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10 Tips for Powerful Body Language

Confidence is not something you are simply born with. Confidence is something that you gain through practice.

Confidence is the most important trait you can acquire. It is the difference between living a great life of adventure and abundance, versus living a life of fear and regret.

Self-confident people trust their own abilities and have a general sense of trust in their lives. They believe that, within reason, they will be able to do whatever they wish, plan and expect. People with no confidence do not trust their own abilities. They are hesitant, and thus miss out on good opportunities. victory 300x210 10 Tips for Powerful Body Language

Self-confidence allows you to take risks, because you’ll have enough faith in yourself that, if things go wrong, you’ll be able to make them right. Without that confidence, you would never take risks, and live with regrets.

So how do you gain confidence?

Mainly, it is gained through practice and repetition. You will become confident in a certain skill set once you have good ability to perform it. That comes through many hours of practice and repetition. That could mean delivering a great speech, crafting the perfect wooden chair, or swinging a baseball bat. All activities require a lot of practice to achieve mastery.

So then how do you appear confident?

Have you ever heard the term “fake it ’til you make it?” It works.

It basically alludes to the appearance of being confident, even if you’re heart is pumping and your knees are shaking. If you appear to be confident, then people will put their trust in you, which will in-turn give you the faith to do it. It’s sort of like a self-fulfilling prophecy.

The way to appear confident is by employing the 10 Power Body Language Cues. These are all the body postures that will allow you to convey authority, competence, and confidence. By simply standing in the proper position, you send the message that you are a person to respect and to trust. A simple power pose also fools your mind into believing that you can achieve anything. It is amazing how it works.

Try these 10 Tips for better body language:

1. Assume a power pose

Stand up straight. Feet slightly apart and equal with your hips. Spine straight. Chest out. Butt out. Breathe deeply from the pit of the stomach through the entire spine. Place your hands on your hips. Feel you entire body brimming with power and energy.

2. Look like you’re listening

A good trick to do this is to maintain strong eye contact, and cock your head slightly to the side. This gives the appearance of deep and thoughtful

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listening. Also, keep your mouth shut and speak less. Remember, “he who speaks least wins.”

3. Remove barriers

Physically, don’t have barriers between you and the other person. Don’t cross your arms. Don’t hide behind objects. Assume a power pose and maintain open body language.

4. Shake hands

A firm hand shake is the beginning of every relationship, and is the strongest first impression. It is very simple to do, and

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very important. Remember to give a firm grip, and make your presence felt.

5. Smile

It is so easy, and so infectious. Everybody loves a good smile. Strangers will instantly warm up to you. People will perceive you as kind and friendly, no matter what. A good smile can take you a long way.

6. Mirror expressions and postures

Mirroring is an old sales trick. It is also effective. Good mirroring begins with breathing techniques. Try to match the other person’s breathing patterns. After that, try to match their stance, their posture, and their speaking patterns. Give it some practice, and soon it will come naturally.

7. Use your hands

Emotions are conveyed through the hands. If you look out for it, you’ll notice that people show their insecurities through their hands. They fidget or hide them or play with things. Instead of showing insecurities, display confidence by using your hands with more intention. Be emotive with them.

8. Watch people’s feet

Just like the hands, the feet are another spot where people express their unconscious emotions. They try to hide them, or scuffle them, or they point them in the direction that they want to go. It is fascinating once you are aware of this.

9. Keep your voice low

Just like a radio announcer, practice speaking slow and low. Don’t raise your voice too high. Keep it controlled. Try speaking slower than whatever you are currently do. Whatever you feel like you sound like, you are usually speaking too fast. Slow it down, and deepen it.

10. Uncross your arms and legs

Practice open posture, and it will allow better things to come into your life. Be open with everyone, and they will be open with you. That is the best way to strengthen relationships and gain confidence.

Practice all of these techniques in your daily interactions. Please let me know if there is anything I’m forgetting, or anything that you’ve learned from this exercise.

What is the Pursuit of Happiness?

Declaration of Independence

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

-Declaration of Independence, 1776

And with this single document the forefathers of this country, the representatives of the United States of America, announced their independence to their world, their sovereignty from the tyranny of the royal crown, and their intention to live a life of freedom.  And although it would be another 13 years of war, debates, and politics before we received our first President of the United States and our first governing body, it is the day that the Declaration of Independence was signed, on July 4th, 1776, that we consider to be the birth date of America.   Declaration of Independence 300x95 What is the Pursuit of Happiness?

So why is this important?

Of all of the great literature created over the centuries in the United States, the Declaration should be considered the  greatest.  It is still the most important, both politically and culturally.  It lay the framework  for how a nation should be governed, and how the citizenry should act.  The quote above essentially serves as a mission statement for America.  It states that all men are created equal. That is an incredibly powerful statement.  To be sure, at the time of its writing, it was interpreted to mean only white men of privilege, not women, or people of other races.  Although over the course of this nation’s history, after much struggle, debate, and bloodshed, it has to come to mean that all men, all women, all races, and all people are crated equal.  

And, more importantly, all men (and women) are granted three unalienable rights:

  1. The right to live
  2. The right to have liberty, or freedom
  3. The right to pursue one’s own happiness

When reflecting upon those three rights, I always marvel at the foresight and intuition of Thomas Jefferson to contain the phrase “pursuit of happiness.”  Sure, we can all understand how important life and liberty are.  We all want to live, and we all want to be free.  Those are obvious, though no less insignificant, since in many countries the citizens are not allowed life and freedom, even today.  Just as the original colonialists were not granted liberty under the rule of the crown.

The pursuit of happiness has always been the interesting phrase.  Was Thomas Jefferson, and the rest of the forefathers, basically declaring that happiness was the essence of life?  And not just happiness, but the pursuit of happiness.

What is the pursuit of happiness?

Surely, the Caveman did not have such a phrase for happiness.  That emotion didn’t exist.  The Caveman did not have room for happiness, not when their days were consumed with trying to survive the elements, and hunting down a decent meal.  Times were different back then…. What is the Pursuit of Happiness?
…But what if they weren’t?  Maybe happiness is an instinctive emotion, rooted in our ancient ancestors.  Maybe the Caveman was pursuing happiness, just like the rest of us.  And perhaps, on some days, after a successful hunt, when the tribe was gathered around the campfire, eating a big meal and telling good stories, there was an overwhelming sensation of love, contentment, and joy.  Maybe the idea of happiness could be just as simple as that.

I define personal happiness into 3 categories:

  1. Health.  Health means you are healthy and taking care of your body.
  2. Wealth.  Wealth means you are fulfilled in your work and your professional career is going the way you would like.
  3. Relationships. Relationships means you are harmonious with your family, your friends, and your general social network.

Of course, in our pursuit of happiness, things don’t always turn out exactly the way we envision them. Certainly things have not always gone the way I would like them to go. Sometimes relationships don’t go the way you want them to.  Oftentimes jobs aren’t what you thought they would be. That’s life.  It’s full of missteps, curve balls, and steep cliffs.  It’s never a smooth ride.
But there are very specific ways to overcome the hardships of life, and maintain the pursuit of happiness.   Here they are

1) Set Goals

You are never going to achieve happiness unless you can define what happiness means to you.  What is your vision of happiness?  Would you know it when you attain it?  You might not. After all, happiness is not something that you strive to attain, but rather something that comes to you in the midst of your striving.   The only way to set a clear path towards happiness is to define what it means, and set the goals that you must achieve in order to be happy.  There should be goals to fall into all of the categories: health, wealth, and relationships. Perhaps you set goals for a healthier body, more friends, and more career achievement.  And then everyday you are working towards improving in all of those areas.

2) Strive for Balance

I have learned over the years that a balanced life is essential.  Balance is the name of the game. We cannot be happy when our lives are not balanced.  It’s really not possible.  For a lot of us, an unbalanced life means that we work too hard and too long.  It causes a lot of stress, it diverts time from other things, such as exercise, or fun.  It puts a strain on relationships.   Several years ago I had a high-pressure entertainment industry job that stressed me out to no end.  After several months of that environment, I realized that i had to get out of it, or I would never be happy.  Only after leaving that job did I realize that I should never have been there in the first place, because in no way, shape or form was it contributing to a better society or a better humanity.

3) Challenge Yourself

You can never be fulfilled if you are not challenged.  The human body and the human mind are designed to be challenged.  Otherwise we are just stagnant.  Find ways to challenge yourself.  Set those big goals.  Dream big.  Try to do things you didn’t think you could do.  Strive to live a life of audacity  (link blog post)

The pursuit of happiness means you are Always Going For It…

As long as you can look yourself in the mirror, and believe that you are truly “going for it,” that you are pushing your limits, that you are constantly exploring, constantly learning, and constantly trying new things, that you are not settling for the status quo, that you aren’t getting stagnant, aren’t getting complacent, and aren’t getting lazy, then you are pursuing happiness.
Can you look yourself in the mirror and tell yourself that you are having fun?  That you are happy with the direction your life is heading?  That you feel energized every day by the opportunities and adventures in front of you? That you are pursuing worthy accomplishments, goals worth fighting for?  That you are always looking for ways to improve yourself, improve your relationships, improve your professional career?

Those are some big questions. They are questions that only you can answer for yourself.  Because nobody should know you better than yourself.  You know how far you can push it.  You know that there is still a part of you down there somewhere that isn’t satisfied, that is feeling restless. That feels like now is the time to take bold steps.    What is the Pursuit of Happiness?

The way I see it, this country was founded on the principles of entrepreneurism, of self-motivation, of going for it. As a nation, we pride those that take bold risks, that motivate action, that create something profound.  Our mission statement involves the pursuit of happiness, of achieving worthy goals, and accomplishing great things. There is too much pride in this country, too much fighting and bloodshed in the attainment of these ideals, that I personally feel it would be irresponsible to not take that risk.

“I know not what others may choose, but as for me, give me liberty or give me death.” - Patrick Henry


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