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Friday, January 19, 2018

Accepting the reality of other people’s judgment

Every standup is asked the same question. 

Do people expect you to be funny all the time? 

Which is probably infuriating for them, but it comes with the territory of being a comedian. If making people laugh is your profession, you’ve signed up for a series of choices and challenges, one of which is dealing with audience expectations. 

Veteran performers actually have a name for it. It’s called the curse of the clown. 

Seinfeld, though, in his infinite stoicism, enoughness and okayness, was asked this very question during a radio interview. But his response surprised me. Jerry said:

What do I know about what people expect? And what do I care what people expect? Their expectations are their problem. 

We should all strive to reach that level of security in self. We should all be sensible enough not to take responsibly for other people’s feelings. Because regardless of our profession, it’s not our job to make the people around us happy, nor is it our fault if people around us are unhappy. That’s their business. 

If you want practice accepting the reality of other people's judgment, consider these exercises. 

If people think you’re lying, try to live with their suspicion. 

If people criticize something you’ve done, see if you can respect their opinion of your work. 

If people are disappointed in you, allow them to experience that feeling without taking responsibility for it. 

If people are triggered by something you said, trust that they have the emotional wherewithal to cope with those feelings. 

Each of these moments is an exercise in sitting with other people’s discomfort. Trusting that you’re not a horrible person just because you’ve failed to meet their expectations. 

And once you get the hang of it, you’ll experience a sense of a liberation you never thought possible. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...   
If you’re not funny all the time, is the world really going to fall apart?

* * * *

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

Buy my latest devotional! 

A Year in Hot Yoga: 365 Daily Meditations for On and Off the Mat


Now available wherever books are sold.


Namaste.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Assigning the proper relevance to your inner voice

Every inner voice always starts as an outer voice. 

It’s just that somewhere down the line, you started to internalize the message of devaluation. And after enough repetitions, you eventually accepted it as gospel. 

Convincing yourself that, well, if this is the story everybody tells about me, then it must be the truth. Better not question it. 

My therapist once said that the most telling question he asked each of his clients was:

Who was the first person in your life to tell you that you weren’t enough? 

Those moments never leave us. Whether they come from parents, siblings, coaches, friends or that punk ass kid from gym class who didn’t want you on his kickball team because you couldn’t execute a simple double play at the seasoned age of eight, the trance of unworthiness doesn’t play favorites. 

Everyone is fair game. Notenoughness is like chicken pox. We all get it. 

The challenge, then, is to uncover the pivotal transition from outer voice to inner voice. To trace back to when we began internalizing a false story. 

One way is to observe the next time we adopt a critical voice towards ourselves. For example, let’s say that every time we eat ice cream, there’s a grating undercurrent of shame that keeps spoiling the joy of that experience. 

Instead of judging ourselves, we consider whose external voice we might be channeling. We think about whose identity narrative we might be falsely adopting. We picture the broken record inside our head that has been skipping and jumping on the same goddamn song of unworthiness since childhood, and wonder which family member might have been the disc jockey. 

After all, our emotional reactions are based more on what happened to us than what’s happening to us. And in the process, we might discover that our negative emotional response to eating ice cream is actually quite reasonable and logical based on our personal history. 

And in fact, there’s no need to shame ourselves every time we eat a chocolate covered waffle cone with two scoops of peanut butter cookie dough and an avalanche of multicolored sprinkles. 

If we’re willing to plumb the depths of the self and uncover the origin of our most insidious voices, we’re likely to discover that they’re not even ours in the first place. 

In which case, we can accept those voices as a part of us, know that they’re not something we need to kill, and try to find a way to put our arm around them and say, thanks for sharing, but I got this. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...   
Are you assigning the proper relevance to your inner voices? 

* * * *


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

Buy my latest devotional! 

A Year in Hot Yoga: 365 Daily Meditations for On and Off the Mat


Now available wherever books are sold.


Namaste.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Addicted to the image of ourselves as being fine

If we’re both trying to look good in front of each other, this won’t work. 

If we’re both denying our vulnerability to maintain face, this won’t work. 

If we’re both hiding behind the convincing facade of effectiveness, this won’t work. 

If we’re both addicted to the image of ourselves as being fine, this won’t work. 

Only when we finally break free of the constant pressure to perform can we build deep connection and true intimacy. Only when we accept that it’s okay not to be okay can we grow together. 

Those are the words I wish I would have said hundreds of times. 

But I never had the courage. I was too busy putting on a show for people. Angels on the rise, wearing human guise, playing dress up as they walk out unrecognized. 

Which reminds me of a provocative but practical book about how couples can create lasting intimacy and passion. The sex therapists who created the program wrote about the honeymoon period, in which you and your partner are generally on your best behavior, marketing yourselves with everything you’ve got, downplaying your challenges and basking in the delight of someone seeing you as amazing and perfect. 

The funny thing is, that not only happens romantically, but also professionally. 

Colleagues and coworkers fight this battle every single day. Never making room for each other’s flaws. Refusing to accept and reveal their own flaws. And feeling like a failure anytime they fall short of the fantasy. 

Just ask any comedian who’s ever done a corporate gig. Their normally hilarious routines about how naïve and incompetent and awkward they are as human beings, won’t get laughs at the company sales conference. 

Because no employee wants to admit in front of their colleagues that they can relate to that. After all, they’re professionals. addicted to their outer shell, and without that costume, they feel vulnerable. 

And understandably, nobody wants to lose their job. But what if we offered a gift to others by being courageously vulnerable and showing the more tender aspects of who we are? 

The joy of being seen and felt and heard in that moment is deeply liberating. 

Enough with the performances. Drop the façade and try being real for once. Tell the truth when most people would say nothing and watch what happens. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...   
Once you liberate yourself from keeping up with the reputation that you’re a good person who makes smart choices and knows what they’re doing, what might be possible for you?

* * * *


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

Buy my latest devotional! 

A Year in Hot Yoga: 365 Daily Meditations for On and Off the Mat


Now available wherever books are sold.


Namaste.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

We must do justice to our own complexity

Taleb’s research on randomness explores the concept of narrative fallacy, which is the tendency to turn complex realities into easily understandable narratives. 

To weave explanations into our behaviors, create stories that help explain our personalities and superimpose patterns over our lives to reduce the dimensions of matters. 

No wonder it’s called a fallacy. 

Because our lives are rarely that simple and clean. They’re messy, complicated, multifaceted and lack the cinematic satisfaction of closure. 

That’s why I write songs using suspended chords. Because their sound is open and unresolved. There’s a musical dissonance that creates tension in the emotional identity of the song. 

Joni taught me this many years ago. She used to say that her taste for suspended chords came from the fact that they depicted doubt. They were chords of inquiry, as she liked to call them. Not major or minor, but they had a streak of dissonance running through them. And that allowed the songwriter to chill the listener’s heart by leaving a tune hanging with suspension at the end. 

It’s a beautiful metaphor for life. An invitation for each of us to become more comfortable with our own complexity. 

Even if that means changing our minds and outgrowing our beliefs and evolving our value systems. 

Moore was correct when he said that simplicity was merely a defensive edifice against the cleansing power of mystery. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...   

Are you doing justice to your own complexity?

* * * *


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

Buy my latest devotional! 

A Year in Hot Yoga: 365 Daily Meditations for On and Off the Mat


Now available wherever books are sold.


Namaste.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Finding the love you can never lose

Obama’s legendary speech from his first campaign popularized the phrase, we are the ones we’ve been waiting for

Which wasn’t a new idea, per se. Those words had already been used in various poems, songs and books over the years. 

But it was the context in which the president used that language which gave it so much gravity. 

Years later, thinking back on that moment in history, that phrase still inspires me to double down on my sense of personal responsibility. To take extreme ownership over my life.

Never waiting for some process to start working its magic, never waiting for anyone but me to give me what I want, never shutting down the awareness of what I already have in reality, never seeking approval from an invisible body that could never grant me what only I can grant myself. 

It’s not a control thing. It’s not me trying to white knuckle reality. And it’s not a naive attempt to wrestle magical control over my fate.

But why layer another level of suffering on top of my pain? Why allow my entire happiness to be dependent on the decisions of one person? 

Byron’s eloquent book on joy reminds us that it’s painful to seek what we can never have outside ourselves. And she’s right. If we don’t decide that we are the ones we’ve been waiting for, we surrender our power to others. We allow our experience of joy to rely on one magic moment that has the power to make or break our life. 

Find the love you can never lose. 

Experience the sheer satisfaction, peace and joy that comes from the things that nobody can take away from you.

LET ME ASK YA THIS...   

Are you ready to stop looking for happiness in impermanent things and start finding an internal source of happiness that is not dependent on or addicted to circumstances?

* * * *


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

Buy my latest devotional! 

A Year in Hot Yoga: 365 Daily Meditations for On and Off the Mat


Now available wherever books are sold.


Namaste.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Seeing more lions in the path than are really there

Yoruba tribesmen have a saying that as one approaches an elder’s status, once ceases to indulge in battles. 

And not just because of their physical incapacity to run and hunt and fight and kill, but also because of their spiritual understanding that most battles are just a poison cocktail of ego, vanity and needless suffering. 

That’s the fallacy of the human mind. Deliberately cling to our own suffering, we try to make ourselves see more lions in the path than are really there. 

A friend of mine recently asked me what battles I was currently fighting in my life, and there was anything he could do to help. 

But the more I thought about his question, the harder it was to find an answer. To which he replied, well, maybe the battle you’re fighting right now is, there is no battle. Maybe there never was one. 

Talk about a royal mindfuck. 

Jizo’s story about the bodhisattva comes to mind. 

Turn and face the demons. That is all that is needed, to stand still and not run. There is no battle. The demons just melt away. It is a great triumph to be able to hear the internal voices and not believe them or identify with them. 

And so, even if we do crave the sense of drama that allows us to define ourselves in terms of our reactions to the battles we fight, eventually, there comes a time to cease our indulgence. 

To more maturely navigate the myths that block our way to freedom. And to finally accept that there is no battle, imaginative or otherwise, only total playful abandonment. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...   
How would your stress level change if the thing you once fought against was no longer deemed worthy of battle?

* * * *


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

Buy my latest devotional! 

A Year in Hot Yoga: 365 Daily Meditations for On and Off the Mat


Now available wherever books are sold.


Namaste.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Everything you want to create is already inside of you

When confronted with a new task or project or challenge, our default response to find a way to make it a story about how we’ve never done this before. 

How we’re not qualified or experienced or smart enough to execute. 

But that’s a copout. An excuse not to face something big and scary and different. 

The reality is, we’re always more prepared than we think we are. Everything we want to create is already inside of us. It’s simply a matter of permission and trust. Using our history to find something that can support us in the present. 

Here are three questions that I find helpful to ask. 

What do I already know that will help me solve this problem? 
When have I experienced a similar issue in another area of my life? 
What is it that I know how to do that needs doing here

These tools allow us to step back from the task at hand, assess our inner resources and consider how they might be deployed. And every time we ask them, trust in ourselves grows a little bit more, and aversion to risk grows a little bit less. 

A few years ago, I built a software program to help people facilitate this very process. Leverage Junkie is a strategic framework for increasing the rate of return on your assets. 

Next time you’re faced with a problem that appears to be on the bleeding edge of your competence, ask yourself a few of these questions. Give yourself a pep talk down off this ledge of insanity. And discover that the story you’re telling yourself about your competence is completely invented. 

Remember, everything we’ve been through is more grist for the mill, more input to scan and more data to bounce of a richer matrix. 

It’s not about getting better, it’s about growing less afraid. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...   
Which challenges would feel less threatening if you trusted that everything you wanted to create was already inside of you? 
* * * *


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

Buy my latest devotional! 

A Year in Hot Yoga: 365 Daily Meditations for On and Off the Mat


Now available wherever books are sold.


Namaste.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Flooded by a joy that refuses time or terror

Rumi said that is not our task to seek love, but to seek and find all the barriers within ourselves that we have built against it. 

The path is reverse engineered. That which we seek is discovered, rather than created, through a process of elimination. 

For example, if we take all of the shameful and noxious parts of ourselves and stuff them in a bag and decide that they’re not lovable, then we’re absolutely right. We’re not. 

But if we believe that we’re blessed by the ability to receive love through many channels, despite our liabilities, then the barriers within ourselves will begin to melt away. Because we’re practicing receptivity to multiple loving sources. 

Similarly, if we want to ratchet up the level of joy in our lives, the first step is subtracting useless unproductive misery. 

Menlo’s inspiring founder comes to mind. Sheridan’s approach to creating a culture of joy is highly environmental. His team works in one big open room with no walls or offices or cubicles. Even the president sits out in the general population with everyone else. And if an employee needs to have a company wide meeting, they simply call out. 

Then, the entire teams calls back in unison, and the whole office falls dead silent. At that moment, they’re in an all company meeting. Nobody moves. The person makes whatever announcement or asks whatever question they want, thanks the team, and everyone gets back to work. 

Sheridan reports that these meetings can occur in sixty seconds or less, even if there are fifty people in the room. After all, his employees hate the traditional kind of meetings that require email chains, calendar invites, room booking and ambiguous agendas. 

And so, they eliminated them. The found the barriers within the organization that were built against joy, and melted them away. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...   

How could your team discover joy by subtracting useless unproductive misery?
* * * *

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

Buy my latest devotional! 

A Year in Hot Yoga: 365 Daily Meditations for On and Off the Mat


Now available wherever books are sold.


Namaste.