Tag Archives: Fashion

Lumosity Update – Part 1

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A few weeks ago I wrote a post about the effectiveness of brain training games like Lumosity. At the time, I’d be using the Lumosity iPhone app on a daily basis to see if I could measure a noticeable difference in the key areas that the Lumosity games are supposed to improve.

I’ve been continuing to use the Lumosity iPhone app as well as the Lumosity website games to train my brain. So far, my scores have been improving on a weekly basis. At first, the scores increased dramatically, and now they are increasing incrementally.

So the real question is, how are the brain training Lumosity games actually helping me in real life? Well, first off, I’ve been using Lumosity in the mornings to exercise my brain before getting to work and I notice that my creativity and “awakeness” has improved. Some of the Lumosity games actually stress me out a little bit so that helps for waking me up.

I’ve also noticed a slight improvement in my focus, especially in brainstorming and project work. Another added benefit I’ve noticed is that I feel like i’m sharper in terms of thinking quickly on my feet.

Finally, my memory in terms of recalling facts from reading or conversations has improved as well. I’ve definitely noticed this as I’ve had tons of meetings over the last little while and there is often a lot of little details to remember.

I’ve only been using Lumosity for six weeks now, so we’ll see what happens at the end of 90 days. The challenge is that although I am noticing an improvement in the areas I mentioned above, I’m not sure if this can be directly attributed to Lumosity or to other factors that i’m not thinking about.

I’ll check back with you at the end of my 90 trial period!

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5 Ways to Spark Your Creativity

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Feeling stuck or mentally blocked? I find that there are a number of ways that help me get the creative juices flowing.

Here are my top 5 tips to stimulating the creativity muscle:

1) Spend time in silence

I meditate most days and even spend time driving around in my car in silence. Stopping for a few moments and taking a break from absorbing information or concentrating on a project really helps me open up to new ideas and methods for tackling a project.

2) Writing

I use Julia Cameron’s technique of writing morning pages each day to clear out the mental junk in my head and open up space for creativity. Check out the “Artist’s Way” by Julia Cameron for more information.

3) Having Great Conversations

This is a really helpful practice to getting you inspired and energized. I find that if I’m feeling blocked, and I have a great conversation with somebody, I immediately benefit from the inspiration and ideas that come to me. My 30 day challenge idea came from a great conversation.

4) Cross functional activities

If you focus too much on one area, you’ll find that your creativity is limited. Try exposing yourself to new books, activities and people. I got really into rock climbing last year, and it was a fantastic way for me to learn about myself and also think about things differently.

5) Read good books

I usually read a lot of non-fiction but recently I started reading more literature. I finished “Pride and Prejudice” and now i’m working on “The Great Gatsby”. Good books are awesome at stimulating the brain in different ways.

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How To Design the Perfect Interview Outfit

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Dressing for an interview is a crucial element in winning the job. Although it has been said that it’s the man (or women) not the suit that matters, the reality is that first impressions are everything.

So the question is, is it possible to over dress for an interview?

I’ve had the privilege of sitting on both ends of the table and in my opinion, I don’t think it’s possible to over dress.  Although some companies are more casual than others, I think it’s generally understood that interviewees will typically dress with the idea of creating an excellent first impression.

A friend of mine interviewed at a local tech company for a sales position. For the interview, he wore a suit and tie. When he walked into the interview, he found that he was the most dressed up person on the floor. He said that this made the interview a little awkward. My friend later asked me whether he should have dressed more casually for the interview. There are many schools of thought on this.

If you are interviewing for a position at a company that has a relaxed culture, I think most people can get away with simply wearing a suit with a well paired shirt. Although some people may disagree with this logic, interviewers are looking for both aptitude and  cultural fit. The means that in the interview,  the hiring manager is typically are looking at you through the lens of whether or not they can imagine you working at the company.

On the other hand, it can be argued that you can never really overdress for an interview. A mentor of mine insists that it’s always better to be overdressed than to be too casually dressed. I tend to agree with the more conservative approach because dressing too casually can often backfire

Here are a few tips for designing your interview outfit:

  • Focus on fit! Well fitting suits exude confidence and attention to detail.
  • The tie can make or break an outfit so choose wisely. Slimmer ties are back in vogue.
  • Shine your shoes. Unpolished shoes look incredibly unprofessional.
  • Use classic accessories such as tie clips, cuff links and pocket squares. But don’t go over board. Stick to simple designs.
  • Make sure your suit and shirt doesn’t have wrinkles
  • Dress to your comfort level. If you’ve never worn a tie, then consider leaving it out as it may make you feel awkward in the interview.
  • Wear bold color combinations and pair it with greys and blacks.
  • Do a bit of research on the company to see what kind of culture they have. You would most likely plan your outfit differently for a law firm versus a tech company.
  • Wear your favorite professional work outfit to your interview. A well put together outfit that you’ve stylized exudes confidence.

One last point, is that while looking sharp is really important, it doesn’t replace preparation. Make sure you’re on your A game both in your outfit and in your head.

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Finding the Perfect Weekend Duffel Bag

I travel quite a bit on short weekend trips.I was finding that the bag that I was using wasn’t working so I decided to shop around for a new overnight bag.

Here are my three picks:

Herschel Novel Duffel

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The Herschel Novel Duffel is a very stylish bag that gives you a retro look with some cool features.

Pros

– Shoe compartment

– Size (Large enough bag to pack a lot of stuff in)

– Light weight

– Nice leather accents

– Stylish and cool

Cons

– The canvas material seemed a little flimsy

– The plastic buckles seemed poorly constructed

– Some of the inner linings are unusual designs

– The shoe compartment was nice but a little small for large shoes

Lululemon Training Duffel

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The Lululemon Duffel is a durable urban bag that can be used for the gym or a weekend away.

Pros

– Lot’s of features including a strap for a yoga mat

– Large shoe/wet stuff compartment

– High quality material

– The bag keeps its shape once its zipped up

Cons

– Expensive at $108

– Not as stylish as other bags

– Not as much space available once you have a pair of shoes in the shoe compartment

MEC Duffel Bag

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The MEC Duffel is a well constructed bag that is highly durable and basic in its look and feel.

Pros

– Inexpensive

– Lot’s of size options

– Lot’s of colors to choose from

– Waterproof

– Durable

Cons

– It’s a pretty basic bag so you won’t get any points for style

– No special compartments for small items

– The shoulder strap can be uncomfortable with heavy weight

I decided in the end to go with the Lululemon Training Duffel because of the durability and quality of the fabric. I’ve been using it regularly for the past few months and i’ve been extremely happy with it.

Say Yes More

Like most people, I have a pretty packed schedule. Lot’s of meetings, projects, social events and of course a bit of networking. I keep my life pretty structured so I can try to pack as much as I can in. To be honest, this can be boring and predictable.

I had an epiphany last week when I was at a networking event and a bunch of friends I know invited me out for dinner with them after. I politely declined (as per my usual response) and said that I had an early morning squash game. As I grabbed my coat and walked out the door, I had this feeling of regret for not being spontaneous and just going out for dinner. Who know’s what could happen. Maybe I could have engaged in a great conversation which sparked a new business idea. Or maybe I listened to somebody talk about their life and got a boost of inspiration. Or maybe I could stumbled upon a new job opportunity. Who knows? The thing is, I missed out. Real networking happens when the cards get put away and you really get to know people over a drink, a coffee or a late night meal.

Some people might say that I simply have a case of FOMO (Fear of Missing Out). And maybe I do. But I realized today that for me, this is a pattern. When you structure your life too much, you miss out on opportunities to engage with awesome people and do spontaneous things. Who know’s what waits for you just around the corner at the local coffee shop or restaurant. Could be an adventure!

So the next time somebody asks you out for a social event on a whim, do yourself a favour and say “yes!”.