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Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Pulled into an undertow of extreme global hysteria

Once we achieve initial success with our work, there’s a question in the back of our minds that starts to fester. 

What if we could somehow tap into this on a worldwide scale? Building out the infrastructure, expanding to twelve cities worldwide, going global with our distribution, it’s quite the inspiring thought. 

The problem is, it might not be our thought. It might be somebody else’s. That’s the thing about scaling. It’s part of a system we have inherited from mainstream culture. One that tells us that bigger is better. 

Welshons addresses this discrepancy in his book about unanswered prayers:

These identities are transitory illusions. The incredibly limited, culturally defined, hopelessly distorted lens through which we view ourselves has nothing to do with who we really are. 

My publishing company easily could have scaled to include licensing options, product extensions, vertical integration, public events, mass merchandising and other replicatable elements. 

But every time there was an attempt to go down that road, my stomach hurt. A sense of dread washed over me. 

Because going big didn’t feel like me. Scaling wasn’t actually in line with my goals. It just seemed like the thing to do at the time. 

My mentor even asked me point blank:

Let me get this straight. You’ve already burned out going it alone, so, do you honestly have a desire to scale in order to burn out even more? 

He was right. That wasn’t my dream. It was just an inherited option. An assumption. There was no need to reach a certain commercial level with my work. Reaching fewer people more deeply sounded better. 

If you’re feeling yourself pulled into an undertow of extreme global hysteria, step back for a moment and ask yourself what your growth aspirations really are. 

Perhaps you, similar to me, have an allergy to scaling. That’s okay. Going big might not be the answer. 

Staying small and preserving your ability to work on the razor’s edge might be. 
 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
How will you skirt the difference between the commercial world and where your heart is actually at?

* * * *
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, June 25, 2019

The impact of doing nothing is incalculable

In war, silence is employed to throw the enemy off balance. 

It makes people suspicious, nervous and paranoid. Sentencing them to slave labor in the sweatshops of their neuroses. 

Sounds like smart psychological warfare to me. 

Strangely enough, we drop this bomb on ourselves all the time. When life gets too quiet, we grow suspicious. We badger ourselves about why the hell nothing is going on right now. And we work ourselves up into a state of panic by imagining the worst. 

Because there is a small part of us that actually loves that panic. It convinces us that we’re on the precipice of something. That we’re making things happen in the world. 

But like most things, it’s just a story. A narrative about not being enough. 

The real question is, can we finally learn to endure fallow times without panic? Are we complete enough in ourselves to accept life’s necessary silences? And can we trust that there might be a time of stillness before anything creative is born? 

If so, we become free. 

For many years, my goal was to fill any available space in my schedule with work. Because I felt too insecure doing nothing. Didn’t trust the silence. It was like the scene in the horror movie when the eerie fog creeps over the dark alley and everything goes quiet, three seconds before the hungry vampire swoops into the frame and devours the girl’s neck. 

Just keep moving and nobody can hurt me. 

Which worked for a while, until burnout reared its ugly face. And something had to change. 

I decided to take a sabbatical. For the whole summer. During which zero work could be done. 

What a terrifying prospect. Spend three months without writing, working and promoting my business? Are you sniffing glue? What if the world forgets about me and my precious brand? What if nothing else comes along and we go broke and die alone? In my head, the impact of doing nothing was incalculable. 

All the more reason to try it. Taking a sabbatical would be a real edge for me. 

Sure enough, the silence was exactly what my business, and my soul, needed. It was hard. Took a lot of restraint to not do the one thing that made me feel like myself. 

But sometimes having discipline means having enough discipline not to have discipline. If that makes sense. 

Lesson learned, trust the silence. We don’t need to feed the world our panic anymore. It has no use for it. 

Instead, let us provide the land with fallow time to enrich it with real rest. 

Having faith that we will come back stronger. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
What is your addiction to busyness costing 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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Monday, June 24, 2019

Twinkling death’s cold nose without retribution

Put your house in order, because you are going to die, you will not recover. 

This frequently quoted scripture is a morbid but powerful reminder that death that awaits us all, it’s the ultimate reality and loss of control, and we should prepare ourselves for it. 

And not only physical death. Many times throughout life, each of us must contend with the death of who we have known ourselves to be. 

Especially when it comes to our careers. In those moments when some unexpected change or loss or transition pulls the rug out from under us, it’s smart to have a plan in place. To paraphrase another scripture:

Watch ye job therefore, for ye know not when the layoffs of the company cometh. 

When my tech startup went through its first official round of layoffs in company history, it was a very bizarre summer for us all. For those of us leftovers who made the cut, paranoia filled the air like smoke from a boiling pot. All we could think to ourselves was, damn, maybe we should put our houses in order. Because who knows where that axe is going to drop next? 

But instead of shuffling numbly through life from one day to the next, we got proactive. In our daily downtime, we began dusting off our resumes and updating our portfolios and exploring the job market and making arrangements in the event that we needed to transition on a moment’s notice. 

Call it a contingency plan, call it an insurance policy, call it a personal security system, whatever. We all did what we had to do to purge ourselves of the reek of death. To protect ourselves from a future ambush. 

After all, the only thing worse than thinking you’re being paranoid is knowing that you should be. 

And so, if your career is starting to feel the scaly hand of death beckoning you home, remember this. You’re not dead yet, which means it’s time for you to star pivoting into what you need to evolve to next. 

It’s not about what’s right or wrong, or what’s fair or unfair. It’s about your goals and what you need to do to achieve them. 

Go figure out what you need to do to take care of yourself. Do whatever it takes to be nimble, lean, liquid and able to pivot on a dime. And prepare yourself to hit the ground running, right away. 

Because as the other scripture says, if you don’t change direction, you’ll end up where you’re headed. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...

Do you accept your need to take special measures to protect your livelihood? 

* * * *
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, June 23, 2019

All we can do is laugh at the insanity that is to come

Camus famously wrote that accepting the absurdity of everything around us is one step, a necessary experience, but it should not become a dead end. Rather, it should arouse a revolt that can become fruitful. One that can help us restore a relative meaning to existence. 

It’s a deeply comforting thought. 

Especially when it comes to our jobs. Because the modern world of work has a tendency fill the deep wells of the absurd to the very brim. Between angry customers, annoying coworkers, corporate layoffs and company rules, absurdity has a thousand gradations. 

And when life sends us to that place of insanity where nothing makes sense, sometimes all we can do is laugh out loud and shake our hands and heavens and say, what the fuck? 

There is nothing wrong with that. There is no need to feel like a bad sport for pointing a finger at the ridiculousness that is around us. In fact, more of us, offices especially, should make time in the day to sit in a circle and take turns being ridiculous about what work is like. 

It would be cathartic, funny and make us feel less alone in our confusion. Besides, seeing the world as absurd is a healthy existential position. The suffocating yet reassuringly familiar flesh of that existential ghost is worth pursuing. 

The only agreement, of course, is that it doesn’t end there. That we use our moment as a catapult for a rebound. Camus calls this our lucid invitation to live and to create, in the very midst of the desert. He urges us to use the energy of our infuriation to build momentum and plunge to the heart of future. 

Certainly sounds wiser than closing our eyes before the facts of life. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...

Can anyone hinder you from going into exile with a smile?

* * * *
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, June 22, 2019

We’re capable of changing everything if we choose

To say that people don’t change is to be naïve, cynical and foolish about the human condition. 

People only change. That’s all people do. 

Each one of us is approaching some invisible frontier on the way to maturity. Each one of us is a continually changing constellation of potentialities. Each one of us is caught in this world that we never made, and to which we must constantly readjust in order to survive. 

It doesn’t serve us to throw our hands up in the air, believe that everybody stays the same forever and just get on with our lives. 

The real question is, can we be flexible enough to alter our plans in the face of the winds of change? Can we learn to understand ours and each other’s evolving needs as the years go by? 

It reminds me of something our marriage counselor once said: 

Don’t expect to stay married to the same person. 

Meaning, love me, love my changes. Meaning, treat your relationship as an opportunity to practice changing. 

Yes, allow yourself to mourn the losses of yours and other people’s identities as time marches on. But as you and others move toward your ideal self, also allow the anticipation of those changes ideas to excite you. Tell yourself that you can’t wait to see what’s around the next corner, and what a thrill it is to be with a person who’s up for it. 

You know, it’s funny, we read books, take courses, go to therapy and attend support groups trying to figure out how to change people. When in reality, the only thing we really have to do is wait. 

Because change happens eventually. 

The real work is growing in our ability to cope with the new version of ourselves and others. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
Do you believe that people, yourself included, are capable of changing everything if they choose? 
* * * *
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, June 21, 2019

Musts and lusts outside your sphere of enoughness

My favorite definition of joy is, not wanting to do something else. 

It’s that sublime sense that your path is enough for you. It’s when a glorious current of gratitude amplifies within your bones and the muscles behind your eyes melt into radiant crystals of contentment. 

Because there is nothing else just out of your grasp that will save and complete your soul. 

Insert sitar music here. 

The rub about this experience of joy is, there is also a commensurate avalanche of horseshit that, at any given moment, can creep up and completely compromise your ability to be present in that moment. 

Like when you get sucked into the ego vortex of social comparison, spending your precious energy speculating about other people’s lives. 

Like when you start clamoring for the next big business opportunity that’s finally going to set you free, using external objects to override your inner sense of unworthiness. 

Like when you start coveting the better life you may be missing out on, provoking anxiety by undermining confidence in your own decisions. 

Wait a sec. What happened? Joy was just here a minute ago. 

My therapist once asked me a great question during the height of my workaholic years:

What will happen if you stop paying attention to everything you think should be done? 

At the time, my gut said that my business would decline, my relevance would plummet and my career would be over. But keep in mind, my gut had shit for brains. 

It dawned on me several years later. Once you learn to let go of all the shoulds and musts and lusts that are outside your sphere of enoughness, joy follows like a shadow. Once you cut to the core and strip the fat off the moment, life begins to take on a lighter quality. Once you start shrinking projects to fit reality by keeping only the parts you love the most, the vastness of your vision expands. 

That’s joy. Not wanting to do something else. 

Only wanting to be right here. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
What if you dissolved your fascination and need to do all of the things?

* * * *
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, June 19, 2019

Our faith wanders and shakes hands with the craziness

It’s easy to accept the will of the universe when we can see where it’s heading. 

But when our future is shrouded in a cloud of mystery, that’s a different story. 

Emerson’s legendary university lecture on trusting the process come to mind. 

As the traveler who has lost his way throws his reins on his horse’s neck and trusts to the instinct of the animal to find his road, so must we do with the divine animal who carries us through this world. 

Talk to anyone with equestrian experience. When you build trust with a horse, he becomes a willing partner that gives a hundred percent. And the trust that flows between animal and owner becomes an endless circle that builds on itself and becomes stronger over time. 

And so, like most meaningful things in the world, trust is best when approached as a practice. This active engagement with the unknown, it’s something we return to day after day. Bowing ourselves out of the driver’s seat just a little bit more each time. 

Not obsessing over some static final understanding of our changes, but rather, participating in an ongoing transformative dialogue about them. Even if that means just sitting there doing nothing. 

Our faith has wandered and shaken hands with the craziness, and that’s okay. 

Because while stepping forward is certainly an act of trusting the process, choosing to wait instead of acting in panic and urgency is an act of trust too. 

It’s far less sexy, this surrendering to allow a new way of living to enter our life and being. 

But sometimes it’s the best we can do with the little information we have. 

Don’t chime the armageddon bell just yet. Give the law a chance to work. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
What will assist you in building trust with your true self?

* * * *
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, June 18, 2019

We are so glad that this is enough for us

Although cakes have been around for thousands of years, the first recipe for confectionery icing was originally published in a cookbook in the late seventeen hundreds. 

It was from that point on that cakes became a much more enjoyable food, thanks to the addition of this new fancy, sugary topping. 

Hence the phrase, icing on the cake. An attractive but inessential enhancement. The unexpected and additional benefit to something already good. 

What’s interesting is, those four words actually have a profound implication on the level of fulfillment in our lives, not just in our belly. 

It’s simply a matter of expectation. People who have reached a place of enduring contentment with themselves, those who have given up a perfectionist standard of what life should be, those who have deleted the word should from their internal narratives, they view the majority of life’s experiences as icing. Attractive enhancements. Additional benefits to something already good. 

Nice work if you can get it, but it’s not a must. Or a demand. There’s no pouting or disappointment if it doesn’t happen. The cake is what matters. The cake is what we can control. 

On the other hand, the people who tyrannize themselves through the anxiety of comparison, those who are trapped in the battle of enoughness, those who are never quite at peace with the path they take, they live only for the icing. The cake is simply a means to a sugary end. And if they don’t get what they expect, all hell breaks loose. 

Which attitude describes you? Can you achieve genuine satisfaction from the cake alone, or do you always need the icing to be happy? 

If it’s true that there is a direct proportion between our level of expectation and the amount of stress we experience, then perhaps our goal is to shift our mindset so that the cake is enough for us. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
Are you missing out on your life by comparing it to an unrealistic standard?
* * * *
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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