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Confidence.

Confidence is sexy, isn’t it? The thing is, none of us necessarily feel confident all of the time. However, there is a simple way to exude confidence, turn up your appeal and do something that is good for your long term health. It’s the simplest thing really. It takes just a moment to do.  It’s something you already know how to do, but it may take you some time to get used to doing again.

So what is this one thing that can improve how people (including yourself) see you?

Let me start with a trip to the pool.

Every summer, my family and I have joined a local pool. It’s been great for the kids and is a nice way to end the day after camp. It is also a fun place to people watch. You get to see all kinds. What struck me the other day was what a difference one thing could make in how I perceive a person. Two sisters walked by. They were around my age, maybe a little younger, a had a very similar look. Empirically, I think that they were equally pretty, but one definitely stood out from the other in terms of appeal. I’m not talking solely sex appeal either. It was that one was simply more appealing than the other.

The one difference between the sisters?

Posture.

That’s it. One was slouched over, arms crossed, back bent, hips pushed forward. There was no attempt being made to straighten herself out. The other had her shoulders open and down, her head held high. You could see the confidence beaming from her face.

I was instantly brought back to my childhood when my dad used to harangue me about good posture. He would threaten to send me to military school or tie a stick to my back (jokingly, of course…right, dad? Right?). It wasn’t until he passed along the wisdom of his former kung-fu teacher, Sifu Steve Williams, that I really got it though. My father hadn’t taken kung-fu in 10 years at that point, but this particular nugget had stuck with him. His Sifu (the kung-fu equivalent of Sensei) had told him to think of a very thin, taut, golden thread coming out of the top of his head and extending up to the sky, in the process slightly pulling him up. If he slouched the thread would break. The point was to try to keep the thread in tact throughout the day.

That was it. It’s that easy.

Go ahead. Try it.

You naturally fall into good posture.

Now take a deep breath. Do you feel it? With good posture, your lungs open up and allows your body to take in more oxygen. That extra oxygen can wake you up, sharpen your senses and give you an overall sense of confidence. And with that, we’re back to the beginning. Confidence. Confidence is sexy.

I could go on about the myriad benefits of good posture, from the increased oxygen intake, to the maintenance of good spine health, to better running form, but I’ll leave it at confidence.

If you’re feeling down, or think that maybe you’re not getting the attention you’re due, step outside your skin and take a good, hard look at yourself. Odds are you’re slouching and unwittingly shutting out the world. Think of that golden thread and see if you can go through the day without breaking it. Obviously you have to duck under things or nod your head in certain situations, but try to stick to the spirit of the golden thread. My bet is that you’ll end the day a lot happier than you ended the previous one.

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