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Sunday, November 30, 2014

I look forward to looking back on this

I’ve had periods in my life where my heart was a stranger to me. Where my work wasn’t something I could put my best self into. 

But no matter how bad it got, I always believed that the skills I was building there contributed to my story as an individual. That the person I was becoming from that experience was more valuable than the experience itself. And that the work I did may not have become part of the organization’s legacy, but it certainly became part of mind. 

I was recently mentoring a young entrepreneur on career transition and reinvention. One of the mantras I encouraged her to recite was, I look forward to looking back on this. It’s especially useful when working a job that’s wrong for you. Because nobody wants to feel like they’re wasting their life on bullshit, so it’s up to them to create meaning where none exists. 

The good news about bad jobs is, once you finally feel complete about that part of your journey, once you believe that you’ve done everything you were meant to do there, something inside of you shifts. A graduation is had. A milestone is passed. You feel like you have permission to land elsewhere. 

And so, with one eye on the receding horizon of your past, the future invites you to cross a new frontier, and you start making deep changes in your life. It’s both terrifying and exhilarating. 

But you trust the process. You trust the soul to know its own shape. And you look forward to looking back. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
Is this a hopeless endeavor, or the moment right before success?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS...
For a copy of the list called, "10 Reasons Your Business Doesn't Really Exist," send an email to me, and you win the list for free!

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

Never the same speech twice. Customized for your audience. Impossible to walk away uninspired.

Now booking for 2015-2016.


Email to inquire about fees and availability. Watch clips of The Nametag Guy in action here!


Monday, November 24, 2014

Tunnel of Love -- Chapter 9: Love is the Only (2014) -- Scott Ginsberg Concert Documentary

Tunnel of Love is a feature length concert documentary written, produced, directed and scored by Scott Ginsberg. The film explores the intersection of identity, belonging and creativity. Through live performances, playful and romantic exchanges, unexpected creative moments of conception and behind the scenes storytelling, Ginsberg’s film takes you on a heartfelt journey about what it means to be an artist, a romantic and an opportunist.

Watch the trailer. Meet the creators. Go behind the scenes. See the episode schedule. Download the discussion guide.

Tunnel of Love will be presented as a serialized, episodic documentary. The movie’s centerpiece is a live concert, so I’m premiering each song as a stand alone chapter. There are 14 songs in the concert, so the distribution timeline will occur over a period of 14 weeks, from September to December 2014.

Here's chapter nine:

 

LOVE IS THE ONLY
Blurring lines between your theology and this theater
Take a marvelous flight and furrow our skies and slay the maker
Every little fragment of hope puts me back together

Love is the only song she will outlive us
There is no right or wrong nobody can give us

Turn a seed into a forest before you even notice that is raining
This sword of obligation a dangling iteration forever reigning
Every little fragment of hope keeps me from complaining.

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

Never the same speech twice. Customized for your audience. Impossible to walk away uninspired.

Now booking for 2014-2015.


Email to inquire about fees and availability. Watch clips of The Nametag Guy in action here!




Sunday, November 23, 2014

Moments of Conception 137 -- The Recruiting Scene from Armageddon

All creativity begins with the moment of conception.

That little piece of kindling that gets the fire going. That initial source of inspiration that takes on a life of its own. That single note from which the entire symphony grows. That single spark of life that signals an idea’s movement value, almost screaming to us, something wants to be built here.


And so, in this blog series, I’m going to be deconstructing my favorite moments of conception from popular movies. Each post will contain a video clip from a different film, along with a series of lessons we can learn from the characters.


Today's clip comes from the recruiting scene from Armageddon:




What can we learn?


Hire people to amplify what you do. When it comes to creative work, there’s nothing wrong with being a control freak. The fiercely independent artist deserves sovereignty over their work. But you can’t do everything yourself forever. There comes a point in every creator’s life when you have to defer. You have to hire people to amplify what you do. Otherwise you impose a ceiling on the level of impact you can have. Over the years, I’ve contracted dozens of designers, illustrators, developers, coders, editors, researchers, programmers, virtual assistants, audio engineers and public relations specialists. Each one of these people filled in the skills gap when I surpassed the perimeter of my competence. And with their support, all of my projects grew light years beyond what could have been possible on my own. That’s a form of creativity too. The resourcefulness to find the people who can help you become what you need to be. Because if you pick the right people, all you have to do as the artist is cast a vision, sit back and watch them do their magic. It’s actually quite liberating. Once you let go of trying do everything, it feels like you can do anything. Who was the last person you paid real money to amplify what you do?


The direct relationship between passion and ownership. I love a good recruiting montage. Any movie where the main character has to assemble his dream team for the final showdown at the end of the third act is entertaining and interesting to me. Then again, it’s also a warning. Because it’s hard to be passionate about somebody else’s dream. No matter how much you pay, how exciting the project or how inspiring the vision, other people will always have a limited capacity to come aboard your ship. There’s only a finite amount of fire available. And so, when you’re sitting across the table from somebody you’ve enlisted, wondering why they aren’t as excited as you are, try not to get too frustrated. Because it’s not their dream. And nobody will ever care as much as you will. But don’t let that scare you away from breathing in help. Success never comes unassisted. Besides, asking for helping doesn’t make you bad, incompetent or in the debt of the helper. It makes you a leader. It makes you resourceful. So let it be okay that you need other people. Admit that you need their help, ask them to give it to you, accept it, and then appreciate it when they’re done. And don’t be afraid to give them enough rope to find something better than what you came up with. Are you afraid to bring people into your dream?

The wall of how is crumbling. My mentor once told me, do everything yourself until you don’t have to. That’s good advice. But what’s interesting is, that timeline is longer than it used to be. Fifty, twenty, even ten years ago, artists had no choice but to find people to fill in the gaps of their capabilities. Of course, that before the sum of all human knowledge was free and available to all. Now, thanks to the magic of web, the wall of how is crumbling. Now, not knowing how to do something has zero bearing on whether or not your creative dreams become realities. Because nothing is a closed silo anymore. If you need to learn a new skill, and you’re lucky enough to have the access to information about it and the diligence to work at, nothing is off limits. When I launched my own online television network, I didn’t know the first thing about lighting, keying, cutting, editing or any of the other skills required to produce a show. But I did know that there were thousands of online tutorials for each of those individual tasks. And they were available for free. So I started teaching myself. Every single day. Within a few months, I had learned the bare minimum I needed to get by. And within a few years, I had become proficient. Interestingly enough, I never ended up hiring anybody else to help with the show. The workflow was so simple and so doable, it just made more economic sense for me to do it all myself. Proving, that before asking for help, you might ask yourself if it’s worthwhile to learn how to do it yourself. Are you depleting yourself learning how to do all fifty steps right away?

What did you learn?

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

Never the same speech twice. Customized for your audience. Impossible to walk away uninspired.

Now booking for 2015-2016.


Email to inquire about fees and availability. Watch clips of The Nametag Guy in action here!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

With detachment comes the freedom to create

Anytime we create something and release it into the world, we can’t help but get attached to what it means for us. We get stars in our eyes. We see the potential, not the reality. After all, these ideas are our creative brainchildren. Our babies. Naturally, we’re a little attached. 

The disappointing part is, we soon discover that most people aren’t as interested in our work as we want them to be. In fact, most people aren’t even thinking about our work enough to judge it in the first place. And that hurts our feelings. It dampens our enthusiasm. Even our ego crosses its arms like a spoiled child and pouts, hey, why aren’t you more impressed with me? 

But this is the reality of the end of the creative process. Once we ship, once our work is living in the real world, we officially surrender any and all control over how that work is received. And despite our most protective instincts to coddle our creative brainchildren, we learn to practice a healthy sense of detachment. We learn not to over identify with our art. 

Yes, we love our work and take pride in the process, but we don’t get too precious about anything we create. 

Yes, we believe in the value of our product, but we can’t treat each piece of our art as fragile vase that’s going to shatter. 

Otherwise our spirits will shatter right along with them. 

All we can do is give ourselves permission to start on the next one. Immediately. Nothing personal to the project we just finished, but we’re professionals and professionals never stop creating. 

Krishna famously said that we have a right to our labor, but not to the fruits of our labor. His words remind us that what we create isn’t as important as how the experience of creating it changes us for the better. Because it doesn’t matter if we’re doing something right or wrong, good or bad, it only matters if doing it moves in a direction that makes sense. 

How do you inoculate yourself against the devastation of expectation?

*  *  *  *

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

Never the same speech twice. Customized for your audience. Impossible to walk away uninspired.

Now booking for 2015-2016.


Email to inquire about fees and availability. Watch clips of The Nametag Guy in action here!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Moments of Conception 136 -- The Opening Scene from It Might Get Loud

All creativity begins with the moment of conception.

That little piece of kindling that gets the fire going. That initial source of inspiration that takes on a life of its own. That single note from which the entire symphony grows. That single spark of life that signals an idea’s movement value, almost screaming to us, something wants to be built here.


And so, in this blog series, I’m going to be deconstructing my favorite moments of conception from popular movies. Each post will contain a video clip from a different film, along with a series of lessons we can learn from the characters.


Today's clip comes from the opening scene from It Might Get Loud:



What can we learn?


It’s impossible to fail at self expression. I was recently listening to an interview with one of my favorite songwriters. He said he’d rather be on stage in front of thousands of people than in conversation with a few. And his reasoning was, on stage, there is no wrong. Maybe better or worse, but never wrong. Conversation, on the other hand, has rules and standards and boundaries. But in art, you can do whatever you want. It’s not about being right, it’s about being yourself. Jack is an eccentric guy, there’s no doubt. He got his start as a furniture upholster, where he used to submit invoices in crayon and write poetry inside the couches. He convinced the world that his wife was his sister. He frequently color codes his creative endeavors, like his recording studio which is completely outfitted in yellow, black, red, and blue. And in the opening scene of this movie, he makes a crude guitar out of a two pieces of wood, a few nails, an old wire, a soda bottle and a cheap preamp. Is it an act? Is it a persona? Is it just a clever way to sell records? Doesn’t matter. White’s relentless individualism is what matters. He refuses to be anyone other than himself. And it’s enabled him to enjoy both critical and popular success, winning piles of awards and being dubbed as one of the greatest guitarists of all time. And he doesn’t even need a guitar. If you’re just being yourself, how can anybody tell you that you’re doing it wrong?


The freedom to pursue what’s inside. The only artistic goal worth pursuing is freedom. Freedom over what I create, freedom over why and how I create it, freedom over whom I create it with and freedom over what I do with it once it’s created, that’s all I care about. Everything else flows from there. Macleod famously said tat the sovereignty we have over our work will inspire far more people than the actual content ever will. Jack is inspiring to me for that very reason. He’s free. Not just in the way he creates music, but in the way he creates the opportunity to make music. His songs rock, but what I admire most is that he started his own independent record label, even established its first physical location, which is a combination record store, performance venue, and headquarters for the company. That’s freedom. Jack literally and figurative built the house where his freedom resides. He has complete sovereignty over his work, supreme, independent authority over his creativity. And so, watching this documentary as a guitarist inspires me to find new ways to express myself through the instrument. But watching this movie as an artist inspires me to find new ways to be free and to own my world. To own my media, own my platform, own my career and ultimately own my life. Tastes like freedom to me. Are you conquering your work, or is your work conquering you?


Constraints are catapults. White’s musical philosophy is to limit himself in various ways to force creative approaches to recording and playing. Whether he writes only three chords for his song, has only two members in his band, or plays only one string on his guitar, the constraint is what sets him free. I’m reminded of my favorite art book, The Art of Looking Sideways. Famed visual designer Alan Fletcher wrote that the first move in any creative process is to introduce constraints. It’s enormously effective. In fact, it’s one of the reasons I’m jealous of traditional journalists. They have deadlines. They execute against temporal constraints. They don’t have the luxury of even thinking about writer’s block, because if they don’t hit their word count by the end of the week, they’re fired. The same goes for farmers. If don’t tend to their crops and animals and land every day, there is no harvest. That’s a constraint too. The point is, all creators and communicators of ideas need to introduce constraints somewhere in their process. Whether it’s an output quota, daily deadline or accountability email at the end of each week, constraints are catapults. In the production management world, factories and organizations do the same thing. They identify their limitation, decide how to exploit it, and then restructure everything in the system around it. Are you running from your limitations or leveraging them?


What did you learn?


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

Never the same speech twice. Customized for your audience. Impossible to walk away uninspired.

Now booking for 2014-2015.


Email to inquire about fees and availability. Watch clips of The Nametag Guy in action here!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Resistance comes in alluring packaging

I once coached a writer whose biggest challenge was creative procrastination. 

She was a master of artfully creating constant distractions instead of working. 

During our brain rental session, she showed me the list of her peer review team for her upcoming book. It was massive. At least twenty different editors intended to comment on her manuscript. Which seemed a bit excessive, considering for the scope of the book. 

So I probed deeper. And the irony was, she wasn’t even planning to listen to their feedback. She actually completely trusted her own voice as a writer. In fact, without her peer review team, she told me, her readers wouldn’t have noticed the difference anyway. 

However, by sending the manuscript out for three months of editing gave her another reason to procrastinate. 

Isn’t it astonishing the calories we are willing to burn in order to avoid the real work? 

We seem to spend half our time planning for things we could create if we didn’t spend half our time planning. And it’s not just planning, it everything on the day’s long list of distractions. 

It breaks my heart. 

I’m reminded of an interview I read with a startup founder, who said that releasing people from their dependency on email will free up the time and mental space needed to move the species forward. 

Amen to that. 

Every time I hear someone talking about getting their inbox to zero, I just want to scream at them and say, all the time you spent answering email, you could have been doing the one thing people really love about you. 

What excuses do you make to justify your procrastination?


* * * *

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

Never the same speech twice. Customized for your audience. Impossible to walk away uninspired.

Now booking for 2015-201.6


Email to inquire about fees and availability. Watch clips of The Nametag Guy in action here!


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Are you making your mission more than a statement?

What happens when we know who we are? 

Everything

That’s the upside of identity. Knowledge isn’t just power, it’s the engine of profit. 

That’s why I’m so adamant amount branding. Because it’s not about what you sell, it’s about the story you tell. It’s about knowing who you are, who you aren’t, and making sure that you’re giving those values a voice through every touchpoint. 

I recently consulted with a small marketing team at a large consumer products company. They hired me to help their employees become more intentional about their personal brands. And so, I facilitated a strategic planning crusade to help them make their mission more that a statement. Together we created a rubric for operable behaviors at all levels of the organization. A collection of mantras against which they could execute their interactions. 

By the end of the workshop, the team had completely inspired themselves with their own ideas. They used the company culture artifact we developed together as springboard for putting behaviors behind values. What’s more, the rubric became an organizing principle for their recruiting, onboarding and training efforts with new team members. And from that day forward, each employee was able to live the brand called me, while still remaining grounded in the brand called we. 

What makes your mission more than a statement?

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

Never the same speech twice. Customized for your audience. Impossible to walk away uninspired.

Now booking for 2015-201.6


Email to inquire about fees and availability. Watch clips of The Nametag Guy in action here!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Tunnel of Love -- Chapter 8: Stolen Away (2014) -- Scott Ginsberg Concert Documentary

Tunnel of Love is a feature length concert documentary written, produced, directed and scored by Scott Ginsberg. The film explores the intersection of identity, belonging and creativity. Through live performances, playful and romantic exchanges, unexpected creative moments of conception and behind the scenes storytelling, Ginsberg’s film takes you on a heartfelt journey about what it means to be an artist, a romantic and an opportunist.

Watch the trailer. Meet the creators. Go behind the scenes. See the episode schedule. Download the discussion guide.

Tunnel of Love will be presented as a serialized, episodic documentary. The movie’s centerpiece is a live concert, so I’m premiering each song as a stand alone chapter. There are 14 songs in the concert, so the distribution timeline will occur over a period of 14 weeks, from September to December 2014.

Here's chapter eight:


STOLEN AWAY


I don’t trust my legs
To carry me home
But you take yourself with you
Everywhere you go

Never wait in weakness
Never beg in pain
Whatever dreams are sweetest
Stolen away

We prepare to follow
Love wherever it goes
It’s mad enough to be mythic
This fragile bag of bones

Don’t tear the sheets to easily
Where’s my people?
Who hold a pair of eyes to see me

Chest fill with lanterns
What a dumb way to die
Restless right on schedule
A soldier for the lie


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

Never the same speech twice. Customized for your audience. Impossible to walk away uninspired.

Now booking for 2014-2015.


Email to inquire about fees and availability. Watch clips of The Nametag Guy in action here!


Friday, November 14, 2014

Everything you do should lead to something else you do

Entrepreneurs must diversify and expand their offerings to broaden their appeal. After all, the more appealing you are to the more people, the more you will be sought out. 

And so, we’re obliged to constantly reexamine the smallest revenue centers of our enterprise. To make sure everything we do leads to something else we do. And to pose the crucial leverage question, now that I have this, what else does this make possible? 

Years ago when people started requesting to work with me one on one, I created a service called Rent Scott’s Brain. The program was unsystematic and unpolished, but it still created value for people. And it became a solid revenue stream for my company, despite its imperfections. 

Awesome. 

What’s interesting is, after several dozen coaching engagements over the years, I started to experience dimensional shifts as a service provider, as we all do. Since there were personal skills and wisdom I wasn’t tapping into to create value and build my business, I decided to diversify. To expand on my current offering with better and more sophisticated variation of my one on one service. 

Now the program is much more comprehensive. It’s part coaching, part mentoring, part consulting, but all strategizing. That’s what’s possible when we put our diversification caps on. With some reinvention, each of our revenue centers can become a entirely new business unit. Each of our offerings can give our artistic voice another outlet and therefore activate a new market segment. And each of our services can become another option for our clients to become involved with us in an inexpensive and accessible way. 

That’s how businesses evolve. We build organically, but we leverage strategically. 

What could you do today that would be a complete step forward in your brand’s evolution?

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

Never the same speech twice. Customized for your audience. Impossible to walk away uninspired.

Now booking for 2014-2015.


Email to inquire about fees and availability. Watch clips of The Nametag Guy in action here!


Thursday, November 13, 2014

Moments of Conception 135 -- The Voicemail Scene from Swingers

All creativity begins with the moment of conception.

That little piece of kindling that gets the fire going. That initial source of inspiration that takes on a life of its own. That single note from which the entire symphony grows. That single spark of life that signals an idea’s movement value, almost screaming to us, something wants to be built here.


And so, in this blog series, I’m going to be deconstructing my favorite moments of conception from popular movies. Each post will contain a video clip from a different film, along with a series of lessons we can learn from the characters.


Today's clip comes from the voicemail scene in Swingers:



What can we learn?


In that kiss I saw a vision of my future. A prospective client reaches out, shows an interest in your work, asks tons of questions, requests a price quote, emails you back immediately, gets your hopes up about working together, and then, they just magically disappear. No explanation. No apology. No nothing. They just go away. And despite your follow up efforts, courteous and professional and persistent as they may be, still nothing. This phenomenon infuriates me. And each time it happens, I can’t help but think to myself, what the hell? You’re the ones who came to me. But then I remember something I learned in high school. Just because we kissed once doesn’t mean we’re in love forever. That’s the thing about opportunity. It’s a fickle mistress. It comes and goes like the changing weather, swearing allegiance to no one, rarely with explanation or apology. And so, instead of twisting myself into a psychological pretzel trying to figure out what went wrong, maybe it was me, maybe it was them, maybe my email account wasn’t working, I’ve learned to just let it go. I accept the fact that so many things in life just go away. And I try not to take it personally. Then again, I also feel a puff of hope when I remember, the fact that it happened at all means that it’s possible. What can you let go of right now so that you can regain your balance?


I’d rather hear no than nothing. This scene makes my stomach turn. It’s quite possibly the most awkward three minutes in the history of film. Mike reeks of desperation, longing to connect, aching to engage, begging to be heard. But he keeps getting the damn machine. It’s interesting, no matter how many times I watch this scene, I always catch myself silently screaming to the screen, no, please, don’t do it again. But he always does. Every time. Because that’s the natural human response. People would rather hear no than nothing. I’m reminded of the old saying, absence makes the heart grow fonder. Completely bullshit. In my experience, absence makes the mind start to wander. And that’s when the waves of anxiety come crashing in. Because whether it’s a friend or a date or a colleague or a client, when someone leaves you in the dark, you engage in worse case thinking. You assume that no news is bad news. Psychologists call this negative bias, whereby the brain is built with a greater sensitivity to unpleasant news. According to their research, the human capacity to weigh negative input keeps us out of harm’s way. That’s why our brains have evolved to developed systems that make it unavoidable for us not to notice danger and, hopefully, respond to it. The question, though, is how can we accumulate enough positive experiences to override the tilt to negativity? I suggest using a victory log. It’s a small weekly calendar that you populate with any and all victories, large or small, that you achieve each day. Think of it as a visual record of progress that surrounds you with concrete evidence of positive improvement. How will you tip the scales toward happiness?


Go work on something else. Despite your most strategic efforts, you can’t will somebody to call you back. You can’t use the law of attraction to make the phone ring. What you can do, however, is turn waiting into working. You can give yourself permission to work on something else. I prefer the term polyamorous creation, which is the practice of pursuing relationships with multiple creative projects. It’s way to hedge your creative bets. To insure yourself against the daily discouragements, delays, distractions, depressions, derailments and disappointments of the process. Consider these common examples. New project receive an unflattering review? Go work on something else. Editor not calling you back with her notes? Go work on something else. Computer freeze at an inopportune time? Go work on something else. Client go on vacation and forget about your website? Go work on something else. Receive a rejection letter from a publisher? Go work on something else. Spirit won’t move the way you want it to? Go work on something else. Mike blew it. He put all his eggs into one basket. And as a result, he lost the girl. A smarter, healthier approach would be to always have something waiting in the wings, ready to be worked on. To differentiate and diversify between a number of main lines of activity. That way, when one enterprise grinds to a halt, productive work does not cease. How will you build enough momentum to keep the story moving forward?


What did you learn?


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

Never the same speech twice. Customized for your audience. Impossible to walk away uninspired.

Now booking for 2014-2015.


Email to inquire about fees and availability. Watch clips of The Nametag Guy in action here!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Moments of Conception 134 -- The Chess Scene from Searching for Bobby Fischer

All creativity begins with the moment of conception.

That little piece of kindling that gets the fire going. That initial source of inspiration that takes on a life of its own. That single note from which the entire symphony grows. That single spark of life that signals an idea’s movement value, almost screaming to us, something wants to be built here.


And so, in this blog series, I’m going to be deconstructing my favorite moments of conception from popular movies. Each post will contain a video clip from a different film, along with a series of lessons we can learn from the characters.


Today's clip comes from the classroom scene in Searching for Bobby Fisher:



What can we learn?

Generosity is the tax you pay for talent. Happiness comes from freedom, and freedom comes from finding a home for all of your talents. Josh had that kind of freedom. He was better at chess than anyone has ever been at anything in their lives. That’s not a game, that’s a gift. That’s art. And so, imagine a world where you were firing on all cylinders. Keeping all of your passions in play. Drawing out your full ingenuity. Making use of everything you are. Leaving no faculty untapped, and leaving no asset unharvested. That’s happiness. Because with every new talent you give yourself permission to exploit, you open a new vein of freedom that didn’t exist previously. It’s simply a matter of permission. Allowing yourself to give your hidden gifts a more prominent place in your life. I spent twenty years writing and singing music before I had the guts to share my songs with the public. The material was just too personal. Too bloody. To precious to be subjected to the cruel ear of the world. But then I had an epiphany. Generosity is the tax you pay for talent. If you’ve been given a gift, something special that allows you deliver value that nobody has ever delivered before, you have an obligation to share it. To regift it so it brings joy to others. Anything less is an act of ingratitude. And so, I finally gave myself permission to share my songs publicly. And when I did, everything shifted. My relationship to the music, my context in the world, my identity as an artist, my leverage in the marketplace and my connection with the audience. What strength, skill or gift do you wish to use more fully?

Apply the training you already have. Josh first learned how to play chess from watching street virtuosos in the park. And with their guidance and encouragement, he quickly became one of the greatest champions in the history of the game. Then, after fifteen years of mastering chess, he moved away from the board and transitioned into the study of martial arts. He became a beginner again, but by taking the training he already had and applied it, he became a champion at yet another game. Next, he started deconstructing what he’d been doing rather intuitively and abstractly so it could be replicated more exactly and practically. And the result was a best selling book about the art of learning. But what’s most interesting about his career trajectory is where he landed. Josh now runs an educational foundation dedicated to an individualized approach to learning, where he consults internationally on the subjects of performance psychology, the learning process and creativity. That’s perhaps his greatest art of all. Josh created something new out of intermingling his interests. He used the hard core formative time to lay groundwork for the years to follow. And that foundation now enables him to make a massive, meaningful contribution to people’s lives––not because of chess and martial arts, but because of the person he became while mastering chess and martial arts. In which discipline have you already built a lifetime of foundational development?

The shortcut to motivation. The chief struggle for any creator is that of motivation. Physically dragging their bones out of bed and making new things, every day. And while there are countless tools and tactics and tricks for disciplining yourself and overcoming procrastination, frankly, it’s just too much work. And too much time. In fact, some of those strategies can actually become counterproductive. Because we spend too much of our psychic energy trying to overcome procrastination that we don’t have any juice left for the actual creation. Then challenge, then, is finding the central lever that galvanizes the whole creative machine. The catchall that can be trusted to obfuscate procrastination. What is it? Passion. Enthusiasm. Irrational exuberance. To quote my favorite song of all time, it was a love so big that it filled his heart, and when it swelled and finally burst apart, the love spilled out they call it art. That’s passion. That’s motivation. And if you ask any artist who’s deeply passionate about a particular creative project, motivation isn’t an issue. Ever. Because it’s a million times easier to focus on the path when passion is embedded into the pavement. When what you do is a vehicle for living what is important to you. How can you unify your work with our sense of life?

What did you learn?

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

Never the same speech twice. Customized for your audience. Impossible to walk away uninspired.

Now booking for 2014-2015.


Email to inquire about fees and availability. Watch clips of The Nametag Guy in action here!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Moments of Conception 133 -- The Meditation Scene from Eat, Pray, Love

All creativity begins with the moment of conception.

That little piece of kindling that gets the fire going. That initial source of inspiration that takes on a life of its own. That single note from which the entire symphony grows. That single spark of life that signals an idea’s movement value, almost screaming to us, something wants to be built here.


And so, in this blog series, I’m going to be deconstructing my favorite moments of conception from popular movies. Each post will contain a video clip from a different film, along with a series of lessons we can learn from the characters.


Today's clip comes from the meditation scene in Eat, Pray, Love:




What can we learn?

Build a bias for action. Creativity is a chicken egg conundrum. Do you get ideas so you can create something, or do you create something so you can get ideas? Many writers and thinkers would attest to the latter. Personally, I don’t know how I feel until I write what I think. Only through the generative power of movement and motion does my creativity ignite. It’s similar to the argument over sitting meditation versus moving meditation. The first approach uses being, i.e., stillness and concentration and contemplation, as the path to relaxation and enlightenment. Practices might include guided imagery, hypnosis, creative visualization, progressive muscle relaxation and mindfulness breathing. The challenge is, for people who have racing brains and hyperactive imaginations, that approach becomes frustrating and impractical. They’d prefer to create something so they can get ideas, not the other way around. And so, moving meditation uses doing, i.e., activity and flow and momentum, as the path to relaxation and enlightenment. Practices might include yoga, walking or any other form of rhythmic, repetitive action. And it’s ideal for people who need physical movement helps to anchor themselves against the tumultuous waves of thought. Liz doesn’t know if she’s one of those people. She made the difficult choice to leave behind all the trappings of modern success and instead find what she truly wanted from life. So when her meditation teacher tells her to go out into the garden and just sit there, part of me wonders if her journey would be better served by going out into the garden just getting to work. How are you developing your kinesthetic intelligence?

There’s more to life than simple euphoria. Psychlinks published a fascinating study on happiness. Turns out, there are two main theoretical perspectives which address the question of what makes people feel happy. Hedonic happiness comes from gratifying and fleeting woohoo experience of pleasure. We know it as euphoria. But there’s also eudaimonic happiness, which comes from the satisfying and nourishing things that build something inside of us that accumulate and have sustenance. We know it as meaning. In fact, the word happy has the same root as the word happenstance. Proving, that it’s incidental, not intentional. Proving, that there is no human happiness that is not earned. Proving, that happiness isn’t the target, it’s the reward we get for hitting the target. Gilbert puts it best when she says that happiness is the result of personal effort, and that we only find it by relentlessly participating. Agreed. The goal is engagement and connection. In fact, looking back at the ups and down of my adult life, the happiest I’ve ever felt is when I wasn’t trying to become happy, but when I was trying to create meaning. When was the last time you rewrote your personal equation for happiness?

Get control of your psychic environment.
 Liz’s meditation teacher makes a powerful point about mental discernment. He says that we should learn to select our thoughts like we learn to select our clothes every day. That’s a power we can cultivate. If we want to control things in our life so bad, we should work on the mind. Because if we can’t learn to master our thinking, we’re in deep trouble forever. And she’s right. His insight may very well be bumper sticker wisdom, but that doesn’t make it any less true. I’m reminded of technique my meditation teacher taught me years ago. Observe, then release. During our hypnosis sessions, I learned to simply notice my negative, stressful and unhealthy thoughts, and then to imagine them floating up and out of my head like a vapor into the air above. The first few times I tried it were deeply frustrating. But once got my mental footing, the technique would take less than a minute to do each time. And it became a useful and portable tool whenever a current of anxiety shot through my brain. How could you change the sensation of anxiety into a feeling that is not necessarily negative?

What did you learn?

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

Never the same speech twice. Customized for your audience. Impossible to walk away uninspired.

Now booking for 2014-2015.


Email to inquire about fees and availability. Watch clips of The Nametag Guy in action here!