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6 Secrets To Upgrading Your Professional Images

6 Secrets To Upgrading Your Professional Images

Many people feel that we are living in a more casual world these days, and that it isn’t as important to have a professional look as it once was. Actually, it is more important than ever, and those who look professional are going to be more successful than those who don’t care about the images that people see and don’t take the time to make themselves look professional in their images. Here are some tips to help you make your images more professional.

1. Your Goals

Knowing your goals will help you decide if it is time to change your images. For instance, if your images show you as a fun-loving type and you want to be taken more seriously, then it is time to make some changes to your images. Or, you may appear too serious, and you want to appear more spontaneous and fun. Your images should reflect your goals. Remember, if you want to make waves in the business community, your images shouldn’t show you riding the waves or doing other un-businesslike activities.

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2. Timing

There are certain times when it is a good idea to upgrade your professional images. For instance, if you are moving into a new line of work, taking on a public role within your company, etc., this is a big change, and your images should reflect that. Or, you may just be bored and feel that you are stuck in a rut, and changing your images may be the thing to help you get out of that rut. Talk to friends, colleagues, etc. and find out how they see you, and ask if they think you need to upgrade your images at this time.

3. Your Context

Take a look at your environment, and ask yourself what the norms are within that environment. What shows status in your community? Who do you want as your audience? How do others that you admire present themselves? The more you understand the context of your appearance in your images, the better able you will be to change the images to those that work for you and make you look like the professional you are.

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4. Uniform

For instance, if you wear a uniform for your job, you can add to your professional images by using customized patches on the uniform, rather than direct embroidery, which is much more expensive. Learn more about patches at WikiHowPatchSuperstore.com and YouTube.

5. Working with Pros

Before you go out and have new photos taken, you need to put together a team of people who are going to ensure that your images are exactly what you want them to be. Your team should include a personal stylist (or a free styling service such as one from J.Crew) and a hair stylist instead of a traditional barber. Your photographer should be a professional, and not just a friend or family member who takes good pictures.

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6. Efficiency

In addition to upgrading your images, you should be upgrading your overall style. Make sure that you do this with efficiency. The whole point isn’t to be vain, but to find standard clothing that you can wear regularly that become somewhat of a uniform. Take your stylist with you and buy everything at once, instead of making multiple shipping trips by yourself and just buying one or two pieces at a time. This way, you will tend to get clothing that all mixes and matches and becomes your personal uniform.

You might be surprised at what upgrading your style can do for you, and for your career (not to mention your love life). Just look at the Trivago guy. Just last year, he was considered “creepy” by many. Now, he is cleaned up and has a more professional look, and “creepy” has turned into “hottie”. You can do the same thing with a stylist and efficiency.

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Featured photo credit: Chris Zerbes via flickr.com

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Jane Hurst

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Last Updated on September 20, 2018

8 Ways to Train Your Brain to Learn Faster and Remember More

8 Ways to Train Your Brain to Learn Faster and Remember More

You go to the gym to train your muscles. You run outside or go for hikes to train your endurance. Or, maybe you do neither of those, but still wish you exercised more.

Well, here is how to train one of the most important parts of your body: your brain.

When you train your brain, you will:

  • Avoid embarrassing situations. You remember his face, but what was his name?
  • Be a faster learner in all sorts of different skills. No problem for you to pick up a new language or new management skill.
  • Avoid diseases that hit as you get older. Alzheimer’s will not be affecting you.

So how to train your brain and improve your cognitive skills?

1. Work your memory

Twyla Tharp, a NYC-based renowned choreographer has come up with the following memory workout:

When she watches one of her performances, she tries to remember the first twelve to fourteen corrections she wants to discuss with her cast without writing them down.

If you think this is anything less than a feat, then think again. In her book The Creative Habit she says that most people cannot remember more than three.

The practice of both remembering events or things and then discussing them with others has actually been supported by brain fitness studies.

Memory activities that engage all levels of brain operation—receiving, remembering and thinking—help to improve the function of the brain.

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Now, you may not have dancers to correct, but you may be required to give feedback on a presentation, or your friends may ask you what interesting things you saw at the museum. These are great opportunities to practically train your brain by flexing your memory muscles.

What is the simplest way to help yourself remember what you see? Repetition.

For example, say you just met someone new:

“Hi, my name is George”

Don’t just respond with, “Nice to meet you”. Instead, say, “Nice to meet you George.”

Got it? Good.

2. Do something different repeatedly

By actually doing something new over and over again, your brain wires new pathways that help you do this new thing better and faster.

Think back to when you were three years old. You surely were strong enough to hold a knife and a fork just fine. Yet, when you were eating all by yourself, you were creating a mess.

It was not a matter of strength, you see. It was a matter of cultivating more and better neural pathways that would help you eat by yourself just like an adult does.

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And guess what? With enough repetition you made that happen!

But how does this apply to your life right now?

Say you are a procrastinator. The more you don’t procrastinate, the more you teach your brain not to wait for the last minute to make things happen.

Now, you might be thinking “Duh, if only not procrastinating could be that easy!”

Well, it can be. By doing something really small, that you wouldn’t normally do, but is in the direction of getting that task done, you will start creating those new precious neural pathways.

So if you have been postponing organizing your desk, just take one paper and put in its right place. Or, you can go even smaller. Look at one piece of paper and decide where to put it: Trash? Right cabinet? Another room? Give it to someone?

You don’t actually need to clean up that paper; you only need to decide what you need to do with it.

That’s how small you can start. And yet, those neural pathways are still being built. Gradually, you will transform yourself from a procrastinator to an in-the-moment action taker.

3. Learn something new

It might sound obvious, but the more you use your brain, the better its going to perform for you.

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For example, learning a new instrument improves your skill of translating something you see (sheet music) to something you actually do (playing the instrument).

Learning a new language exposes your brain to a different way of thinking, a different way of expressing yourself.

You can even literally take it a step further, and learn how to dance. Studies indicate that learning to dance helps seniors avoid Alzheimer’s. Not bad, huh?

4. Follow a brain training program

The Internet world can help you improve your brain function while lazily sitting on your couch. A clinically proven program like BrainHQ can help you improve your memory, or think faster, by just following their brain training exercises.

5. Work your body

You knew this one was coming didn’t you? Yes indeed, exercise does not just work your body; it also improves the fitness of your brain.

Even briefly exercising for 20 minutes facilitates information processing and memory functions. But it’s not just that–exercise actually helps your brain create those new neural connections faster. You will learn faster, your alertness level will increase, and you get all that by moving your body.

Now, if you are not already a regular exerciser, and already feel guilty that you are not helping your brain by exercising more, try a brain training exercise program like Exercise Bliss.

Remember, just like we discussed in #2, by training your brain to do something new repeatedly, you are actually changing yourself permanently.

6. Spend time with your loved ones

If you want optimal cognitive abilities, then you’ve got to have meaningful relationships in your life.  Talking with others and engaging with your loved ones helps you think more clearly, and it can also lift your mood.

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If you are an extrovert, this holds even more weight for you. At a class at Stanford University, I learned that extroverts actually use talking to other people as a way to understand and process their own thoughts.

I remember that the teacher told us that after a personality test said she was an extrovert, she was surprised. She had always thought of herself as an introvert. But then, she realized how much talking to others helped her frame her own thoughts, so she accepted her new-found status as an extrovert.

7. Avoid crossword puzzles

Many of us, when we think of brain fitness, think of crossword puzzles. And it’s true–crossword puzzles do improve our fluency, yet studies show they are not enough by themselves.

Are they fun? Yes. Do they sharpen your brain? Not really.

Of course, if you are doing this for fun, then by all means go ahead. If you are doing it for brain fitness, then you might want to choose another activity

8. Eat right – and make sure dark chocolate is included

Foods like fish, fruits, and vegetables help your brain perform optimally. Yet, you might not know that dark chocolate gives your brain a good boost as well.

When you eat chocolate, your brain produces dopamine. And dopamine helps you learn faster and remember better. Not to mention, chocolate contains flavonols, antioxidants, which also improve your brain functions.

So next time you have something difficult to do, make sure you grab a bite or two of dark chocolate!

The bottom line

Now that you know how to train your brain, it’s actually time to start doing.

Don’t just consume this content and then go on with your life as if nothing has changed. Put this knowledge into action and become smarter than ever!

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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