A How to Guide…

"Do not seek praise, seek criticism." – Paul Arden

What If Gangbangers Listened To Classical Music?

Gang violence has been a recurring theme in the news since I moved to Chicago, consequently peaking my interest.

In the past I’ve studied how music affects behavior and the first image that popped into my head was Bloods and Crips riding out to Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2

To be clear, this post is not an attack on Rap / Hip Hop music, but rather one that explores a potential deterrent to a problem.

Classical music in and of itself is not the solution.  For example, it is well known that Mafiosos listen to Opera and Nazis listened to Wagner before committing atrocities.  But, classical music can have a positive impact on behavior and soothe the soul.

There are already examples of people who have applied these principles successfully.  The Harlem Boys Choir and Alvin Ailey dance troupe have reached out to young people at risk of being swept into gang violence.  Furthermore, I believe that the effect is magnified the earlier the individual is reached.  Or in other words, it starts with the children.

To that end, I do not want to go into a dissertation about arts education, the development of the right brain, etc., But I just wanted to present something for you to think about for your respective communities.

I would love to hear your feedback.

Ruben A. Harris



Dream Chasing




These Are A Few of My Favorite Things

“A man should look as if he had bought his clothes with intelligence, put them on with care and then forgotten all about them.” – Hardy Amies

Don’t forget to take advantage of the day after Christmas sales tomorrow!


Dressing The Man


How To Order Drinks If You Don’t Drink Alcohol

For those of you who don’t know, I don’t drink.

Whether you had a bad experience, are religious, pregnant, working out, etc. the fact of the matter is that there are others.

This can be an issue for those of us who work in an industry where our co-workers like to socialize in venues where alcohol is served.

Many non-alcoholics (you like that?) I’ve met feel uncomfortable because they don’t know what to order and everyone is asking them why they don’t have a drink in their hand.  This then often transitions into exclusion from events because everyone else senses the awkwardness.

I personally enjoy going out with my friends and I wanted to make a post of what I order for those of you who have had issues in this area.

1. Arnold Palmer – Sounds sophisticated, looks like a beer, but it’s just iced tea and lemonade.

2. Coke in a rocks glass – With a lime on the side. Looks like Jack and coke.

3. Cranberry and redbull – Looks like a mixed drink. Gives you wings.

4. Gin and Tonic, hold the gin – If people ask you what you’re drinking say, a tonic. They will assume it’s a G&T and say, “nice!”

5. San Pellegrino – If you are thinking about ordering a water, get this.

But what if people are doing shots?

Discreetly speak to the waitress and tell her to fill your shot glass up with water because you have work in the morning.  She will smile and hook it up.

When the waitress comes back for drinks again just tell her, “I’ll have another.”


Oh, and most importantly, have fun!

Nobody likes the sober guy staring at everybody when everyone else is laughing and having fun.  Smile, crack jokes, turn up, etc.

Please feel free to add any other ideas in the comments below.  I prefer if they are related to the post and not condescending toward people who don’t drink.  I will make sure to update this post whenever I come up with new ideas.

Steve Jobs: Passion + Work = Success

Shoot for the Moon

But why, some say, the moon? Why choose this as our goal?

And they may well ask, why climb the highest mountain?

Why, 35 years ago, fly the Atlantic?

Why does Rice play Texas?

We choose to go to the moon.  We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too.

Food For Thought

“If you limit your choices only to what seems possible or reasonable, you disconnect yourself from what you truly want, and all that is left is a compromise.” – Robert Fritz

Words of Wisdom: Wolfgang Laufer


“Strength comes from inside you, not from forte!”

“You have to magnify your intention. If you don’t, it’s a quasi-something. This is in-between nothing.”

“Make out of a mosquito an elephant in your intentions…make sure the tiny point that needs to be heard is heard!”

“Be the idiot between the smart ones, not the smart one between the idiots.”

“You need to demand more of yourself because you can.”

“You have to know how something is wrong.  If you are not disciplined, you are not going to get anywhere. If you don’t have it instilled in you that you want to be better and better than others – you won’t get anywhere.”

“Nothing you do in life without passion will be successful.  Whatever you do, put all your eggs in that basket when you do it.”

“Talent alone without work is a terrible waste.”

R.I.P. Wolfgang Laufer. My teacher, my friend, you will be missed.

The Creative Personality

Ten Paradoxical Traits of the Creative Personality – by Mihaly Csikszentmihaly

Click here to read the full post.

It looks like there are benefits to developing creativity!

See Why Learning An Instrument Is More Than Music.

1. Creative people have a great deal of physical energy, but they’re also often quiet and at rest.

2. Creative people tend to be smart yet naive at the same time.

3. Creative people combine playfulness and discipline, or responsibility and irresponsibility.

4. Creative people alternate between imagination and fantasy, and a rooted sense of reality.

5. Creative people tend to be both extroverted and introverted.

6. Creative people are humble and proud at the same time.

7. Creative people, to an extent, escape rigid gender role stereotyping.

8. Creative people are both rebellious and conservative.

9. Most creative people are very passionate about their work, yet they can can be extremely objective about it as well.

10. Creative people’s openness and sensitivity often exposes them to suffering and pain, yet also a great deal of enjoyment.