Archive for the ‘ repeat ’ Category

Music: Worth Repeating – The iPod Iditarod!

Like the title for the new year’s resolution I mentioned in the last post? So it’s a work in progress – but I think it works so far. The Iditarod is an annual dogsled race that takes place in Alaska every year. I find it especially appropriate because of the analogy – 16 dogs to each Musher, and a race that spans over 1100 miles in around 2 weeks. My Iditarod is 26 letters of the alphabet, over 52 weeks, and covering over 160 gigs of music – over 30,000 songs! So, if you want to just see the progress of this adventure through my iPod, that’s what to look for.

So, here’s the premise, as a refresher: 52 weeks in a year, 26 letters in the alphabet, so that’s two weeks per first letter of the bands I’m listening to during those 2 weeks. I’m assuming I’ll have an easier time with the ‘Q’s’ and ‘X’s’ than others, so I’m not going to be too strict on the timeframe, except that I want to finish by the end of the year.

So, we start off with the letter A. (I actually haven’t started yet, but I’m hoping that over the next few days I’ll get through it and be able to report back). Really what I’m looking to accomplish is 2 fold:

1. Identify my favorite artists and genres of music, so that I can expand my music library to get more of the things I assume I’ll like.

2. Achieve a greater ability to describe music – what it sounds like, who it sounds similar to, what I like and why I like it.

That’s the plan at least. We’ll see how it goes…

2010: Worth Repeating

So, here we are. 2011. That’s twenty – eleven, not two-thousand and eleven, by the way. One of my new year’s resolutions this year is brevity…

2010 (twenty-ten) was a great year. Atop the list of amazing things that happened is that we conceived a child! A baby boy that is joining our family mid-February, some 5 weeks from now. We are excited, to say the least.

Also up towards the top was the opportunity to go on tour with Neon Trees as their Front Of House Engineer (the “sound guy”) and production manager. I spent most of November and part of December touring around the country with them, and am looking forward to doing more shows and touring this year, as they are an amazing group of friends and extremely talented musicians.

Given the chance, I’d repeat 2010, or at least, have another year just like it. But I wouldn’t give up the bigger and better opportunity of looking forward to a brand new year. 2011!

So, in familiar fashion, I’ve got a few new year’s resolutions for this year, but wanted to blog about just one.

I realized while I was out on tour last month that I have a decently large music library, some 200 gb and counting. There was a lot of music I loved, even more that I listened to often, and probably ten times that that I had either listened to once or not at all. Sad really.

So, here’s the plan. I’m taking every two weeks in 2011 and giving each letter of the alphabet some ear time. At the beginning of every two weeks, I will download all of the music that was recorded by artists starting with that letter, and play through. I hope to find some music that I love, discover some music that I should have a long time ago, and weed out some that really has no place in my music library – I mean come on, I can’t blog about music without being at least a little snarky and stuck up…

So, here’s to everyone enjoying 2011. Wish me luck, because I’m gonna be a DAD soon!

A return to “Focus”

A few posts back I commented a little about Focus, and how I felt “spread too thin” with all of the projects, work, goals, life, etc…

I’ve had a little while to think about it all–and admittedly, not much changed. Until, that is, I ran across this:

I’ve been tuned in to Leo and his blog ZenHabits for a few years now, and whether he knows it or not, I am a pretty devout reader. He has been able to accomplish what some small part of me desires: freedom from distraction, minimalism, simplicity…zen?

I’ve been reading through this free book of his over the last day or two, and man, is it good. Already I’ve seen some things that I wanted to change, and the few that I have implemented have helped get me on the path to more focus.

This all came about because of a strong desire to do so much, and feeling like I had so little time to do it. But, the reality is quite contrary to my perception. I have lots of time; that I tend to fill with distractions like TV shows and movies, internet browsing, emails, twitter & facebook, etc.

So, to the point: if that sounds at all like you and you would like some help freeing yourself from the distractions that impede your creativity, I point you to Leo’s book on focus. It’s free, and he’s encouraging people to get it, read it, and be changed for the better. In case he ever sees this blog post: thanks Leo.

Worth Repeating: LDS General Conference

Most, if not all of you, know that I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. When I was born my mother was a member and my Dad was Catholic. He converted when I was seven, and everyone in my immediate family is now an active member of the church.

When I was 19 I left to serve a 2 year mission for the Church in January of 2003, and returned in 2005. I have been married in a temple of the Church for time and all eternity. Soon my wife and I will be bringing a child into the world, and he will be sealed to us as well.

Twice a year, there is a General Conference held by the leadership of the church. They update the members of certain statistics, and we are given an opportunity to sustain the leadership of the church.

Just as important, we are able to hear inspired words from our leaders, including the President of the Church, currently Thomas Monson. We believe him to be a prophet, a man that is led by God, and is a living witness as to His reality and His gospel.

The conference occurs every October and April, and this past weekend was the most recent conference. One of the speakers mentioned a time when he was asked why he lives the way he lives, why he believes what he believes. His answer: “because I believe the Book of Mormon is true.”

I’ve been asked many times in my short 26 years on this earth that same question. And whether I knew it or not, my answer is the same. I live the way I live, make the choices I make, and believe what I believe, all because I believe – I know – that the Book of Mormon is true.

Because I believe that the Book of Mormon is true, I believe that Joseph Smith was a true prophet of God. I believe that he saw Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father as an answer to his sincere and humble prayer.

Because I believe that Joseph Smith is a prophet, I believe that he was inspired by God, and received revelation from Him. We have those revelations in the Doctrine and Covenants.

Because I believe that Joseph Smith is a prophet, I believe that Christ restored His church to the Earth through him. He restored the priesthood, which is the authority to act in His name.

Because I believe that Christ restored His church through Joseph Smith, I believe that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is the only true church on the earth, containing the priesthood authority, and direct communication with God. I believe that there is a living prophet today and that he receives revelation on our behalf.

And it is because I believe all these things that I live the way I do, and act the way I act, and believe what I believe.

We are blessed, all of us, not just the members of the church, to have a prophet on the earth today, one that can receive revelation on our behalf. I encourage you to read the things that were said this weekend here.

In addition, I’m going to attempt to be a better “example of the believers”. It was an inspiring weekend for me, and hope that you might look into some of the things the leaders of the church are saying during this time.

General Conference: Worth Repeating

Worth Repeating: Focus

Wow, has it been…nevermind. Yes it has, but I didn’t make any promises to the frequency of blog posts (I think…), so here we go, another blog post. Yeah!

I was talking with a friend tonight (HEY PATRICK!), and we got rolling into some pretty good stuff. It reminded me of some quotes I read, credited to the great Andrew Carnegie:

The average person puts only 25% of his energy and ability into his work. The world takes off its hat to those who put in more than 50% of their capacity, and stands on its head for those few and far between souls who devote 100%.

As I grow older, I pay less attention to what men say. I just watch what they do.

Concentrate your energies, your thoughts and your capital. The wise man puts all his eggs in one basket and watches the basket.

Concentration is my motto – first honesty, then industry, then concentration.

Here is the prime condition of success: Concentrate your energy, thought and capital exclusively upon the business in which you are engaged. Having begun on one line, resolve to fight it out on that line, to lead in it, adopt every improvement, have the best machinery, and know the most about it.

I hope you took the time to read through everything in italics, as there’s some food for thought there. Here’s what I’ve been chewing on:

Currently I’ve been splitting my focus on a few different endeavors:

  1. A new website that I’m not saying much about, but am in the stage where I can’t move forward without investors and their corresponding dollars.
  2. Writing a screenplay that I’m not talking much about because the first draft isn’t done yet.
  3. Sending out query letters to agents and managers for a screenplay my writing partner and I wrote.
  4. Pitching 2 different movies and a TV pilot to anyone who will hear.
  5. Finding enough freelance work to pay the bills and keep me from a $10 job at Costco.

So yeah, spread a little thin I may be.  And it all hit me tonight.

I’d been thinking about this stuff all day, but maybe that right there is the problem, I’d been thinking about all this stuff all day. Is my focus split too much? Too many eggs for not enough baskets?

So I’m having trouble deciding how to move forward from here. Do I keep going full steam on all endeavors at the same time? Or should I focus on bringing one to fruition before moving on to the next project? My deal there is how do I know which one to work on first? Dilemma!

So, while I do feel that focusing more is important, I’m not sure how to implement it. I’m open, nay hoping for comments and your perspective. Hence the blog title…

For those less inclined to comment, would you take a second to vote on a poll?

Worth Repeating: Taking Pictures

What a perfect thing to post on the perspective collective! I’ve been recently getting more and more into taking pictures with film. This picture was taken on a Canon AE-1, with a 50mm 1.8 lens, on 200 ASA Slide Film. I love the lens flare! Anyway, thought I’d share a perspective from a few weeks ago, this time through pictures…possibly more to come.

Worth Repeating: Mastering Your Craft

Some conversations with friends and family members over the last few months have caused me to think a lot about success; what does it take to not only succeed, but be the best? how does one who is currently, by whatever standard of measurement imposed, deemed unsuccessful become successful? and what tools are out there to help?

Well, here’s my perspective:

Success is basically defined as accomplishing something or reaching a certain level of popularity or income/profit. i.e. a successful actor or a successful movie. On a more personal level, it may be reaching a level financially where one no longer has to live paycheck to paycheck, or when an entrepreneur starts getting work from word of mouth rather than direct advertising.

From my small experience, any success I’ve gained in my life has come from a commitment to master my craft. Please bear with me as I share a few personal examples.

I play the saxophone, and in high school came the time to audition for the numerous bands on campus. There were quite a few other saxophone players, and so quite a bit of competition. But I worked hard, practiced, and in some small sense, mastered my craft, and was the first chair saxophone player throughout the 4 years I attended high school.

Also in high school I played Volleyball, and was captain or co-captain the years I played. I and my co-captains attained that position by, again, on a small scale, mastering our craft. We practiced outside of practice, constantly had a volleyball in hand, and devoted ourselves to being the best we could be.

All this among the other endeavors I and my close friends were involved in, which included performing groups, choir, student council, decent grades, and everything else that came with the territory. It wasn’t hard, and I didn’t even come close to mastering everything I did, but the stuff that mattered most to me, I tried my best to master, and measured my success against my previous success as well as the success of others.

As a soundsmith, I’m in an industry that is ripe with competition. Since the process has grown to become almost entirely digital, it has also become more affordable, and I, along with many many others were able to break into the industry with very little investment. I was a sound recording major at BYU, but didn’t just rely on the education I received there to jump start my career. I started reading everything I could; books, forums, blogs, anything I could get my hands on to learn more about the craft. By the second year of school I was passing out of classes by handing in recordings the first day of class that I had done the week before at the studio I was working at. I got an A, and never went to class once.

Since then I have started my own business, am working at getting new and more clients, and trying to be successful. Now, I am by no means the best sound engineer there is in Utah, I can think of plenty of people who actually deserve such a title, but I consider myself successful. At one point I was fully supporting myself as an engineer, and am working on getting to that point with my business. The decision to not just limp in, but to become a master of my craft, is what makes all the difference between my reaching that success and failing.

Now, if you’re trying to do something, be it achieve a goal, start a business, be successful, get published, release an album, play a sold out show, raise good kids, the list goes on, here’s my 2¢ on how to do it.

Read everything you can about the subject. Want to be in politics? Then read everything you can on both sides. Want to be a great songwriter? Read every book you can on songwriting. Want to produce a short film? Read everything you can on producing. Reading is the easiest way to learn from industry and other types of professionals on any subject, and you can learn so much in such a short amount of time.

Experience matters almost more than anything else. In certain industries, what you have done almost matters more than what you know. Take film, for example. Nobody on a film set cares that you graduated first in your class with a film degree, if you are a grip that doesn’t know what a c-stand is, or a flag, or gaff tape. You cannot become a master of your craft if you do not actually DO whatever your craft is. So, while you’re reading all the books on whatever you’re trying to learn, spend as much time as you can actually doing it as well. Write if you’re trying to become a successful writer. Take pictures if you’re trying to become a successful photographer. Act if you’re trying to become an actor. You get the picture.

Master your craft. It takes dedication. It takes discipline. It requires you to understand what you’re competition is and/or what obstacles stand in your way. But I can attest to the reality that if you devote everything you have to mastering your craft, it will not be long that you can taste the sweetness of success. You cannot, or rather you should not try to do it any other way.

Now, a final recommendation to you. One book that I’ve read 3 times now and am constantly revisiting, and will now share. It hasn’t changed my life, that would be a little extreme, but it has greatly changed my perspective. If you’ve read it, pick it up and read it again. If you haven’t, I highly recommend it no matter if you’ve already become successful or if you are just starting to try. Link.

Mastering your craft: worth repeating.