Blog Feed

Algorithms for Every Class (Part 1)

“If you find yourself in a fair fight, you didn’t plan your mission properly.” Colonel David Hackworth (Former United States Army Colonel & Military Journalist) Most of the educational content on my blog is pretty specific and I wanted to try something a little different. This post is going to be a bunch of seemingly disjointed advice, but they are connected through the idea that they work for all kinds of classes. Beware the Curse […]

Creating Systems

“Systematize everything, and find peace” Brandon Turner (The Book on Rental Property Investing) Why create systems? Having goals is a fantastic way to be productive and build a life by design, but the most productive results come from having systems. When we have a goal, there are a series of choices we have to make. Usually, goals are things we haven’t done before, so all the choices we’re going to have to make require a […]

What I Learned the Hard Way

“Sometimes people don’t want to hear the truth because they don’t want their illusions destroyed.”  Friedrich Nietzsche (1844 – 1900) Writing about this idea was taken from Cheryl Strayed’s List of Writing Prompts. The original prompt was to write about a time when I learned the hard way, but I changed it to what I learned the hard way. While the story surrounding these lessons is wildly interesting and incredible, it’s long, and writing it […]

Analyzing & Improving Systems

“If you are unhappy, your system is broken.” Brandon Turner (The Book on Rental Property Investing) In my last post, I talked about Gall’s Law and the different components of systems. In this post, I’m going to discuss ideas surrounding analyzing and improving systems. There are going to be some terms I reference from my last post, so I highly recommend checking that out first. Josh Kaufman beautifully and simply explains how to do this […]

Gall’s Law & System Components

“One essential characteristic of modern life is that we all depend on systems—on assemblages of people or technologies or both—and among our most profound difficulties is making them work.” Atul Gawande (The Checklist Manifesto) Systems are everything. Our body is a system of organs, chemical reactions, and energy. There are a bunch of little integrated things happening within us all the time. Every cell inside our body is a system, every organelle is a system, […]

Solo Studying vs. Group Studying

“Surround yourself with good people that compliment the areas where you are weak” Jacko Willink (1971 – ) The professor just announced the exam is coming up. We’re a little stressed, but not too stressed. Luckily, we’ve read Chris’ blog posts and understand the fundamental principles of studying Active Recall and Spaced Repetition. We also read my posts of Strategies for Better Studying 1, 2, 3, & 4, so we know a thing or two […]

The Art of Practice

“Everything in life worth achieving requires practice. In fact, life itself is nothing more than one long practice session, an endless effort of refining our motions. When the proper mechanics of practice are understood, the task of learning something new becomes a stress-free experience of joy and calmness, a process which settles all areas in your life and promotes proper perspective on all of life’s difficulties.” Thomas M. Sterner (The Practicing Mind) Practicing is an […]

What I Learned from Writing My Goals Down in the Morning (The 5 Minute Journal)

“Man has it all in his hands, and it all slips through his fingers from sheer cowardice.”  Fyodor Dostoyevsky (Crime & Punishment) Reflective Experiments So for the last 5 months, I’ve been doing this thing called The 5 Minute Journal. I originally heard about this idea from Tim Ferriss (as with so many other things), but it’s a popular practice that millions of people are already doing. I figured I can try it for 30 […]

Phasing

“Excellence is the next five minutes, improvement is the next five minutes, happiness is the next five minutes.” TIm Ferriss (1977 – ) In light of the new semester, I want to go over a method that can help in the majority of classes. I consider this to be a more advanced technique and if you’re new to learning about study methods, I recommend checking out my Strategies for Better Studying posts: 1, 2, 3, […]

The Hero of Heroes: Marduk vs. Tiamat & The Significance of Speech

“A problem well put is half-solved.” John Dewey (1859 – 1952) An Invisible World In my last post, I bring up the idea of analyzing hero myths for commonalities in order to find traits that would bring us success in any pursuit we choose. What a mouthful. I specifically brought up The Osiris Myth and how that story illustrates the power of attention. This post is going to focus on another powerful aspect of the […]

The Hero of Heroes: The Osiris Myth & Attention

“Where you spend your attention is where you spend your life.” James Clear The Hero of Heroes Ever since I was a kid, I’ve been obsessed with discovering what makes people win. I used to think what made someone good at one thing was different than what made them good at another, and while there is some truth to that, I’ve noticed that there are a few things that make people good at everything. It’s […]

How to Conquer Test and Performance Anxiety

“I’m just not a good test taker.” Liars (all around the world) Why Anxiety? Test and performance anxiety can be completely debilitating. Anxiety in general can destroy the best of us, but it can be overcome. First, we have to understand why we get anxiety in the first place. Our brains have a threat detection system that’s constantly examining our surroundings. I talk a little bit about this in my post The Brain vs. The […]

What I Learned from Starting a YouTube Channel

“If you want to look good in front of thousands, you have to outwork thousands in front of nobody.” Damian Lillard (1990 – ) In October 2019, I decided to start a YouTube Channel about music production. At first, it was just a place for me to upload my beats so I could showcase my music but little did I know I stumbled onto something much bigger. I found a community of people who are […]

The Importance of Questions + My Question List

“What you seek is seeking you.” Rumi (1207 – 1273) Sometime after college, I was exposed to the idea that… Questions are extremely powerful. In his book, Tribe of Mentors, Tim Ferriss says that the answers to anything and everything that we want is in other people’s heads and questions are our pickaxes. He attributes his 10x, 100x, and 1000x gains to his development of better questions. I instantly fell in love with this idea. […]

A Meditation on Death

“Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life.Almost everything–all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure–these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important.Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already […]

Personality and Trajectory (Part 2)

“No matter who you are, The Man does occasionally bend his ear to you even if his eyes are looking elsewhere, he does now and then condescend to listen to your demands and let you appear at his side. But you never think to listen to yourself, to bend your own ear to what you yourself have to say.” Seneca (On the Shortness of Life) In Personality and Trajectory (Part1), I brought up the idea […]

A Letter to 35-Year-Old Me (2020)

“Most people overestimate what they can do in one year and underestimate what they can do in ten years.” Bill Gates (1955 – ) Dear 2030 Chris, This is 2020 Chris and right now I’m 25 years old going on 26. I’m writing this letter for a few different reasons. 1) I’m writing a blog post every week and the other one I’m working on is taking too long, so I’m writing this to publish in its place. 2) I […]

Personality and Trajectory (Part 1)

“The privilege of a lifetime is to become who you truly are.” Carl Jung (1875 – 1961) Personality has always been an interesting subject for me. I’ve always been interested in what makes people tick and what separates an individual from the rest of the crowd. Personality is one of the many factors which determine individuality. Personality can be thought of as a collection of qualities that make up our overall character. Over the years, […]

How I Found My Way Back

“But a man soon discovers that everything depends upon his being useful, not in his own opinion, but in the opinion of others; and so he tries his best to make that favorable impression upon the world, to which he attaches such a high value.” Arthur Schopenhauer (The Wisdom of Life) Writing about this idea was taken from Cheryl Strayed’s List of Writing Prompts that I found while reading Tim Ferriss’ Tools of Titans, which […]

The Myth of Motivation

“We are always complaining that our days are few, and acting as though there would be no end of them.” Seneca (4 BC – 65 AD) Missing Pieces Motivational books, speakers, quotes, videos, blog posts, you name it, are fantastic for getting us pumped up enough to dominate any obstacle in our way. When we’re motivated we can do anything, but motivation doesn’t stick around for very long and can be difficult to recover when […]

How to Actually Read Textbooks Effectively

“To be better equipped for the tests that the year will bring — read a textbook. To prepare for the tests that life will bring — read a book.” Mokokoma Mokhonoana Textbooks are not the same as the every day books that people read. The Fundamentals of Chemical Engineering was a very different read than Man’s Search for Meaning. Textbooks require different methods of consumption. Since they’re are mostly filled with factual information that we […]

The Jungian Shadow & Integration

“The sad truth is that man’s real life consists of a complex of inexorable opposites – day and night, birth and death, happiness and misery, good and evil. We are not even sure that one will prevail over the other, that good will overcome evil, or job defeat pain. Life is a battleground. It always has been, and always will be.” Carl Jung (Approaching the Unconscious) The Gestalt Reality The incredibly intelligent and renown Swiss […]

The Relationship with Ourselves (Part 2)

“Life is to man, in other words, to will, what chemical re-agents are to the body: it is only by life that a man reveals what he is, and it is only in so far as he reveals himself that he exists at all. Life is the manifestation of character, of the something that we understand by that word; and it is not in life, but outside of it, and outside time, that character undergoes […]

When I think of the word “successful,” who’s the first person who comes to mind and why? (2020)

“On hearing of the interesting events which have happened in the course of a man’s experience, many people will wish that similar things had happened in their lives too, completely forgetting that they should be envious rather of the mental aptitude which lent those events the significance they possess when he describes them; to a man of genius they were interesting adventures” Arthur Schopenhauer (The Wisdom of Life) This question was originally pulled from Tim […]

Something I Lost That I’ll Never Get Back

“My mind still clung to the image of my wife. A thought crossed my mind: I didn’t even know if she were still alive. I knew only one thing—which I have learned well by now: Love goes very far beyond the physical person of the beloved. It finds its deepest meaning in his spiritual being, his inner self. Whether or not he is actually present, whether or not he is still alive at all, ceases […]

The Relationship with Ourselves

“How can a man come to know himself? Never by thinking, but by doing. Try to do your duty and you will know at once what you are worth.” Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (Maxims on Life and Character) I have spent many weeks putting off writing about this topic simply because it is so big and I didn’t know where to start. I kept scrapping intro after intro because I felt like none of them […]

Recall the Kindness of Strangers

“Let yourself be open and life will be easier. A spoon of salt in a glass of water makes the water undrinkable. A spoon of salt in a lake is almost unnoticed.” ― Buddha Siddhartha Gautama Shakyamuni This idea was taken from Cheryl Strayed’s List of Writing Prompts. I found her list way before I started my blog, but I saved them for later for reasons that I do not have the vocabulary to express. I […]

What purchase of $100 of less has most positively impacted my life in the last year? (2020)

“Judge a man by his questions rather than his answers.” Pierre-Marc-Gaston (1764 – 1830) This question was originally pulled from Tim Ferriss’ Tools of Titans in the Rapid-Fire Questions section. I thought it would be fun to answer it for myself, plus it’s an opportunity for me to take a break from writing research heavy content. I’ve noticed I’ve been feeling a little burnt, so I’m going to take the foot off the gas and […]

20 Things We Need to Know About Sleep

“The best bridge between despair and hope is a good night’s sleep.” Matthew Walker (1973- ) Dr. Matthew Walker is a British Scientist and the world’s renown sleep expert. He has a fantastic book out called “Why We Sleep” and a wealth of knowledge all over the internet from Talks at Google to The Joe Rogan Experience. After familiarizing myself with some of Dr. Walker’s work, I couldn’t help but to share it with everyone […]

Utilizing Our Identities

“Few are born bold. Even Napoleon had to cultivate the habit on the battlefield, where he knew it was a matter of life and death. In social settings he was awkward and timid, but he overcame this and practice boldness in every part of his life because he saw its tremendous power, how it could literally enlarge a man (even one who, like Napoleon, was in fact conspicuously small).” Robert Greene (48 Laws of Power) […]

Types of Habits and Designing Our Lives

“Most habits take on one of four common forms: things you want to start doing, things you want to stop doing, things you want to do more, and things you want to do less.” Josh Kaufman (The Personal MBA) Before I dive into this post, I have to make a few honorable necessary mentions. Most of this information is from James Clear’s amazing book Atomic Habits, which I highly recommend. He explains the importance of […]

Lessons from an Application + Tips from Winston Churchill

“Mostly it is loss which teaches us about the worth of things.” Arthur Schopenhauer (Parerga and Paralipomena) My girlfriend recently emailed me a potential dream job that she thought I was the perfect fit for. I was elated to discover that renown author and habit-guru, James Clear, is hiring a podcast writer/researcher and producer. Given my nerdy passion for self-improvement and audio engineering, I figured this would be a fantastic opportunity to pursue. I’ve always […]

Hypnotic Rhythm and Human Drives

“Any thought or physical movement which is repeated over and over through the principle of habit finally reaches the proportion of rhythm. Then the habit cannot be broken because nature takes it over and makes it permanent. It is something like a whirlpool in water…Then it is carried round and round but it cannot escape…Habit establishes one’s rhythm of thought, and that rhythm attracts the object of one’s dominating thoughts.” Napoleon Hill (1883 – 1970) […]

Understanding Habits and The 1% Rule

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” Aristotle (384 BC – 322 BC) The other day I was thinking about how my life, and everyone else’s, is the accumulation of all the little moments of our lives. A lot of people I’ve talked to, including myself, are waiting for this imaginary future when their lives can finally start, but it’s a delusion. Our lives are happening right […]

Strategies for Better Studying (Part 4)

“Hard work is not always something you can see. It is not always physical effort. In fact, the most powerful form of hard work is thinking clearly. Designing a winning strategy may not look very active, but make no mistake: it is very hard work. Strategy often beats sweat.” James Clear This is the final part of my Strategies for Better Studying series. I recommend taking the parts which work best from each of these […]

Strategies for Better Studying (Part 2)

“As to methods there may be a million and then some, but principles are few. The man who grasps principles can successfully select his own methods. The man who tries methods, ignoring principles, is sure to have trouble.” Harrington Emerson (1854 – 1931) Part 1 can be found here. This month I’m building an archive of study strategies that can be chopped for parts to build your own personal efficient and effective study system. I […]

Strategies for Better Studying (Part 1)

“All truly wise thoughts have been thought already thousands of times; but to make them truly ours, we much think them over again honestly, until they take root in our personal experience.” Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe (1749 – 1832) In light of my last post, Active Recall and Spaced Repetition, I want to go over different study methods that can be used with those principles in mind. Proven study methods used in conjunction with active […]

Active Recall and Spaced Repetition

“The act of retrieving learning from memory has two profound benefits. One, it tells you what you know and don’t know, and therefore where to focus further study to improve the areas where you’re weak. Two, recalling what you have learned causes your brain to reconsolidate the memory, which strengthens its connections to what you already know and makes it easier for you to recall in the future.” Peter C. Brown (Make It Stick) Minimum […]

Note-Taking

“He listens well who takes notes.” Dante Alighieri (1265 – 1321) Methods I like to keep in mind that no one way of taking notes is the best way overall. Notes are best used for recording information and some of these methods can double as fantastic study tools, but I don’t recommend making notes as a form of studying. Some methods will be better for certain situations and it’s up to us to decide what’s […]

Our Unconscious Filters

“If you judge a man, do you judge him when he is wrapped in a disguise?” Seneca (4 BC – 65 AD) The mind has a few habits that we should pay attention to when we are trying to maximize our learning. Everyone is susceptible to these thought patterns and it would be advantageous to find where these patterns occur within our own lives. Without understanding these habits we could subconsciously close ourselves off to […]

Cognitive Load

“Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.” Mark Twain (1835 – 1910) Commonly thought of as the effort required for our brains to do a specific task. Cognitive Load is a fun concept to use as we navigate the best ways to accomplish our daily tasks. Some people like to think of cognitive load as mental gasoline for the “brain engine.” […]

2019 Yearly Review: Birth of Tradition

“Time is the friend of the person who trains his mind to follow positive thought-habits and the enemy of the person who drifts into negative thought-habits.” Napoleon Hill (Outwitting the Devil) When last year was coming to a close, I had a terrible realization that I couldn’t remember anything that happened that year and I felt like life was slipping through my fingers. Every week moving faster than the last, and while I was in […]

Tracking and Loss Aversion

“What gets measured gets managed.” Peter Drucker (1909 – 2005) This quote is probably one of the most life changing ideas I’ve come across this year. I like to add “…and what gets managed gets improved, as long as you’re aiming up” to the end of it to give it that extra punch. The idea is pretty simple, we’re able to manage the things we pay the most attention to and we can manage to […]

Our Proclivity for Comfort

“If you look for truth, you may find comfort in the end; if you look for comfort you will not get either comfort or truth only soft soap and wishful thinking to begin, and in the end, despair.” C.S. Lewis (1889 – 1963) We love to look for comfort, but seeking out comfort can lead to taking shortcuts and avoiding challenges. The comfortable path enables us to practice habits which reward instant gratification and that prevents any long term goals from ever coming to fruition. This isn’t to say that […]

The Brain vs. The Mind (Part 2)

“The mind is its own place, and in itself can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven.” John Milton (1608 – 1674) The Mind The mind what makes us feel alive and aware. It gives us the faculty of consciousness and the ability to think. The mind provides us with judgement, perception, language and memory. People all throughout time have dedicated their entire lives to trying to understand the mind but there is […]

The Brain vs. The Mind (Part 1)

“Biology gives you a brain. Life turns it into a mind.” Jeffrey Eugenides (1960 – ) We use both the brain and the mind to perceive the world around us and decide the best course of action. The brain is an organ and, in some respects, isn’t just in our heads. It’s spread throughout our entire body expressed in our central and peripheral nervous system. The central nervous system is essentially our spinal cord and […]

The Valley of Disappointment

“We often expect progress to be linear. At the very least, we hope it will come quickly. In reality, the results of our efforts are often delayed. It is not until months or years later that we realize the true value of the previous work we have done. This can result in a “valley of disappointment” where people feel discouraged after putting in weeks or months of hard work without experiencing any results. However, this […]

Understanding Development and Mentors

“The principle goal of education in the schools should be creating men and women who are capable of doing new things, not simply repeating what other generations have done; men and women who are creative, inventive and discoverers, who can be critical and verify, and not accept, everything they are offered.” Jean Piaget (1896 -1980 ) Vygotsky’s Zone of Proximal Development The Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD) is a concept developed by soviet Psychologist Lev […]

The Power of Failure

“There are two kinds of failure. The first comes from never trying out your ideas because you are afraid, or because you are waiting for the perfect time. This kind of failure you can never learn from, and such timidity will destroy you. The second kind comes from a bold and venturesome spirit. If you fail in this way, the hit that you take to your reputation is greatly outweighed by what you learn. Repeated […]

The 20 Hour Rule and Metaskills

“The future belongs to those who learn more skills and combine them in creative ways.”  Robert Greene (1959 – ) A lot of people I talk to are familiar with the 10,000 hour rule – it takes 10,000 hours of dedicated and deliberate practice to obtain mastery of a given skill, but not as many of us are familiar with the 20 hour rule. According the Josh Kaufman’s The First 20 Hours, it only takes […]

The Mamba Mentality

“To sum up what Mamba Mentality is, it means to be able to constantly try to be the best version of yourself. That is what the Mentality is -it’s a constant quest to try to better today than you were yesterday.” Kobe Bryant (1978 – 2020) The Mamba Mentality is a highly effective way of developing your skills. Kobe Bryant, aka Black Mamba, developed this method after his first season playing basketball. The Mamba Mentality is […]

Lessons From Working in Healthcare

For a long time, I had a dream to work in the healthcare industry and shortly after graduating college I was able to do just that. I mean, I wasn’t saving lives or anything too crazy, but I did learn a lot about the realities of working in the healthcare industry. When I was a naive lil pre-med, I would always hear people talk about how “the healthcare industry is so corrupt.” Well I’m a […]

Maintaining Purpose

“Nothing is more creative… nor destructive… than a brilliant mind with a purpose.”  Dan Brown (1964 – ) It’s easy to lose sight of your purpose once you get down in the trenches and start grinding. Here are nine ways to keep focused: Exhibit Independent Thought This was key to finding my own true purpose and it has helped me remain aligned with my unique path. Thinking for yourself is the only way to know […]

How to Find Purpose

“The whole law of human existence consists in nothing other than a man’s always being able to bow before the immeasurably great. If people are deprived of the immeasurably great, they will not live and will die in despair. The immeasurable and infinite are as necessary for man as the small planet he inhabits.” Fyodor Dostoyevsky (1821 – 1881) Definitive Purpose It seems as if having a definitive purpose can have tremendous benefits, but how […]

The Most Dangerous Habit That Everyone Has

“He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how.” Friedrich Nietzsche (1844 – 1900) In the book, Outwitting the Devil, Napoleon Hill describes a prevalent habit among all people which brings about suffering and destruction. This habit is known as drifting. When someone drifts, the devil, so to speak, takes hold of their life and ends up doing the devil’s work for him. When I first heard that, I didn’t think it was true. But […]

My Must Read Book List

“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies . . . The man who never reads lives only one.” George R.R. Martin (1948 – ) Here’s a list of all the books that had a massive impact on my life and would bring tremendous value to everyone else too – in no particular order: This is hands down one of the best books ever written. When I read the title, I thought it was […]

Another 5 More Tips for Better Scheduling

“‘Why are you idle? If you don’t seize the day, it escapes.’ Even though you seize it, it still will flee. Seneca (4 BC – 65 AD) Scheduling is so important. If we can control our time, then we can control our lives since time is what makes up life. I have two other posts about scheduling which I recommend checking out before you read this one. They’re 5 Tips for Better Scheduling and 5 […]

5 More Tips for Better Scheduling

“There are two types of time: alive time and dead time. One is when you sit around, when you wait until things happen to you. The other is when you are in control, when you make every second count, when you are learning and improving and growing.” Robert Greene (1959 – ) If you haven’t read my other post about scheduling you can find it here -> 5 Tips for Better Scheduling. I believe that […]

What are my morning rituals? What do the first 60 minutes of my day look like?

“Who is going to make sure your life plays out just as you plan it?” Seneca (4 BC – 65 AD) This question was originally pulled from Tim Ferriss’ Tools of Titans and I thought it would be fun to answer it for myself. For a long time after college, I had trouble setting up a morning routine that made me feel like I could own the day (as cheesy as that sounds). I completely […]

5 Tips for Better Scheduling

“These things, they take time.” Gabe Newell (1962 – ) It took me about 3 years before my scheduling skills were good enough to actually rely on my calendar. Today, scheduling is an integral part of my daily life and it’s a skill I’m happy I decided to take some time to develop. With better scheduling came better performances at work and school, plus I was forgetting less and never double booking myself. Here are […]