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Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Suffer hard enough and come out good on the other side

We all seem to be kicking around the same question in many different ways. 

How do we stay grounded? How do we restore our spirits when they sag? How do we maintain our center in this ocean of chaos? How do we keep our senses alive in a desensitizing and dispiriting environment? 

It really sucks. The exhaustion and overwhelm in is palpable in our words. 

And yet, maybe the answer to the noise isn’t more noise. Maybe instead of scratching ourselves bloody, we surrender to the itch and just let life tickle us for a while.

Perry’s book on addiction recovery has a brilliant meditation on this: 

Instead of trying to beat our sadness into submission, we simply accept our adverse condition and let go of all resistance to it. 

Now, this philosophy is counterintuitive to our typical western mentality, which is:

Put on your marketplace face take no prisoners never give up ain’t nobody gonna hold me down oh no we got to keep on moving. 

That’s very noble, but maybe this is not the time for fighting back. What if the most healing thing we could do right now is notice, name and tolerate our difficult feelings, and ride them through to the other side? 

Then once we get there, anticipate the return of our own spirits and faiths. 

It’s certainly not as spiritual satisfying as doubling down against the resistance and putting the axe at the root of the thing which is preventing us from getting through. 

But as my mentor used to say about writing books, sometimes staring harder doesn’t help. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...

What will be your response when you are not able to easily sort out your low spirits? 

* * * *

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 15, 2019

Make your decisions in the light of the high hour

Can you tell the difference between patience and procrastination? 

It’s harder than you think. 

Because it’s one thing to take your time and avoid rushing and ship quality work out the door; but it’s another thing to delude yourself with a brilliantly executed stalling maneuver. 

It reminds me of my lawyer friend. God bless his extreme detail orientation, which is essential in the legal professional where there is zero margin for error. But when it comes to picking a restaurant for dinner, he couldn’t make a decision if his life depended on it. 

Marty would rather ask a thousand questions and vet multiple online reviews and send out a survey to everyone in the group to see if the data has statistical significance. 

Sweet merciful lord, can we just eat tacos and move on with our lives? Does it really matter where we eat if we’re are all together?

Besides, life is not about the food on the table, it’s about the people sitting around it. 

In fact, it’s not even about dinner. It’s about decisions. Knowing that our whole life doesn’t depend on every choice we make, and so, we as well just get on it with.

Because eventually, each of us is going to have to plant a flag on a mountain of uncertainty and make some decisions based on less than complete information. It will be scary and threaten our sense of control. And it will make us want to barge off into the land of procrastination where we can continue to stall the process. 

But if we can resist that, we might have a real chance at moving our story forward. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
How impatient can you afford to be? 

* * * *
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 14, 2019

The stronger we get; the sooner the gods will find us

The winds of work are variable in the extreme. 

One day we’re operating at our highest point of contribution, creating significant value at within the organization, the next day we’re sneaking off during lunch to do job interviews with potential employers.

It’s confusing and stressful and frustrating. 

But the good news is, when we view our career as a long arc game, treating each of our jobs as stopovers on our lifelong journey of personal growth, we are less likely to panic at the day to day fluctuations. 

Even if a particular gig or project does go south, we trust that our wealth of unique experiences, instincts and skills that combine to form our talents, goes north. 

Because each time we move from one organization to another, we bring more value with us. We are that much more evolved and sophisticated than when we started. And even if our previous employer does have amnesia about our contribution to its body of work, we don’t forget. 

To paraphrase the bravest warrior in history:

They can take our job, but they can’t take our experience. 

And so, shitty days notwithstanding, let us remember that it is always within our power to make our skill indispensable. 

We take ourselves with us everywhere we go. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...

Is there anything on the native ground of your own experience that can serve you in the future?

* * * *
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 13, 2019

Tape my mouth shut and stuff me in a trunk

It’s true that language is a powerful lever for changing the world around us. 

But it’s also true that words can be twisted to match any desire we have, and interpreted to justify any action we take. 

In fact, many of our greatest revelations occur in speechless moments when we perceive things greater and beyond the sum total of all words. 

That’s one of the great joys of songwriting. People feel our music before they listen to it. 

Unlike prose or poetry or other types of one dimensional compositions, our medium of song isn’t under as much pressure to make sense or prove anything or even mean anything. 

Because it has layers. It relies on the rhythm and melody to do most of the heavy emotional lifting. That’s where the real magic comes from. The words are almost pedestrian at that point. 

Hell, the best songwriter in rock history famously used the word scrambled eggs as his working title to hold the music and phrasing in place until he found a suitable replacement. And once he substituted it with the word yesterday, it became the most covered song of all time. 

Think of it this way. Ever realized that you have been singing the wrong words to a popular song your whole life? 

Once you learned the correct lyric, did you change the way you sang it? 

Of course not. Because all that mattered was how the song made you feel while you sang it. 

Remember, words are chewed gum. Don’t allow yourself to get trapped in a language with too little imagination. 

Release the grip of neurons on all your small thoughts. And excuse me while I kiss this guy. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
Do you have the strength and the love to sit in the silence that goes beyond words?

* * * *
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, August 12, 2019

An inert zombie waiting for time to pass

Emerson wrote that good thoughts are no better than good dreams, unless they be executed. 

It’s a loving invitation for us, in whatever endeavor we’re chasing after, to push towards that precious point of no return. Where we stop longing and start making it a matter of transaction. 

Sadly, some people never make it to that point. They remain trapped in their dream world, gradually grinding down their grand hopes for genuine fulfillment. They never make it to the world of transaction. They drag their sadness behind them like a turd on a stick. 

One question that has always helped me catapult out of my own inertia is:

Okay, who is the one person that would be most powerful in moving this dream forward? 

Because in most cases, it only takes one person to make the difference between isolation and connection; between idea and execution; between dream and reality. 

That real life transaction, that human exchange, strengthens our capacity for future action. 

Of course, there is no guarantee that each person we reach out to will change our lives or even help us or even respond to us. But dreaming, like so many things in life, is a numbers game. It’s ours for the asking. If we want to transform visions into actions and actually execute on our insides, we can’t do it alone. 

We need to keep reaching out to the people who can help us become who we need to be until something clicks.

LET ME ASK YA THIS...

If your immediate and natural impulse is not to force yourself into action, whom might you call upon to help move your story forward? 

* * * *
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, August 10, 2019

Shrinking the size of our ambition to fit our personal reality

Everything in this country is extra, extra large. 

We love our big cars, big houses, big food, big guns, big corporations, big brands and big personalities. 

In fact, according to a recent study from the journal of female health sciences, even our women have a significantly larger mean breast volume than women born in other countries. 

America is always trying to stay ahead of the curve, aren’t we? 

But let’s stay abreast of the larger issue.

Our nation’s history and obsession with the goal of big has officially seeped its way into our cultural filament. It’s created a collective trance that keeps us distracted from our own truth, which might even include the desire to grow big. 

When the reality is, it’s not weak to be oriented towards small. It’s actually quite liberating and surprisingly satisfying. 

Just imagine. 

Instead of being dependent on nationwide appreciation, we can fan ourselves out into our local community. 

Instead of becoming superficially noticeable to a mass audience, we can focus on simply becoming more deeply useful the people closest to us. 

Instead of spreading ourselves too thin in the name of growth, we can shrink the size of our ambition to fit our personal reality and keeping only the parts we love the most. 

My favorite songwriter of all time, reflecting on the changing size of his concert audiences over the years, said it best:

It’s not necessarily about how many people are in the room, but how intently they are experiencing your stories and songs. 

And so, it’s not that size doesn’t matter, it’s that size might be what keeps you from mattering. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...

How will you avoid being carried along on a wave of cultural unconsciousness?

* * * *
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 09, 2019

That moment that change is no longer terrifying

We have a genetic reflex to avoid change. 

And we are geniuses at inventing reasons to avoid change. 

But what we don’t realize until we come out grizzled on the other side is, change isn’t actually what hurts. It’s our resistance to it that creates the suffering. 

Bonnie sings one of my favorite songs about it. It’s obviously a breakup song, but what’s fascinating is, if you switch the pronouns from singular to third person, the meaning of the tune expands to include the larger changes of life:

We can feel you fading, but until you’re gone, we’re taking all the time we can borrow, the getting over is waiting, but we won't move on, and we’re gonna wanna feel the same tomorrow, we know the truth is right outside, but for the moment it’s best denied. 

What are you pretending not to know? 

Look, changing sucks and it’s hard and it hurts like hell. But once we conquer our initial resistance to it, once we recalibrate our posture regarding the process of change itself, the nuts and bolts of change aren’t all that bad. 

Intention counts for more than we realize. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...

Are you learning to adapt to that which you can’t prevent? 
* * * *
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 08, 2019

These wonders are brought to our own door

Emerson was said to have lived his life as a series of experiments upon the external world, and by every one of which a new power was awakened in his mind. 

The words from his celebrated book come to mind:

Leave me in the splendid labyrinth of my perceptions to wander without end. 

It’s a standing invitation for the collective sanity of humanity. The philosopher’s forewarning is not to close the laboratory doors too soon, but to keep the spirit of experimentation alive in everything we do. Especially in those moments when overwhelming feelings disgust course through our veins and we want nothing more than to throw up our hands in disgust and say, oh fuck everything, just fuck it all to hell. 

That’s when we need the gift of wonderment the most. Because inside of it lay the seed of joy. Real joy. Not candy bar joy, but that sustaining source of power whose blazing spotlight of love pierces our inner gloom and reminds us that life has a brighter side. 

Emerson, strangely enough, had an unknown pupil who reflected on the same topic nearly a hundred years later. Camus took up the transcendentalist mantle when he wrote:

One must keep a freshness and a source of joy intact within, loving the daylight that injustice leaves unscathed, and returning to the fray with this light as a trophy. 

If we can remember that, these wonders will be brought to our own door. 

And we will return to the place within where we are eternally whole. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
How do you orient yourself to a sustaining source of power?
* * * *
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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