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Saturday, March 31, 2018

Moments so golden that they take my breath away

Anything that enables blissful sense of expansive oneness with others, ideas and experiences, is a worthwhile use of our time. 

Those little everyday moments add up. We build a bank with them. Particularly during times of distress, disappointment and depression, when our ability to make deposits into that emotional account can make all the difference in the world. 

Lewis wrote about this phenomenon in his book about the surprise of joy:

This really was a period of ecstasy that consisted chiefly of moments when you were too happy to speak, when the gods and heroes rioted through your head until you felt that it might break you with mere richness. 

Are you pulling your triggers for joy? Are you committing daily acts that evoke aliveness? Are you learning to find satisfaction in small compensations? And are you orienting yourself toward that which delights you? 

Hope so. Because every life needs moments of exultation. Any small gesture or tiny embellishment that has a memorable impact on us, it’s a sign that we’re still alive. 

Years ago, during an especially painful breakup, a friend of mine called me one day and said that she was waiting outside of my apartment, prepared to kidnap me for the afternoon. 

Reluctantly, I threw on some clothes and met her outside. Kristi proceeded to take me out for ice cream and give me a tour of the new gay sex shop in our neighborhood. We spent over two hours in that place, laughing and learning about all the new trends and technologies in the world of gay erotica. 

The drag queen owner even modeled a few pieces of sexy lingerie for us and started an impromptu dance party. 

Before we knew it, the three of us were busy with gasps of delight, lost in a world of our own personal delight and wonder. Not exactly the type of weekend adventure I had in mind, but it ended up being one of the most unexpectedly joyous days of the whole year. 

To the point that I forgot all about my broken heart, let go and delighted in the universe once again. 

Lesson learned, each of us deserves to have moments so golden that they take our breath away. Each of deserves to be surrounded in environments that convey a sense of wholeness and evoke a quality of aliveness. And each of deserves a specifically nurturing habitat for the needs of our unique organism. 

Cameron’s manual for tapping into creativity during retirement explores this same idea. She claims that a luxury is anything that gives people pleasure purely for its own sake, not because it performs any kind of useful function. 

It doesn't have to be expensive, only authentic. 

Luxury is an agent of joy, irrespective of cost. 

It’s a simple moment in which get in touch with the small things that matter to us and make meaning in accordance with our values.

LET ME ASK YA THIS...

How are you orienting yourself toward that which delights you?

* * * *


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, March 29, 2018

Reach for words, not snacks

In the recovery movement, addiction counselors use a term called countering.

It's the substitution of healthy activities and responses for problem behaviors. And, it’s also about replacing troubling thoughts with positive ones. 

The good news is, we don’t have to battle with addiction to use that tool. Countering is a practical and powerful strategy for finding the next right action in any circumstance. 

As long as it helps rewire our brains to create the opportunity for healthy decision making, it’s worthwhile. 

I once read a unconventional diet book exclusively for writers. Cameron suggested that when an unanticipated circumstance triggered our desire to overeat, we could choose to replace addictive responses with healthy choices. 

We could reach for words, not for snacks. 

We might even ask ourselves the simple question: What can I do instead of eating? 

I tried this strategy for about six months, and found that it allowed me to more consciously choose other healthier ways of coping, instead of reaching for food to eat my feelings. Even lost a couple of pounds in the process. 

But that’s not the point. 

The goal isn’t losing weight, by learning not to resort to the unhealthy ways that we’re used to coping. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
What’s your countering strategy for replacing unhealthy behaviors? 
* * * *


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, March 28, 2018

Helping yourself find the next right action

Just decide. 

Before your procrastinatory urges kick in. Before your brain has a chance to protest. And before you decide to delay until you spend a few more hours researching. 

Just decide. 

As my yoga teacher friend says:

The right path is the one you take, the right decision is the one that you make

Have faith in the process. Do whatever you have to do to break through your ambivalence and make a true commitment to action. 

Then, trust that taking the first small step will lead to the next. Believe that taking a risk will spike your blood with a rewarding sense of true aliveness. And know that the feeling of joy in your accomplishment will encourage you to go further. 

Your hesitation is understandable. Every decision carries with it an element of danger and loneliness. That’s why you’re so terrified of committing. It’s the death of other options. It’s the declaration of what you want. 

Not to mention, once you’ve made your bed, now you must lie in it. Commitment is more than just choosing, it’s bravely dealing with the consequences of your choices. 

And so, it’s not so much what decisions you make, it’s how intentional you about making them. 

Because nothing comes out perfectly. Not in the hands of humans. 

The secret is accepting the fact that there are mistakes that you can make and that you can’t undo. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
Are you more worried about making the right decision, or about making a decision and then making it right?

* * * *

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, March 27, 2018

Sacrifice is when it costs you something to love this person

Hollywood romcoms portray the impossibility of perfect relationships. 

And our exposure to these movies actually affects how we view romance and behavior in our own relationships. 

There’s a fascinating study in a media culture journal that found that frequent exposure to romance and courtship in this idealized form could lead viewers to adopt equally idealized notions about relationships in the real world. This false expectation can create a gap in overall relationship satisfaction. 

But the truth behind the scenes is, all of those less sexy behaviors like compromise and sacrifice and deferment are what lay beneath the surface to keep our relationships alive. 

That’s what nobody tells us when we fall in love. That each of us is going to have to discover what degree of compromise we’re willing to live with. What degree of adjustment to the other person and to the world we’re willing to make that allows us to live with ourselves. 

Glass, the legendary composer of minimalist music, is known for his prolific and unusual collaborations with other artists. And he once made the following comment in a newspaper interview that parallels this idea of constructive compromise.

Lots of people talk about how important it is for artists to find their voice, he says, but what you really want to do is lose your voice. That’s how you evolve and grow as an artist. Only when I encounter the unknown can I change my own language. 

That’s what we do for each other. We merge our voices. We create our own lexicon of living. One team, one dream. 

Seinfeld was right when he said:

Our blessing in life is when we find the torture we’re comfortable with. 

Perhaps we should stop watching movies and start asking ourselves if we’re ready to endure the sacrifice that commitment entails. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...

Have you worked out your own brand of compromise? 

* * * *


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, March 26, 2018

Joy takes realizing what separates you from it

When something triggers our anxiety, the instinctive reaction is to freak out and ruminate about the stress and dwell in our existential pain and mope around feeling sorry for ourselves. 

But that only make things worse. It compounds the pain with suffering. 

Buddha famously called this the second arrow. 

In life, we cannot always control the first arrow, he said. However, the second arrow is our reaction to the first. And with this second arrow comes the possibility of choice. 

And so, instead of our mind and body going into reactivity, the healthier response is to pursue joy as quickly as possible. 

Mellin’s book on neuroplasticity reminds us that the brain cannot be in a state of joy and stress at the same time. She says one of the two swamps the other, which is why the relentless pursuit of natural joy may be our most effective defense against stress. 

The first few times I experienced panic attacks, my awareness of and relationship to joy wasn’t completely developed. And so, I felt helpless to take responsibility for what was going on inside my head. There was nothing to override my brain’s natural negativity bias. 

But as my inner journey evolved, I discovered that joy was a skill. Joy was a choice, not a chance. And because it had a different biological signature than anxiety, that meant I could use it as a tool to cannibalize the panic. 

Singing, for example, is an experience guaranteed to provide me with feelings of comfort and delight and aliveness. Especially when it comes to eighties pop songs. That’s why I keep a playlist on my phone for such an occasion. Should the waves of anxiety come crashing in, I know exactly which songs to play in order to marshal an effective joy response and allow the weather patterns of panic to come and go. Works every time. 

The point is, you’d be surprised just how many people cannot recognize when they are feeling joy. But that’s the first step to overcoming reactivity. If you don’t already have an arsenal of tasks and activities and experiences and relationships that can help you cannibalize panic when it arrives, start building that toolbox today. 

Because you never know when you might need it. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...

Do you shoot yourself with the second arrow, or have agency over 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, March 25, 2018

I swear I’m right, swear I knew it all along

Here’s my favorite horror movie trope. 

There are aliens or zombies or killer clowns shambling around town, terrorizing the locals. And there’s that one little kid who seems to be the only person who sees it. 

But nobody believes him. He’s obviously crazy. Everything’s fine. 

At which point, the monster usually jumps out of nowhere and devours everyone, leaving nothing behind but a pool of blood and that child looking on, thinking to himself:

I tried to warn you. 

Turns out, though, this cinematic cliché is a universal human experience. Because eventually, we all find ourselves trapped in the same paranoid moment. A situation where we think to ourselves

There’s no way it’s just me who feels this way. I can’t be the only one. Does anyone else smell this? 

And the maddening part is, there’s no way to tell if we’re completely crazy or perfectly lucid. 

And so, we just sit there, feeling helpless and alone in our frustration and confusion. Hoping and praying for vindication. 

I once worked for a company that underpaid and overworked and manipulated and neglected their employees. Myself included. 

But because it was my first job, I had nothing to compare it to. There was no way to know if my experience was a product of the geography, the industry or the organization itself. 

It wasn’t until years later when I joined a different employer in the same industry and same city that I finally realized:

Oh wow, I was right all along. Those guys were total assholes. I’m less of a freak than I originally thought. 

That’s vindication. It’s profoundly freeing.

If you find yourself wondering if you’re the only one, trust the process enough to prove you wrong in due time. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
Do you feel so alienated that you forget you’re not alone?
* * * *


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, March 24, 2018

Bringing your humanity into focus

Meditation is more than simply noticing you breathing. 

It’s also about interacting with the space between the breaths. When your mind starts to wander, for example, and you suddenly realize that you’re drifting off to fantasyland and making your to do list inside your head, that’s the moment of truth:

The opportunity to return to the breath without judgment. 

If you can accomplish that, you’re growing. Every meditative effort of compassion that you make moves you one step closer to enlightenment.

Keep in mind, though, meditation is not a competition with yourself and others. There is no prize for the grasshopper who thinks the fewest thoughts. And it’s not an activity you need to get good at. 

That’s just spiritual materialism. 

The purpose is simply to practice. To keep the game going. To use meditation as another vehicle for answering some questions about yourself. 

Trusting, that as you forgive and accept and even love all of your faults, perhaps those same behaviors will no longer bother you in others. 

Ultimately, mediation is not about how hard we concentrate, it’s how quickly we forgive ourselves when we don’t. 

That’s the greatest weapon of the spiritual revolution. 

How we meet each moment within ourselves. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...What do you say to yourself in those moments when your awareness drifts from center?

* * * *

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, March 23, 2018

SCOTT'S NEW BOOK || Where Did You Find This Guy?

Where did you find this guy? 

This question should be music to your ears. 

Because it’s usually asked by people who have just met you, immediately after you created a holy shit moment. 

It’s another way of saying, wow, this person is a good catch. A spectacular find. A golden discovery. Someone rare. Someone worth keeping and building things around. Someone who, in their fundamental individuality, their personalized essence, has honed the singular gift for which they are so beloved, and used it to create value for others. 

In short, it means you have become a uniquely useful person. And if that’s not one of the top three universal human longings, I don’t know what is. 

This question has been consistently asked of me since adolescence. For some reason, teachers, bosses, clients, coworkers, customers and colleagues have often whispered to each other, where did you find this guy? 

And personally, it always felt like a compliment. An invitation to keep going. An underlining of my unique value. Even if the people who said it didn’t quite know what to do with me. 

And so, my new book is a collection of essays about this very topic. 

Showing up, being yourself, creating value and leaving a trail of greatness in your wake that inspires other people to do the same.
LET ME ASK YA THIS...
Where did you find this guy?

* * * *

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, March 22, 2018

When fortune’s loving countenance looks upon me

A consultant friend of mine loves to say that the day you’re pricing structure is perfect is:

When the client is thinking they’re getting a bargain, and you’re thinking that you can’t believe you just got a check for that amount. 

For many years, I assumed that was the ideal financial situation. But the more learned about how abundance and gratitude and wealth worked, the more I disagreed. 

Because my goal is to develop a relationship with money that supports and enhances my overall experience of prosperity. And so, when fortune’s loving countenance looks upon me, the last thing I want to do is blink in disbelief. 

Cameron’s book of prayers was pivotal in molding my attitude towards this issue. She taught me that to bless a situation is to claim its inner, hidden reality. That we should surrender our sense of adversity and count our good fortune at every turn. And we should accept the wealth that is offered to us and rejoice in its appearance. 

It’s one of the ways we remind ourselves that we are partnered by a loving universe. 

Now that I understand that, whenever a check comes in the mail, there’s a moment. Instead of thinking to myself what a coup it was, laughing about how gullible my sucker client was to pay me that sum of money for doing something that I would have gladly done for free, I hold up that check and recite the following mantra. 

Money is flowing into my life from all directions. My life is abundant in multiple ways. And there are many doors through which my prosperity comes to me. 

That’s the experience of prosperity that I want to have. One that focuses on the small increments of good which come to me daily. 

Hyde said it best:

The forest’s abundance is a consequence of man treating its wealth as a gift. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
Are you possessed by a prosperous heart? 

* * * *


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, March 21, 2018

My bed is the only place where I don’t have to try

Getting adequate sleep has been clinically proven to offer myriad health benefits, including improved memory, sharpened attention, inflammation reduction, heightened creativity, healthier skin and strengthened immune system, to name a few. 

But let’s not overlook the bigger and more human significance of that glorious moment when we first lay our heads down at the end of a long day. 

My friend who suffers from severe depression says it best. 

My bed is the only place where I don’t have to try. 

That’s not an insignificant insight. After all, life can be difficult and exhausting and filled with failure and populated by mean people who tell you that you’re ugly and not enough. And sometimes it feels impossible to allow our minds to let go of themselves. 

But our bed is our home. It’s safe and warm and relaxing. It’s the cheapest form of overnight therapy available. And it’s one of the few places in this world that always makes us feel truly accepted. 

In the history of mankind, no bed has ever laughed at us for making a mistake, or judged us for farting, or given us a weird look for wearing our ridiculous superhero pajamas. 

Our bed is thoughtful. It’s always there when we need it, and it’s always willing to cuddle for however long we want. 

In fact, most people would agree that eight hours of sleep is better than eight hours of anything else. 

The point is, in a world where we’re constantly hovering in a purgatory between ecstasy and exhaustion, everyone should have at least one place in their life where they don’t have to try. 

Where they can let go and let the world take them where it will. 

The good news is, it doesn’t have to be your bed, it just has to be yours. 

Home isn’t where you sleep, it’s where you’re understood. 

And nobody understands you like your pillow.

LET ME ASK YA THIS...

What is the only place in your life where you don’t have to try?  
* * * *


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, March 20, 2018

A rather special person who deserves to be congratulated on their idealism

Renaissance artists often had patrons. 

Organizations or individuals who supported, encouraged and bestowed financial aid upon them, so that their creative work could collide with the outside world. 

These people were the original angel investors, sugar daddies and fairy godmothers, and without their crucial role, many of our finest works of art never would have seen the light of day. 

Davinci himself even had a number of powerful patrons over the course of his career, including kings, scientists, clergymen, politicians and other influential members of the community. 

Of course, that was several hundred years ago. These days, there’s a very low probability of a wealthy noble darkening my doorstep with a suitcase full of money who says:

Young man, I like the cut of your jib. Please accept this gift of several million dollars to help underwrite your weirdness. No contracts. No strings attached. Just send me a signed copy of each piece when you’re done, and we’ll call it even. Good day. 

Too bad. Sure would make life easier to have a patron like that. 

And so, we have to be smart about providing for ourselves. We have to find a way to fund our own projects. We have to underwrite our own ability to make art. And we have to be willing to make whatever arrangements are needed to assure that our work reaches the world. 

In short, we have to become our own patrons. 

Because nobody else is going to give us the financial foundation to prove how talented we are. That’s our job. 

I’m reminded of interview with one of my favorite performers. Rollins reminisced about his history of initiating his own projects, about being the producer of his own work, and his advice to young artists was:

Don’t ever factor in anybody ever helping you. 

Which sounds like petulant, cynical, selfish advice, but that’s not the point. 

Henry wasn’t trying to be anti dependent, attempting to meet of his needs and wants himself, refusing to be vulnerable and open to the assistance of others. 

He just wasn’t banking on it. He wasn’t waiting to be tapped on the shoulder. 

And so, he just hired himself and got to work. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...

How will you rearrange your life to become your own patron? 
* * * *


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


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