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The Book that Scared Me

Recently, I read a book that actually scared me.

Ok, not in the same way that spiders or horror films scare me. Scared in a completely different way.

Because this book has the real potential to not only help you achieve things that you wouldn’t think were even possible, but also can simulteniously cause a lot of pain for the world. The techniques it reveals and uses are like explosives. They can be really great for mining granite from a huge quarry or can blow up enitre cities; it simply depends how you use them.

And I’m not saying that this book is inherently evil because you can actually create really good things out of what you learn. It simply is a matter of where you draw the line of what’s moral and what’s not.

Yet this book blurs that line. A lot. You’ll see why.

To understand why, though, we are going to first look at certain belief I have (that I wouldn’t be suprised if you share), why I have them, and then how those beliefs interact with this book.

Oh, and what is this book? It’s a sales book called Dot Com Secrets1, and it’s all about how to get larger sales with an online platform.

And I’m sharing this with you that way you not only have the knowledge to help make your daily life better, but also to put up your guard whenever you see that you might be the customer with one of these “secrets” being used on you.

  1. Brunson, R. (2015) Dot Com Secrets: The Underground Playbook for Growing Your Company Online… New York, NY: Morgan James Publishing. 

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Controlling Your Life With Habits

40% of all the things you will do today will be out of habit.1 40%. That’s almost half of what you will ever do.

Therefore, it seems like a good idea to not only recognize what the 40% of your life is but also try to form good habits so 40% of your life already starts out great.

Imagine if you took control of that 40% of your life. Imagine forming habits such that 40% of your life is a great life.

The problem is that we don’t control that 40%. Instead, we let the 40% of our life that is habits simply form on their own. And yet most of us have developed some very bad habits because of this.

Luckily, habits are quite simple to change (albiet sometimes frustrating).

So in this post, we are going to first start looking at how habits operate, one very dangerous habit that most of us have formed, and how to replace bad habits with good habits such that we can live a great life formed on great habits.

  1. Eyal, N. (2014) Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products. New York, NY: Portfolio. 

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Productivity Part 2

How can you be lazy but still have a strong work ethic?

That’s the answer we are going to delve into with this blog post.

Last time in Part 1 we learned how to work smarter by eliminating extraneous work while also eliminating the extraneous time necessary to do such work. This time, we are going to learn the skills necessary to perform at your personal best. We are going to learn simple tricks from psychology to allow us to focus deeper and achieve more.

And it’s all thanks to a simple concept called deep work.

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Productivity Part 1

Many, many people have asked me how I get so much done.

I’m in college. I typically take 24-30 units each quarter. I participate in over 7 ensembles (pretty much everyone I can get into). I’m a double major. I play a lot outside of school. I participate in extra-curriculars. I read. I cook. I still have time to socialize. I have time for fun. I write blog posts and probably do much more than what’s listed here.

And I still get a full night’s sleep every night.

So the question is: how?

Many say it’s about working harder. Others say it’s about working smarter. But I believe it is about both working smarter and harder.

So in this two-part post, we are going to first learn how to work smarter and then in the next post we are going to learn how to work harder.

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The Ultimate Greedy Algorithm

I’ve always been interested in how people make decisions. These can be very simple methods of figuring out the best path or incredibly complex.

But recently I’ve heard of the greedy algorithm. And this has gotten me thinking about what the best way to make decisions in the world is.

The greedy algorithm is a problem solving heuristic that’s actually used quite a bit in computer science, but how does it translate to the real world? I mean, the real world actually has people in it. Can a simple mathematical algorithm work in a world with people?

Today, we are going to look at the greedy algorithm in a practical sense. We will find out why the greedy algorithm doesn’t necessarily work and develop a better solution: the ultimate greedy algorithm. Finally, we will look into how you can implement the ultimate greedy algorithm into your life.

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When Was Classical Music

When was the classical era in music?

Simple question. “Complex” answer.

Many musicologists would quickly tell you 1750-1820. Others will tell you slightly different times. Yet you could also make the argument that classical music is still going on today because classical music is not just defined by the era but also by the traditions of Western music. Hence Philip Glass is a classical musician, though he was born in 1937.

And yet I have a different answer. It’s more unconventional, more unexpected, and perhaps even more insightful than any of the normal answers. So what is my answer?

Classical music happened during the Revolutionary War.

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Lots of Change

Happy New Year!

As you may have noticed, there has been quite a bit of change to my site and what I’m doing. Rather than writing a nice cohesive post about all the changes, I’ll just write a list of all of them to make it easier to read (and write).

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New Arrangement - Brahms Intermezzo in A Major

The Brahms Intermezzo in A Major is an amazing piano piece, but how does it sound as a trombone solo? You can find out here.

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Metamorphosis is a Finalist of Composition Competition

You may remember a couple weeks ago that I released my newest piece, Metamorphosis. Well, I submitted it to the Christopher Bill Composition Competition and it has reached the final round. I don’t know yet if it has won or not, but you can find out on October 7 with me. Christopher Bill is going to play the winning composition on his YouTube channel.

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New Piece - Metamorphosis

Today, I’m releasing Metamorphosis, a piece for trombone octet. Here’s the full piece.

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Bucolic Songs Wins a Corwin Award

For the second year in a row, one of my pieces recieved the 3rd place in the large ensemble category for the Corwin Awards, a UC Santa Barbara composition competition. Last year, Morning Sunrise won 3rd place in large ensemble, and now Bucolic Songs wins the same award.

The Corwin Awards are open to all UC Santa Barbara music majors, including non-composers and graduate students. Majors can submit compositions for awards in five categories: large ensemble, solo or chamber ensemble, electronic/electro-acoustic, vocal, or percussion. The compositions are judged by anonymous judges that are not affiliated with UC Santa Barbara.

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Music Now Available on Sheet Music Plus

Starting today, several pieces of mine are available for sale at Sheet Music Plus. These include:

Several other works of mine should be up soon as well.

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Update July 2016

As you may have noticed if you have been here before is a massive site update. There are several great features that came about with the update including far better navigation across the site, easier access to the information you are probably looking for, and the site is now more focused and complete. Below outline some of these changes in more detail:

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