Avoid This Wisdom Kryptonite (3 Simple Experiments To Try)

Estimated read time: 10 minutes

Transformation doesn’t just happen while we sleep. Everyday we must choose to grow.

We must start, but we can’t rush.

Science provides suggestions for how to install upgrades. Not everything works for everyone, but finding out what does work is the work.


  • Wisdom kryptonite
  • Don’t be a drooling dog
  • How to enjoy food more (And improve cognitive and hormonal function if you’re interested in that kind of thing)
  • Try this time expanding experiment
  • Be stødig (Norwegian word of the week)
  • Savor Tooth Tiger
  • 5 Prototypes enroute

But if you want more, you can always keep reading.

Brains Should Not Ooze Out

Waypoint 1: Ancient Wisdom + Slowing


“What good is speed if the brain has oozed out on the way.”

Eusebius Sophronius Hieronymus, theologian and historian, circa 400AD


How to Be Bored (and Why It’s Worth Learning)

Waypoint 2: Science + Slowing

What if it isn’t that we don’t have enough hours, but that we allow the hours we have to just fly by in a blur of nonsense.

What did we do? What did we want to accomplish?


“The easiest way to increase happiness is to control your use of time.”

Daniel Kahneman, Nobel Prize winning behavioral economics psychologist, circa 2010

1. Boredom is an act of defiance. (Slow Your Thoughts)

Distraction gives the illusion of movement, but really steals all our momentum.

You’re being trained.

By apps and by ads to swipe and swipe and swipe. Each flick sends mini hits of dopamine brain juice rewards for novelty.

Oh, it’s just a few seconds. And all the while the distraction economy swipes seconds from your life that pile up into minutes, and hours, and days.

The constant distraction turns our brains to mush. Like Pavlov’s dog’s drool, we don’t even notice our brains oozing out.

Make technology work for you, or technology will make you work for it.

Try This Experiment: Airplane mode an hour before bed. Put it away — out of sight. As in, move your phone charger out of your bedroom. Studies have shown that the mere presence of our mobile phones make us more dumb.

No excuses — get an alarm clock! DO NOT wake up to your phone.

Put up a fight. If it helps, think: “I am not a drooling dog on a leash.”

2. Enjoy more food more and eat less. (Slow Your Eating)

Slow your (food) roll.

small study by researchers in the U.K. compared eating speed with brain scans and blood work. One group wolfed down their food in six minutes, the other 24 minutes.

What’s important is people who ate more slowly:

  1. Showed benefits in both cognitive and hormonal function
  2. Ate less snacks later in the day
  3. And for the homerun, slow eaters performed better on memory tests 

(Contrary to study participants who reported less enjoyment with the longer eating, I’ve found I’m more aware to enjoy the flavors and overall experience. But maybe that’s because they were in a lab and I’m at home. Also they ate boxed mac and cheese one noodle at a time!)

Try This Experiment: Chew each bite until it’s pretty much liquified. Usually 30 chomps. It’s annoying at first. At least at first counting gave me a sense of how much I should be chewing.

And the longer time between bites gives your digestive system time to catch up. There’s a 20 minute lag between when your stomach has digested enough food to signal your brain to stop stuffing your face.

You get three times a day to try this.

I hope you’ll hold me to this one. I have a tendency to inhale my food.

3. Time flies but you can make it expand. (Slow Your Attention)

Our experiences ooze out into the ether unless we reflect and exercise our thoughts on learning from each day.

Try This Experiment: From Kahneman again (I was already doing this almost every night before I read this from Kahneman, but he summarizes it well. I won’t share anything I haven’t tried and found enriching my own life.):

  • Every night for the next week, set aside ten minutes before you go to sleep.
  • Write down three things that went well today and why they went well.
  • Writing (and reflecting on) why the positive events in your life happened may seem awkward at first, but please stick with it for one week.
  • It will get easier.
  • The odds are that you will be less depressed, happier, and addicted to this exercise six months from now.

Kahneman’s epic tome, Thinking, Fast and Slow.

Prototypes Incoming

Waypoint 3: Redux + Slowing


  • Five prototypes in production with 3 manufacturers
  • What’s the difference between Tissot, Longine, and Omega?
  • Prototypes incoming by end of 2020

… And a little something extra:

New word of the week: Stødig — Norwegian for steadfast.

Try it in a sentence: “Sakte og stødig vinner løpet” i.e. Slow and steady wins the race.

Quick — if you wanted to visit Norway, what would you do? You — like me — would probably pick a date, book a flight, hotel, and rental car.

Two friends in the U.K. wanted to explore Norway, specifically the arctic north. They skipped the plane, hotel, or car.

Instead, they bought a used 100-person Scottish lifeboat for their trip. They gutted it and completely rebuilt the innards.

They took the truly scenic route — cruising the Norwegian waterway in an epic little ship. But I imagine also building a deeper friendship along the way.


The Stødig vessel had to do more than just float. It’s like a floating “submarine” — fully encapsulated to protect from frigid Nordic waters.

The amount of work they put into it is mind-boggling and so invigorating.

I used to look at a project like that and think. “Ok, yeah, that’s impossible. I’d never be able to do that.” End of story.

But I’m encouraged to remember that when we really seize a vision, we’re willing to take the slow path to work it out.

Building a boat is not my vision, but I can apply the idea to my own vision. And own it.

Vision requires relentless focus. And relentless is slow. More here.

Hustle and bustle are wisdom kryptonite.


“My goal in life is to run out of steam like a fool and give up my mission.”

Nobody, ever


We want to live at the speed of wisdom. And wisdom has its own speed — its own pace and rhythm.

Now, I’m not saying we should just crawl for the sake of being slow.

I’m saying speed is overrated.

Hurry and rush are psychopathic predators that will devour our souls if we don’t slay them mercilessly. (My amplified version of a John Mark Comer thought.)

Your soul is worth fighting for.

When we push and shove we steal time and joy.

Generosity is slow.

Blessing others is slow.

Savor Tooth Tiger

Rush Rush

Rush, Rush, Rush


“But we mustn’t stop now, or we shall be late.”

“Late for what?”

“For whatever we want to be in time for,” said Tigger, hurrying on.


Sometimes we rush on because we’re afraid.

Afraid of doing the work we’re called to.

Afraid others will see us.

Afraid to jump into the deep end.

Afraid of missing out.

My Son Is A Mutant

This reminds me of my seven year old son, Scout. He has the superpower of delay gratification, which certainly didn’t come from me.

Case in point. Wonderwoman Grace makes amazing literally-award-winning (not us, someone else won the award) macaroons for our weekly Day of Rest treat.

I’m a sucker for anything coconut. Toast the coconut, sprinkle some sugar and it’s a crispy, chewy, nugget from heaven.

(I feel slightly ridiculous offering you a recipe, but it’s way too good not to share, and I’d feel like a totally bad friend if I didn’t at least give you the opportunity to try these with your family. Also, Wonderwoman Grace tells me they’re crazy easy to make. So, don’t say I never shared good stuff with you. I promise I won’t do it too often haha!)

Each family member gets their ration for the week. Mine are usually gobbled in the first day or two.

Scout? He’ll make his stretch for a week until the next Day of Rest. He won’t eat two at a time.

One is enough.

Sometimes he even skips eating his when the rest of our are having our ration.

And then get this: when everyone else has run out? He doesn’t gloat and enjoy watching us drool.

He chops his up and shares. Where did this kid come from?!

He’s done things like this so often with other things besides macaroons that I’ve started calling him Savor Tooth Tiger.

And that’s a key word for me right now.


I’m always in favor of constant motion, especially as a 7 on the Enneagram. Always looking for the new stimuli.

Savor requires slowing down. You can’t savor something that you shovel down your pie hole.

I can’t savor my family when I’m yelling at them to rush them out the door so that we can enjoy a restful day outside. #unproud Oh, the ironies of human striving.

Speaking of striving, I know New York City is back to abnormal when it’s 7:30a and horns blare, angries honk, beepings beep, crashing through my peaceful morning.

There was a moment in the lockdown when it was quiet. No cars. No construction. Empty streets.

People did not walk elbows out in tackle mode. They were just out for a walk. Same as me.

It felt like a different world.

Like when the Twin Towers imploded around the corned from where we live now.

The subways shutdown.

Traffic halted.

And I joined a stream of people in stunned silence. Strangely considerate. Walking together in the streets up and away from the mess.

Kind to one another. Reminded of our shared humanity.

Cracked out of that aggression that comes from seeing other humans as obstacles rather than kindred.

We’re in a mess right now. And we can rush around jabbing fingers and angry voices. Blaming others.

Many people choose to shrink. I don’t blame them. Shell shock. Defensive huddle. I get it.

But many others yearn for a breakthrough. A higher way.

And we can walk together up and toward a better way.

But it takes time. It takes listening to one another. It takes civil discourse.

Sakte og stødig vinner menneskeheten. (Slow and steady wins the human race.)

Deep Dive: Time Instrument Prototype Timeline

Watch Prototypes Update — 4 new designs + 1 new variant 

I know it’s been a few years of watch design radio silence. We started working through concepts on some new models.

A group of you expressed interest in a larger version of the COURG. So, we joined forces in the forums to discuss ideas and steer some design elements.

We’re now making the COURG 42mm prototype. I’m still not settled on what we’ll call it.

COURG 42mm

COURG 42mm

Once I started working on that one, I couldn’t help myself. I was inspired to work with some new ideas.

And now, we have a total of … 5 new designs!

In the beginning, I considered COURG to kind of be a singular design that would stand alone. However, over the years I collected more ideas and realized there’s more on the theme I wanted to unpack.

This new series of designs extrapolate the COURG idea into a wider range. These deepen the focus on mission equipment that fuses critical time instruments with diver tools.

I’ve sent all five designs out to prototype with 3 different manufacturers to see the range of quality and overall experience. In the mix: A Swiss company, a company headquartered in Hong Kong, and another direct manufacturer.

There were communication delays between all the regional lockdowns. Thankfully we finally reconnected and they all report being safe and healthy, and making progress on our prototypes.

Level Up Prototypes

For COURG, we worked with one manufacturer for the initial prototype. At that point, it was just a personal project for myself so I didn’t want to spend more than absolutely necessary.

But when I shared COURG with you all, and the crew grew to the thousands, I knew I had a responsibility to take it to the next level. So, we ended up having four factories manufacture samples for us, and selected two for the final build.

Now, with these new designs, I wanted to try working with all new manufacturers. I felt we could find even better quality this time.

I also wanted to see whether there was a difference between companies with headquarters outside of China vs. within.

The “dirty (not so) secret”

Most “Swiss Made” watches are only assembled in Switzerland with parts and components all manufactured in China. Of course there is a very wide range of quality between the countless factories in China.

The difference is in the quality each company demands for their components. The big Swiss companies (think Omega. Longines et al.) hold their manufacturers to higher standards.

HUH? Tissot Quality vs. Longines Quality vs. Omega Quality

When I discussed manufacturing standards with the Swiss company, they asked what quality level we wanted. The choices were: Tissot or Longines or Omega. Huh? I wasn’t even sure what that meant exactly.

They explained. “Tissot quality” means perfect to the naked eye. “Longine quality” means perfect under a 10x loupe. “Omega quality” means perfect under a 20x loupe.

I’m not sure who sits there staring at their watches through a 20x loupe. However, I get the point and I understand the implications. So, I wanted to see the difference with my own eyes.

We should have all prototypes in hand by the end of the year — if there aren’t further delays. The original plan was a 2020 crowdfunding launch on Kickstarter.

New Plan

But with all the mayhem, we’ve pushed the timeline out into 2021.

I’m not interested in rushing anything out (as you can tell), and we won’t settle with anything we’re not satisfied with.

As I get further updates, I’ll share what we learn. Hopefully, you’ll join us in the development process and jump in our forum when ready.

The core group of crew members who joined us for preliminary COURG 42mm design helped prove the workshop forum idea I’ve had stewing in my mind for years. And I’m excited to build on that.

/ End

P.S. Right on time and right on theme, Ken J. from Nashville replied to last week’s dispatch with this gold nugget:


“I got into geology as a potential avenue to being a paleontologist and my life didn’t end up going that direction but I can tell you that cutting and polishing rocks, really even the most mundane ones, will reveal an inner beauty you were totally unaware of.

Rocks are time made material.

You cannot make a metamorphic rock. You simply can’t. It takes eons.

And that makes them surreal and grand and miraculous.”


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