Those who find ugly meanings in beautiful things are corrupt without being charming. This is a fault.
Those who find beautiful meanings in beautiful things are the cultivated. For these there is hope. They are the elect to whom beautiful things mean only beauty.
– Oscar Wilde (The Picture of Dorian Gray)
Every good magician pays as much attention to the look of their props, the way their hands appear, the way their hair is coiffed, and their attire as they do to the sleights and mechanics that allow them to display intoxicating miracles. They profoundly understand that elaborate attention to appearance details is what will make all the difference in the initial mood of their audience, how their show is received, and how gratifying the performance is. These same principles translate directly to your own success workflow and business state of affairs. (Oh, and such attention to detail and implementation of the following tips changes your own state of mind, as well.)
If you want to immediately experience the power of appearances, take a moment, close your eyes, and remember back to one of the most beautiful places you’ve ever visited. What caught your attention? Now notice how that memory, alone, changes the way you feel. Now, let’s take a second and recall a beautiful animal or bird that you have seen. What did you notice about it? If you can’t think of anything on your own, then bring a peacock to mind. The dramatic sight of a peacock’s tail is why we associate peacocks with beauty. Charles Darwin, in his noteworthy tome, The Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex, even mentioned peacocks and wrote:
The sexual struggle is of two kinds; in the one it is between individuals of the same sex, generally the males, in order to drive away or kill their rivals, the females remaining passive; whilst in the other, the struggle is likewise between the individuals of the same sex, in order to excite or charm those of the opposite sex, generally the females, which no longer remain passive, but select the more agreeable partners.
Darwin’s Sexual Selection process is applicable to your daily success strategies, as well. To put it another way, you must maximize your success at all times. And, that can be done by:
1. Making yourself beautiful, charismatic, and engaging; and/or
2. Discouraging and getting the better of the competition.
I have been engaged in some very complex negotiations, lately – discussions worth hundreds of thousands of dollars to my client. One of the interesting comments made to me after the latest round of talks was a remark about how I was dressed. The person asked me why I wore what I wore (they noticed that I was always dressed better than everyone else, my shoes were shined, I wore a tie and pocket square, etc.). I told him that I believed my appearance was supremely important to send the message I wanted to send in a particular setting. I explained to him that everything I do during a business negotiation has a purpose – including the way I look. Indeed, if you want to model some of the most consistently successful people I know, then you will do the same thing. When persuading, selling, and enticing – dress for success!
Let me put it a different way: If you don’t care how you’re seen, why should anyone else care? Do you want to be taken seriously? Do you want to be seen as a professional? Do you want to be perceived as being upwardly mobile? Are you just one of the guys? Do you want to blend in and essentially be invisible? Then you must dress for that part. Your appearance counts far more than you know.
Many people have written about appearances and how to maximize what you wear for optimal success. Rather than repeat everything, take a look at the following for some ideas:
For you men, here are my personal places for buying success clothes:
1. Banana Republic – I love their wool pants
2. Thomas Pink – nothing beats their slim fit shirts
3. Nordstrom – if you don’t want to spend the money on Thomas Pink, then this is the place to look
4. Macy’s – I get my pocket squares, some dress shirts, and a variety of ties here
I make it a habit to buy French cuff shirts whenever possible. You can then accessorize with cufflinks that send a message.
Also, whenever I wear a jacket or blazer, I have a pocket square (even if I’m wearing jeans). For those who haven’t considered brandishing a pocket square, before, here are some ideas:
So, now you have the tools needed to be cultivated, persuasive, and powerfully successful in the way you look! Add your own knowledge and personality to the mix and you become unstoppable!
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