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WHY BELIEVINGREALLY BELIEVINGIN YOUR BUSINESS IS SO POWERFUL

HARD-NOSED BUSINESS TYPES MAY SCOFF AT THE IDEA OF "MAGICAL


THINKING," BUT NASTY GAL'S SOPHIA AMORUSO HAS SOME NEWS FOR YOU:
DREAMS FUEL INTENT, WHICH DRIVES SUCCESS.

BY SOPHIA AMORUSO

Those who dont believe in magic will never find it. --Roald Dahl

Chaos magic is the idea that a particular set of beliefs serves as an active
force in the world. In other words, we choose what and how we believe, and
our beliefs are tools that we then use to make things happen . . . or not.
Though this comes from a school of magical thought, it actually seems really
practical and no duh to me. If you believe something, other people will
believe it, too. You cant convince someone else--whether its a potential
employer, a loan officer at the car dealership, or someone youve been
crushing on--that youre amazing and terrific if you dont actually think you
are. This isnt the false confidence that comes from getting a bunch of
likes on your Instagram selfies, but a deep-down, unshakeable self-
confidence that persists even when things arent going all that great.

A big practice in chaos magic is the use of sigils, which are abstract words or
symbols you create and embed with your wishes. To create a sigil, start by
writing out your desire in a single word, a couple of words, or a short
sentence. Then remove all the duplicate letters, then all the vowels--
basically, you can do whatever you want here--until youre left with a bunch
of lines that you can combine into one symbol. Then you put the piece of
paper in a book, in your wallet, or some other place where it wont get lost,
and just forget about it.

The real magic of sigils is that youre only forgetting about it on the
surface level. Taking the time to think about what you really want and doing
something about it, even if its just drawing some lines on a piece of paper,
embeds these wishes into your subconscious, and then your subconscious
makes it happen, even when the conscious part of your brain is busy doing
something else.

I treat my Internet passwords as modern-day sigils, embedding them with


wishes or promises to me, or even financial goals for the company. (Hey, I
never made any claims to be normal here.) That way, every time I go to log
in anywhere, Im subtly reminding myself of what Im working for. This kind
of intention setting has worked for me. Dozens of times a day, as I tap out a
few strokes on the keyboard, Im reminding myself of the bigger picture.
This ensures that when Im bogged down with day-to-day bureaucracy and
details, I dont lose sight of what I really want.

Im not trying to say that this kind of intention setting will always work,
because you cant just type abajilliondollars whenever you log in to
Facebook and all of a sudden become Warren Buffett. It is, though, a
heretics version of kneeling by your bed and saying a prayer every night.
Its intention setting. It doesnt have to be as hard and fast as saying I want
a job at a fashion company, but it can be something like I want a creative
job or I want to have fun at work. Keep reminding yourself over and over
that this is what you want, and youll soon find that the more you know what
you want, the less youre willing to put up with what you dont.

One of the best things about life--a reason not to go blindly after one goal
and one goal only--is that sometimes it will take you to something that is
way cooler than anything you would have consciously set out to do in the
first place. I never had one particular goal or dream that I was working
toward; all I knew was that I wanted to do something awesome, and was
open to whatever shape or form this awesomeness took. I wanted to be a
photographer; I wanted to go to art school; I wanted to play in a band; and
when I started the eBay store, all of this came in handy even though I would
never have associated these things.

My interest in photography gave me an advantage over other sellers who


didnt care about lighting or composition. My days of being the tardy
employee at the record store gave me a cultural and musical understanding
that was more unique than if Id just listened to garbage-y pop on the radio
my entire life. None of these were things I ever expected to add up to
something called a brand, but they contributed to all the ways in which
Nasty Gal is just a little off and a little surprising. All of that flailing about,
trying new things and finding out that I liked some of them and hated
others, ended up amalgamating into something very real and very
meaningful, and in the end, made me capable of providing a life for myself.

While I truly believe that you must have intentions to fulfill your dreams, I
also think you have to leave room for the universe to have its way and play
around a bit. Dont get so focused on one particular opportunity that youre
blind to other ones that come up. If you think about one thing, and talk
about it all the time, youre being too obsessive. You might ruin it. If you let
yourself meander a bit, then the right things and the right people fall into
place. Some things are worth fighting for--dont get me wrong, Im definitely
a fighter--but I really think that what is right should be easy. My dad has
always said that the definition of crazy is doing the same thing over and
over and expecting different results, and its so true. If somethings not
working out, but you keep hammering at it in the exact same way, go after
something else for a while. Thats not giving up, thats just letting the
universe have its way.

--Reprinted from #GIRLBOSS by Sophia Amoruso with permission of


Portfolio/Putnam, a member of Penguin Group (USA) LLC, A Penguin Random
House Company. Copyright (c) Sophia Amoruso, 2014.

8 STRATEGIES TO IMPROVE YOUR MEMORY


WE BECOME MORE FORGETFUL AS WE AGE. BY AGE 45 THE AVERAGE
PERSON HAS A MEASURABLE DECLINE IN THEIR MEMORY ABILITY, BUT WE
HAVE MORE CONTROL THAN WE THINK.

BY STEPHANIE VOZZA

Ever misplace your keys, forget someones name, or lose your train of
thought? Of course you have. Everyone struggles with their memory from
time to time.

While they can be frustrating, these little slips are common and normal,
says Gary Small, MD, director of the UCLA Longevity Center and author of
The Memory Bible.

We become more forgetful as we age, and by 45 the average person has a


measurable decline in their memory ability, but we have more control than
we think, says Small. The MacArthur Study of Successful Aging found that
genetics only accounts for a third of memory success. The rest is our
cognitive and physical health.

The biggest reason we forget is because were not paying attention, says
Small. Many of us rely on gadgets to help with memory--taking a photo of
the parking garage level with our smartphone, for example--but they can
also distract us, which can cause us to forget even more. Instead of relying
on something external, Small offers eight strategies for improving your
memory:

1. TRAIN YOURSELF TO LOOK, SNAP, AND CONNECT.

In his memory education program at UCLA, Small teaches the Look, Snap,
Connect technique.

Look is a reminder to focus your attention, Snap is a reminder to create a


mental snapshot because were hardwired to remember things visually, and
Connect is a way of linking those mental snapshots so they have
meaning, says Small. If it is meaningful, it will be memorable.

For example, if you have two errands to run--pick up eggs and go to the post
office--Smalls technique would have you picture an egg with a stamp on it.

2. GET INTO A GROOVE.

Routines and habits also boost memory, says Small. You can use the power
of repetition to reduce forgetfulness. For example, remember your vitamins
by always taking them with breakfast. Have a specific place to store glasses,
keys, or purse. Or always check your to-do list before you leave the house.

3. BREAK A SWEAT.
Get into a daily exercise regimen. Small says aerobic workouts get your
heart pumping, which brings nutrients to brain cells and helps grow nerves
that connect them.

Just 20 minutes a day of aerobic exercise will lower your risk for
Alzheimers, says Small.

4. EAT WELL.

One reason our memory fails is because free radicals wear down our DNA
and cellular structure, resulting in oxidation of the brain, says Small.

If you left a bicycle in the rain, it will rust, he says. Similar kinds of
chemical processes go on in the brain. Eating antioxidants, such as fruits
and vegetables help combat this issue.

Another problem with aging is an increase in inflammation, which can affect


brain cells, says Small. Eating omega-three fats, found in fish or nuts, helps
reduce this inflammation.

5. CHILL OUT.

While its impossible to totally eliminate stress, chronic bouts shrink the
memory centers that are located inside the brain. To lower stress levels,
Small suggests practicing meditation or tai chi, or doing breathing or
stretching exercises throughout the day.

6. WORKOUT YOUR BRAIN (BUT NOT TOO HARD).

A lot of studies show that stimulating your mind boosts your brainpower and
lowers your risk for Alzheimers. While you can find lots of games on the
Internet, Small also suggests remaining socially active and involved with
friends and activities.

The idea is to train and not strain your brain, he says. Find activities that
are engaging and fun--not too difficult and not too easy.

7. GET THE RIGHT AMOUNT OF SLEEP (WHICH MAY BE LESS).

Young adults usually need eight hours of sleep, but as you age, your body
requires less, says Small.

If you find yourself waking up in the middle of the night, you might need six
hour of sleep instead of eight, he says. Instead of taking sleep medicine,
take the time to figure out whats going on with your sleep needs.

8. GET GOOD MEDICAL CARE.

Finally, if you have a chronic condition such as high blood pressure or high
cholesterol, make sure youre seeing a doctor. Taking the proper medicines
for your physical health will also make a difference in the health of your
memory, says Small.
4 Myths About Apple Design, From An Ex-Apple Designer WHAT'S LIFE
REALLY LIKE DESIGNING FOR APPLE? AN ALUM SHARES WHAT HE LEARNED
DURING HIS SEVEN YEARS IN CUPERTINO.

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Apple is synonymous with upper echelon design, but very little is known
about the company's design process. Most of Apples own employees arent
allowed inside Apples fabled design studios. So were left piecing together
interviews, or outright speculating about how Apple does it and what its
really like to be a designer at the company.

Enter Mark Kawano. Before founding Storehouse, Kawano was a senior


designer at Apple for seven years, where he worked on Aperture and iPhoto.
Later, Kawano became Apple's User Experience Evangelist, guiding third-
party app iOS developers to create software that felt right on Apple's
platforms. Kawano was with the company during a critical moment, as Apple
released the iPhone and created the wide world of apps.
In an interview with Co.Design, Kawano spoke frankly about his time at
Apple--and especially wanted to address all the myths the industry has
about the company and about its people.

MYTH #1

Apple Has The Best Designers

I think the biggest misconception is this belief that the reason Apple
products turn out to be designed better, and have a better user experience,
or are sexier, or whatever . . . is that they have the best design team in the
world, or the best process in the world, Kawano says. But in his role as user
experience evangelist, meeting with design teams from Fortune 500
companies on a daily basis, he absorbed a deeper truth.

It's actually the engineering culture, and the way the organization is
structured to appreciate and support design. Everybody there is thinking
about UX and design, not just the designers. And thats what makes
everything about the product so much better . . . much more than any
individual designer or design team.

It has often been said that good design needs to start at the top--that the
CEO needs to care about design as much as the designers themselves.
People often observe that Steve Jobs brought this structure to Apple. But the
reason that structure works isnt because of a top-down mandate. Its an all
around mandate. Everyone cares.

ITS NOT THIS THING WHERE YOU GET SOME SPECIAL WINGS OR
SUPERPOWERS WHEN YOU ENTER CUPERTINO.

Its not this thing where you get some special wings or superpowers when
you enter Cupertino. Its that you now have an organization where you can
spend your time designing products, instead of having to fight for your seat
at the table, or get frustrated when the better design is passed over by an
engineering manager who just wants to optimize for bug fixing. All of those
things are what other designers at other companies have to spend a
majority of their time doing. At Apple, its kind of expected that experience
is really important."
Kawano underscores that everyone at Apple--from the engineers to the
marketers--is, to some extent, thinking like a designer. In turn, HR hires
employees accordingly. Much like Google hires employees that think like
Googlers, Apple hires employees that truly take design into consideration in
all of their decisions.

You see companies that have poached Apple designers, and they come up
with sexy interfaces or something interesting, but it doesnt necessarily
move the needle for their business or their product. Thats because all the
designer did was work on an interface piece, but to have a really well-
designed product in the way Steve would say, this 'holistic' thing, is
everything. Its not just the interface piece. Its designing the right business
model into it. Designing the right marketing and the copy, and the way to
distribute it. All of those pieces are critical.

MYTH #2

Apples Design Team Is Infinite

Facebook has hundreds of designers. Google may have 1,000 or more. But
when Kawano was at Apple, its core products--their hardware and its
bundled software--were designed by a relatively small group of roughly 100
people.

I knew every one of them by face and name, Kawano says.

For the most part, Apple didnt employ specialist designers. Every designer
could hold their own in both creating icons and new interfaces, for instance.
And thanks to the fact that Apple hires design-centric engineers, the
relatively skeleton design team could rely on engineers to begin the build
process on a new app interface, rather than having to initiate their own
mock-up first.

Of course, this approach may be changing today.


For Apple, having a small, really focused organization made a lot of sense
when Steve was there, because so many ideas came from Steve. So having
a smaller group work on some of these ideas made sense, Kawano says.
As Apple shifted to much more of a company where theres multiple people
at the top, I think it makes sense that theyre growing the design team in
interesting ways.

Notably, Jony Ive, who now heads usability across hardware and software, is
reported to have brought in some of the marketing team to help redesign
iOS 7. It's a coup, when you think about it, for marketers to be deep in the
trenches with designers and engineers. (That level of collaboration is frankly
unprecedented in the industry.)

MYTH #3

Apple Crafts Every Detail With Intention

Apple products are often defined by small details, especially those around
interaction. Case in point: When you type a wrong password, the password
box shakes in response. These kinds of details are packed with meaningful
delight. They're moments that seem tough to explain logically but which
make sense on a gut level.

ITS IMPOSSIBLE TO COME UP WITH INNOVATIVE THINGS WHEN YOU HAVE A


DEADLINE.

So many companies try to mimic this idea . . . that we need to come up


with this snappy way to do X, Y, and Z. Theyre designing it, and they cant
move onto the next thing until they get a killer animation or killer model of
the way data is laid out, Kawano explains. The reality? Its almost
impossible to come up with really innovative things when you have a
deadline and schedule.
Kawano told us that Apple designers (and engineers!) will often come up
with clever interactive ideas--like 3-D cube interfaces or bouncy physics-
based icons--during a bit of their down time, and then they might sit on
them for years before they make sense in a particular context.

People are constantly experimenting with these little items, and because
the teams all kind of know what other people have done, once a feature
comes up--say we need a good way to give feedback for a password, and we
dont want to throw up this ugly dialog--then its about grabbing these
interaction or animation concepts that have just been kind of built for fun
experiments and seeing if theres anything there, and then applying the
right ones.

But if you're imagining some giant vault of animation ideas hiding inside
Apple and waiting to be discovered, you'd be wrong. The reality, Kawano
explains, was far more bohemian.

There wasnt a formalized library, because most of the time there wasn't
that much that was formalized of anything that could be stolen, Kawano
says. It was more having a small team and knowing what people had
worked on, and the culture of being comfortable sharing.

MYTH #4

Steve Jobss Passion Frightened Everyone

There was a commonly shared piece of advice inside Apple--maybe you've


heard it before--that a designer should always take the stairs, because if you
met Steve Jobs in the elevator, hed ask what you were up to. And one of
two things would happen:

1. Hed hate it, and you might be fired.

2. Hed love it, the detail would gain his attention, and youd lose every
foreseeable night, weekend, and vacation to the project.
Kawano laughs when he tells it to me, but the conclusion he draws is more
nuanced than the obvious Catch 22 punchline.

PEOPLE WHO THRIVED AT APPLE WELCOMED THAT PASSION FROM WORKING


WITH STEVE.

The reality is, the people who thrived at Apple were the people who
welcomed that desire and passion to learn from working with Steve, and just
really were dedicated to the customer and the product. They were willing to
give up their weekends and vacation time. And a lot of the people who
complained that it wasnt fair . . . they didnt see the value of giving all that
up versus trying to create the best product for the customer and then
sacrificing everything personally to get there.

Thats where, a lot of times, he would get a bad rap, but he just wanted the
best thing, and expected everyone else to want that same thing. He had
trouble understanding people who didnt want that same thing and
wondered why theyd be working for him if that was the case. I think Steve
had a very low tolerance for people who didnt care about stuff. He had a
very hard time understanding why people would work in these positions and
not want to sacrifice everything for them.

As for Kawano, did he ever get an amazing piece of advice, or an incredible


compliment from Jobs?

Nothing personally, he admits, and then laughs. The only thing that was
really positive was, in the cafeteria one time, when he told me that the
salmon I took looked really great, and he was going to go get that."

He was just super accessible. I totally tried to get him to cut in front of me,
but hed never want do anything like that. That was interesting too, he was
super demanding . . . but when it came to other things, he wanted to be
very democratic, and to be treated like everyone else. And he was
constantly struggling with those roles.