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Thursday, November 30, 2017

Every recession contains the seeds of the next recovery

Buddha said that attachment was the root of all suffering. 

But that doesn’t mean it has a monopoly on any one form of suffering. We get rope burns from clinging to anything that’s inherently impermanent, good or bad. 

And so, attachment isn’t limited to the sinful pleasures, glittering temptations, fleshy indulgences and wicked delights of the world. 

It could also mean thinking that the bad times are going to last forever. Over identifying with our negative feelings, allowing them to keep building and building by feeding them extra ammunition, that’s a form of attachment too. 

It’s not as glamorous as the more familiar ego traps, but it’s equally as insidious. And if we want a real shot at true happiness, we have to trust that the sadness will run its course. Otherwise we’ll grow addicted to our own brokenness, presuming that this slump, rut, loop, setback, infinite regression or whatever other catchy label we affix to our own suffering, is who we are. 

But it’s not. Especially if we consider it in financial terms. 

Any good economist would tell us that no recession lasts forever. That’s a fundamental violation of the natural law of change. History has proven dozens of times over that once the economy reaches its depth, the recovery will begin. And in time, the market will initiate an upward economic trend towards prosperity once again. 

It might take a few quarters or even a few years, but certainly not forever. It just feels like forever when you’re knee deep in the thick of it and you just want your life to make sense again. 

As each economic recession contains the seeds of the next recovery, so it goes with our emotional lives. Because we already have the capacities for the personal growth that needed to emerge out of the bad times and into the good. 

The question is whether we have enough patience and resilience to buttress our hearts in the interim. 

Remember, the point isn’t to clean up our lives just enough to keep us going until the next crisis, but to legitimately step into the next stage of our evolution as human beings. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...  
What is your attachment to your story of suffering costing you?

* * * *


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

Buy my latest devotional! 

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


Now available wherever books are sold.


Namaste.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

I’m starting to think I don’t understand the world anymore

Rollins wrote that faith wasn’t about religion, rather, it was about engaging in an ongoing transformative dialogue instead of seeking some static final understanding. 

What a relief. Especially in a world that places a premium on certainty. Where people we try to be experts because they’re scared and grasping for order don’t want to feel foolish or look stupid and lose control. 

It’s just a defensive edifice against the mystery. 

The reality is, we never get to understand everything. And so, we don’t need more information, perspective and epiphanies and revelations, we need an increasing ability to forget what we know and to surrender the need to understand. 

I don’t have to question every occurrence to see how it fits into the larger plan. 

I don’t have to figure out life and intellectualize everything. 

I don’t need to figure out how I should feel and when I should start to feel differently. 

I don’t have to put everything in a tidy little box so I can understand the world five percent better. 

I accept that I do not, and will not, ever understand or command this place. 

I reserve the right to be puzzled. 

It’s actually quite relaxing. Kicking the addiction to chasing down simple answers and gaining unequivocal assurances frees us up to actually enjoy life for once, instead of always trying to make sense of it. 

That’s not willful ignorance, but joyful surrender. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...  

Once you accept that you don’t have magical control over the world and finally learn to tolerate mystery, what might be possible for you?

* * * *


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

Buy my latest devotional! 

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


Now available wherever books are sold.


Namaste.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Don’t mistake the edge of a rut for the horizon

During prolonged periods of sadness, part of me wants to just suck it up and bide my time and wait for the pain to disappear so I can begin living my life again. 

But another part of me knows that’s another just carrot on a stick. 

Because the moment will certainty be gone as quickly as it came. 

Once I get there, there disappears, a new problem presents itself and the misery loop starts all over again. 

And so, instead of deferring peace to some future occasion when all my problems are magically solved, I choose to be happy right now. Instead of trying figure out when I will finally feel differently, I take the limits off my joy. Instead of sitting here in limbo like a bird without a song, hoping to one day wake up and laugh about how it used to be, I allow myself the luxury of delight. 

Instead of waiting until life gets back to normal and all my precious little routines are back in place, I choose to experience authentic pleasure. 

And not the counterfeit kind of pleasure that’s counteracted by a toxic undercurrent of guilt, resentment and unworthiness. 

The real stuff. The joy that brings me hurtling back to the present and make me realize, if only for a moment, that everything is going to be okay. 

Every life needs moments of exultation. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...  
What choices do you need to make to choose happiness right now?

* * * *


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

Buy my latest devotional! 

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


Now available wherever books are sold.


Namaste.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Whose happiness are you resenting?

Members of the polyamorous community have a beautiful term called compersion, which is the empathetic state of happiness and joy experienced when another individual experiences happiness and joy.

Essentially, it’s the opposite of jealousy. According the founders of the movement, compersion is the antidote to the insecurity, fear and anticipated loss of a partner over their affection for another lover. 

It sanctions the idea of our partner deriving pleasure separate from us and from another source, ultimately strengthening the connection between the two people. 

This is not a new idea. Buddhists have been practicing this principle for thousands of years. Monks use the term mudita, which means vicarious joy. The pleasure that comes from delighting in other people’s well being without the strings of self interest.

Now, if this way of relating to people seems difficult, it’s because it is. Our nature as humans is to become competitive and comparative, not compassionate. 

I’m reminded of a brilliant standup special. Rock explained the difference between men and women as follows. 

When women go out with their friends and have a good time, we are happy for you. But it doesn’t work the other way around. Women do not want us to have a good time, ever. If you come home from work, and she sees a smile on your face that she didn’t put there, she’s gonna get suspicious. That’s right, if you go out and have a good time with your boys and she asks how it was, you just say, it was alright. Because cause if you go beyond alright, you’re gonna be in a fight. 

And so, if we want to have a more holistic relationship with joy, we must learn to feel it when it has nothing to do with us. 

To be happy simply because somebody we love is happy. 

As my grandfather used to say, the meanest feeling of which any human being is capable is feeling bad at another’s success. 

It’s time to practice a little compersion. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...  
Whose happiness are you resenting? 
* * * *


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

Buy my latest devotional! 

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


Now available wherever books are sold.


Namaste.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Managing ourselves between life’s bright moments

Gandhi was right when he wrote that joy lies in the fight, in the attempt, in the suffering involved, not in the victory itself. 

Proving, that it’s one thing to locate joy in spite of our suffering, but the harder question is, can we locate joy inside of our suffering? Can we get to a place where we’re so grateful and engaged and in love with our own process of growth, that even our most difficult and painful experiences are witnessed with joyful awareness and complete presence to the miracle of being alive? 

It’s like having sore muscles after a tough workout. Personal trainers call this condition delayed onset muscle soreness, which is caused by muscle microtearing, which helps build muscle fiber and make them stronger. 

Which means, we’re doing the work. We’re growing. 

And so, we can whine to the world about our deltoid muscles hurting every time we raise our arms in the air, or we can find joy in the fact that we have pushed ourselves hard enough to warrant a physical response. The choice is ours to make. 

Now, there’s another piece to the suffering puzzle. One that pays real emotional dividends later on. Because during hard times, if we’re willing to engage our imaginations, we can also locate joy in the fact that the skills we’re building now will contribute to our story as an individual in the future. 

James, the epistle who wrote letters to the twelve tribes scattered abroad, said that we should consider it pure joy whenever we face trials of many kinds, because we know that the testing of our faith is what produces perseverance. And we should let that perseverance finish its work so that we may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 

That’s how we manage ourselves between life’s bright moments. Not only finding joy in the fact that we’re alive and breathing and gloriously suffering, but also finding joy in the vision of the person we’re becoming. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...  
What’s your strategy for locating joy inside of your own suffering?

* * * *

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

Buy my latest devotional! 

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


Now available wherever books are sold.


Namaste.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

It’s not a workout if there’s no work

Saunas are helpful for relieving stress, relaxing muscles, circulating blood, flushing toxins, cleansing the skin, boosting the immune system, moisturizing our hair, and if we’re lucky, finding a date for the weekend. 

But make no mistake. Going to the sauna is not a workout. Our brain may think it is because we’re at the gym and getting sweaty and feeling invigorated at the end. 

But if we’re not moving our body and elevating our heart rate, we’re not exercising. Period. 

Not to take anything away from the schvitzers of the world who relish the sauna experience. But let’s not bullshit ourselves and the world about our efforts. Let’s not sit in a hot room for twenty minutes, hit the showers, grab a smoothie and spend the rest of the day bragging to our coworkers about our intense exercise regimen. 

My mother has spent the past thirty years as a fitness instructor and personal trainer. And as she tells her clients, it’s not a workout if there’s no work

We must learn to discern between the principal and the peripheral. 

We make this mistake in our professional lives every day. Confusing activity with progress, movement for achievement and effort for results. 

Spending two hours catching up on email might make us feel productive and effective and accomplished. But the question is:

Did we create any real value in the world? 
Did we make the world a better place? 
Did we do something worth writing in our victory log? 

Doubtful. 

Maisel’s provocative book about the anxieties of creativity addresses this issue in a way that nobody else ever has. For a creator, he says, discipline means creating regularly. It can have no other meaning. Being disciplined in some other way, like doing yoga every morning or doing superb work at your day job, is not only not an artist’s discipline, but it may even be a person’s avoidance of his artist’s nature. 

Our challenge, then, is to discover which excuses we use to justify our procrastination. To honestly ask ourselves if the tasks we’re engaged are genuine workouts, or just taking another sauna. 

Both have their place in life. But if we’re not able to tell the difference, we’re only bullshitting ourselves. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...  
Are you highly skilled at convincing yourself that you’re more productive than you really are?

* * * *


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

Buy my latest devotional! 

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


Now available wherever books are sold.


Namaste.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Is this experience worth classifying, or simply enjoying?

As the world record holder of wearing nametags, I’ve conducted a significant amount of field research around the experience of labeling. 

And what I’ve discovered is that it’s a doubled edged sword.

Depending on the context, labeling can either be helpful or harmful. 

Affect labeling, for example, is the process of attaching words to feelings. It helps us manage our emotions, empowers us to classify and understand what’s going on around us and, if need be, change our unhealthy behaviors and choices. 

Ask anyone who has experience with the panicking spread of anxiety, labeling is one of the few vehicles through which we exert some measure of comfort over the course of our own lives. 

In fact, reflecting on my own mental health history, my healthiest way out of panic has always been through the ability to identity and put a comprehensible label upon my feelings. 

That’s the power of emotional labeling. Freedom begins with naming things. Once you’ve put a word to it, you've separated yourself from it. And that means it can’t control you. 

Creative labeling, on the other hand, is a very different animal. Because in the process of bringing new projects to life, words can obstruct understanding. When there is naming, the name is often mistaken for what has been named. 

The secret to building something real and lasting is not being so damn focused on defining it. When we spend an extraordinary amount of time naming and labeling and understanding and crispy articulating something, that can actually steal energy from the joy of making it. And the act of labeling can diminish the capacity of an idea to fulfill their potential. 

Ultimately, the goal is to be careful not to dismiss labeling as either a panacea or blanket mistake. It all depends on context. 

Some things require a nametag, some don’t. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...  


Are you enjoying the bird’s song, or trying to classify the kind of bird that is singing?
* * * *

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

Buy my latest devotional! 

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


Now available wherever books are sold.


Namaste.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

We confuse getting inspired with making progress

Toffler predicted that the acceleration of technology would leave people suffering from shattering stress and disorientation aka, future shock. 

A central tenant of his philosophy was the concept of information overload, a term he popularized to define the moment when the amount of input to a system exceeded its processing capacity and resulted in a reduction of decision quality. 

Understatement of the millennium. 

Fast forward to the digital generation, and mankind has now produced more information in the past decade than in it has in the previous five thousand years. 

Future shock, indeed. 

My question is, how does this impact the creative process? Because the job of the artist, is to find inspiration in life’s daily occurrences that most people take for granted, and burn it as fuel to make the world better. 

That’s why there are hundreds of applications, platforms and communities designed for note taking, organizing, clipping, managing, curating and archiving the world around us. 

Because we’re not only suffering from information overload, but inspiration overload as well. 

But here’s the problem. Inspiration is a critical part of the creative process, but it’s not the only part. If we spend all of our time collecting ideas to help us research how to enter the right mindset so we can prepare to sit down and hold a space to motivate ourselves to create a plan so we can brainstorm about how to visualize the possibility of eventually getting started on doing the work, we haven’t done anything. 

We’ve confused getting inspired with making progress. 

That’s not productivity, that’s pornography. 

The thirst for research, the obsession with consuming, the addiction of inhaling, the opiate of organizing, these activities, while seemingly productive, are actually expressions of procrastination and perfectionism. 

Because they don’t do anything to move the story forward. They only paralyze the characters. 

I once wrote a book about how ideas are free, but only execution is priceless. 

If you’re feeling too overloaded to read it, allow me to  summarize all four hundred pages in one sentence. 

You don’t need an idea, you need an I did. 


LET ME ASK YA THIS...  
What are you mistaking productivity for?

* * * *



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

Buy my latest devotional! 

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


Now available wherever books are sold.


Namaste.
What are you confusing productivity with?

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

It’s not because somebody liked you, it’s because you sold

In the show business world, you don’t make money until you make somebody else money. 

That’s why no organization wants to be the first person to trust you. Because if you’re not a proven well, if you don’t have a history of producing oil, and if you don’t have a reputation of getting people laid or paid, you have no leverage. 

I remember hearing a veteran talent manager, reflecting on his career in the entertainment industry, put it perfectly:

In the show business world, he said, agents are heat seeking missiles. When the client is hot, that person is everything. Smart, funny, talented, good looking and brilliant. But when the client isn’t hot, they’ll call them back later. 

The goal, then, is to think of ourselves as objects worth targeting. Not unlike infrared technology itself, we must behave in ways that generate and retain heat so our work is highly visible within the marketplace wavelengths, when compared to everything and everyone else in the background. 

What’s more, we must deal directly and impersonally with the resistance if and when that fire fizzles out. 

Meaning, not taking it so damn personally when the heat seeking missiles don’t seek us out. 

Because the reality is, it’s not because somebody liked us, it’s because we sold. 

It’s not whether we were good, it’s whether we were hot. 

We can’t become so vain that we think the song is about us.

LET ME ASK YA THIS...  
Are you sending people objects of interest, are you are doing something to make yourself an object of interest? 

* * * *


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

Buy my latest devotional! 

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


Now available wherever books are sold.


Namaste.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Your love has nothing to do with me

You have bought into the story that this is progress. 

Instead of wisely cutting your losses and getting on with your life, you keep nobly persisting, refusing to take no for an answer, chasing down leads for opportunities that are ridiculously out of your reach, believing that your passion and personal stamina will actually make a difference. 

Because just like your mother always said:

You’re special and different and therefore better and more deserving than anybody else. Don’t let anybody tell you any different. 

And so, the voice inside your head says:

You just wait and see. Once those bastards finally come to their senses and realize that they’re going to have trouble living without me, they’ll come crawling back

That’s not determination, that’s delusion. It’s unrequited love. One sided infatuation. Trying to please people until they can’t stand you. 

And the problem is, popular culture has falsely portrayed this kind of persistence as something that pays off when the rejecter comes to their senses. 

But unfortunately, real life doesn’t work that way. 

Here’s what really happens. 

The lovelorn wallflower spends his entire adolescence fantasizing about dating the most popular girl in school. And then, at the senior prom, once he finally musters the courage to corner her at the party and share his meticulously detailed plans about their perfect future together, he realizes that his love has nothing to do with her. 

It’s just a performance. It’s just an elaborate story he built inside his head that has no relationship with reality. 

Real life isn’t an eighties teen drama. Think about the story of progress you’re buying into. 

Learn to become more sophisticated about your relationships, both personally and professionally. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...  
Are you cutting your losses early and often?

* * * *


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

Buy my latest devotional! 

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


Now available wherever books are sold.


Namaste.