The Right Amount of Yelling

  • Dad wisdom: On standards
  • Retreat: Time on Krypton
  • Focus: Designing prompts
  • Fitness: Work around constraints
  • Bonus stuff—including a dad joke

The right amount of yelling

I had a nightmare a few nights ago. A young boy was playing on the landing of an apartment staircase. He was holding the railing and jumping around. I was a flight up when I saw him and started yelling down, “Don’t do that. It’s not safe.” I kept trying but he ignored me and finally fell. My dream self thought, “I should have yelled WAY harder than that.”

I don’t think the dream was about yelling per se — but about having the right balance between structure and freedom for my kid. Maybe ratio is a better word than balance because who says it’s 50/50? It might be 1/99 (or 1/99), for all I know.

Email me your ratio and I’ll tell you mine.

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

Master the art of prompts

This isn’t a ChatGPT thing; it’s about confidence. To me, confidence comes from two things:

  • Accurate assessment of your odds of success (applied to any specific task)
  • The ability to improve your odds

We apply behaviour design skills to this process and design new habits. Yet, before the habit comes the prompt. Something has to trigger the action. Signal the start. Let the cat out of the bag. Prompts do that but they do more. They are indicators of the location, frequency, and theme of specific habits. They also tell you what constraints you must design around.

Which gives me an idea for our fitness piece...

Design around constraints

Someone just bought her husband a membership at Bang because of his current fitness routine. Which has remain unchanged for over a decade. Is this bad?

It’s probably not best practice but who cares. Getting it done the prime directive. However, injuries can get in the way of getting it done. So, it’s worth mastering the skill of working around injuries productively.

Some questions to ask about any exercises that provoke your injury:


Is there an alternative that gets the job (or close to it) done? Prioritize that one.

If not,

* Does the whole movement hurt—or just part of it?

** If it’s just part, can you take that part out?

And then

Decide whether to prioritize positional control, weight, workload, or movement speed.


“If you don’t design your own life plan, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much.”

— Michael Bungay Stanier

Dad joke

"I think it's wrong that only one company makes the game Monopoly."

—Steven Wright

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