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Monday, September 24, 2018

Giving up our identity to steal a worthier self

Each of us goes to great lengths to preserve what we consider to be our identity. 

It’s a control thing. We cling to our precious little personal brand that because it provides us some kind of certainty. 

But the funny thing about identity is, it’s not something that’s given, once and for all. There is no fixed point at which we can decisively say, I am that. 

Each one of us is a constantly unfolding process, not a fixed state. Each one of us is evolving toward an ever more perfect whole. 

Particularly when it comes to our professional lives. According to the bureau of labor statistics, the average worker currently holds ten different jobs before age forty, and this number is projected to grow. We seem to go through careers like we do cars or refrigerators. 

All the more reason not to cling to our identities too tightly. Because they’re just going to change in two years anyway. Work may not be the sole identifier of the self, but does give us a secure place in a portion of reality. 

Thinking back to the many reinventions of my career, thank god I gave myself permission to clear the slate to reexamine and redefine. Thank god I forced myself to cast my professional net wider than I might have liked. 

Because we now live in a furiously evolving career landscape, and there are more opportunities than ever before. 

And so, here’s my benediction. 

May you be brave enough to give up your identity to steal a worthier self. 

May you be curious to press on in search of what you could do and where you belong. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
What energy devours and swallows your identity? 

* * * *

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, September 23, 2018

Words that trigger an ancient script in my head

Business would be great if it weren’t for the customers. 

Not to mention the vendors, suppliers, employees, managers, contractors, interns, coworkers and every other maddening human being we come into contact with on a typical day. 

These people are so damned needy. Just go away and let me do my job. 

Unfortunately, we’re all in the people business. There’s no escaping it, only embracing it. 

And so, our job is learning to forgive people for being what they are. Because it’s not their fault. 

When somebody makes a snide remark during a staff meeting or sends us an email ripping apart our latest assignment, they’re not trying to get us fired, they’re simply acting out patterns set in motion by their childhoods. 

Our words must have triggered some ancient script inside their heads. 

Debotton’s essay on forgiveness reminds us that every irritating fault in another person has a long history behind it. Each person is shaped by troubles which we cannot see, but which we can know exist. And behind everything that’s wrong and infuriating about those we meet is a decisive trauma encountered before someone could cope with it properly. 

That’s why people are so goddamn maddening. They got to be this way without meaning to. 

And so, to forgive is to understand the origins of evil and and cruelty. To accept that every emotional response is reasonable and logical based on that person’s personal history. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
How would you treat people differently if you discovered they were fighting a battle that you knew nothing about?

* * * *

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, September 22, 2018

Agony, far more painful than yours

It’s an illusion to think we can avoid the line of fire. 

Agony cannot be inoculated against. No matter how many precautions we take, no matter how many islands of safety we seek, and no matter how lucky and blessed and abundant we feel, hurt comes for everybody. 

The hard part is growing our ability to extend compassion to all the uninvited visitors that inevitably enter. 

Here’s a scenario:

Imagine a lady on the bus accidentally steps on your toe with her stiletto heel while riding the bus. What do you do? 

Most of us would scream expletives and punch the back of the seat and stare down that old lizard for crushing our pinky. 

But how many of us would immediately put our arm around the woman’s shoulder and ask if her shoe is feeling okay? 

None of us. Nobody’s that compassionate. 

This is a highly improbable example, but it does challenge us to rethink our relationship to pain, and the people who cause it. 

Because when we’re hurting, the last thing on our minds is how the other person is feeling. 

But the irony is, sometimes the best way to reduce our pain is to get the hell out of the small, closed circle of the self and reach for the other. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
When was the last time you gave thanks for an unwelcome life obstacle?

* * * *

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, September 20, 2018

The greatest labor intensity reduction technique

Wooten’s book about the spiritual search for growth through music was transformative for me. Quite possibly the best twenty bucks spent on my artistic education. 

Here’s one passage that was especially striking. 

It’s always easier to build upon beauty than it is to pretend it is not there and try to create it from scratch. 

This insight is especially helpful when our project screeches to a stop because the task seems overwhelming. Because in those moments when feel like we can’t even conceptualize how we are going to muster the momentum to catapult ourselves out of this shit pile, we remember something. 

We rarely, if ever, have to start from scratch. Odds are, somebody somewhere has done something that we can build on. We just need to start. To choose. To take slow, small, solid steps that build forward momentum and launch a chain reaction whose impact is greater than what we can foresee at the moment the choice is made. 

Once we bust through the wall of resistance and set that process in motion, no project is ever as overwhelming as we initially think it is. 

There’s a perfect visual that a friend of mine once used. 

Fear is a mile wide, a mile high, and paper thin. It’s like a football team running out through the tunnel and into the stadium. 

Next time your troubles threaten to overwhelm you, make things easier on yourself. Nothing is as hard as it seems. Employ the greatest labor intensity reduction technique in the world by remembering that you never start with nothing. 

It will create a small but perceptible increase in your courage in the face of emotional distress.

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
What do you remind yourself of when you feel like running away from all your responsibilities?

* * * *

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, September 19, 2018

The past is never coming back

Kanata, the thousand year old alien and spiritual adviser to the young jedi, makes a powerful point about growth in her famous call to adventure speech. 

"Whoever you’re waiting for, she tells the young apprentice, they’re never coming back. The belonging you seek is not behind you, but ahead. Feel it. The light, it’s always been there. Let it guide you."

This scene brought tears to my eyes. Because each of us hears a similar call. Some earlier than others, some louder than others. But everyone hears it. 

Sadly, not everyone answers it. Only those who have the audacity to cut loose from the dead hand of the past, swing forward with all of their might and see what the future has in store. 

That’s the thing about the mundane world. It has tons of sneaky ways of making us stay. Usually through projected feelings of guilt and shame and obligation. The chorus of community voices threatens us with the claim that we’ve grown too big for our britches and forgotten where we came from. 

Look at you, mister big stuff. Who do you think you are? 

But the past is never coming back. We don’t have to regret it or shut the door on it, but we do have to stay focused on the future to keep growing. 

I once heard an interview with a highly successful screenwriter whose life, not unlike many successful artists, had grown more luxurious than his origins. And when asked if he ever went back to visit his hometown, here’s what he said:

You can never really go home. It’s not there anymore. The landscape is different. The people who defined it are no longer around. And when you return, you feel like a ghost. A skeletal version of yourself. 

It’s certainly dramatic and morbid, but still accurate. 

And so, if you’re still looking for something in you past to fulfill you; if there’s something you notice yourself reaching back for, hoping it will return, don’t hold your breath. 

The past is never coming back. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
Do you have any survivor’s guilt because you’ve outgrown your origins and have changed directions proudly?
* * * *

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, September 18, 2018

Enjoy change as an opportunity for renewal

Toffler once wrote in his bestselling book that change is avalanching upon our heads and most people are grotesquely unprepared to cope with it. 

That was fifty years ago. These days, it seems as if change is not coming, it is here, and things are only going to get changier. 

The question is, how can we come to enjoy change as an opportunity for renewal? What do we need to do to be ready for these changes? 

One tactic is replacing expectation with appreciation. Finding ways to become grateful for the ongoing flow of change. Even if that means making a list of all the gifts that are shrink wrapped inside of this change. 

The second tactic is surrendering. Letting go of yesterday’s winning formula that used to work, but is no longer producing suitable results today. Even if that means holding a burning release ritual in which we set fire to all of our no longer welcomes. 

I’m reminded of a comedian did a routine about how his new year’s resolution was for everyone else to get their shit together. The crowd roared. Because who doesn’t believe that everything would be fine if only someone else would change? 

But this is no joke. Each of has been gifted with full responsibility for our own development. Each of us must put the burden on our own shoulders where it belongs. 

That way, we can bravely step into a rushing river of change that will take us to new places. 

And if our boots and clothes get soaked, so be it. 


LET ME ASK YA THIS...
Do you still think your life would be better if other people changed? 
* * * *

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, September 15, 2018

Stay at the sensation level of your experience

Vandik’s enlightening book about calming the emotional storm was written specifically for people who find it difficult to understand, express, and process intense emotions. 

One of the key insights the cognitive behavioral therapist shares is what the actual definition of what an emotion is. 

An emotion is a full system response that includes physiological reactions, which are changes in body chemistry and body language, thoughts, which are triggering images and memories and action urges, as well as the actual feeling we’re experiencing, like sadness, anger and anxiety. 

Simply reading that definition was a blessing for me. Because nobody had ever explained the complicated idea of emotions in such a holistic way before. 

My misconception, probably like a lot of people, was that my feelings and emotions and thoughts were one in the same. But they’re not.

The challenge is, how do we make the essential discrimination between our stories and our living experience? Here’s a useful technique. 

When an event happens, try staying at the sensation level of your experience. Your literal, simple bodily feeling. Because it’s very hard to find a problem there, unlike immediately escalating straight to the interpretive level, where your emotions and thoughts run rampant and find problems that aren’t really there. 

For now, simply observe your biology. 

Twitchy stomach. Sweaty back. Flushed skin. Tight chest. 

Notice it. Accept it. Thank it. Walk around it. Wonder about it. Even love it. Whatever you do, just stay with that sensation. 

And know that it’s not about whether it feels yucky, but whether you relate to your experience with fundamental kindness. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
What healthy things have you done in the past that helped you get through difficult situations? 
* * * *

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, September 13, 2018

As long as it’s yours

One of the great unexpected advantages of being the world’s foremost expert on nametags is that complete strangers not only start conversations with you, but also send you bizarre gifts in the mail. 

Apparently there’s an entire cottage industry of nametag related paraphernalia. After eighteen years, my office is now collaged with these fine items. 

Cups, belts, shirts, pens, coasters, cocktail napkins, buttons, onesies, full body costumes, ties, business card holders, and, believe it or not, boxer shorts. 

You heard right. Strangers. From around the world. Fedex me underwear. And there’s always that little personal note included. 

Scott, this package made me think of your package. Enjoy! 

Hello, my name is awkward. 

But behind the absurdity is a little nugget of value. Think about this. 

What word do you own? What idea automatically reminds people of the work you do? After interacting with you, what is the one thing people will never think about the same way again? 

If you can answer these kinds of questions, you win. It doesn’t matter how small or silly the thing is. As long as it’s yours.

Give yourself permission to pioneer in obscure areas. Own whatever little world you investigate to a great, high level. 

Do the work to occupy a unique niche in people's minds. 

And your little badge can become a global brand. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
What's your nametag?
* * * *

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!

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