It would be great if nobody cared what people looked like. The truth is that people will judge you based on their first vision of you. What you appear to be to someone else is based partly on your genetics and partly on your culture. You were given a body through the grace of your parents and that…is that. Then you create a look based on your culture and the times that you live in. This is an identifying look. It lets others know where you are coming from geographically and culturally. Right or wrong, this happens in all cultures and subcultures around the world. It gives you a way to fit in and also gives you a way to distinguish your ways of life. It creates both unification and separation. That is the way of the world.
But there is one thing that people of all cultures seem to share. It is as old as mankind. It seems that when it comes to leaders, a majority of people seem to appreciate a person who looks healthy. Keep in mind that “healthy” looks are relative according to each society. What looks healthy to you may look terrible to a person raised in a culture much different from yours.
Here in our Western Culture and especially in the area where I live, a healthy person looks strong and full of vitality. They move well and generally look flexible and more strong than weak. But another culture may see if differently. Perhaps to them “healthy” is a rotund body that looks well fed with no exposure to the sun or cold and no need for physical activity at all. The interesting thing is that either way, a person that looks healthy appears to be a better choice for a leader.
In a study from November 2014, published in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, Dutch researchers concluded that it is more important for potential business or political leaders to look healthy than to appear intelligent. Their statement was based on the responses of 148 adults who were asked to choose a new CEO by looking at photos of individuals made to look more or less intelligent or more or less healthy. The researchers found that participants chose a healthier look 69% of the time. The lead author, Dr. Brian Spisak adds, “Here we show that it always pays for aspiring leaders to look healthy, which explains why politicians and executives often put great effort, time, and money in their appearance.”
So it seems that looking healthy can be an important contribution to the ability to be a leader. Even if you don’t aspire to be a leader, a healthy appearance is a great asset to your personal life. In order to look healthy, you actually need to do things that healthy people do. The keys to health aren’t really complex. They lie in paying attention to your physical, social and mental well being. Eat well, exercise properly and be part of something bigger than yourself. Nourish your mind and spirit with ideas that cause positive growth and well being on regular basis. Above all, accept people for who they really are, instead of who they appear to be to you.
To be a leader you just need to be a true example of your own way of life. So even though you may not want to be a leader, you really are by default. Other people see your behaviors and some choose to do what you do. We should all be surrounded by health and well being and it all starts with your example of a healthy lifestyle. Don’t lead to develop followers, lead to develop more leaders for a healthier, happier world.
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