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Sunday, March 29, 2020

That sounds like code for more work

Here’s my favorite question on the personality type quiz. 

Do you find visionaries to be somewhat annoying, or rather fascinating? 

In my experience, most companies and organizations will choose the first answer. Even if they act fascinated in the meeting, deep down, they are probably suspicious and threatened by that person. 

It’s a primeval reaction. Anytime some visionary marches into their office with a big idea, their collective corporate sphincter tightens like a shut faucet. 

But this is not their fault. Because people at organizations are not in the business of innovation, they’re in the business of minimizing risk, preserving the status quo, not getting fired, and of course, generating profit. 

Their economic perils are clear and immediate, and bringing on some visionary simply translates into more work for them. 

And so, the frustrations within the system can blamed on its weaknesses, rather than on individuals who operate within it. 

As the rappers say, don’t hate the player, hate the game. 

But also, don’t beat yourself up for losing that game just because people who barely know you are threatened by the genius of your avatar. 

Just accept that people are going to reject you outright, solely because of the special place you come from and the vibration that you carry with you, and that’s okay. 

It’s not their fault. They don’t know any better. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
Don’t you just love the look on people’s faces when you break their brains? 

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.  
scott@hellomynameisscott.com
www.nametagscott.com

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Saturday, March 28, 2020

In full of all demands for additional bounty

Can we be comfortable without the hunger for more? 

Can we free ourselves from the constant demands for additional bounty? 

For those of us seeking a cosmic coloration in consciousness, this is an inner battle that will continue to wage on. And it will most certainly be one worth fighting. 

And so, whether we are starting a new business or changing careers or simply making a life transition, let us measure twice and cut once. 

To do so, our initial steps will be intention and attention. 

We will begin by announcing to ourselves that everything necessary for a having a fulfilling life is already part of us. We may not understand where to find it, or how to unearth it, or what it even is, but we will trust that it is available to us at no additional cost. 

This trusting intention counts for a lot, and it allows all our subsequent actions to flow more smoothly. 

Now, the other piece is noticing how often we look for more. Not beating ourselves up for being greedy, and not judging ourselves for trying to improve on the present moment, but simply noticing and naming the habit of extraneous desire. 

Keeping a jealous eye over yourself, as my favorite song lyric goes. If we can start there, from a place of trusting and noticing, then we won’t have to pay any attention to the tasty golden carrot dangling just the right distance to keep us on the hamster wheel. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
When will you have done enough to be happy with who you are?

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.  
scott@hellomynameisscott.com
www.nametagscott.com

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Friday, March 27, 2020

At the foothills of a struggle for survival

Everything seems, sounds and feels so much better inside our own minds. 

God bless the human imagination. It’s such a wonderful, fascinating, tricky thing. 

But as a result of this glorious machine, each of us are burdened with impossible expectation, right up until the moment life slaps in the face and says, welcome to how it works.

Epictetus comes to mind, who once said whenever he saw a person suffering from nervousness, he would think, well, what can he expect? If he had he not set his sights on things outside man’s control, his nervousness would end at once. 

This is a stoic reminder that when we give up any expectation of what things should be, and allow them to be what they are, peace be with us. 

It’s how the strong survive. We find ways to reorient ourselves. We make the heroic decision to stay with whatever life gives us. 

Take the universal human struggle of waiting in line. It’s a frustrating, boring and time consuming activity. 

Unless, of course, we bravely admit to ourselves that life is the line. We admit that we are no longer in an us versus them relationship with the line. 

This is it, this is as good as it gets, this is the best day of my life. 

I actually wrote a song in my animated folk rock opera about this very concept:




Once again: This is it, this is as good as it gets, this is the best day of my life. 

That mantra that helps me appreciate the absurdity of life and stay grounded in such situations. Every time the words come into my consciousness, the will to survive begins flowering inside of me, and the everyday resilience to persist in my efforts advances just a little bit more. Regardless of what the movie inside my head tried to tell me. 

Epictetus comes to mind once again. He also said to thank the gods for making us strong enough to survive what we can’t control. 

Next time the world says, welcome to how it works, do whatever it takes to get yourself in harmony with reality. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
What would be smart for us to start doing in order to survive?

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.  
scott@hellomynameisscott.com
www.nametagscott.com

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Thursday, March 26, 2020

What's the unmet human need behind being bored?

Boredom isn't a feeling. 

It's an adjective, a description and a characteristic. 

But it's not a feeling. 

Quite the opposite, in fact. Boredom is a word people say without any particular need to communicate how they are really feeling. It's a rhetorical placeholder. A psychological dodge. Boredom signifies that there is an emotional reality lurking beneath the surface. 

When somebody is asked how they feel, and they respond by saying bored, it's not that they're wrong. It's that they're disconnected. 

Therapists have told their patients for decades that there are only a handful of primary human feelings. Mad, sad, glad and afraid. Everything else stems from that. 

Boredom may be a word that perfectly describe the repetitiveness and monotony of a job. But the more important question is, what's your feeling lurking beneath the surface? What's the unmet human need behind it? 

If you say you're feeling bored, could that be code for lonely? Dissatisfied? Unmotivated? Might boredom be masking more specific and complicated and difficult feelings like hopelessness and apathy? 

I'm reminded of a cool study by a linguistics professors who researched the uses of the word boredom in the fiction of a particular novelist. His hypothesis stated that boredom constituted a fundamental dissolution of the distracted modern subject, in an unproductive disengagement from both world and self. 

Damn, now we're getting somewhere. 

Have you ever felt disconnected like that before? It's so nauseating. Just fucking lonely and sad. My entire freshman year of college was like that, and frankly, it's hard for me to even locate any memories from that period of my life. Being nineteen was pissed away on boredom. 

That's often what happens when someone announces to themselves that they're bored. 

Once they buy into that narrative, they start engaging in compulsive, dysfunctional behaviors. Trying to stuff down unpleasant feelings by isolating, drinking, gaming, eating, watching six hours of television each night, whatever. 

They're solving problems that have nothing to do with the activity itself. 

They're not bored, they're something else. 

Point being, we need to learn how to notice and name our feelings clearly. It's an essential part of growing up. 

When we start experiencing difficult and complicated emotions, let's not default to an ambiguous word that everyone can relate to and nobody will question. 

Since boredom isn't a feeling, we should see if we can figure out what feelings that word is masking. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
How might boredom be the staircase that takes you down to more interesting places?

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.  
scott@hellomynameisscott.com
www.nametagscott.com

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Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Popping our precious bubble of reality

Gollum bit off the hobbit’s finger and danced about, shouting the words:

Precious, precious, my precious, oh precious.

But in his elation to be reunited with the one true ring, teetered on the edge of the great pit, blundered into the crack of doom and burned in the molten lava. 

This is what can happen if we are too precious. About anything. 

From sentences on the page, to strategies for closing the sale, to beliefs about what constitutes success, hanging on too tightly makes anything disappear. 

We must practice a healthy sense of separation and detachment. 

Reminds me of my album from few years ago. Halfway through our recording session, something occurred to me. There was one song that didn’t feel true. It sounded rushed and forced. It didn’t fully belong to the family of music we came to record. It was taking forever to track properly. And from a thematic perspective, the lyrics interrupted the narrative arc of the record. 

And so, we trashed it. Deleted the file forever right there at the soundboard. 

It physically caused me pain in the moment. Which is normal. Anytime we pop our precious bubble of reality, there is a feeling of sadness and loss. 

Ultimately, however, it was the right choice to make, and the album came out better in its absence. 

It also taught me not to be so damn fastidious about my songs. They are not fragile vases that are going to shatter. They are not the most important pieces of art in the history of the universe. They are not the truth itself, they are my current judgment of the truth. And there’s no use throwing a temper tantrum every time one of them doesn’t pass my precious little purity test. 

Couch, the great writer and literary critic, coined a phrase a hundred years ago called murder your darlings. He said that whenever we feel an impulse to perpetrate a piece of exceptionally fine writing, we should obey it whole heartedly, and then delete it before sending our manuscript to press. 

Are you willing to abandon your beliefs on a moment’s notice? 

If not, notice that. Because the more precious we are about our work, the harder it will be to make the tough choices that will resolve its problems. 

We wants it, we needs it. Must have the precious. They stole it from us. Sneaky little hobbits. Wicked, tricksy, false


LET ME ASK YA THIS...
Are you so precious that you won’t be able to do the hard things to help your ideas survive? 

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.  
scott@hellomynameisscott.com
www.nametagscott.com

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Tuesday, March 24, 2020

You are the dark cloud our group gathers under

None of us live in a vacuum. 

The decisions each person makes has consequences for the rest of us. 

As the law of motion states, for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. 

Especially in a communal setting. Because these things are generative spaces. Holy containers whose integrity we have committed to preserving. 

During my five years on the board of a local trade association, we had one volunteer who was a huge thorn in the organization’s side. During every meeting, his persistent, pedantic questions about parliamentary procedure completely derailed the group. With every new micromanaging detail suggested, he would send forth a tiny ripple of frustration that grew more powerful with each person it touches. 

To the point that our president finally took him aside and said, look, you are bringing something into our space that is now affecting the whole group, and it’s not okay. Starting today, we are putting firm but loving limits on your expenditure of the group’s energy. Otherwise you will be voted off the island. 

Not surprisingly, that volunteer ended up resigning a few months later. 

Good riddance. He had become the dark cloud our group gathered under, and everyone felt relieved when he finally left. 

For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. 

Proving, that life is not solo adventure, it is a communal undertaking. And whatever we bring into the generative space, it will multiply exponentially. 

Let us take responsibility for the quality of the energy we bring to the world. 

Let us stay committed to preserving the container. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
When you walk into a room, how does it change? 

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.  
scott@hellomynameisscott.com
www.nametagscott.com

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Monday, March 23, 2020

Get back in touch with your meaning making machinery

Boredom is the symptom, not the problem. 

When people complain about how there's nothing to do and they're going stir crazy sitting around the house all day, my bullshit detector goes off. 

Because it's not like there was this sudden outbreak of an airborne virus called boredom that forced itself into their lives, infected their immune system and now they're helplessly stuck with it until some nerd in a white coat finds a cure. 

Boredom is not somebody else's fault. It's a choice. 

Boredom is a poisonous mood people trap themselves into when they've lost touch with their meaning making machinery. 

If someone can't discover new and exciting things about themselves and the world in order to stay engaged, then that's a failure of curiosity and wonder on their part. 

It's kind of like those struggling, stifled entrepreneurs who complain about how there's nothing new under the sun. 

Excuse me, but have you looked at the sun lately? It's a giant flaming ball of gas that's eight hundred and sixty four thousand miles in diameter. If you can’t find something new under it, then you’re not looking hard enough.

You know who never gets bored? Farmers. 

They can't afford to be bored. It's not in the job description. If they don’t tend to their crops every day, there is no harvest. Period. 

What's more, farmers know that all ground needs regular change and invigoration in order to stay fertile. If one acre of land needs fallow time to enrich it with real rest, so be it. They'll leave that plot alone for a season or two and go plant something else on their acre across the street. 

How are you rotating your crops? Are you varying your interests and pursuits to enrich your own land? 

It's an essential practice of thriving as a human being. People who consciously build a diversified existence with multiple life purposes, different centers of belonging and many meaning making activities, will always avoid the curse of an infertile field. 

Ellis, the godfather of rational emotive behavior therapy, once wrote an inspiring book about recovering from problem drinking. His advice to addicts was, to avoid high risk situations that go with boredom, schedule normal activities that alcohol related chaos may have displaced. 

He told his patients to literally write out an activity chart. Make a handy list of existentially nourishing activities and tasks that are guaranteed to provide you with the experience of meaning and joy. Keep it with you at all times. That way, when a craving, trigger or trauma approaches, you can execute some crop rotation when the pressure is on. 

This strategy transformed my understanding of, and relationship to, the idea of boredom. Couldn't tell you the last time I was bored. 

The same can happen to you. As long as you're willing to take responsibility for your own time and attention, there is no way your land will go infertile. Or if it does, you'll find another plot to plant in the interim. 

Louie, the standup comedian, filmmaker and philosopher, said it perfectly in his recent standup special. He told his daughters:

The fact that you're alive is amazing, so you don't get to be bored. The sense of wonder should replace your boredom and cure it. 

Next time you start moping around whining about how there's nothing to do, remember that it's not somebody else's fault. 

Pressure is a choice, and so is the opposite. 

Get back in touch with your meaning making machinery, and the harvest will be plentiful. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...

Have you discerned what will help prevent the experience of boredom from creeping in?

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.  
scott@hellomynameisscott.com
www.nametagscott.com

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Sunday, March 22, 2020

Dragged into a conceptual rabbit hole

Effective time management is more than merely getting things done. 

It’s also about honoring the communal need to do the same. 

Because in any shared setting, our agenda is not the only one in the room. Everybody has needs. Including the living organism of the group itself. 

And if we have zero awareness around the value of the group’s time, then we will disrupt the shared energy, piss off everyone and alienate ourselves in the process. 

My old boss had a helpful filter for practicing this principle at our office. He said that any employee had the right to call an all team meeting, but they had to do some math first. 

Imagine what each employee earns during the day as their hourly wage. 
Multiply that amount by the number of people in the room. 
Then multiply that by the potential length of the meeting. 

This will give you a rough unit price for the group’s time, against which to can gauge the usefulness of your idea. 

For example, if there are thirty people in the office, averaging a hundred dollars an hour, and you want to call a two hour meeting, then your goal is to deliver at least six thousand dollars of value. 

Now, people cannot always quantify every single idea with a clean and numeric justification. But in the spirit of honoring the group time, this filter can be helpful to assure no single person is steering the group’s attention to pedestrian matters. 

It sets expectations that protect teams from getting dragged into some kind of procedural or conceptual rabbit hole. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...

Does this email that you’re about to send demonstrate a deep respect for the other people’s precious time? 

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.  
scott@hellomynameisscott.com
www.nametagscott.com

It's the world's first, best and only product development and innovation gameshow!

Tune in and subscribe for a little execution in public.


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