So I took the Prof or Hobo? test and scored 7/10. I thought I was completely answering randomly, but our brain might be able to pick subtle clues outside our verbalized thoughts. The test does suggest an interesting fact: if we carry the same mental attitude, we gain the same look (sorry, professors).
What does a professor do? He dwells inside his den (research room) all day long. He mumbles, walks aimlessly in the college campus, and does not care what he wears or how he looks. Occasionally he lectures to inexperienced college kids or asks for grant money to survive. He lives inside his head. The world is already perfect; why need to care about things that do not matter?
What does a hobo do? He dwells inside his den (carton box) all day long. He mumbles, walks aimlessly in the park, and does not care what he wears or how he looks. Occasionally he lectures to inexperienced street kids or asks for petty money to survive. He lives inside his head. The world is already perfect; why need to care about things that do not matter?
The professor and the hobo belong to the same inner world. Therefore, despite the differences in material possessions, they dress and look the same. Come to think of it, the same rule applies to myself too. I dress and look like a freelance foreign worker. I share no traits with other male fellows from my passport country: men in suit and tie ( = their uniform, in fact). I just wear clothes that make me feel comfortable and natural, and for some reason that becomes similar to other freelance workers in the linguistic industry. The men in suit wear their uniforms which make sense for them (more sense for their clients).
What goes on inside us reflects back on to our appearance. The catch is that the opposite is also true. Changing our outward framework (clothes, schedule, job, etc.) changes our internal framework strongly too. This one is tricky, because unlike the change in appearance, the change in our internal world tend to go unnoticed.
Case study: During my days as an employee, I thought I would be able to lead a balanced life between making money and making art. I even thought my workplace gave me the necessary discipline and structure to shape me up which in turn should be reflected in my (supposedly) equally strong creative activities. It never worked that way. Once I got used to my life as a worker, my motivation for creative activities suddenly started to drop. My structured by-the-rule work life was invading my creative life silently, and I did not notice it until I finally ditched my corporate life.
It wasn’t that employment was fundamentally against creativity. A majority of creative people support their lives through paying jobs that do not necessarily connect with their creativity. It was more of my innocent belief that my inner creativity would remain intact no matter what: without nourishment, without ample time, without real activities.
I am now on a recovery course by devoting a large chunk of my time to my creativity throughout the day. The lesson is that my internal world and external framework are intertwined as in yin-yang circle, and they go along together. I change one, and the other tags along in sync. That is a package deal (a very precious deal, indeed) for living in the real world.