Displays of High Value Need to be Tangible Displays (Behold the Wall of Smart)

I keep coming across this thing where genuinely high value people… don’t display their value tangibly. By tangible I mean that in the movie version of your life, the director could just do a 20-30 second pan across your stuff  in the opening credits and we’d have a pretty good head start on your character development. Look at all the awesome stuff about this guy, the opening credits stop… aaaaaaaand… then the reveal shot of our story’s hero. Boom! We already like this guy, don’t we? Yes we do.


…I see a lot of Nice Guy faux humility where supposedly material stuff doesn’t matter. I get there’s some obvious concerns about not appearing to be bragging or displaying a bunch of faked high value. That sort of thing is always found out eventually. But I’m talking about guys who take their hard earned value and then bury it so no one can see it. So in the movie version of their life, that 20-30 second pan shot covers a bunch of non-descript crap. Then cue up the narration about how the wife is great, loyal, pleasant and has a horribly low libido.

See how that works?

Look, if you don’t actually display your genuine high value, she’s not going to react to it the same way as she would if it was displayed effectively. You don’t make the opposite sex get horny for you via logic. You have to offer tangible displays of high value. Here’s what I mean…

You have $20,000 cash in your checking account. Logically that’s more than $2000 in cash, but take a roll of twenty $100 bills out of your pocket and it’s far more tangible and real. The cash will have a greater pull on the emotions of everyone around you. The cash is far more tangible.

You have a college degree. That’s nice. But where is the actual degree itself? I mean it’s all nice written on a resume, but why isn’t it framed on the wall somewhere so everyone can see it? Why aren’t you displaying your degree?

You own your own business and can easily afford a nice suit, but instead you dress semi-casual. You’re telegraphing that business isn’t going that great by the clothes you wear. Everyone responds better or worse based on your clothes. Put on a suit and suddenly everyone thinks you’re doing fabulous.

You’ve worked out hard in the gym and your body is finally in the best shape it’s been in for the longest time. But you still wear baggy clothes that hide your body. Where’s the clothing upgrade?

In terms of myself…

One of the things I worked out about a year ago is that Jennifer is attracted to smart guys. Money is nice, hard body is nice, power is nice, dangerous is unwanted and smart is really important to her. So I’ve somewhat unwittingly been Displaying High Value the entire time I’ve been writing MMSL It’s a giant display of smart guy as I’ve written three books and endless blog posts and the forum and coaching yada yada yada.

But unless she’s actually looking at the books, or reading the blog or forum, it’s not really in her face enough to be truly tangible. Which is why I slapped together one of those Ikea cube bookshelves and artistically arranged my books as a pride of place display. It’s got my books, a few other framed things and enough other books to make it look like a functional bookcase, which it is. It’s now very tangible. I call it my “Wall of Smart”.

So in the movie version of my life, when the camera pans over the Wall of Smart, you’d know I was an author several times over, what I wrote about and read, you’d know I was married to Jennifer and get the sense that I was a kind of a deep thinking person. Even better, I’ve placed the Wall of Smart behind my desk, so that on coaching calls on Skype or Google Hangouts, my clients get to see me sitting in front of it. Thus Displaying High Value to them as well.

More importantly, it covered up the horrible 1970’s wood paneling I had been sitting in front of previously.

But even more importantly than that, I just feel so good looking at it and knowing it’s there. I’m displaying higher value and it makes me feel higher value. Which then makes everyone else react to me better because feelings are infectious. I feel better about me, so you feel better about me.

So enough of me. What about you?

In the movie version of your life, what would be in your 20-30 second opening pan shot? What would it tell us about you?

What’s your version of the Wall of Smart?


  1. A $2000 roll of bills also suggests that you are a bad boy, making your money illegally.

  2. Perhaps I need to make a wall of “I wish I was still the confident and happy man you married.”

  3. Totally concur on the out-of-sight its not real thing. I had tons of awards in high school, graduated top of my class in college etc. Wife says it “makes her sick” (she dropped out of college) and basically forbid me to display any of them!
    Fast forward 22 years, I run my own business, employ 2 other people, wife works about an hour a week for the business doing paycheques etc. and have $150K+ in the bank, this much bigger house will be paid off (again) in less than a year. Kid is 18 ready for University next year, I hire out the cleaning etc. otherwise I’d be doing half of it – NONE of it matters. All that cash is not real to her. The fact she doesn’t have to work at a real job doesn’t matter. She spends all her time volunteering and running after her parents and friends whenever they snap their fingers. All I hear is complaints about “how much she has to do” and “how easy I have it to only have to worry about the business”! Two years ago as part of manning up I resumed playing guitar after about a 15 year break – love it, I’m 2 years into lessons and play far better than every before. So I wanted to buy a new guitar as the one I was using was an old piece of shit – I make $150K a year and had to SAVE UP birthday/Christmas money gifts to buy it! However, I rarely have more than $30 cash in my wallet and only if my wife remembered to get me any out of the bank!

    The sex has been on her terms for about 18 years and still is despite my efforts over the last 2 years to change things! Bring on the hooker math baby!

  4. Slightly OT — I used to wonder why so many rich guys marry anorexic women. Besides their infertility and their ability to wear clothing designed by gay men for 10-year-old catamites, there’s a good reason. Like other status symbols, anorexics are scarce in rich countries, nonexistent in poor countries, portable (wives are expected to attend every sort of social event), and impossible to fake. You can’t just fiancee-visa some starving waif from Moldova; she’d turn into a blimp in two months.

  5. indeed.

    i need to stop by more often you daft kiwi.

    miss you pooks.

  6. Lamont Cranston says:

    It’s just a hobby, but I make furniture. There’s a carved 16th century reproduction panel chest (est value $2500) in our dining room. I should make more furniture for the house.

    I did get to see Herself gape on our recent vacation when I pulled out a roll of hundreds on our recent vacation. I took a payout from my outside business to fund extra fun while we were down island.

  7. This was a lesson that was very hard-earned for me. Even once my business started rolling, I still spent my day in tee-shirts with a coule of day’s stubble. My book sat on a bottom shelf of my office bookshelf.

    Once I started taking her out for dates and paying in cash, shaving, keeping my (business-bought) exercise gear in the living room, and dressing in “California Bussiness” at minumum the reactions I got amplified.

    In the new year, my plan is to get a separate shelf to display my own books (and my signed copy of The Mindful Attraction Plan, ntch), and I am throwing out all but a couple of the tee shirts. I should have another book out in the Spring to go on the shelf.

  8. HopeAndHardWork says:

    My husband always wore business attire to work but over the years had let his clothing get a little worn and ratty looking. Once I started to revamp my own clothes, he started to feel a little shabby in comparison and decided to update his wardrobe. Even though he’s still technically wearing button up shirts, ties and slacks, everything is new, well taken care of, and in a more flattering cut and color. Not only has he gotten more notice from everyone in his company, from the janitor to upper management, he’s now getting offered more opportunities to do things higher up in the company structure. My husband is a hard working man who is very very good at his job, but his new image seems to be like an advertising campaign to upper management saying “you want to get this guy on your team, he knows what he’s doing.” It’s been eye-opening for both of us.

  9. Peregrine John says:

    Been noodling this sort of thing for a while, figuring out how to best have my Self on display even when I’m not around (which is far too many hours a day, IMO). Combining the Wall of Smart (she’s a sapiophile, like Jennifer) with Brian’s plan sounds like a very good one.

    Pup: No wishing. Make a Wall of Happy Confidence. It’s the thing you are, if it’s the thing you want to be. Your subconscious will follow the lead of your eyes and physically expressed (by making the wall) intentions, and then you will become what you really are.

    Magnum: Sounds like you’re in a good place for a much quicker version of the MAP than I am. Get that engine started. And no forbidding you your accomplishments. Makes her sick, huh? Know what should make you sick? A deficient sex life. She fixes that, then you can think about a compromise with the awards.

  10. “One of the things I worked out about a year ago is that Jennifer is attracted to smart guys. Money is nice, hard body is nice, power is nice, dangerous is unwanted and smart is really important to her.”

    It’s a side note, but I also love how you work out things that Jennifer is attracted to (and NOT attracted to) and then play to that. Somehow it’s Captain Obvious produces totally novel approach to life and marriage.

  11. Flaming_Man_Of_Iron says:


    So make a tangible display of your accomplishments instead of complaining?

    Why aren’t you in charge of your finances?

    Sounds like you have a lot of work to do to restore your marriage dynamic to a more healthy one where your wife doesn’t fee like she’s the leader.

  12. @Flaming_Man_Of_Iron

    Yes I do have a lot more work to do. I’ve got the physical and financial side of things covered in terms of fitness and earning large amounts of cash. I have taken a leadership role in this – my example of buying a guitar was in the past – I already have the guitar.

    After 2 years of effort (and 20 years previous of being a dumbass, more asshole than beta, “ass-beta” if that’s a term) I’m still a work in progress.

  13. @Peregrine John

    Thanks. That comment really stuck with me. Being depressed and grasping for solutions anywhere I can find them, it’s great to find a simple nugget of wisdom like that. The Wall of Happy Confidence it is. I already have a little area in our bookcase with a picture of me shaking hands with me and wife’s hero, Ron Paul. Next to it is me with the current governor of Virginia, with a hand signed letter from him. I could add some pictures of me and the wife and/or kids being happy together, unless the wall is only for me. Some pictures of me and my deer kills, my truck, something from my own website/company, me and the guys on the golf course or in Las Vegas…Is this stuff along the right track, or is this just going to be a “what the hell is my husband doing to our bookcase?” I would just have to scrap all those unread books from bigmouth know-it-all assholes like Ann Coulter and Sean Hannity given to me as gifts – she hates them anyway. Less Hannity, more Pup.

    Here’s a dumb question for the gang…Am I a moron for not really knowing what my wife is attracted to? I mean, I’ve never really thought about it before, in 8+ years…She never had a relationship before me. I’m the only guy she ever dated seriously, let alone loved. How do I figure out what she likes? I’m guessing she is attracted to the version of me she first fell in love with. Happy, confident, cocky, *funny*, passionate, opinionated, expressive, caring…I lost track of that version of myself lately. *Do I now just “fake it until you make it” while I get my MAP going and ditch this depression?*

  14. Hmmm…. I kind of find this whole “show me your baubles” thing disturbing.

    Do these tangible displays prove that you and your loved one really don’t know each other? It appears that you don’t *really have a deep respect or understanding of each other if you have to flash bling in his/her face all the time to “remind them” of your worth. Sounds shallow to me.

    Yes – I used to dress in a suit everyday, had the bling, the car, the big house, and was miserable. My wife and I found real happiness by down-sizing and getting rid of the bling.

    Talk to *any high net worth personal banker and you will find that most of their clients dress in blue jeans and drive old pickup trucks.

  15. Let us not overlook an easy one, the ubiquitous digital picture grame. But a shelf or wall full is much better for certain.

  16. Chris – the well-off people who dress down have other things about them that signal value to their mate. For example, not having to worry about medical costs or the ability to do what they want, when they want. For the rest of us, displays / reminders of the value we have are the best we can do. Jeans and unreliable old cars aren’t very impressive when not backed up by real wealth. :-) C

  17. I like the idea of the wall of smart. The only thing is, I think when my husband looks at it, he’ll just see dollar signs when he sees the degrees and that will give him a ‘deer in the headlights’ look. That probably won’t do me any favors. I’m going to do it for me though. It will make me feel good to look at my tangible achievements. After Christmas, I’m getting some frames.

  18. Magnum, Sounds like you have all the structure in place, now you just need to take over the leadership role… You don’t decide not to display your accomplishments because “your wife doesn’t want you to.” You make the decision to do anything you want that you consider to be beneficial to the family and then she goes along with it. You don’t seek her approval, you just do. At your income level, just start carrying around about $300…. Spend money on whatever you feel like as long as it fits the long term budget…. That means you buy yourself nice clothes to wear, take your truck to get detailed, and buy your wife sexy underwear… You set the budget, you set the long term financial plan. When she complains, you correct her, and tell her that it’s bad form to spend her days complaining when she has it so fortunate. When she downplays your accomplishments, you tell her of course what I do appears easy, when you are as competent and talented as I am, things come easy. That’s why you are so lucky to be with a guy like me, then you give her a pat on the ass and a nice big grin… Get more buff than you are too, but mainly, just start reframing things as what they are, you are in charge. The reason why MMSL might not sit with some folks at first is because the reality is that most women won’t leave or cheat on really good men that are well above average earners, and good fathers just because they don’t fully spark their lust anymore. They will stay with them and give them a trickle of sex because they have what they “expected.” That’s why you have to remain an alpha, semi-bad boy to keep the spark going.

  19. Chris, being full-self employed, lacking a concrete schedule, and living mostly on passive income, and income earned from the work of others that you manage is the exact definition of achieving alpha career status. Wearing a suit you hate, sitting in traffic, going to a high stress rat-race job ( even if it is high earning) is anti-alpha. Alpha is doing what you want, when you want, how you want, and still being wealthy…. If you can dress however you want, set your own schedule, and have an office of women that adore you working for you even better…

  20. So I got the frames and put up four degrees and the academic award. He seemed a bit ticked. Not sure why.

  21. Armchair Quarterback says:

    @wife, re: “Not sure why.”

    Keep in mind displays of high value are different for men and women, and I think this post is talking about displays of high value for guys. Your husband likely loves you for other things than your academic achievements. To a guy, such a display probably seems competitive and might even be saying “I’m not happy with things around here.” Based on the posts I think that might be the correct inference.

  22. @Magnum…

    Wow, it sounds like you definitely have most of your game together, so bravo for you! As for the “wife doesn’t remember to get me money from the bank” part…that’s lame. YOU make the money, right? And you have a debit card maybe? All the men I’ve ever known whose wives control money like that are recovering gamblers, alcoholics, drug addicts, etc. Not high value, obviously.

    Two suggestions: first, get the money from the bank yourself (obvious). Or, tell her to go get the amount you want, like “You need to get me $300 cash from the bank by Thursday.” Not only will she start seeing the money, but knowing how much you’re carrying. Even if you don’t spend it all, it’s a great way to show off a bit. And I agree with the commenters above…if you buy things in front of her, pay in cash. Whatever you do, don’t get crazy with the spending, because that’s a big turn off.

    Good luck!

Speak Your Mind