In the Central American Forests, the Red-capped Manakin frantically dances across branches in search of a mate. He puts his yellow thighs on display, even pulling off an audacious Michael Jackson-style moonwalk.
The Manakin uses his most attractive feature to secure a mate and ensure the survival of his species. If he’s not good enough, the female will move on. The Red-capped Manakin’s legacy literally depends on how attractive their dancing is.
While it’s not as important as that for humans, attractive qualities certainly have their benefits (and I’m not only talking about sex). Amplifying your best traits gives you a better chance of securing a partner, getting a job, making friends, and having the world look more favorably on you.
Besides, if a Red-capped Manakin can secure a lover with some smooth moves alone, then you should stand a much better chance.
#1 — Infectious Excitability
Have you ever met someone and admired how positive they always are? These sort of people always leave a lasting impression.
That doesn’t mean you need to act like an excitable puppy 24/7. If I tried to act like my seven-month-old cocker spaniel, people would think I’d gone insane. It can be more subtle than that.
Instead, don’t be afraid to share your passions.
Whenever I see someone’s eyes light up as they explain their passion, it makes me inspired to crush my goals.
People are passionate about other people’s passions. You don’t need to be the most interesting person in the world for people to admire you. You just need a few layers people can peel back.
#2 — A Time-Traveler’s Foresight
Here in England, school teachers set maths homework on a service called My Maths.
If you didn’t save your score, all of your work would disappear. Many people used this excuse when they didn’t do the work, which I admittedly did a few times. But whenever I did the work, the sinking realization of genuinely forgetting hurt. There was nothing left to do but accept my fate.
Although I failed to see it at the time, I wasn’t thinking about my future self.
Of course, you could chalk that down to a silly mistake, which it was. But when it happens more than once, which it did, you could (and probably should) start to question your decision-making process.
Looking ahead and planning accordingly means you can focus on the present, knowing your future self is sorted.
Think like a time-traveler. Let’s say you travel to the future and see your future self achieve everything they ever wanted, but only if you follow specific steps. From there, you’d plan with your future self in mind.
Think forward. Be prepared.
#3 — A Cabinet Full of Chill Pills
During my teenage years, I played Sunday league football. I set high standards for myself, so whenever I made a mistake, I threw my arms in the air and cursed my incompetence. My dad, watching on the sidelines, was there to keep me in check and occasionally shouted, “Keep your head up!”
Being a hormonal teenager, I took that as a personal attack and yelled at him across the pitch. That’s when the advice I always hated came out:
“Take a bloody chill pill, man!”
That phrase always wound me up, but it rings true. Some (most) things aren’t worth throwing your arms up in the air or kicking the floor in disgust. More often than not, life is easier if you let it go.
I like to ask myself one question when I get worked up about something:
“Is it worth the hassle?”
It seldom is.
When you ask yourself that question, you’re forcing yourself to pause and think about the situation. You’re digesting a metaphorical chill pill.
It teaches you the value of patience, a desirable quality in the modern workplace and relationships.
#4 — Babysitting Skills
I’ve only ever held one baby — my best friend’s nephew. He was so small I convinced myself I’d drop him. More than anything, though, he confused me.
How can someone so small grow into a full-size human? I’m 6'3," and I was once that size. What’s that all about? Genuinely baffling.
Still, I enjoyed his presence, and as I’ve come to learn, being good with kids is an attractive quality.
Nicolas Guéguen, a professor of social and cognitive psychology, conducted a study. He found that “women are three times more likely to give their phone number when the male volunteer acted affectionately around a baby.”
If you can look after a child, then it shows you’ll take care of a partner.
#5 — Intellectual Curiosity
Recently, I’ve noticed a gaping hole in my life. I plan, research, and write new articles almost every day, yet I still can’t satisfy my curious urge.
In the past, I’ve spent hours watching random Infographics shows on Youtube, such as the consequences of nuclear war or the damaging effects of winning the lottery. Fun facts, but nothing special.
So, I decided to buy an iPad.
I’m going to try and learn digital art. I was always terrible in school, but I figure with patience, I can get somewhere. It’ll train my creativity and potentially improve my writing.
If I don’t explore my curiosity, my creative brain will go stale.
It might make sense for me to read articles on improving my writing ability, but the things I write about would eventually become boring.
In this instance, think about you now vs. you in five months. Five months ago, I struggled to write a ‘viral’ article and wondered whether I should continue. Now, I’m making more money than I’ve ever done.
Bettering yourself is perhaps the only thing you can control. The more skills you acquire, the more attractive a person you become. It’s as simple as that.
One of my best friends likes to wear extravagant fancy dress outfits to some events. At a music festival two years ago, he spent an entire day in a cheerleader’s outfit. He looked ridiculous, but he exuded confidence.
If you want to leave a lasting impression, it’s time to better yourself. Once you do, confidence will shine through. Attraction is more than the color of your hair or an excellent jaw structure. It’s about the energy you give off.
Give off the right energy, and soon enough, you’ll be dancing around the place like a red-capped Manakin.
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