ones among us particularly, well I hope the trials and travails of our reality show friends—whether Jersey Shore or The Hills, etc—may serve as a reminder, that “cool” might be hip, but it doesn’t equal happiness.

D-bagery may seem cool: but what’s truly cool is being yourself, even if you’re uncool.



About Waylon Lewis

Waylon Lewis, founder of elephant magazine, now & host of Walk the Talk Show with Waylon Lewis, is a 1st generation American Buddhist “Dharma Brat." Voted #1 in U.S. on twitter for #green two years running, Changemaker & Eco Ambassador by Treehugger, Green Hero by Discovery’s Planet Green, Best (!) Shameless Self-Promoter at Westword's Web Awards, Prominent Buddhist by Shambhala Sun, & 100 Most Influential People in Health & Fitness 2011 by "Greatist", Waylon is a mediocre climber, lazy yogi, 365-day bicycle commuter & best friend to Redford (his rescue hound). His aim: to bring the good news re: "the mindful life" beyond the choir & to all those who didn't know they gave a care. | His first book, Things I would like to do with You, is now available.


29 Responses to “Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self-esteem, first make sure that you are not, in fact, just surrounded by assh*les.” ~ William Gibson.”

  1. yogi tobye says:

    Those puppies don't drop to the sides during Savasana anyhoo!

    You ever noticed how the coolest people are the ones who just do what they want and feel comfortable doing it, all the time? Or, at least, they make it coz they fake it!

    Nobody is cooler than the person who is happy with who they are and doesn't need to prove anything to anyone else… kinda like you Way!

  2. Nichole says:

    Best f+cking quote that has ever happened. You are a genius Waylon Lewis. Love it. Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self-esteem, first make sure that you are not, in fact, just surrounded by assh*les.” ~ William Gibson.

  3. elephantjournal says:

    Alisa Roadcup this photo is seriously annoying.

    # Read the post. The people in the photo generously provide plenty of annoyance for us to work with, too! (to put it in Buddhist-ese). ~ W.

    Carl B Salazar The photos are hilarious – and sad. She's "doing yoga" like she saw the poses on a cereal box once when she was a kid. The malas, half-baked "yoga moves," fake boobs, cheap's like watching the Hindenburg go down. The humanity!

    Lynda Wood really grabbing at straws to tie that whole story together, poor writing to grab at sensationalisation

    Jane Coleman Cameron And with this, I unsub from Elephant Journal. What trash!

    # Lynda, Jane, we'll miss your support. Sorry to have offended. That said, you weren't subscribing. Subscribing involves paying. Finally, I hope you'd want to be a part of a "club" that you don't agree with all the time. I thought the quote was amazing. So I featured it. And, yes, I think reality TV stars show our children how to be cool in a way that isn't helpful. And, yes, in junior high it was all about being cool and while I might have been cool in my own way I was far from cool in "their" way and it took me a few years to deal with that—painful, sad, depressing, hard times. I wish I'd had this advice, and the "poor writing – sensationalism" you refer to. ~ Waylon

  4. Tom Pedersen says:

    If "cool" only sees that deep, then COOL gets what it persee-ves. You're welcome to it. Might as well be a manikin! Do you feel it baby……
    I love a great body but it has to have somebody home to be loved and love back. Without that, the great physique matters naught.

  5. AnnetteVictoria says:

    Agreed. Just put it as my FB status. 🙂

  6. Meghan says:

    Since when is making fun of people, no matter how seriously misguided they may seem, part of living the life of a yogi?

  7. myyogacam says:

    Agreed…being yourself and being true to yourself is absolutely the coolest!

  8. Charl says:

    Yes. These photos are disturbing and this is pretty much how most yogis in India see yoga in the west. As one elderly teacher professed in Rishikesh "it's just yoga…relax" Try to explain the $100 lululemon leggings, aqua yoga, yoga for your dog, yoga to increase your hamsters self esteem, yoga on your iPad etc etc etc to indigenous yoga practitioners and you will be met with a chuckle- but usually it will be devoid of judgement which is maybe something we could afford Miss Heidi who needs a lil loving by the looks of things.

  9. Charli says:

    No like button Waylon- I like your response, love the article and would have liked to read it when I was 15 too. Blessings.

  10. Wow, amazing blog layout! How long have you been blogging for? you make blogging look easy. The whole glance of your site is fantastic, as smartly as the content!

  11. Species 5618 says:

    The quote is from Steven Winterburn, a twitter humoritarian, cf!/5tevenw/status/422823099819… , even Gibson denies it’s his!/GreatDismal/status/11913358
    but now the internet says lies!

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  14. Greenergirl says:

    Great quote, great message and jeezlouise…I'll keep my subscription and pay more. Love, D

  15. bikesandmath says:

    I think that quote is funny but have some compassion!!! This is article is just mean and sad – especially from the editor of elephant. I have often noticed that the people who make fun of other people are just trying the easy way to make themselves feel better. That's how this feels.

    You know what I think of when I see photos of Heidi Montag? I want to give her a hug and ask her to come spend some time with me, my family, my friends, whatever… everyone has things to learn in this life – a path to walk and who are we to judge someone's path? Who knows in the end who learns the most?

  16. Jen says:

    I had to laugh reading this and seeing the photos, and I agree with "Don't try to be cool. Try to be you" wholeheartedly. However, I do agree that the post seems pretty mean and lacking compassion.

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  18. rannoch says:

    What do you mean by "That said, learn from the cool kids how to dress and how to be outgoing…it’ll give your true you cover." ?

  19. lisab says:

    Love the message, just dislike all the objectification going on in the photos and such. Gives the whole thing a bit of an ick factor. But that might've been the point.

  20. Scout says:

    I will be getting breast implants shortly as a result of a double mastectomy. I am struggling with my self image as I prepare to face the world with fake breasts I never wanted. I know that some people will judge me when I return to my yoga classes. We can't know why people do the things they do weather it's cutting us off in traffic or getting breast implants. I choose to give people the benefit of the doubt when I can remember to be that kind.

  21. Elizabeth says:

    Yeah, I was wondering the same thing? It's a bit flippant and opposite of the piece?

  22. Tara says:

    Hmmm, I am a bit confused here as the photos included here show the exact opposite of the written message. Is this on purpose and meant to be a visual representation of what "fake" looks like to contrast to the message of "just be yourself" ?

  23. Tara says:

    Opps. Please disregard my previous comment. The photos caused a knee jerk reaction and I missed the paragraph.

  24. Emily says:

    Perfect comment.

  25. Crystal says:

    I like the premise of the article yet why is “small breasts” a defect or something that makes you feel less than? What feels less than is articles that point out if your breasts aren’t big you are less than.

  26. emma says:

    I was disappointed in this article. yes, be authentic, but why do we care if people get boob jobs and want to show it off. it's their body, their life, and commenting on it is just making judgement on how they live their life.

  27. maltejanosch says:

    It was actually another Twitter user

  28. Beth says:

    I agree. What one chooses is their business. I found this article extremely judgemental. There are millions of woman who choose breast augmentation for a variety of reasons. Dome, breast cancer. Does This Make them self absorbed??? Depends on one’s judgement. There are those who could say why do this breasts aren’t important. Other woman, it’s not a self esteem issue, it’s a fact that they just want bigger boobs. Most of us intelligent people know, boobs do nit make a person and it may not be about self-esteem, ever consider they just like to be a peacock, that’s their personality, let them be who they want to he, too. If they like expensive clitges, latest trends snd mire, t g at is tgem just like the writer here, I think your playing DD is a waste of time, you should have been out playing sports. Touche.