Writing a Study Guide

Three Part PDP

Book: A History of Money and Banking in the United States by Murray N. Rothbard (HMB)

What I’m doing: Writing a Study Guide over HMB

Month One:

  • Reading the entirety of HMB
  • Taking detailed but concise notes while I read that include:
    • Main points of each part of the book
    • Main points of each subsection of the book
    • Important people (and relevant information on them)
    • Important events and the dates of these events

Month Two:

  • Compile all of the notes I took into a Google Doc
  • Quick re-read to fill gaps in notes

Month Three:

  • Take Google Doc and turn into study guide/cliffsnotes. (rough draft)
  • Write review on HMB and publish here as well as Amazon.

What I’m aiming to learn:

  • How to take detailed, concise and accurate notes over a book while still comprehending the overall message.
  • Organizing my thoughts into a cohesive whole.
  • Improving my technical writing abilities.
  • About the history of money and banking in the United States.

The Ripple Effect

“… if you form or find a tribe in your lifetime, your participation in that collective social evolutionary process is likely to be one of the deepest, most rewarding components of your true wealth.”

–    The Last Safe Investment (pg.53)

The importance of a tribe that helps you grow and inspires you to improve every day is understated. While it is true that friendships of convenience are a fact of life, having a tight-knit community of like-minded people (i.e. a tribe) is extremely beneficial and effects every aspect of your life (A lesson I’ve learned repeatedly these past few months) .

My journey to the “Praxian” tribe started when I connected with a few of the Praxis team members via social media after meeting them at a FEE seminar in June. Just seeing how they were creating value every single day was an amazing motivator; by writing blog posts, broadcasting podcasts, posting YouTube videos,  and launching new business ventures they were able to create value for themselves and others without ever having to ask for permission. I also connected with current participants and seeing their passion fueled my own desire to create.

The content I consumed  on social media began shifting from “10 weird things” articles to “I launched this website last night” status updates. This trend continued throughout the application process as I connected with more Praxis team members and participants.

Upon acceptance into the program  (and subsequent Facebook announcement), the floodgates were opened. I was officially invited into the Praxis tribe. The levee  was totally destroyed when I was added into the private Praxis Facebook group, allowing me to connect with Praxis participants and alumni, which gave me more ideas in a week than I can implement in a lifetime.

This combination of deep friendships, being a part of a  tribe of like-minded people that are passionate about what they’re doing and, seeing them create value every day has caused an amazing ripple of positivity across my entire life.

Not only have my  creative pursuits  taken off (this blog for example), but I’m happier with my life overall.  This has led to me become more productive in  my  routine tasks (chemistry, math, government, etc.),  allowing me more time for creative pursuits. This has resulted  in an increased sense of fulfillment, boosted creativity ,  and a happier life… on and on in a loop of positivity.

My happiness exchange rate is at an all-time high and the only thing I’ve changed is my social circle. At fifteen, I’ve found something that some people go their whole lives without. A tribe of people who are constantly creating, giving feedback and building each other up.

I’m excited beyond belief to see how this plays out but if I follow the current trend this is going to be an amazing senior year.


Ping-Pong Moments


As mentioned in my previous post , The Best Investment I Have Ever Made ,  I met the two most life-changing people I know when I hit one of them with a ping-pong ball.

I retold this story to a close friend, Jake , yesterday evening remarking that I wouldn’t have ever properly introduced myself to T.K if I hadn’t previously hit him with a ping-pong ball. This was due mostly to my being super introverted.

When he said something that I find quite profound if not totally hilarious if taken out of context.

“Sometimes you just need those ping-pong moments.”

Depending on the context this can mean three different things and I love all of them.

In the context of our conversation it meant that sometimes you need to “hit” someone. You have to commit an action that directly or indirectly leads to you having a conversation with them. In my case, it was literally hitting him but it could have been commenting on a book or accidently bumping into him in the elevator.

Another way it could be interpreted is that you need to metaphorically hit someone. We have a tendency to place people in a position of authority as somewhat untouchable which can make it a million times harder to talk to them. I broke this veil of superiority (constructed within my own mind) with a literal action but it’s relatively easy to shift your mindset and see them as just another human being. This experience has really helped me realize that ninety-nine percent of finding new opportunities is introducing yourself and being genuinely interested in getting to know the person.

The third way I’ve interpreted it (and my personal favorite) is that sometimes the smallest most random actions can lead you to the most spectacular things. A Facebook ad here, a ping-pong ball there and all of a sudden I have an awesome network of friends. An entire group of people who are constantly inspiring me to grow and improve.

Life is full of ping-pong moments; all you have to do is seize them. And sometimes all you really need to do is be comically awful at ping-pong.

Note: If I hadn’t had the skills and drive that I do then my conversation with Derek and T.K would have been empty and gotten nowhere. A ping-pong ball is of no use if you don’t have a table or paddles.

The Best Investment I Have Ever Made

In March 2016 I  saw a Facebook ad that changed my life.

I was scrolling through Facebook in the car when an ad with the title Economics of Entrepreneurship popped up. I had been taking an entrepreneurship course for school and was interested in learning more so I clicked through to the FEE site. Halfway through reading the description of the Austin seminar, I was already figuring out how I was going to come up with the money. After reading that it was only eighty dollars I started my application.

After applying and subsequently being accepted I eagerly awaited June. At this point, I thought that I may pick up a few things, meet a few people and never really think twice about it.

The seminar itself was phenomenal. The speakers Anne Bradley, Brian Brenberg, Magatte Wade and T.K Coleman blew my mind. The topics covered everything from how entrepreneurship helps bring people out of poverty to getting out of the preparation mindset. Not only did we have numerous lectures throughout the day but we also had the afternoon breakout sessions. During these sessions, we had the opportunity to discuss topics covered in the lectures with one of the speakers and a small group of attendees.  In addition, there were a few fun activities that tied back into topics being covered in the lectures.

There was also plenty of free time to get to know the other attendees and interact with the speakers. It was during this time that my life changed for the better.

The first time I spoke to T.K. Coleman was when I apologized for hitting him with a ping-pong ball in the game room. He then called over Derek Magill and proceeded to destroy me at my own game. Little did I know that these two people would quite literally change my entire life.

The second interaction I had with T.K. Coleman took place the first day, after the last lecture before dinner.  T.K. Coleman was standing in the back of the auditorium. Working up the nerve, I’m super introverted, I walked up and introduced myself properly. We talked a bit about the lecture he had given earlier and I asked about a program he had mentioned. That program turned out to be Praxis.

He called Derek over, the Director of Marketing at Praxis who happened to be the photographer at the seminar. Derek gave me a great run down of the program, sharing his own story of dropping out of college. He shared a few participant success stories before we got to talking about my own schooling, My Journey to Self-Schooling and they were both impressed with my drive and motivation. They encouraged me to look into the program more, an offer I took them up on.

I have just been accepted into Praxis today.

The next day I ran into T.K at breakfast and he introduced me to current Praxis participant Abbey who has since helped throughout the application process in more ways than I can count.

Not only did I learn a ton, I wouldn’t be where I am today if it were not for the people that I met at this seminar. I would be taking dual credit courses at the local community college and feeling just as dissatisfied as before. Now I’m inspired and pushed to create every day by an amazing group of people.

No longer does the world seem filled with hoops to jump through and deadlines to be made. Now all I can see are a million opportunities to change the world we live in for the better.

The FEE seminar I attended is an investment whose value is incalculable.

How writing an annual objectives list turned into the biggest project of my life – By: Cassius Carvalho

I had a habit – the first week of every year I would write an annual objectives list and review my past one, reflecting the results I achieved and trying to set new ambitious yet feasible goals.

I had been considering it a good habit, and my results, satisfactory, until about one year ago I faced an eye-opening article, called: “6 harsh truths that will make you a better person”, by David Wong.
This article challenged my beliefs and triggered a desire for acquiring a bias for action, especially through the question: “If your dream girl or guy had a hidden camera that followed you around for a month, would they be impressed with what they saw? Remember, they can’t read your mind — they can only observe. Would they want to be a part of that life?”.
As a natural planner, I was shocked. I was someone who used to develop detailed plans for almost every possible circumstance, but who didn’t commit to follow them and only took the necessary actions to live an ordinary life. The results of this behavior were equivalent to nothing: all my predictions, philosophies, and pointless goals didn’t matter at all, at least until I build something that benefits others – also known as value creation.
Although it has a strong relation with libertarianism (and I had already been a libertarian for some time), the subject ”labor” only captivated my attention after I actually started to work – and it was only a couple months before this discovery.
It was time for taking control of my actions and start becoming valuable, but how would I change my attitudes after sixteen years performing as an idealistic INTJ*?
My first reaction was to adhere to Nike’s slogan: Just do it!
I couldn’t be more wrong – by following this path I soon became overwhelmed and demotivated, so the need for a mission arose as an immediate priority.

Working for your goals vs Working for your ideals

Even though setting and achieving goals is an important part of the self-development process, it is only capable of momentarily delighting you, and not to makeing you fulfilled. When you start to set goals according to your beliefs, you become capable of comprehending how every action contributes towards a bigger purpose and it not only motivates you into start acting today, but also provides more evident and satisfying rewards.

David Allen, through his book “Getting Things Done” shows a practical way to help each individual to realize his/her horizons, ideals, and principles, in order to achieve mindfulness and develop a system that effectively works for him/her.
I had been studying and taking small steps heading the GTD implementation for more than one year, but again I could only realize that one of the key points for achieving a gratifying self-awareness level was at my blind spot after my motivation was threatened.

The continuous improvement saga

So I was overcharged by the early accumulation of responsibilities – at that time I was already living alone, working all day and studying all night – it was a constant run against time and exhaustion, but I had put myself into an even more defying situation: I should not only perform above-average in all my routine tasks in order stand out and find more opportunities, but also start doing things purposefully.
At that moment, my ongoing GTD implementation project turned into my focus. The self-awareness pursue was introduced as a substantial part of it, I began to review my objectives list, set meaningful goals and act assertively.
Since then, I’ve been facing more and more information, perspectives and opportunities that conflicted and changed many of my previous thoughts. Fortunately, I like this process of changing viewpoints and deepening into the answers to my intellectual curiosity, but it also has proven itself the biggest obstacle for concluding a simple list, which shifted into a brief project and nowadays is considered more a kind of life-long assignment.

The greatest learning

No one cares about your thoughts, nor are they benefited by them. You can only contribute through your actions.
Do not stop planning or aiming to improve, but start creating things – regardless of any fear, artificial obstacles or a feeling of unpreparedness. You most likely will never be completely prepared, especially if you haven’t even tried!
Do not simply write it down on your “someday/maybe“ to-do-list or bookmark this article with the tag “Action”. Start doing what you truly, purposefully need to get done – now, today.


*INTJ stands for Introverted, iNtuitive, Thinking, and Judging. It’s a characterization of a general personality type, among 16 existent personalities. For further information, see Myers-Briggs Type Indicator.


Being unschooled isn’t sitting around all day watching cat videos. Unschooling is learning about topics that interest you on your own (and sometimes topics that don’t but at least they serve a purpose). For me that means learning about podcasting, learning about western civilization, Austrian Economics, and I dabble and explore whatever ideas come into my life. I don’t waste time on topics that are pointless and don’t interest me. I take traditional subjects like algebra two and Chemistry but I take them in half the time, I don’t waste time with busy work and I don’t take them to pass a test before forgetting the information. This extra time is then invested into marketable skills like computer programming.

Unschooling is having the freedom to fall flat on your face and have no one but yourself to blame. You learn responsibility and how to be accountable to yourself. When you call the shots you become a lot more invested in succeeding. I know that if I don’t complete a goal or do well at something that the only person that could have done anything about it was me.

You get to explore what you like and who you are without having the pressure to make money. Arguably the biggest advantage to unschooling and homeschooling to an extent is that you can figure out where your passions are before you’re responsible for day to day expenses. This gives you a huge advantage over your schooled peers who have next to no idea about what they like to do outside of school.

You also know how to manage your time. In school, almost every hour of the day is scheduled. Someone is always telling you to go and when. Assignments have a specific day to be turned in. Tests are set and for the most part predictable. In the real world, hardly anything is so clean cut. Unschooling puts time management in your hands. Getting stuff done is totally up to you. Procrastination is deadly – when you’re not learning for a test you can’t guess or fake your way through it.

I’m nowhere near the most radical unschooler but I’m also far from run of the mill homeschooled. My particular brand of unschooling I think is preparing me rather well for programs like Praxis http://discoverpraxis.com/ and for starting my own business.

Being unschooled isn’t for everyone. It requires motivation and responsibility. You have to be invested in improving yourself on you own without anyone telling you what do. The most important thing to keep in mind about unschooling is that you will go through a time of listlessness. After leaving the school system I had to deschool. You have to adjust to the sudden freedom that’s been given to you. Plan for this when you think about becoming unschooled give yourself a month to just explore, without any expectations or preconceived notions about what you want to have accomplished but don’t spend this time watching tv. Go to the park, watch a documentary, read – go to the library, just explore and you’ll have a pretty good idea about what your interests are by the end of the month.


Have any questions about what my day to day life looks like or how to become unschooled? Email me at teenagefreedomwriter@gmail.com