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

Evan’s Friday Briefing: 5/12/17

Welcome to the 5/12/17 edition of “Evan’s Friday Briefing,” a quick list of what I’ve been enjoying, learning, and trying out.

Book I Started Recently

Umberto Eco’s “Art and Beauty in the Middle Ages.” Only 120 pages but doesn’t need to be any longer. Will definitely read more Eco upon completion of this work.

Project Update

Remember the project I mentioned in a couple previous Friday Briefings? Well that project is now live! FightDegeneracy.org. We intend to become a nonprofit and organize real world campaigns and events based on developing a more traditional counter-culture. Our motto is “Strength in Tradition” because we stand for the values that built the foundations of American strength: unbreakable families, strong local communities, a healthy spirituality, a holistic education, honor, integrity, and the like. Check it out!

Self-Development Trick I’ve Been Trying Out

Jerry Seinfeld’s “Don’t Break The Chain!” trick. Take a calendar and make an X on each day you accomplish something you want to get in the habit of doing daily. Soon you’ll have a nice little chain going. It’ll then become second nature to keep doing what you’re doing for the sake of not breaking the chain. I use this handy dandy web version.

My Tip Of The Day

“Find your passion and monetize it” is a ubiquitous idea in the self-development community. Some people don’t have a clue about what their true passion is. One easy exercise can probably nail it down: Ask yourself, “What did I love doing as a child and teenager?” And chances are you can monetize it.

Great Quote I’ve Been Ruminating On

“You may delay, but time will not.” – Benjamin Franklin

Evan’s Friday Briefing: 5/5/17

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

Classical Composer I’ve Been Listening To

As part of an effort to expand my classical music tastes, I’ve listened to Debussy the past couple nights. Very influential late 19th and early 20th century composer. Never really listened to him before, so I’ve been pushing through a “Best Of Debussy” album on Google Play Music to get a taste of him.

Artist I’ve Been Studying

Claude Monet. And no, it’s not a coincidence that I’m listening to Debussy at the same time. (If you’re unaware, Monet was an Impressionist painter, Debussy an Impressionist composer.) I’ve always appreciated Impressionism, but I’m now coming around to truly enjoying it. I especially love the sense of leisure and reflection in Monet’s work.

Amazing Book I Just Finished

“Models” by Mark Manson. Instead of trying to attract women by means of games, techniques, and canned lines, Manson argues that a man should focus on self-improvement and developing True Confidence, also known as “inner game,” in order to approach and date high quality women. I might write a separate post on this book. I’m also going to start reading Manson’s “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck” upon arrival in the mail.

My Tip Of The Day

Do something every day that makes you sweat. Whether that’s lifting, jump rope, cycling, jogging, tennis, or even a brisk walk. On my non-lifting days I tend to either jump rope or walk. But now that spring hath sprung, I’ll be doing much more cycling and walking. Do what you like most; exercise shouldn’t be a drag.

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