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Mirror Mirror on the Wall...

by John Tschohl, Founder and President, Service Quality Institute, Minneapolis, Minnesota - June 27, 2014

Mirror Mirror on the Wall…

Last year, Americans spent $46 Billion dollars on diet and exercise and a recorded $33 billion on cosmetics. One would think that with the amount of money spent, we should all be walking around looking like super models. In actuality, the opposite is true. The more we spend, the worst we look.

How important are our looks, confidence, and appearance when it comes to landing interviews or being considered for a promotion? What do people see when they look at us? What do we see when we look at ourselves in the mirror? Are our clothes ill-fitted, are we carrying extra weight? Have we gone to the dentist for our annual checkup? Are our clothes out of style? Are we eating well balanced meals? Are we sleeping 8 hours a night? Are we limiting our alcohol to one drink a day? Are we still smoking? Are we exercising 3 to 4 times a week? Are our looks taking away some of our confidence? How we see ourselves is how others will see us.

According to John Tschohl, author of Moving Up, we need to “dress for success”. Studies show that people tend to feel great when they look great. When a person has a polished appearance, other people will take notice. While you cannot live on compliments alone to boost your self-confidence, it is important that you give yourself compliments. If you don’t control what you think about yourself, someone else will. If you aren’t sure whether you are dressing for your body type or coloring, hire a professional. It will be worth its weight in gold.

Let’s be honest. First impressions matter. The way people view us is how they will treat us. Fair or not, if a promotion is between two people with equal skills, the better looking person will most likely get the job. It is human nature to be attracted towards beauty. So what steps can we take towards getting that coveted job or promotion. According to Tschohl, there are 4 major areas we can focus on which will dramatically change our lives for the better and increase our chances of “Moving Up”!

1) Nutrition-“we are what we eat” is not a myth. We can make small steps every day to improve our nutrition. We can cut our fast food restaurants, substitute sugar for fruit, eat lean meats and cheese, and load our plates with colorful vegetables. A healthy diet that is low in fat and high in essential nutrients reduces the risk of memory loss, helps prevent strokes and boosts alertness. When we eat food high in antioxidants and vitamins and minerals, we nourish the body for optimal performance. Clean Fuel=Clean Energy. You wouldn’t put junk in your car’s gas tank so don’t put it in yours.

2) Sleep-it is recommended that we sleep 7.5 to 8 hours a night. The average American sleeps only 6. Sleep deprivation is serious and can cause serious health risks including obesity, diabetes, memory loss, increase cancer risk, increased stress, and poor relationships with others. How effective can you be at work when you are groggy, sleepy, and not fully repaired from the day before?

3) Physical Exercise-We do not move our bodies enough! Exercise is imperative for the proper functioning of our Central Nervous System, Digestive System as well as keeping our bones strong. It is recommended that we spend 30 to 45 minutes 3 times a week performing Cardiovascular Exercise and 2 to 3 times a week Strength Training. However, any type of exercise (especially if this is new to you) is acceptable. Going on walks, hiking, biking, playing tennis, gardening, golf, dancing, swimming, roller blading…virtually anything that requires more energy than sitting in front of the tv or a computer is acceptable. Committing to a regular exercise program will result in better night sleeps, better nutrition, and proper weight management. You will be amazed before you are halfway done at the change in your mental and physical state.

4) Alcohol/Drugs/Substance Abuse- Just because your Doctor prescribes it doesn’t mean its ok. Always question what you are putting in your body and research the drug being prescribed. As for Alcohol and Recreational Drugs, its better they are just left alone. No one should be consuming more than one drink a day. Anything more than that will negatively affect the mind and body. According to Tschohl, large amounts of consumed alcohol over a period of time can create health conditions such as weight gain, high blood pressure, depressed immune system and cancer. Heavy drinking can cause serious liver damage and death. Any type of Substance Abuse can lead to respiratory and circulatory system breakdowns, or more seriously result in death. Substance Abuse not only affects you negatively, but damages relationships and your ability to Move Up.

So, armed with all this information what do we do? A first step is surround yourself with positive people who have likeminded goals. Negative people will always pull you down. People within your circle of influence with a negative attitude damages your aspirations an can hamper your attempts to better yourself. These type of people just hold you back and slowly poison you.

To achieve your goals you need to gravitate towards successful people with a positive attitude. If you are trying to lose weight, surround yourself with people who have had success in that area and ask questions. When the people you surround yourself with are positive, it begins to rub off on you. It funnels down into your everyday life on the job and at home. You begin to look at the bright side of every situation and try to find ways to solve problems and improve outcomes. It makes you want to work harder, to become as successful as they are, and make yourself indispensable and extraordinary.

John Tschohl, an international service strategist and speaker, is founder and president of the Service Quality Institute in Minneapolis,Minnesota. Described by Time and Entrepreneur magazines as a customer service guru, he has written several books on customer service. The Service Quality Institute ( has developed more than 26 customer service training programs that have been distributed and presented throughout the world. John’s bi-monthly strategic newsletter is available online at no charge. He can also be reached on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

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