Ex Post Facto no. 14: Airborne Books & Elephants
We’re back for another Ex Post Facto, the email with 3 things you’ll wish you’d known earlier—usually just in time for the weekend, but today it’s just in time for 2021. Thanks for joining! –Shane
Hey, can I just say? I’m glad to have had you as a reader this year! The pandemic has been such a topsy, turvy, and often lonely time. So getting emails and LinkedIn comments expressing gratitude, support, and alternative viewpoints on the things I’ve been writing has been a way for me feel more connected to people.
Thank you for that.
Ok, on to this week’s Ex Post Facto!
One EXcellent bit of wisdom:
“People are more important than stuff.” <– This week’s wisdom actually comes from my own father. He used to say it all the time. And if there were one thing that I repeated to myself in my head all year more than any other, it would probably be this.
When things go wrong, I try to remind myself that people are more important than stuff—and then act accordingly. When I’m tempted to get upset about something monetary, I try to remember that people are more important than whatever it is. I’m not perfect at it, but it’s remarkable what a shift in perspective this phrase brings me when I remember to recite it.
So my 2021 challenge to all of you is to give reciting “people are more important than stuff” a shot yourself! :)
One POST you won’t want to miss:
The 5 Books That Made Me Better In 2020 <– If you haven’t seen it, I keep a big booklist of my favorite books in different categories, with an emphasis on Books That Help Me See Things Differently. This year, a few awesome books kept me going through the bad times. Check this post out for the details.
But in particular, I’d like to call out a middle grade book called The Magician’s Elephant that one of my XPF readers recommended to me a few weeks ago. If you’re looking for something that will warm your heart and help you feel good about humanity (with a little magic and a flying elephant sprinkled in), this book will seriously make your day. I finished the last two chapters literally weeping—in a happy way.
One FACT Of great interest:
Speaking of books, I recently used the phrase “throw the book at them” in front of my wife, who said she’d never heard the term. She grew up speaking Spanish, so every once in a while an idiom like this comes up that makes me realize how many things I say that I have no idea where they come from.
If you don’t already know the history, “throwing the book at someone” comes from the early 1900s where judges who hear criminal cases would literally sit there with a book listing all possible crimes and punishments. So “throwing the book” was basically trying to roast the defendant no matter how.
I know that’s not as interesting or exciting of a FACTO as you’re used to in this email. But I wanted to talk about it today because I think that if we truly believe that people are more important than stuff, it’s going to be a rare occasion where throwing The Book at someone is okay to do. In the spirit of making this new year better than the last, I’d say let’s practice more charity with one another—especially when the matter at hand is about stuff.
In other words, if you’re going to throw a book at someone, why not throw A Book About Love at them? Or The Magician’s Elephant, for that matter. :)
Much love—and happy new year to you!
P.S. In case you missed it, my next Dream Teams Leadership Intensive has been moved to March. So there’s still time to sign up and get an early bird discount! If you’ve enjoyed my emails or posts over the year, I’d be delighted if you forwarded this link along to someone who you think highly of: http://snow.academy/leadership