Throughout Change by Design, I tried to show that the designer’s skills can be applied to a wide range of problems—and also that these skills are accessible to a far greater range of people than may be commonly supposed. Like any good design team, we can have a sense of purpose without deluding ourselves that we can predict every outcome in advance, for this is the space of creativity.
If we can apply design thinking to designing a life, then by extension we should apply it to our practices as parents in drawing out the natural (read untapped) potential in our kids. IDEO U: Unlock your creative potential and collaborate with leaders around the globe in our design thinking online courses. Last week I had the tremendous pleasure of interviewing Jessica Cline, Publisher of Riviera Magazine San Diego. So, Jessica has given us our fashion assignment for the season: reach inside, explore trends that feel right for us, and use them to express our individuality and personal style. New ConversationsFeatured Blogger Haralee: Why So Many HOT (and Sweaty) Women Want to Thank Her6 Tips for Surviving Summer Family Gatherings8 Tips for A Beautiful Garden This SummerDivorce???
Stanford d.school’s Bill Burnett thinks that “following your passion” is terrible life advice. This is the third in a series of posts showcasing original content from Worldview Stanford’s unique, online and on-campus course on The Science of Decision Making. We hear this question – in America, at least – from about the time we form the ability to speak. Bill Burnett, director of the Design Program at Stanford, teaches a course about exactly that.
A Guy's Post-College Guide To Growing UpAffordable style, how-to's, & self-development for the everyday, 20-something man. When I was a high school student, Sociology was the only class I attended voluntarily and with a reasonable dash of genuine enthusiasm.
If people’s lives had to be chronicled, it would emerge that unfortunately the titan wins most of the fights hands down. The average person in his or her 20s, has more or less ready-made templates about how life should pan out: Graduate from college, find a steady well-paying job, settle down, buy a house, get married, have kids and ultimately work crazy hours for over four decades to build a reasonable pension that will get you covered through the retirement age. The real question is whether this is one of the models accepted and encouraged by society or a truthful following of our heart’s calling.
Positive creative change is often about pattern interruption, uncomfortable choices and even more dramatic system crises. We are often sucked up by group thinking and group morality without leaving enough space to nurture a more creative mindset.
Here are a few practial ideas that will shed more light on how you can redesign the way you do and approach things in view of achieving your authentic goals. Convert the being and having into doing, that is, into action steps necessary for reaching your goal. Following our authentic dreams and being aligned with our purpose is tantamount to a happy fulfilled life and it’s no wonder that many of us consider it as unachievable or extremely difficult. If I had to squeeze this article in two lines it would be this: Achieving our authentic dreams and goals requires that we first realize that a lot of our assumptions of the world and ourselves are not our own. Gilbert Ross is the author of Soul Hiker – a blog about personal development and positive inner change. In theory I agree that would be a problem, but most people in general enjoy having a structure created for them and working within it.
The funny thing about confidence is that it's only a feeling -- meaning people only know that you're not feeling confident if you SHOW them you're not feeling confident.
Do you know what you're supposed to do when the server shows you the wine bottle at a restaurant? When the weather won’t let you sharpen up your look with layers, you have to add visual interest in other ways. You spend a lot of money on your spirits and craft bitters but the reason your cocktails don't taste as good as your favorite bartender's could be your afterthought tap water ice. With a packed Saturday – brunch, a game with your boss, cocktails, and an evening spring concert series – you need an outfit that transitions both comfort and dress level.
These two threads come together when we apply them to one of the most challenging problems of them all: designing a life. They knew which university they would attend, which internship would lead to a successful career, and at what age they will retire.
We can blur the distinction between the final product and the creative process that got us there.
When I mentor students about designing their lives I remind them that a 747 flying from Auckland to San Francisco is off course 97% of the time. They may be an artisan in engineering or graphic design, yet clueless – in constant struggle in relationships or other areas.
It is such a profoundly great habit; checking and re-checking, questioning yourself and your motives. I anticipated that our conversation would be a fun opportunity to explore the current trends in fashion and lifestyle with someone who is on top of the scene.
Jessica, what recommendations and clues can you offer someone looking to create a fun and exciting lifestyle? Fashioning our lives so to speak has to start first with the basics: finding a job, career, volunteer organization, or hobby that’s fun for you and surrounds you with good people. Wow, that is a fascinating perspective and one very few people would expect from a curator of fashion and style such as you. It’s as simple as flipping through a magazine and seeing that the color red is big this fall, then embracing that trend, or one that speaks to you, to bring out your inner-self.


So it seems that what you are saying is that you can maintain your individuality and at the same time explore popular trends and styles? I remember someone saying that fashion changed forever when Jackie Kennedy walked out of her New York City apartment for a stroll wearing a pair of blue jeans. Seek style inspiration from a variety of department stores and boutiques, whether you can afford to shop there or not. She certainly is right that we feel better when we look our best, and while we know this is an inside out process, we can help this feeling along by putting ourselves out there. Apply for the Science of Decision Making, and you’ll have an opportunity to visit the d.school and practice using the Design Thinking method yourself!
One topic that had caught my fancy at the time was the so-called processes of socialization vs. The way we see our life, our values and expectations are for the large part played out by how those values and expectations were handed down to us by society.
Some of us free themselves from the machine cycle and develop their natural & individual abilities to the full.
An uninspiring and boring job, for instance can be tolerated but pure hell forces us into action.
As mentioned above, the average person is very easily caught in the net of group thinking and morality. Trying to be reasonable by compromising with everybody and trying your best not to step on anyone’s toes or not to brush off people close to you will ultimately impoverish your chances and limit you from taking affirmative and critical decisions in life needed to take you from where you are to where you really want to be. An iconic part of the movie is when Neo (the protagonist) is offered a choice between a blue pill and a red pill by Morpheus (his mentor).
You can be earning $10,000 per month but working your butt off without ever seeing the light of day.
Many times I get caught in the mistake of coming up with a fantastic grand idea on a new project or business but plan it out in a likewise grandiose fashion. We work harder, fill up our spare time with more projects, become overloaded by information and waste hours from our leisure time checking emails on our smartphone or writing down notes about even more work. Instead of wasting precious time and energy trying to correct or fix our weaknesses it is much more effective and easy to leverage on our strengths and do what we know best. These are uncomfortable questions we avoid but can be liberating and surprisingly refreshing and reassuring once we deal with them.  You  may even realize you don’t need to wait to “lose” your job.
This is because our view of the world has been skewed and heavily influenced by how our culture and society perceives what is real and what is normal.
We then seek to work smarter, not harder, to do the things that excite us most by doing less inconsequential work, focusing on our strengths and thinking big but planning our goals in small achievable steps and budgets.
When you live in a hot and humid place and need to look great at work or on a date, comfort and confidence comes down to one thing: Dressing intentionally.
There is a big difference, though, between planning a life, drifting through life, and designing a life.
To me creativity is akin to a muscle group, it grows through regular stretching and exercise. Jessica has her finger on the pulse of style and fashion trends nationally and internationally. For me this is perfect, because I’m a huge fan of red and bright red lipstick, especially. I’m passionate about empowering women with the information and encouragement they need to make a plan for living a healthy and fulfilling life. From that point out they said, fashion became a huge equalizer, allowing people from all economic levels to share common experience…in this case blue jeans.
For instance, I often go to Neiman Marcus to see what’s new and different and to be informed about the trends. If I feel great about a particular item, it’s because it reflects how I feel inside—and that’s a great thing! If on the other hand the life changes you are after feel like a thunder in a cloudless sky, a shock to the system, uncomfortable or at odds with the general way people think and feel, then chances are you are following your heart’s calling. It’s like the only way we can follow our authentic dreams and leap out from the system is by a major financial boost.
The bottom line is that the timing is never right – whether for changing a job, having kids, starting a new profession, etc. In this mindset we follow the flow and seldomly ask why something has to be done in a certain way, following certain rules, instead of being done in a different way from what everyone else is doing.
However benchmarking with others can lead us into following someone else’s dream instead of our authentic ones. It’s not about being more productive but about doing less-meaningful work so as to free up time to do things that excites us more.
Subversion of the expected is absolutely critical when the expected doesn’t do a thing for the self.
I’ve reached a point where I realized my job actually makes me unhappy and if my life is going to have any meaning, I’m going to need change. We can work within the constraints of our own natures—and still be agile, build capabilities, iterate. I don’t imagine my parents having too many of these conversations, though perhaps they did subconsciously, or in whispers, but certainly never out loud, never unashamedly.
The intention of my blog is to help women deal with menopause and the symptoms that aren’t much fun like hot flashes, depression, not feeling sexy or sexual. I would look to women who are aging gracefully and maintaining a sense of style that works for them.


Sometimes I make a purchase and other times I seek out that similar style or trend item from a more affordable—but no less chic—retailer, like Zara. When I have the time, I drop by my favorite small boutiques as well as my favorite department stores. Essentially, this means that I can do well for myself by doing good for others and being good to myself.
In plain English, there are two forces battling each other out in the span of one’s lifetime. We see, perceive, believe and behave within the limits and rules laid out by the Matrix – the cultural and social norms implanted in our view of the world.
The reason is that life is made of so many unforeseen variables and chaotic twists that it’s impossible to get the timing right most of the time.
For example, you might have got into college  because it was a common goal within your circle of friends or important for your parents but later discovered that your true path was lying somewhere else. You would be much better off by comparison if you were earning $3,000 per month but working only 20 hours per month while doing trekking in South America and leaving the admin work of your low maintenance business to be outsourced by three people from anywhere around the world. Keep on narrowing down your mega goals until they come down to achievable weekly or daily steps and budgets.
It is refreshing to imagine that this process does not signal dissatisfaction but just the reverse; engagement, optimism, and drive to ever improve. Our talk was an enormously insightful and evolved perspective on life, fashion, and the art of living well. As women, we are continuously finding ways to express ourselves, and fashion is a liberating opportunity to show yourself and the world who you are in an infinite number of ways. She wasn’t afraid to be her authentic self—she didn’t always need to be wearing an Oleg Cassini original. Just like designers and fashion setters are constantly being inspired by one another, I like to soak up inspiration from retailers of all levels. Style and fashion are methods of being good to yourself, because it makes you feel better, then you can share that joy with others. However even though following your goals require financial support of varying degrees, the mistake is to assume that more money must flow in before even starting to embark on your real life journey or that financial boost is the end in itself.
More time equals more self worth because it allows us to be able to follow the things that really excite us and in line with our life’s purpose. It’s about doing things that keep you motivated even to the point of losing sleep or skipping meals. He even tried to start his own company not with the goal of financial freedom but with the goal of working on machines. I have responsibilities that come first but I can at least accept within myself that my dreams have validity and start taking steps towards achieving them. It turns out that fashion, even wearing your grandmother’s brooch, can be a tool for helping you be and express more, YOU. Constantly changing up your look (and that does not need to be a budget buster) allows us to say to the world: “Here I am! Suffering in silence is OUT!” Is there any advice you can give for women dealing with menopause and who may feel left out of the fashion and style conversation? And fortunately, we live in San Diego, so it’s acceptable to peel off the layers of clothing. Sometimes a classic pair of old blue jeans and, of course, a pair of those famous oversized sunglasses, was all she needed.
I cannot tell you what amazing things they have there and the price point is a fraction of the high-end retailers.
In a way, I see my conversation with Jessica as an example of thinking women’s relationship to fashion. We may live our entire life in the comfortable illusion that things are as they are and cannot be lived or experienced differently. The secret of successful and driven people is that they follow that passion to the point of obsession or behaving unreasonably in order to achieve the desired goals.
We’re not here to fulfill the demands of others, but to fully live up to the potential of our own selves. Perhaps the article is suggesting that every person can find or create work that uniquely matches his or her interests while fulfilling the needs of society. Or we may install a habit of not taking things for granted, of questioning established knowledge and knowing that there is always a different way of doing things but most of the time we don’t see it because we are tranced by group thinking.
And as far as we can do so without impinging upon the joys or lives of others – well, that should be the key to a happy, enriched existence.
When I wear something as simple as my grandmother’s brooch, not only am I flashing my fashion sense, but I am making it personal.
For example, a certain man in your life dresses hipper than some men decades younger, and everyone thinks he looks cool and great. When people meet him, they know that he is expressing his inner cool, just as I am when I’m wearing my hot red lipstick or my grandmother’s brooch. Fashion can bring generations together, and it’s a medium for people to share their individuality.



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