Ex Post Facto no. 9: Grief, Gummies, and Beating Distraction

We’re back for another Ex Post Facto, the email with 3 things you’ll wish you’d known earlier—just in time for the weekend. Thanks for joining! –Shane

Nineteen years ago today, the United States got a wake-up call. But it seems callous to reduce 9/11 to that. Thousands of human beings with hopes and dreams lost their lives; tens of thousands lost loved ones; and millions ended up being terribly affected.

Today I’ve been thinking about how strange it is that when you start paying closer attention to a specific date like 9/11, you see it pop up everywhere. I learned by sheer happenstance this morning that it was Sept. 11, 1972, that the presidential palace of Chile was bombed during the brutal dictator Pinochet’s takeover. Upon further investigation, Sept. 11, 1714, was also the date that the city of Barcelona was conquered by the Bourbon army in the War of Spanish Succession. And it was Sept. 11 of the year 9AD that the Roman Empire suffered one of its greatest military defeats ever, creating a border that lasted 400 years.

In other words, a lot of awful things have happened on this day.

Yet—it turns out, that’s true of just about every day of the year when you start digging. Humanity has been through a lot. We’ve been inhumane to each other over and over, since forever.

I’m not saying this to further depress anyone on this day of remembrance and grief. I bring this up because I’ve decided that from now on for me, days like September 11th are going to be a reminder of the history of man’s inhumanity to man—and that I have a choice and an opportunity to be kind to people instead of continuing that inhumanity.

Not just today, but every day.

And maybe if we all remember that together, we can put the brakes on the cycles of violence in our world.

Or maybe that’s overly optimistic. But hey—being a little more kind, a little more human to each other can only help.

Anyway, I know you’re here for the Ex Post Facto, not the monologue, so I’ll end with that! Here we go:

One EXcellent bit of wisdom:

“If you’re a really good human being, you can try to find something beautiful in every single person, no matter what.” –Lady Gaga

In light of what I just wrote above, this quote has me thinking about how finding the beauty and humanity in people we disagree with or despise can help us to take the high road and make better long-term decisions.

It turns out that Lady Gaga doesn’t just have great costumes; she’s got great wisdom, too!

One POST you’ll not want to miss:

  • How To Overcome Distraction <— This week’s post actually doesn’t come from my desk; it’s from my friend Nir Eyal, one of my favorite writers on human behavior.

This mega-post will take you through some of the juiciest findings from Nir’s book Indistractable and help you understand (a) how to not get “got” by all the apps and notifications and distractions in your life, so you can spend time on the things that matter; and (b) more importantly, what your unique distraction and procrastination triggers are. I highly recommend checking this one out!

One FACT Of great interest:

When you do a size comparison between a gummy bear and a gummy worm, you realize just how terrifying the Gummy World must be. Think about that.

(This one came to me via Reddit, and it caught my eye because some friends of mine just launched a site called The Gummy Galaxy.)

Gah, I’m glad worms in our world aren’t that proportion.

Then again, when you look at them deep down, maybe even monster-sized gummy worms are beautiful in their own way. At least they’re sweet on the inside…

Have a good weekend, my friends!

Much love,


P.S. Early registration is over, but there’s still time to reserve a spot for my Dream Teams Leadership Intensive, the virtual workshop series in October. Click here for more info!