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Friday, August 17, 2018

There is no right or wrong because it’s all mine

Hyde’s seminal book on the magic of the gift economy showed that most of the people who were asked to donate kidneys to loved ones rarely took time to deliberate their decision. 

They just said yes. There was no decision to make. There were no sides to weigh. 

The author explained that instantaneous decision is a clear mark of an emotional and moral life. 

Unlike that friend of yours who has never given a single definitive yes to any invitation he’s ever received. He just says, yeah we'll see, hopefully I can stop by. It’s insanely annoying. 

All the more reason to apply the decision making principle to our lives. Whatever the situation is, just decide. Just make a choice. It doesn’t have to be perfect and it doesn’t have to be the right one because there is no right one. 

The right decision is the one that you make, the right path is the one that you take. 

Which sounds like a nursery rhyme, but maybe it should be. 

Popova said it best on her award winning blog about the inventory of a meaningful existence:

In the face of life’s dilemmas, there is often no right or wrong choice, what matters is only that we do choose, that we make up our minds and march forward, for nothing dulls the little time we have more surely than the paralysis of indecision. 

Perhaps one day we will learn to refrain from submitting every decision to the calculus of a cost benefit analysis. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...

Who you were and what you knew before you defined things as good or bad, right or wrong?

* * * *


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, August 16, 2018

The most precious provision in the world

Armed with the desire to be helpful, we immediately try to provide a solution. 

But the reality is, if we really want to be providers for the people in our lives, leaping in to solve or save or treat or fix the problem isn't an effective as just becoming the solution ourselves. 

After all, most people most of the time want affirmation, not information. 

I once heard a marriage counselor use the sun as the prime example. She talked about how its role as the brightest star at the center of our solar system is to simply offer warmth, presence and love to the planets in its orbit. That's the divine provision. 

Carlin spoke to this very phenomenon in one of his brilliant comedy routines. 

Every I can see the sun, as it gives me everything I need. Heat, light, food, flowers in the park, reflections on the lake, even the occasional skin cancer. And the best thing about the sun is, it never tells me I'm unworthy. Doesn't tell me I'm a bad person who needs to be saved. Hasn't said an unkind word. Treats me fine. 

Imagine how much brighter and warmer our relationships would be if we thought of ourselves in that way. 

Our bouts of provider anxiety might finally reduce to a manageable level. 

Remember, a warm and loving presence is the most precious provision in the world. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...

What happened to the last person you tried to fix?

* * * *


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


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Beware the cut of subtle unkindness

Just because we’re not visibly harsh to each other, doesn’t mean we’re not hurting each other. 

The cut of subtle unkindness is insidious, and if we’re not careful, each of those tiny little nicks can add up and translate into serious relationship problems. 

Every time I walk past a couple hashing it out in public, I always walk away confused. Not about the fact that people have conflict, but the fact that people are so unkind and mean to each other in the process. 

Look, we all get mad and hurt and scared and stressed. There are no wrong feelings. Each of us should cherish the variety of our emotions, even if they don’t make sense to us. 

But that’s not license to be unkind to each other. 

Consider several ways in which people practice subtle unkindness toward each other. 

Saying no to the little things they ask of each other. 
Speaking with an irritable edge to our voices. 
Giving orders instead of making requests. 
Making joking but belittling comments. 
Contradicting each other in public. 

Who among us isn’t guilty of at least one item on that list? 

Proving, that we all probably have some remedial kindness work to do. We all need practice giving high priority to each other’s needs and wishes. 

And so, next time you walk past a fighting couple in the street, before you judge them for being stuck in the emotional crossfire, ask yourself where you might be acting subtly unkind in your own life. 

Because all love is saying yes to something. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
What if every moment of accepting the other person’s effort was a step back to love? 
* * * *


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, August 15, 2018

The needier we are, the more we set ourselves up for rejection

Because of my codependent, workaholic, love addicted personality, I’ve always had the tendency to do this:

Fall in love very easily and too quickly, smother people within an inch of their lives, and then chase after the ones who reject me and try desperately to change their minds. 

It’s that earnest but unhealthy and overwhelming form of passion that involves persistence at all costs, where the relationship controls me rather than the other way around. 

And because I’m far too needy to be capable of denying my own unrealistic expectations, that experience ultimately destroys me. 

But the lesson life seems to be teaching me over and over again is: 

People may not be rejecting us, they may simply be unable to give what we are asking.

It’s not personal. It’s not an attack. It’s just a rejection, not reflection of our inherent value as human beings. 

That’s a more mature understanding of relationships. That’s how we face reality with maturity. 

And it’s a lot less exhausting than the torments of unrequited love. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
When you are attracted to someone or something, will you ignore all the warning signs that it’s not healthy for you?

* * * *


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, August 14, 2018

The burning bush never stopped burning

I once read a fascinating sermon about the burning bush. 

The pastor proposed that the fire wasn’t the divine suddenly showing up in the middle of the desert. The spirit was there the whole time. Moses simply wasn’t aware of it. 

Maybe he assumed that he knew the land like the back of his hand. Or maybe he was in too much of a hurry to notice the flame. Or maybe he was texting. 

The point is, that bush could have been burning for years. 

What an interesting thought experiment on attention and intention. And here’s what it means to me. 

Most things in life aren’t things, they’re places inside of us. Joy and love and peace and creativity and abundance? Take your pick. They’re all just bushes that are already burning. We have everything we need right here within us. There is a great life inside waiting to be nurtured. 

Of course, here’s the uncomfortable part about this theory. 

It puts people on the hook. It holds them very accountable. Think about it. 

Knowing that something has been with us always and merely awaits our realization of it, that’s scary. 

Knowing that we carry the seeds of happiness within us at every moment, that’s scary. 

Knowing that everything we want to create is already inside of us, that’s scary. 

Knowing that joy is a gift that’s ours as soon as we’re willing to accept it, that’s scary. 

Knowing that we’re only an instant away from peace and enlightenment, that’s scary. 

But it’s also deeply empowering. Kind of makes you want to go find the straw inside of you that threatens to catch fire and call its bluff. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
What burning bushes might you be overlooking?

* * * *


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, August 12, 2018

What happened to me wasn’t bad enough

Wherever we go, we take everything we’re made of. 

All the things that happened in our life are a part of us, and we carry them with us into the future, whether we want to or not. 

Even the bad stuff. Especially the bad stuff. 

And in fact, if we’ve convinced ourselves that we’re just average people with typical experiences and the things that happened to us weren’t bad enough; we might consider taking a second look. 

Because everyone has trauma. Everyone has moments that rattle their emotions, create stress, cause nightmares and provoke anxiety. 

As my shrink friend likes to say, most people come from some kind of chaos and bullshit. 

The question is, why don’t we give full weight to the events that shaped us? 

Any number of reasons. All of which are valid. 

Maybe we were excited about it at the time and it didn’t register as traumatic. Or maybe what happened to us was so buried in the distant past that we have the tendency to minimize the effect it had on us. Or maybe we didn’t realize an event was traumatic because there was no music to inform us how to feel. 

Or my personal favorite, maybe we feel guilty and inadequate about our lack of suffering when compared to the horrors other people have endured, so write off our little experiences as not counting. 

But it all counts. It all affects us. None of us gets a free pass out of the bewildering chaos known as the human experience. 

But the sooner we accept unique pain, the sooner we can heal, and the sooner we can use what happened to us to help others feel less alone with theirs. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...

How will you rest your chaos on a firm emotional mattress?

* * * *

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, August 10, 2018

Translated the pain of our loneliness into a deeper dimension

Cameron’s uplifting book of prayers to the great creator tells us that all sense of loneliness is a forgetting. 

Forgetting that we are part of life. Forgetting that life is a part of us. Forgetting that we’re never alone in this world unless we want to be. 

And until we remember that we do belong and we are loved and we have connection and community, loneliness will continue to visit us and try to take up residence in our psyche. Our emotions will use their power to run us around in circles. 

Inside of the rock tumbler known as my head, the chilling vapor of aloneness often settles down unannounced. And sometimes, it’s not because I’m currently alone and disconnected and bereft of community, but because I flash back to various times in my life when I felt unwanted and isolated. 

And because those memories were so traumatic, they create a sort of social amnesia in the present moment. They overwhelm my sense of belonging. They cause me to forget. 

But as I learned from my therapist, loneliness, not unlike any form of anxiety, often vanishes once noticed and named. 

It’s the strangest thing. The moment we give ourselves the freedom to express our emotions, instead of trying to find another way to outwit our feelings, the vapor starts to vanish. 

And so, we announce to ourselves:

Oh, that’s interesting, I seem to be experiencing pangs of loneliness right now. Okay then. This feeling isn’t who I am, and it’s not going to last forever. 

And that’s precisely when we start to remember. 

We start to sense that we belong in this world. And our loneliness begins to leave us. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...

What truth is your current emotional state causing you to forget?

* * * *


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, August 08, 2018

The medieval knight who saves the day with his sword

Aren’t you just a little worn out from believing you have to control everything? 

Doesn’t it feel better knowing that you don’t have to save the world? 

And don’t you realize that you don’t have to do all that for people to love you? 

Our answer was a full body yes. And it was magnificent. 

Because once we’re released from the painful chore of being responsible for the world and everyone in it, we’re finally free to focus on our own needs. Once we surrender our vain attempts to control the uncontrollable, we can relax into the peace of a boundaried life. 

As the twelve steppers like to say:

We didn’t cause it, we can’t control it and we can’t cure it. No more fixing, no more saving, 

No more advising and no more correcting. People, places and things will be perfectly okay without our control and direction. 

And it’s not like we’re lonely and alienated and disengaged. Quite the opposite. Our connection to the world is still there, but our need to fix everything so the world doesn’t fall apart, isn’t. 

Sure sounds better than being the medieval knight who saves the day with his sword. 

What a horrible job we’ve given ourselves. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
Are you concentrating on the things you need to do, or looking around for people who require your help?

* * * *


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


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