Evan’s Friday Briefing: 4/7/17

Welcome to the 4/7/17 edition of “Evan’s Friday Briefing,” a quick list of what I’ve been enjoying, learning, and trying out.

What I’ve Been Reading

Napoleon Hill’s “Think and Grow Rich” and Ernie Johnson Jr.’s new autobiography “Unscripted.” I actually haven’t read much on this vacation. But it feels great to do absolutely nothing besides sit in the sun most of the day. Plus the Masters are on.

What I’ve Been Listening To

We’ve been playing various types of music over the speakers at the house we rented, though my favorites were the songs of Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson.

Progress Update On My Socio-Political Project

The website is still coming along. It’s tough when you can’t meet up with your team members in person on a regular basis. We will initiate active campaigns rather soon, even if the website isn’t done. We can always tinker with the website; it’s more important to go public and start making a difference.

My Tip Of The Day

When getting into self-development, it’s easy to want to pack on 25 pounds of muscle, start building a million dollar business, read for an hour a day, and meditate for 30 minutes every morning all at the same time. But it’s just not possible. Focus on no more than two big goals at a time. Succeed at those before moving on to the others.

Great Quote I’ve Been Ruminating On

“A negative mind never attracts happiness or material success, but it will attract their opposites. You may trick yourself into believing that you are only playing devil’s advocate or searching for weaknesses in apparently good ideas, but in the end negative thinking always produces negative results. Just as your mind will work tirelessly to translate your positive thoughts into their physical equivalent, it will work equally hard to create negative results when all of your thoughts are negative.” – Napoleon Hill Foundation’s “Thought for the Day,” 4/3/17

Evan’s Friday Briefing: 3/31/17

Welcome to the 3/31/17 edition of “Evan’s Friday Briefing,” a quick list of what I’ve been enjoying, learning, and trying out.

Classic American Novels I’ve Been Reading

Kurt Vonnegut’s “Slaughterhouse Five” and Mark Twain’s “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.” I’m weak when it comes to the literature of my own country, and I’m determined to change that.

Classical Work I’ve Been Listening To Over And Over

Mozart’s “Symphony No. 41 in C Major”—a.k.a. the “Jupiter Symphony.” It’s part of a 2,000 word paper I’m writing for class.

Update On The Project I’m Involved In

In last week’s Friday Briefing I wrote that a couple of good friends and I are starting a pro-West, pro-traditional values nonprofit. The website will be built this weekend, so stay tuned.

My Tip Of The Day

If you’re not laughing at who you were one year ago, you’re stagnating, not improving. Stagnation equals death, so always be improving. One percent a day will put you far ahead of your peers in little time.

Great Quote I’ve Been Ruminating On

“Learning is very often a question of whether someone has his soul in order, whether he can be attracted by what is. Great things will not be seen by those whose souls are not ordered.” – James V. Schall

Evan’s Friday Briefing: 3/17/17

Welcome to the 3/17/17 edition of “Evan’s Friday Briefing,” a quick list of what I’ve been enjoying, learning, and trying out.

Classical Music Composer I’ve Been Listening To

Chopin. I’m an inconsistent listener of classical music and have been attempting to listen to it more consistently. Whenever I try getting back into classical music, I always choose Chopin, specifically his “Nocturnes.” They’re short, serene, beautiful works for solo piano. Makes for much easier listening than a full fledged symphony.

Exercise I’ve Been Trying

Hanging on my pull-up bar. It builds stronger shoulders, improves forearm and grip strength, and increases one’s pull-up count. Worth a shot since I’ve been flatlining on my pull-ups lately.

New Biography I’m Eager To Start

John Stubbs’s “Jonathan Swift: The Reluctant Rebel.” You ought to read Swift’s works, specifically “Gulliver’s Travels.” You know it’s a classic work of literature when a kid can enjoy the story for its own sake while an adult can grapple with the author’s political and cultural messages. Anyway, it’s time I read a Swift biography in order to more deeply understand his thought as well as the 18th century English and Irish political climate.

What I’ve Been Teaching Myself

How to follow and invest in the stock market. I also downloaded Robinhood, a legit smartphone app that allows you to trade stocks without fees, but have had issues connecting it with my bank. Hopefully I’ll be an investor soon enough!

Great Quote I’ve Been Ruminating On

“Virtue will not bring herself to enter the limited space we offer her; something of great size requires plenty of room. Let everything else be evicted, and your heart completely opened to her.” – Seneca the Younger

Evan’s Friday Briefing: 3/3/17

Welcome to the 3/3/17 edition of “Evan’s Friday Briefing,” a quick list of what I’ve been enjoying, learning, and trying out.

Artist I’ve Been Listening To

Josh Turner. I usually binge listen to his music every few months. Bass voice + lyrics with substance = great songs.

Former President I’ve Been Reading About

George Washington. I recently read Stephen F. Knott and Tony Williams’s “Washington and Hamilton,” have been rereading my favorite parts of Joseph J. Ellis’s “His Excellency: George Washington,” and will be starting Ron Chernow’s “Washington: A Life” this evening. There’s a lot we can learn not just about Washington, but also from Washington.

Morning Habit I’ve Implemented For Lent

I started reading one chapter of Matthew Kelly’s “Resisting Happiness” each morning. There are 37 chapters, one for every day of Lent. I’m reading it along with the other parishioners at my Catholic church, but you don’t need to be Catholic to enjoy this book.

Great Quote I’ve Been Ruminating On

“It never ceases to amaze me: we all love ourselves more than other people, but care more about their opinion than our own … Ambition means tying your well-being to what other people say or do … Sanity means tying it to your own actions.” – Marcus Aurelius

Evan’s Friday Briefing: 2/24/17

Welcome to the 2/24/17 edition of “Evan’s Friday Briefing,” a quick list of what I’ve been enjoying, learning, and trying out.

Artist I’ve Been Listening To

Frank Sinatra. Everyone recognizes his name, but not everyone knows his music real well. It’s worth familiarizing oneself with such an American musical legend.

Podcast Episode I’ve Been Pondering

Steve Patterson’s interview with Dr. Jayme White on SJWs, the left, and academia. Key concepts covered: virtue signaling, sentiment over reason, and the desire for a command economy. Give it a listen.

Self-Development Habit I Recently Implemented

Waking up to a “calm sea” alarm sound. How is this related to self-development? Well, I had been previously using a standard alarm sound that didn’t make me want to get out of bed, and it just didn’t set a great tone for the day. The “calm sea” is significantly more natural and now I’m generally in a much better morning mood.

Smartphone App I’ve Been Playing Around With

Duolingo. It’s a (free!) app that allows you to learn new languages with a scientifically proven method of language learning. I’ve been brushing up on my Spanish and dabbling in German. Trust me, it truly is superior to your high school language courses as well as those boring flash cards. Try it out to see what I’m talking about.

Poem I’ve Been Enjoying

Samuel Ullman’s “Youth Poem.” I’m still only 20 years old, but I love this poem nevertheless:

Youth is not a time of life – it is a state of mind,
it is a temper of the will
a quality of the imagination,
a vigor of the emotions,
a predominance of courage over timidity,
of the appetite for adventure over love of ease.

Nobody grows old by merely living a number of years.
People grow old only by deserting their ideals.
Years wrinkle the skin,
but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul.
Worry, doubt, self-distrust,
fear and despair – these are the long,
long years that bow the head and
turn the growing spirit back to dust.

Whether they are sixteen or seventy,
there is in every being’s heart
the love of wonder,
the sweet amazement at the stars
and starlike things and thoughts,
the undaunted challenge of events,
the unfailing childlike appetite
for what is to come next,
and the joy and the game of life.

You are as young as your faith,
as old as your doubt;
as young as your self-confidence,
as old as your fear,
as young as your hope,
as old as your despair.
When the wires are all down
and all the innermost core of your heart
is covered with the snows of pessimism
and the ice of cynicism,
then you are grown old indeed.

But so long as your heart receives messages
of beauty, cheer, courage, grandeur
and power from the earth,
from man and from the Infinite,
so long you are young.