Evan’s Friday Briefing: 7/7/17

Welcome to the 7/7/17 edition of “Evan’s Friday Briefing,” a quick list of what I’ve been enjoying, learning, and trying out.

What I’ve Been Listening To

Sergei Rachmaninoff playing Schumann, Chopin, Liszt, Mendelssohn, Tchaikovsky, and Schubert. Rachmaninoff himself was also a fabulous composer, perhaps the last of the Romantics.

Self-Development Habit I’ve Been Trying

Keeping a list of things I aim to do every single day and checking them off when accomplished. My current list: pray/meditate, read for at least 90 minutes, blog, and exercise. I won’t beat myself up if I fail on occasion, because life happens sometimes.

Poet I’ve Been Enjoying

I’ve been rereading some of Edgar Allen Poe’s poetry from Barnes and Noble’s “Essential Tales and Poems.” We all need a little mysteriousness and darkness in our reading piles.

Great Quote I’ve Been Ruminating On

“It is not the man who has too little, but the man who craves more, that is poor.” – Seneca the Younger


Evan’s Friday Briefing: 6/30/17

Welcome to the 6/30/17 edition of “Evan’s Friday Briefing,” a quick list of what I’ve been enjoying, learning, and trying out.

What I’ve Been Listening To

Bach’s English Suites and Mozart’s Mass in C Minor. Bach and Mozart represent the voice of God, so you can never go wrong with any of their compositions.

Article I Enjoyed Reading

Ryan Holiday’s “Why You Should Pretend Today Is The End.” Reflecting on death is beneficial because a) you never know when you’ll be its next victim; and b) it compels you to prioritize the important things, cherish time spent with family and friends, and not take anything for granted.

My Tip Of The Day

The road to success is perpetually under construction. Don’t rush, just go slow and focus on doing what’s immediately in front of you. Once you make it out, you can operate on cruise control and enjoy the freedom of an open road.

Great Quote I’ve Been Ruminating On

“Be at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let every new year find you a better man.” – Benjamin Franklin

Evan’s Friday Briefing: 6/23/17

Welcome to the 6/23/17 edition of “Evan’s Friday Briefing,” a quick list of what I’ve been enjoying, learning, and trying out.

Long YouTube Video I’m Enjoying

Vox Day and Stefan Molyneux discussing Dostoyevsky’s “Crime and Punishment.”

Book I’ve Been Rereading

Machiavelli’s “The Prince.” Getting a lot more out of it the second time around.

Theological Work I Recently Started

Archbishop Hilarion Alfeyev’s “Christ the Conqueror of Hell: The Descent into Hades from an Orthodox Perspective.” I’m Roman Catholic, not Eastern Orthodox, but the Orthodox Church is as equally apostolic as the RCC. I have great respect for the Orthodox and find their history and theology rich and fascinating. I’ll never stop praying for reunification.

My Tip Of The Day

One of my mentors passed on this tip in an email exchange and felt it was worth a share: Reading is never ever a waste of time or mind. Even if you lived to be 100 and did nothing but read and sleep, you still wouldn’t get around to many of the books you wanted to read. Cherish each minute you spend reading, and if you don’t like a book, stop reading it. Life’s too short to read books you hate reading.

Great Quote I’ve Been Ruminating On

“There will come a time when you believe everything is finished. Yet that will be the beginning.” – Louis L’Amour

Evan’s Friday Briefing: 6/16/17

Welcome to the 6/16/17 edition of “Evan’s Friday Briefing,” a quick list of what I’ve been enjoying, learning, and trying out.

What I’ve Been Listening To

Giovanni Palestrina, one of the greatest Renaissance composers.

Workout Habit I Started

Taking Creatine daily and Whey Protein immediately after every workout. This was long overdue. I started doing this last week so I can’t yet report on how it’s working. We’ll see where I’m at in the next couple of months.

Book I Just Began Reading

“Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton’s Doomed Campaign” by Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes. You can tell just how badly Allen and Parnes wanted Hillary to win, but they write an entertaining account and pretty accurately pin down the shortcomings of Hillary and her campaign. Brings back memories of my own experiences with the Trump campaign as well as how I ate, breathed, and slept the election for almost 18 months.

My Tip Of The Day

Keep in mind that things always take longer than you think. If you think it’ll take a year to get ripped, it’ll probably take a year-and-a-half. If you think it’ll take nine months to write that book you’ve always wanted to write, it’ll probably take a year or more. Life loves throwing stumbling blocks at you. Plan for them and respond accordingly.

Great Quote I’ve Been Ruminating On

“Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others.” – Cicero

Evan’s Friday Briefing: 6/9/17

Welcome to the 6/9/17 edition of “Evan’s Friday Briefing,” a quick list of what I’ve been enjoying, learning, and trying out.

What I’ve Been Listening To

Tchaikovsky’s “Romeo and Juliet” and Symphony No. 6 (the Pathétique) and Mozart’s Prussian Quartets.

Books I’ve Recently Purchased

I bought a few Civil War books written by William C. Davis: “Jefferson Davis: The Man and His Hour,” “An Honorable Defeat: The Last Days of the Confederate Government,” “Look Away!: A History of the Confederate States of America,” and “The Cause Lost: Myths and Realities of the Confederacy.”

Productivity Hack I’ve Been Trying

Chunking my daily schedule into four parts—something I learned from Jon Anthony. For chunk one, you do the one or two most important tasks of the day. For chunk two, you complete a couple tasks that are “urgent” but less important. For chunk three, you knock out a few additional tasks that are less urgent and even less important. For chunk four, you reward yourself by doing things you truly enjoy, whether that’s hanging out with friends, taking your girlfriend on a date, going to a martial arts class, reading books, attending a Red Sox game, whatever. You’ll be surprised at how much you can accomplish yet also at how much free time you have.

My Tip Of The Day

The following has nothing to do with raw intelligence or talent: being on time, work ethic, effort, body language, energy, attitude, passion, being coachable, doing extra, and being prepared. This goes to show that anyone can be successful if he truly sets his mind to it.

Great Quote I’ve Been Ruminating On

“Health outweighs all other blessings so much that one may really say that a healthy beggar is happier than an ailing king. A quiet and cheerful temperament, happy in the enjoyment of a perfectly sound physique, an intellect clear, lively, penetrating and seeing things as they are, a moderate and gentle will, and therefore a good conscience—these are privileges which no rank or wealth can make up for or replace.” – Arthur Schopenhauer

Evan’s Friday Briefing: 5/26/17

Welcome to the 5/26/17 edition of “Evan’s Friday Briefing,” a quick list of what I’ve been enjoying, learning, and trying out.

What I’ve Been Listening To

I recently checked out from the library Bach’s Partitas performed by Vladimir Ashkenazy as well as an “Essential Beethoven” CD. So much better than the radio.

Language Learning Habit I’ve Started

I started creating my own flashcards on Quizlet using nothing but vocabulary words in my target language (Italian), pictures, and a personal connection. No English translations. I adopted this method from Gabriel Wyner’s Fluent-Forever.com. You can remember words much easier this way because you’re essentially training yourself to think in your target language.

My Tip Of The Day

This idea is not mine, but since I can’t remember where I got it from, I’m sharing it unattributed: Ask yourself, “What are the three major things I want to accomplish before I die?” Then ask yourself what you have done in the past month to realize those accomplishments. If you haven’t done anything, you’re a dreamer. Be a doer instead, for it is the doers who get exactly what they want out of life.

Article For Your Weekend

Pat Buchanan: “After the Confederates, who’s next?”

Great Quote I’ve Been Ruminating On

“Being successful at networking is realizing that, to get where you’re going, you need to help others get to where they’re going.” – J. Kelly Hoey

Evan’s Friday Briefing: 5/19/17

Welcome to the 5/19/17 edition of “Evan’s Friday Briefing,” a quick list of what I’ve been enjoying, learning, and trying out.

Productivity Hack I’ve Been Doing

When I sit down to do some no distraction reading or writing, I put my headphones in, go to YouTube, and put on white noise. It quiets the stupid thoughts buzzing in my brain and allows me to focus. Works equally well in both quieter environments (e.g., at home by myself) and louder environments (e.g., a coffee shop).

Recent Purchase I’m Enjoying

Transcripture International’s “Bilingual New Testament English German.” Verse by verse comparison of the ASV’s and the 1912 Luther Bible’s New Testament. The Kindle version is 99 cents, so you bet it didn’t take me long to click “Buy Now.”

My Tip Of The Day

You will stumble and fail numerous times on your self-development journey. I still stumble and fail. The reason for no posts the past two days? I didn’t outline my schedule. Yeah, a very basic task that I was “too tired” to do. But you can’t dwell on your failures, you just have to pick yourself up and vow to be better the next day.

Great Quote I’ve Been Ruminating On

“Most of the shadows of life are caused by standing in our own sunshine.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson