Most of us look for a motivational word that will help us achieve what we want out of life. There are many inspirational words and phrases that will do the trick although it is difficult to break success down into one motivation word.
One word that would help, despite being somewhat controversial, is appearance.
Okay, we are all told, and rightly so, that we should never judge by appearances but the truth is everybody does. Like it or not, we are all assessed by the people we meet within a few seconds.
There are several versions of the same maxim which basically says ‘you have one chance to make a good impression.’ This impression is made even before you open your mouth. Businesses are becoming more relaxed in their standards or dress these days but it would be a foolish person who turns up to work looking a slob.
It is just the same in all walks of life: if you look scruffy, people instantly assume you are inept and many will steer clear of you. If you look smart and well groomed, many will immediately trust you and want to deal with you.
Of course, this is sweeping generalization as an immaculately dressed person in a rough bar, for example, is unlikely to survive too long.
Actually that reminds me of two examples that go someway to explain my argument. Firstly, one day some years ago I was on my way to a business conference with a couple of friends. We all dressed in business suits and ties and had to call in to one of my friends’ house to collect him. We were in a nearly new car.
Unfortunately my friend lived in a rough area of town and there were children playing in the street. We were sat in the car for a few minutes and I could hear the children telling each other that such smart people had to be policemen.
At the other end of the spectrum, I was once in London for a meeting just off Piccadilly. I was dressed in a suit again, this time a nice tailored three-piece example. Such an outfit makes you feel confident and I decided to do some shopping in the swanky Fortnum and Mason store.
I started to gather some items of food to take away with me but was disappointed to find there were no baskets available. Suddenly a smartly dressed member of staff stood next to me and asked if I needed any help. I explained my predicament and was astonished when the man offered to carry my shopping for me. I then had the odd experience of handing my shopping into the arms of my personal assistant as I went. When I had finished, he took the items to the till and packed them as another assistant rang them up.
I can only assume I got such great service as a result of the way I was dressed.
If you want to understand the idea of that motivation word ‘appearance,’ just think about your reactions when you first meet someone. I’ll bet you always think something about his or her appearance (‘he’s good looking,’ ‘she’s fat,’ or ‘he’s tall’) and I know women in particular assess the fashion sense of the other person.
You also get an idea of the importance of appearance when someone makes an unkind comment about the way you look. We all know we should not care what they say (and why are they such a great judge, anyway?) but the truth is it does hit home on most occasions.
So what should we do?
The first rule is still don’t judge people on the way they look. Okay, their appearance can be an indication of the person inside but make sure you find out and respect their real character.
Secondly, knowing that other people will judge your appearance, make sure you control the impression they get of you.
Always wear clean clothes. No matter what you wear, people will respect you more if it is clear you made an effort. Smelling like a farmyard will impress no one.
Experiment with what works for you. Women can try various combinations of clothes, accessories, hairstyles and cosmetics to see what make stem look and feel good. Men have it a little easier with a narrower choice of styles. Whatever works for you, remember too to tailor it to the occasion and ensure everything matches.
Unless you have a supermodel figure (for ladies) or look like James Bond (for men), you might consider wearing a slightly larger size, as this will flatter your figure.
Making appearance your motivation word can make you feel more confident in all you do. Knowing you look good gives you a great boost and can remove one of the obstacles to living the life you want to lead. Looking your best also helps to sell you to other people less enlightened about the importance of appearance.
Never judge people by appearance but remember that everyone else does.
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