Recent Posts

a young boy rests his chin on his hand in profile, gazing boredly out a rain-streaked window

Four Reasons Why Boredom Is Better For You Than You Think

Boredom—the universal feeling of restlessness and dissatisfaction that has you reaching for your phone, ready to scroll. But did you know that boredom is surprisingly useful feeling that you can use to your advantage?
one kid standing in a mud puddle on a rocky outcrop with pine trees in the distance, another kid digging with a stick in the mud

"How do you do it?" 5 Ways to be Patient, Calm, and Improve Your Relationship with Your Children

Do you feel your kids are stressing you out? Here are tried-and-true tips for building up calmness and cooperation.
book cover of Drive by Daniel Pink

Book Review: Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by Daniel H. Pink

Without external rewards and punishments, people wouldn't do much. Or would they? People are actually driven toward autonomy, competence, and relatedness.
two magnolia blossoms open in soft sunlight

How to Build Self-Discipline: Why Awareness and Intrinsic Motivation Are Key

Self-discipline is the ability to do what needs to be done, to stay in control, to accomplish your goals. How do you build discipline? Here are strategies I use.
colorful sticky notes on a series of four large poster papers hung on a wall in a modern office

Brainstorming: Are All Ideas Welcome? Why You Shouldn't Discount Ideas Before They're Explored

Why I consider all ideas—not just the "good" ones—and how doing so improves my work, helps me find unique solutions in arguments and software, and leads to counterintuitive insights.
closeup of braided rag rug made from colorful tshirt strips

Life as a Practice: Pursuing Excellence in Daily Life

In a practice, you progress: you level up. If we treat daily life as a practice, what does it mean to level up? Hint: It involves effort, excellence, and virtue.
gold, silver, and bronze medals Jacqueline won at fencing tournaments

Why You Should Pursue Excellence, Not Success

Pursuing excellence will help you succeed—but pursuing success won't make you excellent. Here's why I follow this life philosophy, and why you should want to, too!
jacqueline in fencing gear on strip, lunging at an opponent during a college fencing tournament

It's Just Fencing: On Approaching Life with Playfulness and Sincerity, Not Seriousness

My fencing coach used to tell me to train hard... but in the end, it's just fencing. It's the paradox of play: real and not real, serious and not serious. Here's how to apply that paradox to the rest of life.
silhouette of a person with arms outstretched in front of the setting sun

Planning for Success: How Effort Makes Good Luck More Likely

Don't wait for success to happen to you. Make your own good luck—put in the elbow grease to make success more likely!
Baby Elian stands on Randy's lap and types on his keyboard in front of three monitors

Opting for Flexibility in Work

Self-employment enables me to achieve the work-life balance I want. Here's why I love the flexibility—and how you can get the same flexibility in your own life.
Jacqueline on stage speaking at TEDx Couer d'Alene 2020

Coercive Schooling is Pervasive

When giving a TEDx talk, I was stuck by how inundated one organizer was in the coercive schooling system. Here are some examples—and how we can change minds about learning.

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About

We're Jacqueline and Randy, a blogging duo with backgrounds in tech, robots, art, and writing, now raising our family in northern Idaho.

Our goal is to encourage deliberate choices, individual responsibility, and lifelong curiosity by sharing stories about our adventures in living, loving, and learning.

Learn more about us.


Connect:

whoo@deliberateowl.com

Start here

Curious about our life and journey? Here are some good places to start reading:

Jacqueline and Randy leaning their heads together smiling at the camera

A Blog About Education, Lifestyles, and Community

A brief history of how the Deliberate Owl came to be and why we're writing a blog about us, our lives, and how we're living out our values.
Priests in red and gold celebrate a traditional Latin Mass

Discovering the Traditional Catholic Mass

How I discovered the traditional Latin Mass a few years ago, why that discovery changed everything for me, and what was wrong with the Novus Ordo Masses I'd attended.