Why I Bought a Hat (and You Should Too)

It’s nothing special, just a standard-issue, plain black fedora dispensed by City Target in downtown Chicago.
          I had been wearing a winter hat that looks like a ski mask without the mask part. Pulls down over your ears (just barely) and makes your head look kind of rounded, like one end of a twenty-milligram Ritalin capsule but fuzzy and usually patterned. Mine wasn’t patterned, though. I like solids, so I chose a muted olive green with a dull-orange lining. Made me look homeless.
          And that’s why I bought the fedora.
          Been reading Richard Wiseman’s The As-If Principle, and it makes sense to me. The essence is that William James (father of American psychology and wearer of red-and-white-checked trousers) was right. He did some interesting landmark experiments in the 1890s that can be summed up in this quote.

If you want a quality, act as if you already had it.

          Check out some more wonderful quotes by James here.
          So the fedora makes me look less like a homeless person, more like someone who’s—well, who’s not homeless. That makes me feel better about myself, and that makes it easier to be more disciplined, less procrastinative (new buzzword!), and more of an all-round swell guy.
          Maybe buying a hat won’t be good for you; maybe it will help you see things differently. Maybe you don’t need to do that, or maybe you do, but, regardless, you think everything I’ve said here is a bunch of hooey.
          Me? I don’t care if my new hat’s a placebo or not. I look good in it.
          In unrelated news, Pope Francis secretly changes into regular priest’s garb and goes out at night to minister anonymously to the poor in Rome. Stephen Colbert says so, so it must be true.
          Apparently clothes do make the man after all.