Looks might not kill, but they are certainly a magnet for money. Australian academics Andrew Leigh and Jeff Borland released research earlier this week confirming what we all secretly suspected: better looking Australians get hired first, earn more, and marry richer spouses.
Holding age, education, and origin fixed, the hourly wages of attractive people are around 20 per cent higher than their appearance-challenged contemporaries, reflecting similar conclusions in umpteen overseas studies.
The effect is especially pronounced for men: those with above average looks enjoy household incomes 15 per cent above the average, while more ‘minging’ chaps, as young Brits would say, earn 24 per cent below, a whopping gulf of around $30,000 a year, based on average Australian incomes, wholly owing to nature’s arbitrary favour.
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“If it has to happen, it has to happen first.” That’s the advice of Lauren Vanderkam, an American journalist who’s written an e-book about what the world’s most successful people do before breakfast.
Her point is clear, do the most important thing in your life within an hour of waking up and you’ll be happier and more successful.
Vanderberg is a terrific counterpoint to yesterday’s great piece by my News Ltd colleague, Sarah Michael who revealed what successful people do in their first hour of the working day.
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When I was 12, I wanted to be an air hostess when I grew up. My best friend wanted to be a traffic warden. She even drew a picture of herself in a beige uniform handing out a parking ticket.
Neither of us achieved our dreams, what with me becoming a journalist and her having to make do with working for one of the world’s biggest film companies.
So she, in particular, was astounded that today’s children no longer have such civic aspirations as we did. Instead, they just want to be famous.
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Our society puts great stock in the merits of hard work. You know how it goes. If you work hard enough, you can achieve anything.
Fail to achieve a goal? If only you’d worked harder. For an upcoming Lateline interview, I’ve read a book called Bounce by Mathew Syed.
His theory is that God-given talent is a myth and that the key to achieving greatness lies in how hard you’re prepared to work. I’m not sure I buy all of that.
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