It's a very popular idiom that I'm sure you've heard before. Its meaning is virtually self explanatory and advises us not to determine the worth of something based on its appearance. It's probably the most common expression when we are referring to physical appearances and vanity. A great example would be Susan Boyle whose rather frumpy appearance belies her exquisite voice.
Often in life we judge someone or something based on outward appearances. To a certain extent this is human nature. Sometimes the meeting with another is brief and we don't have the opportunity to get beyond physical appearance. We make a quick decision based on these openly visible, but incomplete and often inaccurate first impressions. Our subsequent actions or inaction as the case may be, are often influenced by these simplistic observations.
Unfortunately, society tends to benefit people who are physically attractive and can disadvantage or discriminate against those who aren't. We often make sub-conscious judgments about people we see based on their hairstyle or the clothes they are wearing. However, we don't stop to consider that people alter their appearance to fit into their workplace, personal relationships and society in general. For all these changes, their personality and character traits remain the same.
This seemingly instinctive way of thinking can have other consequences on our daily lives. As consumers, it often means we miss a great offer. Our ability to make an informed decision is clouded by initial prejudice that is very often an instinctive reaction more than anything. The key to getting beyond this is being objective and having an open mind.
Marketers use many clever ploys these days to create a very attractive 'cover' for the 'book' they are selling. As consumers, it's our obligation to look beyond the cover, open the book and read a few pages. That way we can be truly familiar with what we are considering. When the 'noise' of the sales pitch can be replaced by useful and factual information, we can then make a fully informed decision.
Let's examine this in practical terms. If it's a brochure or newspaper advertisement you're reading, take a few moments to look past the large headlines that grabbed your attention. The expression "the devil is in the detail" refers to the mysterious element hidden in the smaller print. We commonly refer to this as the 'catch' and it's something we need to be well aware of before we make a commitment to anything.
The tactics used in internet marketing can be even more effective because it's an interactive medium. So of course we need to be wary but, once again, there is no reason to make premature evaluations. If you are considering an opportunity online, the website is your book 'cover'. You read the colorful home page and click around the different links that you find but how do you actually read the 'book'?
An excellent way to know what a book says is simply to ask other people who have read it. Whether it's an internet product, service or wealth creation opportunity, you do exactly the same thing. Doing a Google search is not the best option though because it will bring up a lot of biased information and advertising placed there by marketers. Seeking information through discussion forums and networking sites is much better because it will provide more objective and honest opinions.
The key to using this strategy is to ensure that you have sufficient information. With just about everything, people will have a unique opinion based on their personal experience. These will range from good to bad and everything in between. You need to collate enough individual opinions to form a collective one. Of course, that doesn't necessarily determine your final decision but it gives you a very sound basis on which to actually make it.
It's always good to keep in mind that, for whatever reason, the 'book' may have a plain, unattractive colour that doesn't truly reflect its quality. Once again, it's an important reminder not to make premature judgements about anything. With some simple research that doesn't take a lot of time, you can get an accurate feel for the quality of the product, reliability of the service or the potential of the marketing scheme you are considering.
Every day people make assumptions basely on the appearance of something. We instinctively choose things that have a perfect external appearance because we imagine that if the outside is flawless, the rest must be also. Of course this just isn't true and we need to change our superficial mentality if we are to benefit ourselves and others. Look at and admire the cover but don't forget to actually open the book and read a few pages. You'll never know what you missed otherwise.