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Saturday, February 28, 2015

For those who stood by my side, you are the story I tell

Mentoring isn’t a relationship, it’s an inheritance. The generous and wise people who take a real interest in our aspirations and encourage our goals and dreams, that’s a priceless asset. 

I’ve been fortunate to have a galaxy of mentors over the years. Teachers, family members, coaches, advisors, guides, therapists, professors and industry veterans, all of whom saw something in me that somebody once saw in them, generously took me under their wing and shaped me into the person I am today. And I couldn’t be more grateful for their support and guidance. 

What’s interesting is, none of these people became fixtures in my life because I waited quietly for the perfect mentor to arrive and guide me in the development of my craft. I sought them out. I aligned myself with their work. I strategically positioned my brand to show up on their radars. I ingratiated myself to them in a respectful, honest, personal and creative way. And I put their name up in lights whenever I achieved something worthwhile. 

What’s more, I learned how to make myself mentorable. I received mentoring at a time when I was capable of listening in a way I probably no longer am. I was in a place of alignment where I was able to accept their gifts. 

That’s the way the mentoring process works is. We only get what we are prepared to receive. 

And so, there has to be something about us that allows great mentoring to happen. If we’re not the right person, in the right place, at the right time, with the right attitude, we may not even show up on their radars in the first place. 

Timing isn’t everything, it’s the only thing.

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If you were starting your career over again, in what area would you want more mentoring?

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


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

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Friday, February 27, 2015

It’s cheaper to be cynical than to try something

Onion articles never fail to make me laugh out loud. 

I once read a piece addressed to recent college graduates, saying that the world would thwart every attempt they made to achieve even one of their goals, to the point where they would completely abandon every aspiration they ever had in their adult lives, leaving them no shred of hope for the future. 

Satire doesn’t get much better than that. 

However, as ridiculous as the article is, it’s also a reminder that it’s cheaper to be cynical than to try something. It’s easier to point a finger than to paint with it. 

That’s why people become art critics. They don’t have the courage to create. Those who can’t do, review. When the truth is, most cynicism presents itself as wisdom, but it’s really just a wound. It’s really just somebody who’s been disappointed and hurt and embittered by life. 

And so, if you want to combat the cynicism that tries to pervade from without and seep from withinyou have to trust that the world gets out of the way for people who know what they want and where they are going, even if they have no idea what they’re doing. And you have to believe that nobody can stop a man on a mission. 

Because the downside of not trying is having to live with the question, could I have done that? 

No thanks. I’d rather go for it. There is no prize for the one who leaves his canvas clean. 

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Will you back away in bitterness and confusion or leap forward into mystery?

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

Thursday, February 26, 2015

We are defined by what we decline

We need to be in the right frame of mind to pursue opportunities as they arise, but we also need to maintain a healthy attitude when opportunities pass us by. We need to trust that we made the right decision to say no, otherwise we get trapped in the anxious and regretful loop of post choice pondering. 

Every year I’m presented with dozens of new creative opportunities, all of which could be exciting endeavors. But the reality is, I can only feasibly execute a handful of them. And so, I listen loudly for what wants to be written. I run each idea through my opportunity filter. I ask myself, what does the world most need from me right now? And I remind myself, the more I am me, the better work I do; but if I’m forced to work against my instinctive grain, the output will be shite. 

Then, once I finally decide on the right opportunity to pursue, I try not to let creator’s remorse get the best of me. I trust that the windows I missed were the ones that, if I went through them, I wouldn’t have liked whom I had to become to do so. 

A few years ago, I toyed with the idea of converting one of my books into an online course. The project would have been useful and interesting and, with any luck, profitable. The only problem was, creating it didn’t make my insides come alive. Teaching wasn’t attractive to me. I'm not a hand holder, but more of a mentor. No matter how hard I tried to convince myself that I was excited about the project, I couldn’t fake the passion. Because deep down, I knew that I wouldn’t be creating from whole cloth, I would be recycling myself. Getting in a time machine to reimagine, revise and relaunch something I’d already achieved. And that wasn’t worth it to me. 

So I passed. Reminding myself, that we are defined by what we decline.

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Are you making creative choices that are worthy of the person you are? 

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

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Build your own universe on your own terms

Some cartoonists become popular by having jokes and gags, but the truly legendary ones create a private language, a set of characters, a set of expectations, a new world and a developed universe. 

Because they understand that when you create a universe that people can become a part of, it’s a lot harder for fans to switch when their next project comes out. 

I remembering listening to a panel of comic book creators discuss the details of their creative processes. Many of them said they had experienced trauma in their youth, either from addicted or abandoning parents, or from the pain of social isolation. But the advice from one of the artists was, take that chaos and use it to create a world

That was his therapy. That was his armor. He didn’t just draw pictures, he created a pirate ship. He built for himself and his fans a powerful little fortress, and together, they started building things inside of it. On their own terms. And people who resonate with their message are raising their hands to be a part of the belief. Nobody can take that away from them. 

That’s the indie ethos more artists are starting to uphold. They aren’t mired in somebody else’s reality map. They aren’t putting all their creative eggs in society’s baskets. And they certainly don’t expect the world to come to them any more. They build their own universe on their own terms. They develop a sense of self so complete that external influences no longer have any authority within their consciousness. 

Making doodles for people is only the beginning. 

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What efficacious mindset will help you advance your ability to do what you love?

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

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Moments of Conception 160 -- The Training Scene from Hurricane

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 training scene in Hurricane:

















Go where the door is already open. Focus is the ultimate power source. And it’s available to all of us, regardless of personality type, work environment or creative tenor. It’s simply a matter of plugging into the right outlet. Finding the channel that activates our internal generator. My wife, for example, has always been obsessed with nutrition, cooking, photography, sustainability and healthy living. And she longed for a way to turn all of those obsessions into something real in the world. But there were too many projects to choose from. And the pressure of having to decide which mole to whack made it hard to focus. So she created a clearinghouse. A destination where she could unite all of her interesting elements. A productive obsession that intermingled her interests and themes into a meaningful, cohesive whole. A project that not only made productive use of the currency she’d been building up all these years, and also brought joy and inspiration and value to other people’s lives. And all of the sudden, focus wasn’t an issue anymore. Because she went where the door was already open. Brittany knew that her obsessions were proof that she already knew how to focus. So she took the training she already had and applied it. That’s what’s possible when we choose an idea as large and as great as we are. Our sheer excitement at having discovered something worth doing makes the inability to focus vanish like a vapor trail. Are you running around the forest putting a few chops in each tree, or creating an big enough axe to demolish them all?

Run toward freedom. Every training montage follows the same formula. Intense physical regiments shown through a series of short cut sequences, a dramatic song playing the background, a build up where the potential sports hero confronts his failure to train adequately and an inspiring voice over monologue by the character or his mentor. Once a long stretch of time has elapsed in the course of just a few minutes, the hero is now prepared for his greatest battle yet. That’s a montage. And it’s guaranteed to be the most inspiring and memorable part of any film. In fact, I would pay real money to sit in a movie theater and watch three hours of just training montages. That’s how motivated I get. Scenes like these remind me that when I lose momentum, self propulsion is the only thing that will move me forward. Rubin, in this case, took control of his life. He made up his mind to turn his body into a weapon that would eventually set him free, or kill anyone who sought to keep him in prison. Each of us can make this same decision. To break free from whatever prison is holding us back. To finding new ways to own our own world. Altucher tackles this topic quite a bit. He defines it as the freedom to pursue what’s inside us, the freedom to explore the blessings that surround us, the freedom to break down the brainwashing that chains us, the freedom to help ourselves so that we can help others, and the freedom to live the life we choose to lead instead of having to live the life that has been chosen for us. Sign me up. Who is enslaving you that you can get away from?

Impose a discipline upon yourself. The first lesson I learned as a guitarist was, it’s better to play five minutes a day every day of the week, than to play five hours a day one day a week. Because mastery is about commitment and consistency. It’s the daily discipline of returning to the instrument. And what’s interesting is, within the framework of daily discipline, enthusiasm starts to grow on its own and builds on itself. When I wrote my first book in college, I started with fifteen minutes a day. Fifteen minutes. That’s nothing. That’s literally one thousandth of my entire day. And so, after a few weeks, those small victories began to bolster my confidence. So I tried stretching my capacity. Twenty minutes a day. Then thirty minutes a day. Then sixty minutes a day. And so on. Fifteen years later, I write for five hundred minutes a day. But only because I started small. Discipline, after all, is a gradual process. We can’t jump into the deep end on day one, nor should we. Besides, what’s the rush? Life is long. Become prolific is about compound interest, the capacity to generate more and more value over time through slow, unsexy, but consistent creative increments. Rubin may have been building his physical body, but we’re building our creative body, our body of work, based on a practice of patience, delayed gratification and continuity. Are you willing to make gradual progress with your discipline?

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What did you learn from this movie clip?

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Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author. Speaker. Strategist. Filmmaker. Inventor. Publisher. Songwriter. 
scott@hellomynameisscott.com
www.nametagscott.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, February 23, 2015

Comparison clouds the clarity of our vision

I was reading a fantastic psychology book that addresses the dangers of excessive and unhealthy comparison. 

The authors explained that constantly looking over our shoulder at what others are doing takes our eyes off what’s ahead of us. By fixating on someone else, they said, we lose unrecoverable time that could be devoted to becoming uniquely great. 

Anytime I find myself stuck in this comparison trap, the mantra I try to remember is, when in doubt, create. After all, why burn precious creative calories protesting the injustice of somebody else’s success when I could be making more art? Why beat myself up over a colleague’s accomplishments that have little or nothing to do with what I’m uniquely suited for when I could be executing my next great idea? 

If it’s true that the more uncertain about who we are or what we have, the more automatic and persistent our comparisons become, then making more art is the only thing that’s going to make us feel better. When in doubt, create. Because impossible to feel sorry for yourself when you’re making something new. 

Don’t let comparison stop your positive forward trajectory. Comparison is a futile game with no winners. Try channeling the energy into a productive direction, and you’ll never be disappointed.

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How would your life be different if all the comparing was replaced with creating?

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

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Standing at the foot of an unblazed trail

Each one of us has something called universe creating power. 

Zappos pioneered this concept several years ago. Their founder wrote in his book, when you envision, create and believe in your own universe, the universe will form around you. 

I’m reminded of my friend who works as a church planter. Paul boldly relocated his family from one hemisphere to another, only knowing two people in his new city, and began building his church from the ground up. But after a few short years, what started out as a dream flourished into a dynamic, growing faith community. His church now has multiple campuses across the city and makes a real difference in thousands of people’s lives across the world. That’s universe creating power. 

And what’s exciting is, your universe doesn’t have to be a billion apparel dollar company or a multi property church system. Size is irrelevant. The word universe simply means, to turn into one. Our challenge, then, is to ask universe building questions. 

When clients rent my brain to strategize about their businesses, the first question I require them to ask is always, if everybody did exactly what you said, what would the world look like? 

A question like this accomplishes several goals. It enables people to act as if the desired changed already occurred. It helps people imagine what they need to become in order for their goals to manifest. It empowers people to speak from the future, then look back to identify the steps that led there. And it inspires people to paint a compelling, detailed picture of the desired future and make meaningful strides toward it. 

If everybody did exactly what you said, what would the world look like?

That’s universe creating power. Ignite a great blaze in your soul, and the right people will come to warm their hands by your fire.

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 What questions do you need to ask to build your own universe on your own terms?

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* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.  
scott@hellomynameisscott.com
www.nametagscott.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, February 21, 2015

Moments of Conception 159 -- The Poem Scene from Before Sunrise

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 poem scene in Before Sunrise:



Cross my palm with silver. Art and commerce have never been easy bedfellows. Most creatives would rather be heard than paid. But commerce is a fact of human existence. Without a value exchange, there’s no economy, and without an economy, society crumbles. And so, whether it’s a gift exchange, a bartering system, or a simple agreement between writer and reader, it all boils down to creating value. In this case, the poet assures the couple that if they like the poem and they feel it adds something to their life in any way, then they can pay whatever they feel like. Wow. That’s the most trusting, honest, fair and human approach to commerce that I’ve ever witnessed. If more artists and businesspeople adopted this approach, life would become a lot less stressful. And so, the beggar’s interaction paints a picture of what’s possible for the modern artist. He shows us that as long as we are willing to add our own unique value to society––often on a moment’s notice––we will get rewarded for it. We just have to be ready for the money that is waiting for us. Even if it’s only a few bucks in pocket change. Because no amount of income in insignificant. How much money will you be earning five years from now?


Throw your weight behind other kinds of possibilities There’s a direct correlation between identity and profitability. Everything new we become can lead to something new we can do. It’s simply a matter of leverage. Because when we expand our sense of who we are, we also expand the universe of decision makers who can engage our services. When we widen out the boundaries of our being, adding more ways in we can deliver our unique value to society, we widen the menu of yesses for prospects to peruse. And when we keep one eye cocked to the infinite commercial possibilities of our work, people will come out of the woodwork to lay down the track in front of our train. This very philosophy was the impetus for creating a discussion guide for my documentary. The intention was, I wanted the movie to be more than just a film, but also a platform for education and connection. And so, I offered resources to educators, learning institutions, companies, congregations and other organizations to help spread the messages of identity, belonging and creativity. Free of charge, of course, and with the confidence that new and exciting opportunities would open up as a result. Are you open to pursuing any financial avenues that are available to you?


You must be out of your damn mindset. Jesse says that if he could just accept the fact that his life was supposed to be difficult, that conflict and struggle were what’s to be expected, then he might not get so pissed off about it, and just be glad when something nice happens. Interesting theory. I actually read a book about this very concept many years after this movie came out. Gelb's research on the world’s greatest innovators showed that optimists expect success and consider happiness to be their normal state. That way, when something goes wrong, they view negative events as temporary glitches, as isolated incidents insulated from other aspects of their lives. It’s simply a matter of mindset. Assuming you just got lucky, versus believing that you create your own luck. Waiting for fortune’s loving countenance to look upon you, versus building systems designed to make it easier for luck to find me. I did an segment for 20/20 many years ago on the topic of luck, testifying that it was more than just chance. And the irony is, instead of filling out the online submission form to be a featured expert on the show, the producers actually found me because they googled around for articles on the topic of luck, and guess who had written the most on the topic? That’s not luck, that’s math. That’s not chance, that’s volume. After you earned luck for the first time, how did you go about getting it back?


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What did you learn from this movie clip?

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Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author. Speaker. Strategist. Filmmaker. Inventor. Publisher. Songwriter. 
scott@hellomynameisscott.com
www.nametagscott.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, February 20, 2015

One step closer to your genuine interest

Debono’s research on opportunity suggests that everyone is surrounded by opportunities, but those opportunities only exist once they have been seen, and they will only be seen once they are looked for. 

What’s needed, he says, is a systematic approach to opportunity seeking. A formal exercise designed to sanction initiative. Without such a formal framework, the opportunity search will always remain a matter of mood, chance and individual motivation. 

The first step is creating a working definition. A simple understanding of what the word opportunity means to you. Belsky once defined opportunity as anything that brings your one step closer to your genuine interest. 

I’ll agree with that. Perfect starting point. The second step is creating a filter. A tool that evaluates the asset value of a potential new opportunity. 

Now, this filter can be as simple as asking yourself a penetrating question, i.e., is this an opportunity, or an opportunity to be used? Personally, that question has saved me tons of heartache, money and pain over the years. I ask it on a weekly basis. 

However, for larger, more expensive and more complex opportunities, you might want to use a more sophisticated framework. I recently launched a web application called Opportunity Junkie. This calculator takes into consideration the creative, existential, strategic and financial implications of any given opportunity. It allows you assign a numerical value to a variety of interesting variables. 

Then, the filter populates a opportunity score out of one hundred. And based on how high or low that number is, you can effectively decide whether or not to proceed with your project. 

The point is, it doesn’t matter which tools you use to evaluate the asset value of a new opportunity. What’s important is training your brain to execute against your own value system. What’s important is choosing projects that are worthy of the person you are. 

Remember, opportunity is as real an ingredient in business as raw material, labor or finance, but it only exists when you can see it. 

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What’s your system for examining your own opportunity space?

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For a copy of the list called, "11 Ways to Out Market the Competition," send an email to me, and you win the list for free!

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

Thursday, February 19, 2015

I respect your opinion of my work

Once your dream comes true, not only do you have to learn to live with it, you also have to learn to deal with people who resent you for having and following it. 

That’s the downside of success. The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune often show up in the form of bitterness, anger and resistance. Not because you’ve done something wrong, but because somebody else hasn’t done something right. 

Pressfield was correct in observing that when people see others beginning to live their authentic selves, it drives them crazy if they have not lived out their own. Individuals who are realized in their own lives almost never criticize others. 

And so, every dreamer is unprotected against the searing headwind of others people’s doubts. Because every society uses ridicule as a means of social control. You are only free to the degree that you allow people’s doubts to manipulate you. 

The secret, then, is not scrubbing your life clean of resenters, but transforming yourself into someone less likely to be derailed by resenters. 

When I used to receive a lot of hatemail, my mentor suggested responding to people with a single sentence. I respect your opinion of my work. Not only did this mantra leave resenters nowhere to go, but the practice of responding to negativity in an unemotional, undemonstrative and calm way helped me grow in my ability to be in control of myself. 

I’ve written and said that mantra so many times, I’m now confident in my ability to gain perspective and control anytime I feel that I’ve lost it. 

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What’s your shield against the slings and arrows of resentment?

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

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Doubt is a sign that our faith has a pulse

My business was my first love. 

It was the first thing I gave everything to, and the first thing that gave everything to me. The two of us were absolutely faithful to each other. We were inseparable. You couldn’t tell where the company ended and I began. 

However, like so many first loves, after ten years of spending every waking moment together, I found myself bored, burned out and lonely. The buzz just wasn’t have the same effect anymore. And I knew that if the two of us didn’t spend some time apart, there might not be any hope for us long term. 

That’s when I made the unlikely decision to set aside my business and go work for somebody else. It was the last thing I ever thought I would do. It was the last thing anybody ever thought I would do. 

But then again, maybe that was the point. Maybe I was clinging to my gift too tightly. Maybe the only way to truly own my career was to set it down for a while. 

And so, I took a day job. I packed a lunch and commuted on the train and went to an office and collaborated with coworkers and answered to a boss and went to meetings and got a weekly paycheck. It was exquisitely ordinary and wildly refreshing. Like going on a break with your punk rock sweetheart to date a working girl in a beige pantsuit. 

And the good news was, my enterprise didn’t go anywhere. I still ran my business on the side. I still kept one foot in each camp. I still maintained dual citizenship as both an entrepreneur and an employee. 

But I had to see what else was out there. I had to sow my professional oats. And what’s interesting is, after a year of living this new life, something occurred to me. 

I missed my sweetheart. I missed the freedom of entrepreneurship. I missed the ability to create my own future. But I only realized that once I took the risk to walk away. 

Sting was right. If you love something, set it free. If you want to keep something precious, lock it up and throw away the key.

And so, two years later, once I had had my allotment, I returned to my roots. I reclaimed the mantle of entrepreneurship, reignited a relationship that I once thought was dead, and I’ve never been happier. 

Lesson learned, if you don’t leave it, if you don’t create a vacuum, you can’t fully own it. If you never doubted anything, perhaps you never really believed it in the first place. Doubt is a sign that your faith has a pulse. Sometimes the only way to slay the dragon of doubt is to ride it into the sunset. 

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What relationship do you need to walk away from?

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

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Moments of Conception 158 -- The Latimer Scene from The Program

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 Latimer scene from The Program:

 


Allow yourself to get carried away by your enthusiasm. Everyone is the same everywhere. We’re all just stumbling through the dark, searching for something to pour ourselves into. And so, when that thing we find provides us with the existential spark, there’s no stopping us. Because meaning and significance are a unique source of energy. Forget about getting enough sleep and eating enough carbs. Once we find something to meet our meaning needs, we’re off and running. Rooted in the things that move us, ready to take on the world. Lattimer played on the punt return team for the first three years of his college career, but this year, he intended to start. And so, he spent his summer in the gym. And after gaining thirty five pounds since last fall and shining during in tryouts, he has finally earned himself a place at the table. It’s such a perfect moment. This movie came out when we were playing high school football, and my friends and I would watch it after long, hot days of practice. And although we never smashed our heads through car windows, we still allowed ourselves to get carried away by our enthusiasm. When the weekly depth charts were posted on the locker room doors, we weren’t afraid to hoot and holler and run down the hall and jump for joy. Because that was the type of enthusiasm we needed on the field. I may not have been fast or strong, but I certainly knew how to celebrate, and how to infect the people around me with that same energy. Whatever it took to feel that our story was headed somewhere. Do passion and enthusiasm characterize all of your encounters?

Not everything is its own reward. Rewarding yourself is an essential celebratory experience that increases motivation and builds momentum. It can actually become a form of loving yourself, when done in a healthy, legal manner that doesn’t involve other people’s car windows. But it won’t make the journey any less challenging. Laying a reward system over an existing experience doesn’t make us like it any better, but certainly encourages us to tolerate it. Because we see the light at the end of the tunnel. Adams explains that by putting the pleasure of reward at the immediate end of a task, we develop a strong association between the task and the good feelings, and that forms a habit. The goal is to get creative with our rewards. To make them personal and meaningful and pleasant. For example, whenever I finish playing a concert, I reward myself with a long, hot shower and lunch at my favorite restaurant. Whenever I make a sale, I reward myself by ringing the hotel call bell on my desk and cheering aloud. Whenever I book a new client, I reward myself by booking a full body massage. Whenever I come home from a productive business trip, I reward myself by sleeping late the next day. And whenever I hit my daily writing quota, I reward myself by checking email without feeling guilty. The point is, not everything is its own reward. If we’re going slog through the reality, we deserve something a little extra at the end. What reward system do you have for yourself?

Become fully aware of your entire horizon. Lattimer’s downfall, besides illegal doping, was his expectation. He surrendered all his power to one person­­ to make or break his life. He relied on the coach’s whims to choose the success or failure of his athletic endeavor. A smarter move would have been to empty himself of expectation. To diversify his portfolio of happiness. To expand his repertoire of meaning. That way, if the coach did decide to make an omelet out of all the eggs in his football basket, his path wouldn’t be completely derailed. He’d still have other pursuits and endeavors and activities to engage with. Unfortunately, he never built that existential muscle. He never developed a shield against meaninglessness. And so, when he fails the drug test and gets kicked off the team, he’s completely devastated. Life, as he knows it, is over. Because he clung to his gift too tightly. He threw his heart into something, but let that one thing become all that he stood for. It’s a reminder to us all to maintain a diverse portfolio of happiness. One that builds emotional stability in any situation, helps manage risks we can’t control and weathers droughts through the many seasons of life. Are you giving one person, place or thing the power to make or break your life?

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


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