How we work like a computer đź’»


When I worked at Apple in retail, I had a difficult time explaining the functions and models of different Macs to non-technical people who visited the store. Questions like:

What does the processor do?
How much storage do I need?
What is RAM even?




Often left me stumbling around my words, never quite sure how this particular person would be able to understand why they would or wouldn't need to upgrade to a fusion drive. 

Yesterday, I had a similar struggle when I was trying to explain the feeling of being overwhelmed to my friends—so I took a step back and had a flashback to that time at Apple.

How does a computer work anyway?

A manager at Apple walked me through how he typically thinks about the functions of a computer and it stuck with me.

Think about your computer like you think about your body.

  • Your brain is your processor: how quickly can you think?
  • Your storage is your stomach: how much can you fit in your system?
  • Your muscles are your RAM: how much can you lift?

All have a different function but are needed together to make the system work.

This took me back to the present moment I was having yesterday—and used the same concepts to explain that I was at full processor capacity and I was also running out of RAM to extend myself.

When I thought about RAM, I also used the dinner table storyline. You have a certain amount of space on the table, which is your processing power combined with your RAM, and this space can fit a certain amount of dishes and serving plates. If you try to add even one more dish beyond the surface capacity, something will fall down. 

🔋What does this all mean?

The next time you're having difficulty explaining something, think about the comparisons, what is this comparable to that this person would resonate most with? Tell that story, and I'm confident they'll understand exactly where you're coming from. 

And try using the computer comparison—ask yourself are you running out of RAM?

Are you checking in with your processor? What about your storage—what are you putting in your body? 

How do you refuel? Are you taking breaks to recharge?

Maybe it's time for a software update—some self-care and a new mindset. 

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