Inner vs. Outer Voice
- Dad wisdom: screen time
- On motivation: inner vs outer voice
- Retreat recap
- NEW: Book recommendations
- Dad Joke
On screen time (and other existential threats)
Parents have always freaked out about whatever it is kids are doing. Rock’n roll; comic books; spending too much time in the woods. Except that most of us would be delighted to see our kids throw themselves fully into any of the last three. So, will screen time be looked at differently through the lens of hindsight? Yes and no (we think). It’s the commodification of attention that has our dads concerned—along with how easy it is to pull our kids away from things that might provide them with more value, more calm, and—ultimately—more joy.
I want to share two wise insights and one wise piece of comedy from this discussion:
- “If you don’t learn to manage your relationship with your device, you will be working for people who do.”
- “When your kid reflexively goes for a screen, do any of us ask them if everything is ok? “Are you feeling sad?”
- Baroness Von Sketch
How do you feel about screen time? I’d love to hear your thoughts.
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Inner vs outer voice
What motivates you? What compels you? Here’s what the research says: extrinsic motivators—the outer voice— can be powerful and loud. The inner voice tends to be more subtle, more of a low tone, and more values-driven.
It can be argued that an outer voice is required for absolute peak outputs. A multi-million dollar contract and a stadium full of fans can ratchet up things up to 10. However, what remains in your quietist moments, when no one else is around? Here, the only reason you’re going to take action is because it has personal value. So, the inner voice may not be as intense but it is much more reliable. At least if you can find it. To paraphrase Victor Frankl, you have a deep enough why, you can always find a how.
Last weekend, I hosted the first ever Dad Strength retreat. Eight tuned-in, intentional dads joined me to briefly step away from our day-to-day lives in order to tune into our most powerful drivers and how they show up as our unique strengths. I felt honoured to spend time in such great company. The feedback—including my own—has been that we feel a greater sense of calm energy and clarity of purpose. Much love to our partners and families for making this space for us.
I’m committed to running more of these hope you’ll stay tuned for upcoming events—including a tentative date for Nosara, Costa Rica this April. I’ve got some details up right now at dadstrength.com/retreats
New: book recommendations
Most weeks, a book or two (at least) will pop up in our discussions. One of our dads suggested capturing these in the newsletters. Here are two books and a bonus video to kick things off.
Scattered Minds by Gabor Mate: a must-read if you’re considering an ADHD diagnosis
Fall by Neal Stephenson: dystopian sci-fi with a brilliant take on the future of the attention economy
Cory Doctorow on how big tech captured culture
"Orion's Belt is a huge waist of space."
Terrible joke, only three stars.