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Monday, December 31, 2018

Continues to haunt you through an afterlife of obligations

Seinfeld, the zen master of comedy, made a fascinating observation during a recent interview. 

He said that he liked to explore things, but didn’t expect to enjoy them. 

That’s no punchline. Imagine how fast the collective stress level of the world would drop if more of us learned to think that way. If we could finally release things from the obligation to make us feel better, we might have a real chance at fulfillment. 

If we could finally relieve ourselves of the burden of trying to make outcomes match expectations, we might have a real chance a peace. 

Masters wrote a seminal book about emotional intimacy that reinforces this very point. If you want more joy, he says, don't wait for more auspicious circumstances. Let go of the notion that you can't be joyful if there isn't anything to be joyful about. Settle into the raw reality of who and what you really are, and joy inevitably arises. 

Joy is utterly natural to us, and so, let us stop trying to produce it and instead simply open to it. 

Perhaps that’s the real joke. 

When we allow meaningless things to continue to haunt us through an afterlife of obligations.

LET ME ASK YA THIS...

How well do you enable feelings of non situational joy?

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

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Sunday, December 30, 2018

Darkness may find us, but we don’t have to follow it

At the tail end of my career as an entrepreneur, business was slow. Very slow. 

Any gig that came my way was a welcome reprieve from the anguish of sitting alone in my pajamas all day, trying to drum up new clients. The whole thing felt futile and pathetic. 

A low point that stands out happened while driving down the highway on a beautiful, crisp, clear day in big sky country. It suddenly occurred to me that I was crushingly sad and lonely. Maybe sadder and lonelier than I had ever been in my life. 

The despair was so heavy and penetrating in that moment, that the idea of suicide actually crossed my mind for the first time ever. Not ending my life in reality, just the idea of suicide conceptually. 

My mind went to the place of:

Oh wow, there are millions of people around the world who feel just as sad, if not sadder than I feel right now, and lots of those people will decide to kill themselves.

Because in their minds, that solution makes complete sense. The pain of living is too intolerable for them endure, so they’re going to end it all. 

Being a witness to this dark thought flooded my body with numerous feelings and emotions. 

Fear, compassion gratitude, relief, confusion, sweat, stomach cramps, to name a few. 

But although my sadness and loneliness didn’t suddenly lift, entertaining that dark thought shifted something inside of me. There was no doubt in my mind that, despite my depression, killing myself was not a consideration. There may have been a consideration of the consideration, but that’s about as far as it got. 

Something inside of me just said:

Listen, there is a tomorrow that will turn this all around. There is a light at the end of this tunnel. 

This day made me realize that darkness comes for us all. There is no escaping it, no matter how much light we carry inside. 

Debotton writes in his book about love that we are not a species that can choose the baggage with which it must travel. In spite of our best intentions, we always find we have brought along a suitcase or two of darkness and misery. 

And yet, while darkness may find us all, but we don’t have to follow it. 

There are ways to navigate within it. 

This brings me to the second half of my story. 

Once my dark thoughts began to fade, my number one mental health mantra came to mind:

Make meaning, don’t monitor moods. 

Honor the emotions by witnessing and feeling them, but don’t spend too much time there. Instead, use that energy as fuel to move the story forward. 

Maisel writes about this in several of his books: 

When a meaning crisis occurs, we become emotionally unwell, usually calling the experience depression. But rarely do we recognize that a meaning event has just occurred and that, in order to feel better, we must take action by making new meaning. 

And so, instead of ruminating about my sad mood and trying to locate my depression within the pantheon of human condition, an idea popped into my head: Photo hunt. 

This one of my favorite meaning making activities when my well of inspiration has run dry, stress is high, or my mood is just generally sour. Getting lost and taking pictures of obscure and interesting things forces me to get intimate with my surroundings, practice noticing and being curious, and most importantly, get the fuck out of my head for a while. 

It has never failed me. The spirit of adventure allows me to feel at home in the darkness. 

And looking out my rental car window, the light was exquisite, the sky was enormous, and there were old motel signs on every corner. Talk about production value. 

The next hour of my life was absolute bliss. Considering the dark thoughts that had just been running through my head, it might have been one of the my most memorable adventures. 

Here, instead of trying to explain it, let me just show you the pictures:

































Make meaning, don’t monitor moods. 

When you sense the ominous darkness trying to creep over your soul, notice it, name it, tame it and reframe it. 

Kick at the darkness until it bleeds daylight. 

Because although it finds us all, we don’t have to follow it. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
What if every moment of darkness enabled you to better see the light?

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

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Saturday, December 29, 2018

When people try to tell you who you are, don’t believe them

People spend far too much time making assumptions about what’s inside of us. 

And in fact, many of them presume to know us better than ourselves. That’s why they try to enlighten us about who we are, what we should want and why we should want it. 

It’s infuriating. Personally, it makes me feel defensive and controlled. 

And that’s okay. My feelings are valid and normal for any person who feels their identity is being challenge. 

The secret is in the response. Not allowing ourselves to become crushed by the slightest misperception of our identity. And remembering that nobody knows what’s inside of us. 

Moore talked about this experience in his heralded book about the psychological foundation of mature, authentic, and revitalized masculinity. Based on ancient myths and legends, he found that one of the core identity practices was developing our own central calmness about who we are. 

What a beautiful concept. An inner state that arises in us when we feel consistently seen and valued and concretely rewards for our legitimate talents and abilities. 

This not an insignificant accomplishment, either. To train ourselves not to believe what other people tell us about who we are, that takes years and years of practice. 

But it’s certainly a better use of our energy than trying to control other people’s impression of us. 

Because that’s simply exhausting. And outside the sphere of our control. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
What’s your practice for riding the ruddy edges of your truth?

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

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Friday, December 28, 2018

The wall of rationalization behind which the human personality shields itself

In the modern business landscape, most employees are rewarded for how much intellectual capital they bring to the table. Not how skilled they are at feeling their feelings. 

And that’s okay. We can’t expect three centuries of postindustrial society to suddenly prioritize emotional intelligence over getting shit done. 

With the exception of a handful of remarkable, progressive organizations, most of the corporations in the world will favor the head over the heart. 

Outside of the workplace, however, it’s a different story. 

When we’re off the clock, we have a chance to consciously remove our thinking caps and combine intellectual depth with emotional resonance. That’s why support groups and accountability clubs and mastermind meetings are so valuable. They’re neutral places of healing where we can rest the sensible eyes of the intellect and share what’s inside the body and soul. 

Sitting intimately with a trusted group of people, authentically checking in with the feelings and emotions inside our bodies, and witnessing others do the same, is a profoundly healing experience. 

It’s harder than it sounds. Especially for us intellectual types. Because our tendency is to use our minds as a form of defense. The power of our minds to intellectualize life into a mess is amazing. 

And so, any time we practice staying at the sensation level of our experience, and then expressing it, in real time, with other human beings, is worthwhile. 

And who knows. Maybe the world of work will finally catch up. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
What will be possible when you stop trying to figure out life and intellectualize everything?

* * * *

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

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Thursday, December 27, 2018

You’re not allowed to have an opinion

Invalidation infuriates me. 

It makes me feel small and worthless. 

Anytime someone rejects my basic experience, saying or implying that my emotions are wrong, inappropriate or not okay, the eight year old version of myself shrinks to the size of a peanut. 

Here are a few of my greatest hits from the invalidation catalogue. 

When people dismiss, discount, diminish or deny my history. 

When people criticize and shame me for my innate emotional state. 

When people reject, ignore and judge my thoughts and feelings. 

When people accuse my interpretations of things around me as being bad or wrong. 

We people trivialize my true feelings by using them as raw material for their passive aggressive jokes. 

When people make cutting comments under the excuse of just kidding

When people imply that my desires are wrong, stupid and not worth considering. 

When people make me feel worse about myself for having brought something up in the first place. 

These are the invalidating interactions that trigger a surge of rage inside me. 

And that’s okay. After all, judging my own anger in these situations would only invalidate myself further. The key is acceptance and recognition. Knowing the roots of my rage. Sitting with those feelings. 

And also having a menu of healthy outlets for discharging that rage out of my body. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
How do you feel when people reject your internal experience as real, valid and understandable?

* * * *

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

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Monday, December 24, 2018

When you armor yourself like that, there’s no way love can get in

For many years, my ritual before delivering presentations was to spend ten minutes in the bathroom stall doing breathing exercises, listening to epic orchestral music, shadowboxing my imaginary opponent and running creative visualizations inside my head about my ideal outcome. 

It was invigorating as hell. The centering sequence pumped me up for my show and helped created the necessary energy and momentum to operate at peak level. 

Over time, though, my ritual reached a point of diminishing returns. It was nice, but no longer necessary for me to do my job well. It was the rusty old armor that I didn’t need anymore.

Turns out, there is world where we don’t need all of the weapons we grew up thinking we needed. 

We don’t need to micromanage every moment because we trust that the universe isn’t going to engulf us. 

We don’t longer need to drain everything of its power to affect us because we know our boundaries are rock solid. 

We don’t need to obsessively steel ourselves before every performance because we have faith that our foundation is stable enough to handle whatever arises. 

Tippett put it best in a recent interview: 

When we ramp up less, we become more porous. We let more in. 

How might you be shielding yourself from the sharp edges of reality? Where might you be building a protective fence around a nervous core? 

It’s one of the many paradoxes of being. Once we let down the walls that separate us from those around us, we allow more and more truths to permeate our defensive armor, and grow even stronger. 

Perhaps it’s time to strip away your insulation. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
Once you earn your own trust, how will that affect the places where you build armor?

* * * *

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

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Sunday, December 23, 2018

Take full responsibility for your decision

I once heard an interview with a shrink who took an interesting approach to setting priorities during therapy sessions. 

She would ask her patients this question. 

On a scale of one to a hundred, how badly do you want to fix this problem? 

And if the patient’s response was a low number, the doctor would respond by saying:

Okay, well, let’s talk about something else until you get to eighty. 

Here’s why this is a brilliant frame for creating a healing space. 

First, by objectifying the patient’s issue with a number, it immediately turns their problem into a simple binary decision. Yes or no. Go or no go. No rumination needed. 

Second, the therapist is setting a boundary for the relationship. That way she doesn’t codependently rush in and take over and try to solve the problem for her patient. 

Finally, this approach teaches the patient that healing is a gift that’s theirs, as soon as they’re willing to take full responsibility for it. But anything less than eighty percent, and there won’t be enough hunger to push through to the other side. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...

How do you help people break through ambivalence and make a true commitment to positive action? 
* * * *

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

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Saturday, December 22, 2018

Your problem isn’t a lack of focus, it’s a lack of patience

If you’re feeling overwhelmed with ideas and dreams, worried that you simply must settle down, pick a lane and channel all of your creative energy into one particular project, hold on. 

Because there’s no reason you can’t do everything. There’s no reason you can’t take on a number of different endeavors. And there’s no focus police that’s going to lock you up for diversifying your interests and doing more than one thing. 

It’s simply a matter of pacing yourself. Playing the infinite game. Treating everything as an ongoing effort. Focusing on the small wins that enable you to make a little progress every day. Using tiny pockets of time to improve your results, project by project. 

And along the journey, trusting that with each interaction and iteration, your ideas will grow and grow until they are fully formed and ready to live in the world. 

This approach might not allow you realize every one of your big ideas within six weeks or even six months. But what’s the rush?

Better to patiently chip away at your project for ten minutes a day and watch it unfold according to its own clock, as opposed to sprinting for a month until you burn out, lose interest, abandon the idea completely and then beat the shit out of yourself for the rest of the year.

Look, creativity is like an investment portfolio. You make several small, daily deposits in a number of diversified accounts, until one day you look back and say, wow, look at all this wealth that’s accumulated. 

And so, forget about focusing on something. 

Pace yourself with a little bit everything. 

And you’ll free yourself up to do anything. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
Are you governing your growth by insisting you never diversify?

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

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Friday, December 21, 2018

You’re not sought after if nobody has to look for you

Who among us doesn’t want to be noticed, witnessed and seen? 

The desire to break out of obscurity and be remembered is one of our fundamental human longings. 

But the paradox about visibility is, it can actually work to our disadvantage. Because if we’re always there, nobody will have a chance to miss us. The goal is for us to become valuable in our presence, but also noticeable in our absence. We want people to be sick with longing when we’re gone. 

Greene’s bestselling book on the many laws of power summarized it perfectly. 

Too much presence creates the opposite effect. The more you are seen and heard from, the more your value degrades. You become a habit. Learn to withdraw yourself before they unconsciously push you away. Keep yourself obscure, and people will demand your return. 

And so, if you’ve become somewhat of a fixture in your space, like create an excuse to rid people of your presence. Try walking away for a while. Trust that you’ll be noticeable in your absence. And have faith that when you return, people will remember why they loved having you around in the first place. 

Remember, don’t mistake presence for value. 

You’re not sought after if nobody has to look for you. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
Are you striving to make your presence noticed, or make your absence felt?

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

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Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Love works when each person exposes their nakedness

Our deepest fear isn’t that we will run out of money, but that we will run out of places to hide. 

That we will have no choice but to hold the rawness of vulnerability in our hearts, expose our true selves to the world and be seen for who we really are.

Having a low bank balance never sounded so good. 

But the upside of this risk, it’s very healing to stop hiding from ourselves. Because once we go down the path of nakedness, a part of us is finally resting. We receive a measure of peace. And we discover the freedom to reinvest those energies in new places. 

Better places. More honest places. It’s like my therapist once asked me: 

Are you really tired, or just trying to hide? 

Point taken. 

Oh, and should you expose yourself without the vulnerability being returned or appreciated or event noticed, that’s okay too. Happens all the time. But you can still be satisfied that you are the one who gained most. Because that expression of love added meaningful refinements to your soul. And nobody can take that away from you.

Therefore, may we risk full exposure to one another. May we let down the walls that separate us from those around us. And may we trust that people won’t go away when they find out who we really are.

Quite the contrary, in fact. Brooks said it best is his book about the road to character. 

Love works when each person exposes their nakedness and the other rushes to meet it.

LET ME ASK YA THIS...

Where is it growing harder and harder to hide from yourself?

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

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Tuesday, December 18, 2018

The social consequence of principled living

Do your thing. Find your unique voice. Question the consensus reality. Navigate your own unconventional pathway. Rebel against the mindless, mainstream conventionality. 

These are the modern messages of empowerment that we’re sold on a daily basis. 

But what nobody warns us about is the expense of the moral horizon we choose to inhabit. 

They don’t tell us that crafting a life that matches our vision of principled living comes with real social consequences. There’s no memo about the isolation that comes with making any alternate choice. 

And so, it’s not surprise that any time we choose to reject attitudes and choices that most people treat as gospel, we end up feeling scared and scorned and alone. It’s no surprise that any time we take an alternative to the track laid down by the dominant value system, we feel like we’re letting people down. It’s no surprise that when we set our own standards and inherit nothing and standing at the end of no tradition, people will feel threatened. 

The social pressure is relentless. So much so that it can deflect us from pursuing our most important intentions. 

And that’s why we have to stick together. Even if it’s just one person who understands the burden of our unborrowed vision, that communion can carry us a long way this world. 

With their support, we can courageously forget what we’ve been taught to repeat and think with our own brains. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...

Do you trust your own willingness to be true to yourself?

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

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Monday, December 17, 2018

Shut up and do it, even if you think you’re incapable

We’re all guilty of not having a broad enough vision of what we are capable of. 

And that’s okay. It’s not necessarily our fault. Grasping the full range of our capabilities is hard. There are so many layers of juicy, dripping potential have been buried and obscured by any number of forces outside our control. 

And so, what we need is a crucible. A refining fire. A vessel in which our potential is heated to high temperatures and stretched beyond its known boundaries. A fortifying experience that becomes a new baseline for our everyday abilities going forward. 

Patchett’s advice to young artists is quite applicable here. She suggests that we set our sights on something that we aren’t quite capable of doing, doing something that is uncomfortably beyond what we think we can manage. 

As if to say to ourselves, shut up and do it, even if you think you’re incapable

And in the process, we will learn to trust that our potential for greater things will grow in proportion. That was precisely my mindset when transitioning from the entrepreneur world into the agency world; and then from the agency world into the startup world. 

Frustrated with only satisfying a narrow band of my total capabilities, my mission was full integration. My intention was to channel all of my gifts to make a measurable difference for people other than just myself. 

In short, seeing what my talent was really made of. Not to prove anything, but to express everything. 

When was the last time you were that challenged? And not just challenged in a way that made you look like the smartest person in the room, but really, truly, humbly called upon to raise your game in a way that you didn’t know you were capable of? 

That’s your crucible. And if you’re willing to plunge headlong into it, what’s waiting inside is nothing short of miraculous. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
What might you be capable if you drew from a full well?

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

It's the world's first, best and only product development and innovation gameshow!

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