4-Hour Parenting – plus – Sports Doping


First, An Email

This short post was inspired by an email.

John Heltzel, who’s on the non-profit board of Hand in Hand Parenting, sent me the following:

I was recently having dinner at Los Altos Grill with a CEO. He lamented that he travelled a lot and was having trouble re-connecting with his kids when he returned. I said: “When you get home, take out your iPhone, set the timer for 10 minutes, and say ‘you are now the boss for the next 10 minutes’ and see what happens.”

He wrote me back: “I did the ’10-minute boss’ exercise with my kids yesterday. They loved it. First started with ‘Get me some Skittles’ and then ‘Play school with us.’ Thanks for the tip!”

I’d love to hear from readers on other simple tricks for keeping connected to kids. As a some-day parent and driven person, it seems like the little things are the big things.

What do you think?

Second, Sports Doping

I was recently asked by The Next Web “[In the future]… will winning in sports be determined by technology?”

Here is my answer:

I would go so far as to say that nearly ALL future record-breaking athletics will depend on technology. This assumes we broadly define ‘technology’ as innovative tools for solving problems… like normal limitations of the human body. The 1980’s were the ‘golden age’ of steroids, which partially explains the records during that period. Moving forward, athletes’ coaches will use better tracking for Moneyball-like approaches to incremental gains; they’ll also use advances in medical and black-market biotech for massive gains.

The human body hasn’t evolved much over last 100 years for Olympic weightlifting or sprinting, right? This can be overcome a few ways: better scientific selection from massive populations (e.g. current day China, Cold War USSR), gene doping, cutting-edge medical treatment for faster recovery from injuries (Platelet-Rich Plasma injections, etc.), mechanical advantage (e.g. compression suits for swimming), and tweaking systems largely neglected in a sometimes anabolics-myopic arena (think acetylcholine optimization for 50-meter sprints). At the highest levels of power- or endurance-dependent sports, *everyone* is doping in some capacity, whether using EPO injection (banned) or high- altitude simulation tents (100% allowed but expensive, and the effects are nearly identical).

The options they choose are determined simply by how rich or poor they and their countries are. There is no such thing as a level playing field. Never has been and never will be.

Competitors with $1,000,000+ bonuses from big brands will always have more resources than the drug testers. It’s an easy game to beat…

[Read the full article here, including answers from others.]

Posted on: June 3, 2013.

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145 comments on “4-Hour Parenting – plus – Sports Doping

  1. I wanted to help my mum connect better with my kids, though she lives on the other side of the world (UK vs Australia). The phone was OK, Skype was better but the kids wouldn’t talk for much longer than a few minutes.
    So I built an app to help keep my kids talking to my mum for longer than 2 minutes – it works !!!
    Still early days yet but we now can keep my 6 & 4 year old boys talking to my mum for 20+ minutes on the iPad. We also started to use it to help practice our words & reading which has been very useful – just the simple fact they are practicing a little bit more often has made a big difference.
    If you are interested check it out http://kck.st/17dZnJ6


  2. The 10 minute tip was great! My son first started throwing things around to see if I would tell him to pick it up or stop. And when he seen that I just smiled and said your the boss he told us to get down on the floor with him and help him color his coloring book! :)


  3. My favorite thing about my life is being a Dad, and this leads to a chicken and egg type of situation of having good kids.

    I think the best thing you can do as a Dad is approach things from the perspective of mentorship.

    I feel like Mom is here to make a grownup, and Dad is here to pass along all of the stuff that he has figured out so far- from one kid (himself) to another (his kid).

    This point of view never becomes irrelevant because you are always connecting with your kids in a “in the moment”, relevant way.

    No BS, no manual necessary.

    Your job is to go through it with them, and become a trusted resource and guide. You have been there- and if you always do it this way your kid will know you are 100% legit.


  4. Hi Tim,

    I think you’ll appreciate this advice: in the same way that “if you want to be a great swordsman, become a painter,” I would say “if you want to be a great parent, become a great husband.”

    All marriage opinions/dogma/expectations aside, I have a son just about to turn 1 year old. Starting very early, he recognized his Mom and me as a the unit that together takes care of him. The 20% of your actions/reactions/attitude as a husband/partner/etc will dictate the 80% of your relationship with your child.

    He knows when his Mom and I are arguing/having a tiff and you can see the concern in his face. He also joins in our happiness when we’re all spending quality time together. Kids take notes on how you treat your spouse, and they can’t invent behavior that they don’t observe (within reason). Giving them the security of stable parents is invaluable at giving them a stable outlook on life and the ability to emotionally engage with others in a healthy way.

    This is not to say that if your parents divorce you’re screwed (both mine and my wife’s are) but I will say that even though my parents have been divorced for over 20 years, my siblings and I still have to pay the price in the currency of split time, over-obligation to a double-sized family, awkward situations, etc.

    If you (collectively) can get over yourself as a husband/spouse, then getting over yourself and understanding your role as a parent is infinitely easier.


  5. Any ideas on how to cure a shellfish allergy? I’m missing out on life and I want to experience the other side of the culinary world, without dying of anaphylaxis. HELP!


  6. Hi,

    I have few questions please.

    1. in terms of minimising time on phone, using autorelpy on emails and time/bulk manage communications. what are your thoughts and use of Unified Communications tools such as Lync and mobile devices where you can do things on the fly while your in the lift, waiting for taxi, standing in a que etc.

    2. any suggentions of time optimization for life and business but when you have kids and when you are still in a job but looking o get out. I am practising the email, phone management and it is working very well, more time for kids and to complete my 3 vital tasks per day. (to get out of employment is the first goal) problem is the free time I win now I cant make use of as Kids have shool and nursery and while at work I endu sitting off time as I cant get remote working approved by my boss. I am more effective at work but the free time is killing me. Hence witing this post at work.

    I can see how things will change when I reach my first goal here soon. But since you and this 4 h work week book is a big inspiration. . . help please :)

    All the best



  7. I’d really like to translate your work to Portuguese. I cannot get tired of extending your knowledge to my friends in Brasil. Please gimme a chance.


  8. Parenting is chauvinist. The whole idea of training someone (who is not disabled) is worse than male chauvinism itself. 99.9% of people think parenting is as simple as MNOPQ. Parenting is something, I would advice someone who I care about, not to get involved with.


  9. Hundreds of years ago, nobody read silently. It was too difficult. Isaac Newton was considered a freak because he could read to himself without moving his lips or speaking. Now, silent reading is the norm, and few people now know it was ever difficult.

    Of course you’ve heard of the Roger Bannister effect — that once we’ve seen something isn’t impossible, everyone starts to be able to do it. Humans seem to be generally getting better at everything, and neither technology nor the body seem to be limiting factors. 


    Technology: When Einstein’s theory of relativity was published, it was believed that only three or so people in the world could understand it. Now, it’s taught in colleges and high schools around the country. Millions of people understand it. I don’t think this is because our performance technology (nutrition, smart drugs, etc.) is better, as those millions of high school students aren’t using it. Many of them are eating McDonald’s.

    The body: People are doing skateboard tricks that were considered impossible fifteen or so years ago when Tony Hawk did the first 900, and it’s not like our bodies could have evolved in that span of time (nor is advanced technology too relevant in skateboarding).

    Anyway, I suspect that as our beliefs about what is possible change, and as our skill in applying attention and effort where it most counts increases, and as our willpower and ability to focus increases as a result, our abilities will change. In other words, we’ll collectively pursue more unreasonable goals, and reach them.

    To say that sports improvement will henceforth depend on technology seems cynical, and seems to disregard the fact that technology hasn’t been responsible for a great many recent and rapid increases in human ability, from silent reading to skateboarding.