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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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Hack Your Way to Good Looks

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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