More important than the way you look is the way people feel when they're around you. Here are six attitudes to put into practice that are memorable, enticing, and contagious:
1. Don’t be afraid to throw bold color on the canvas of life and worry about the details later.
There’s an initial brilliance in the moment when we feel the urge to throw paint, an energy that others really respond to. When we stifle these creative urges, that brilliance is lost. This applies to things as small as sharing our flow of thoughts or jokes in a conversation, and on a much larger scale — executing ideas and taking action in life.
This doesn’t mean that you should be impulsive to the point of recklessness, it means don't be afraid to launch your colors into the world and trust in the picture that will develop, before you can see all the details.
2. Have mercy.
There are countless times every day when we have power over others — a stressed-out driver trying to make a turn and sticking out too far, a waitress hoping for a decent tip so she can buy food for her family, an employee who is frustrating us because their English is not so good.
When you recognize the position of power you're in and use it for good, that's attractive. Use it as an opportunity to give someone a break and show kindness and patience.
3. See the big picture.
It’s so easy to drown in the the details of something that seems like failure or loss. When your view stops there, you feel doomed and suck everyone around you into your state. It is attractive when, instead of focusing on the smaller picture of whatever has gone wrong, you take a broad view and try to see how whatever has gone wrong is actually a part of something larger unfolding.
It's an attitude that reflects a feeling of being connected to something larger, a flow in life. You can do this within relationships —take a step back in a fight and see the greater picture of what you and the other person have built together.
4. Be a bright spot.
At the end of my day, I always remember the person in a dreadfully long line who made light of the situation, or a cashier who took the time to smile and say something other than whatever lines management made him memorize. It is attractive when you take a moment to be fully present and spread a smile or some warmth.
I like to think of people as bundles of electricity, and when we take a moment to be a bright spot, we light up with a bit of an extra charge, which we pass on to others, who in turn do the same, passing bursts of electricity around the grid of humanity.
5. Treat others as though they're your brother or sister.
From an early age, we are conditioned to compare ourselves to everyone else. We have to be better looking, thinner, more talented etc., than others or we feel jealousy toward them. It's attractive when you react in the opposite way. Acknowledge someone’s gifts as if that person were your brother or sister, have compassion for their struggles, see them as connected to the same fabric as you instead of a separate entity that is somehow a threat.
6. Be at ease with who you are, flaws and all.
If you feel shame about things and hide who you truly are, others can sense this and it causes disconnect. When you are at ease with your flaws, secrets, quirks, weirdness, your story — all of it — and believe you are loveable regardless of the details, it draws people in. It is attractive when you live your life in keeping with your heart without fear of judgment of what is normal and acceptable.
You become authentically attractive because people are drawn to you for who you really are, not for a polished façade. The most attractive and inspiring people are the ones who aren’t afraid to color boldly and brilliantly outside the lines ... because the truth of who we are rarely falls within a tidy outline drawn by others.