Let Them Figure it Out

  • Dad wisdom: Let them figure it out
  • Retreat: Time on Krypton
  • Focus: The value of ritual
  • Fitness: Good enough for right now
  • Bonus stuff—a book, a quote, a dad joke

Let them figure it out

We don’t like seeing our kids experience frustration or failure. We have been educated to believe that salvation lies in having the one correct answer to a problem. We are driven to provide a loving environment and want to demonstrate how we feel through acts of service.

A universal piece of advice is to let your kids solve problems independently. This is how we equip them, after all, to deal with whatever life throws their way. The problem isn’t our buy-in; it’s competing motivations. The language you develop to deal with them says a lot about you. What’s one more way that you can step back a little further than you’re used to while still helping them feel loved and supported?

These thoughts are inspired by a recent Dad Strength call.

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Time on Krypton: a Wolfe Island retreat

Date: February 23-25, 2024Location: Wolfe Island, Ontario

Hard for hard's sake isn't enough. It needs a higher purpose.

Join myself and Jeff Depatie, a former member of Canada's JTS 2. On this retreat, you will train the skills of resilience, leveraging the elements, physical, and psychological challenges. Spend time on Krypton and then return to earth with greater inner strength. Depatie will help you leverage his elite military training and insights on post-traumatic growth for the kind of inner work that will make you a better father, partner, and friend. This isn't about war — it's about inner peace. Should you be nervous about signing up for this one? Absolutely. Yes. This retreat will ask a lot of you. But it will give you much in return.

Pictures and pricing

The Value of Ritual

There is something really appealing about finding new, novel information that applies to your life goals. You feel excited… hopeful… energized. There is definitely a dopamine surge here. Ironically, this smorgasbord of positive emotions can also disrupt your focus on the same material. Once the shine is gone, we abandon the last treasure, only partially-consumed, in search of more. That’s the self-help industry in a nutshell.

Not taking action on the things we know to be valuable is a quirky but reliable human flaw. The ancient Greeks even coined a word for it: akrasia. One of the antidotes for akrasia is ritual.

Knowing that your life on earth is not permanent; forgiving others; being kind and gentle… These aren’t things that you need an education on. They are are neither new nor novel. Yet, they are important. So ritual serves you as an opportunity to be present for these thoughts on a regular basis.

Good Enough for Right Now

It’s easy to wait for conditions to be better. More time. The perfect program. An amazing environment. Oh, the things you could do—(eventually)! Except that you live right now—and should conduct yourself accordingly.

Building toward perfection makes complete sense—once you’re in motion. But it is a red herring otherwise. Imperfect Action will kick Theoretical Perfection’s ass every time.

Good Enough for Right Now does not require more expertise than you currently have. Just like Mr Rogers, Good Enough for Right Now likes you just the way you are. Take the skills and capacities you’ve got and then stretch them a bit. That’s it. Like shooting hoops? Do it with a little more hustle. Enjoy walking, running, or slinging weights? Do what you know—and can do safely. Improve it with a little more presence, focus, or effort. That’s all it takes to move the needle.

Good Enough for Right Now does not require any more time than you have available to you. It simply requires you to use it well. Overhaul your schedule if you need to—and can right now.

Good Enough for Right Now doesn’t care what you look like when you work out and—I cannot stress this enough—what you’re wearing when you do.

Good Enough for Right Now doesn’t require more willpower than you’ve got. If you feel like you have to psych yourself up, need a less stressful day, or for the stars to align... Well, my friend, you’re overshooting. Make it easier. Make it humbler. Shrink it down until it’s something you can do right now.

Invest in expertise by all means. Buy awesome equipment. Make a commitment. But… Only if you are ready, willing, and able to take action in the present. Better Later is great… Important… Essential… But Right Now is how you get started.

Book recommendation

Legacy James Kerr

Thanks to Anthony for this one

Check out our (growing) book list

Submit your own recommendations here


“Humility does not mean weakness, but its opposite. Leaders with mana understand the strength of humility. It allows them to connect with their deepest values and the wider world.”

— James Kerr

Dad joke

What’s the difference between a joke and a rhetorical question?

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