Thursday, May 04, 2006

The World is a Mirror, Part 1

A common question asked by audience members, readers and strangers alike is, "Scott, in all these years of wearing a nametag 24-7, how have YOU changed?"

This brings up one of my favorite quotations by Ben Sweetland, "You cannot hold a torch to light another's path without brightening your own."

In other words: the world is a mirror.

You see, when I started this crazy journey on November 2nd, 2000, my intention was to wear a nametag to make other people friendlier. I guess I never considered the profound effect it would also have on my own life.

Therefore, today I'm starting a series of posts called "The World Is A Mirror." Each week I will explore one area of my own life that has improved or changed because of wearing a nametag. These posts will continue for approximately the next 26 weeks, one for each letter of the alphabet.

Let's get started...

A is for ATTITUDE
Most self-help books, articles, seminars and tapes dance around the same idea: attitude is everything.

At the risk of sounding cliche, I completely agree. If there's been one obvious change in my personality in the past 6 years, it's my attitude. Ask anyone who's known me since college. Sure, I've always been an upbeat, positive guy. But when I started wearing a nametag 24-7, it was almost as if I couldn't have a bad attitude. Ever. After all, how could a man spread the message about friendliness if he was in a rotten mood?

And in the beginning, that scared me. This sucks! I thought. For the rest of my life, I'm going to have to be friendly to everyone!

But after about 2 years, it dawned on me: wait a minute...that's a good thing!

Look. I've had bad days, been sick, annoyed, frustrated, even angry at people. (I am human, after all.) But in the midst of such negativity, I've also made the choice to maintain a positive, patient and friendly attitude to each person that came up to me and said, "Dude, you can take your nametag off now."

It's almost the opposite of the old saying, paint yourself into a corner. Because in my case, instead of doing something which puts me in a very difficult situation and limits the way that I can act; I'm doing something which puts me in a very good situation that limits the way I can act.

You see, my nametag keeps me visually accountable. It's like wearing a little sign on my shirt that reminds me every day: "Stay up, Scott."

Unless I'm having a really crappy day. Then I just don't leave the house.

LET ME ASK YA THIS...

How has your attitude changed in the past few years?

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
Author/Speaker/That guy with the nametag
www.hellomynameisscott.com