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Hack Your Way to Good Looks

Hack Your Way to Good Looks

“It takes more than just a good looking body, you’ve got to have the heart and soul that goes with it.” – Epictetus

Good-looking people have all the luck. They perform better in sales, are more likely to be approved for a loan and pay lower rates than their average-looking counterparts. They find jobs faster, move up the ladder quicker and earn an average of 3-4% more than the rest of us. That’s $140,000 in a lifetime, not counting the low rates and free stuff. Jealous much?

Does it mean us normals are doomed to work the least interesting jobs for the least amount of money? Hardly. As Supermodel Cameron Russell put in in a recent Ted Talk, “Image is powerful, but it’s also superficial.”

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Beauty is a construction. With the right formula, it’s surprisingly easy to replicate on the job. The world’s sexiest CEOs have something in common above and beyond sex appeal: practiced self-confidence. In an interview or on the job, this is the real key to moving up the ladder and getting the recognition we all deserve.

Self-confidence denotes a kind of take charge attitude that appeals to potential employers. It’s tough to fake. You need to build it over time. Good looks, on the other hand, are remarkably easy to replicate. You can’t transform yourself into Tyra Banks overnight, but you can certainly borrow some tips from her bag of tricks.

HOW TO FAKE GOOD LOOKS

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  1. Dress with an ounce of pizzazz. Ever seen a CEO in sweatpants? Me neither. If only on the day of your interview, wear the best clothes you have. If you are not normally complimented on your attire, get a second opinion before selecting that all-important interview costume. Ask friends. Do a little research.  Be more than just another suit. A well-placed handkerchief or silk cravat could be the thing that takes you from average to unforgettable.

  2. Practice impeccable posture. Good posture is the mark of a confident person. In one study, participants were asked to write down why they were qualified for a particular job, and it turns out those who maintained good posture while writing were more likely to believe the thoughts they wrote down. Not only do you appear more credible to the interviewer, but you become more credible to yourself, which is the most important thing of all.

  3. Exercise. It takes less than an hour of exercise per day to improve your mood and boost your self-confidence. A quick jog or a half hour of yoga will not only add a healthy glow to your cheeks but will also help your body to produce happiness hormones like serotonin and dopamine.

  4. Invest in professional grooming. Estheticians are remarkably affordable, and the modern man need not shy away from such services. A day or two before your interview, get those hands professionally manicured, wax your eyebrows, get a fresh haircut. Those may seem like small details to you, but before you write it off, look at some pictures on Business Insider’s list of the Sexiest CEOs. That’s grooming you can take to the bank.

  5. Get a tan. Sounds silly, right? But if you’re in a profession where you never see the sun, it’s the middle of February and you’re white a sheet, eight minutes in a tanning bed will bring just a little colour back in your face, giving you the appearance of being fresh and full of life.

  6. Be irresistibly charming.  If we were all as charming as Julia Roberts, there’d be no such things as unemployment. Anyone can be charming with just a little bit of practice.  Express genuine interest in the person you are dealing with. Take extra care to remember the name of everyone you mean while in the company of a potential employer. Smile often. Be generous when you give compliments and gracious when you receive them. Listen. Speak well of your former employers.  Look the interviewer in the eye.

Cultivating beauty and self-confidence may start with these simple tricks but eventually it will start to penetrate and become real. Starting each day by dressing nicely and greeting your colleagues with a smile and a laugh will produce long-term effects; eventually people will start seeing you the way you want to be seen whether you wear your cravat or not.

Remember, if beauty were all it took there would be a whole lot more CEOs who look like supermodels. Check out Business Insider’s latest list of CEOs of startups to watch: a nice collection of average looking people doing off-the-wall, amazing things. Success, it seems, is not only the domain of the beautiful people. It’s available to all of us.

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Last Updated on January 21, 2020

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

    Why You Need a Vision

    Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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    How to Create Your Life Vision

    Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

    What Do You Want?

    The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

    It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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    Some tips to guide you:

    • Remember to ask why you want certain things
    • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
    • Give yourself permission to dream.
    • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
    • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

    Some questions to start your exploration:

    • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
    • What would you like to have more of in your life?
    • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
    • What are your secret passions and dreams?
    • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
    • What do you want your relationships to be like?
    • What qualities would you like to develop?
    • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
    • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
    • What would you most like to accomplish?
    • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

    It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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    What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

    Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

    A few prompts to get you started:

    • What will you have accomplished already?
    • How will you feel about yourself?
    • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
    • What does your ideal day look like?
    • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
    • What would you be doing?
    • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
    • How are you dressed?
    • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
    • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
    • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

    It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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    Plan Backwards

    It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

    • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
    • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
    • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
    • What important actions would you have had to take?
    • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
    • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
    • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
    • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
    • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

    Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

    It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

    Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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