1. “It’s a self-assurance that radiates from deep within and can be felt for miles. It’s an energy that immediately shifts the dynamic of a room. It is not actively seeking out debauchery or pleasure, but having it gravitate toward you.”

2. “People with [it] exhibit a certain toughness, a kind of moral nerve; they display what was once called character, a quality which, although approved in the abstract, sometimes loses ground to other, more instantly negotiable virtues.”

3. “The complete security of not needing other people’s benchmarks — wealth, intelligence, beauty, or [it] — to know one’s own worth. Any suspicion of tryhard vibes kills [it], as does the kind of cockiness that speaks of insecurity.”

4. “People with [it] have the courage of their mistakes. They know the price of things. If they choose to commit adultery, they do not then go running, in an access of bad conscience, to receive absolution from the wronged parties; nor do they complain unduly of the unfairness, the undeserved embarrassment, of being named correspondent.”

5. “A discipline, a habit of mind that can never be faked but can be developed, trained, coaxed forth.”

6. “Adam Driver has it, as did Carrie Fisher. It fuels Themyscira and her Amazons. Imperator Furiosa and Mad Max both have it. Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor wield it, as does Angela Merkel. So do Tilda Swinton, Cher, and Cate Blanchett. Johnny Cash had it, same with Prince and David Bowie. LeBron James, Serena Williams, and Katie Ledecky have it, too. If you look hard enough, it’s everywhere around you. So is its absence.”

7. “Although the careless, suicidal Julian English in Appointment in Samarra and the careless, incurably dishonest Jordan Baker in The Great Gatsby seem equally improbable candidates for [it], Jordan Baker had it, Julian English did not.”

8. “The dismal fact is that [it] has nothing to do with the approval of others — who are, after all, deceived easily enough; has nothing to do with reputation — which, as Rhett Butler told Scarlett O’Hara, is something that people with courage can do without.”

9. “Not everyone with [it] is well-dressed, but having [it] seems to be a prerequisite to being one of the best-dressed people in the world.”

10. “[It] cannot be planned nor can it be forced. It is a natural thing bestowed upon the chosen ones.”

11. “A quiet confidence and ease with oneself… It’s not cockiness, it’s not a power trip — it’s the opposite: a healthy, satisfied, low-key way you feel yourself.”

12. “They may not play at all, but when they do play, they know the odds.”

13. “To assign unanswered letters their proper weight, to free us from the expectations of others, to give us back to ourselves — there lies the great, the singular power of [it]. Without it, one eventually discovers the final turn of the screw: one runs away to find oneself, and finds no one at home.”

14. “It doesn’t assert or draw attention to itself, it simply: is.”

- - -

Think Pieces Attempting to Define “Big Dick Energy”: 1, 3, 6, 9, 10, 11, 14
Joan Didion’s “On Self-Respect”: 2, 4, 5, 7, 8, 12, 13