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Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Grand creative visions translate into small daily increments

Microexecution is the incremental ability to create meaningful work in a limited time frame. 

Let’s unpack that definition one chunk at a time. 

First, incremental. Which means leveraging the gloriously underrated power of compound interest. Doing your work one chunk at a time. Moving the mountain by taking small bites out of it. Chipping away at the mass in front of you. 

Second, ability. Because execution truly a skill. It’s a muscle. There’s a side of your being that needs to be disciplined. You have to professionalize your habits. And in a world where nothing is predictable, discipline is the only thing you have control over. 

Third, create. Not curate or collect or copy or consume, but create. From whole cloth. You make something out of nothing. You render the feelings, thoughts and emotions inside your body into something real. Graduating from dreaming to doing. Moving from idea to i-did. 

Fourth, meaningful work. Which is made, not found. You are the arbiter of meaning in your life. There’s no permission. There’s nobody asking you to make things for them. Your art is internally generated. You hire yourself and get to work. And you gain a sense of efficacy through these small but not insignificant achievements. 

Fifth, limited. This is the secret. The time frame is the constraint that sets your creativity free. The fact that you only have a few fleeting moments a day to chip away at the work forces you to make the most out of it. But you make it all work because you create in the tiny cracks and pockets of time. 

Finally, time frame. It’s a ritual. A habit. And contrary to popular conditioning, this kind of behavior won’t detract from spontaneity or creativity. Quite the opposite, in fact. Ritual brings us into contact with our own capacity for discipline. Ritual insures that we use as little conscious energy as possible where it is not absolutely necessary, leaving us free to strategically focus the energy available to us in enriching ways. 

That’s microexecution. 

It’s the incremental ability to create meaningful work in a limited time frame. 

And understandably, it’s unpopular because it requires discipline, patience, trust, delayed gratification and most importantly, the skill to concentrate anytime, anywhere. 

And did I mention enthusiasm? That’s the glue that holds the microexecution process together. 

Ford’s famous speech comes to mind. 

You can do anything if you have enthusiasm. Enthusiasm is the yeast that makes your hopes rise to the stars. Enthusiasm is the sparkle in your eyes, the swing in your gait, the grip of your hand, the irresistible surge of will and energy to execute your ideas. Enthusiasts are fighters. They have fortitude. They have staying qualities. Enthusiasm is at the bottom of all progress. With it, there is accomplishment. Without it, there are only alibis. 

Remember, all grand creative visions translate into small daily increments. 

Master the art of microexecution and nobody will be able to stop you. 

Including yourself. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
What excuses are you using to justify your procrastination?

* * * *

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, July 30, 2018

The worst stuff you’re ever going to make

Sorkin, the award winning stage and film writer, recently taught a master class on the art of the screenplay. 

One of his students asked if it was worth the time and money to invest to art school. To which the instructor said:

The only advantage of going to college is, you give yourself a chance to write the worst stuff you’re ever going to write. 

It’s an interesting insight on higher education; a product that many say does not work, has an antiquated business model and comes with ridiculous costs that send students into debt for the rest of their lives. 

And so, it depends on our definition of the word education, which comes from the word educe, which means to bring out of. 

What if that’s all education was? Not the mindless implantation of things into people’s minds, but the bringing out of those people what’s natural, native, good, special and useful to the world? 

I have spent the better part of my life making art. And although I never enrolled in art school, what I did do between the ages of ten and twenty was spend thousands and thousands of hours making the worst stuff I was ever going to make. Which didn’t insulate me against making bad art in the future, but it was a process, an educational journey, that laid a creative foundation and flushed a lot of the crap out of my system and built a body of experience that brought out of me what was natural, native, good, special and useful to the world. 

My art school was practicing. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
What’s yours? 

* * * *


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, July 29, 2018

The kind of selves we become today

Is the glass half empty or half full? 

That’s the existential litmus test to determine somebody’s worldview. We ask this question to determine how people perceive events and objects, either optimistically or pessimistically. 

But the answer isn’t quite as straightforward as it sounds. Whether we see the glass as half empty or half full has nothing to do with the water and everything to do with our expectations. 

There’s a fascinating philosophy book about the fate of humanity, and how it depends on the kind of selves we become today. It’s heavy stuff. But the author makes a brilliant point about this very issue. 

If we expect a full glass, a glass with water up to the middle will seem half empty; but if we don’t expect any water at all, then the same glass will seem half full. 

That’s the power of expectation. The water doesn’t change, we do. 

And so, whenever we feel the rumblings of dissatisfaction, the more important question to ask of ourselves is, what expectation are we holding onto in this moment? 

Because if we believe that life needs to be a certain way for us to be happy, if we look out in the world for happiness and expect it to be perfectly gift wrapped to our exact specifications, then the glass will always remain half empty. 

And we will only become tenser and more limited in our joy. 

But if we learn to let go of our rigid picture of how the world should be and simply watch the tapestry of life unfold, we will find peace at every turn.

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
How often does the happiness you experience today visit you in the way you anticipated?

* * * *


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, July 28, 2018

Never going back to black and white

Marriage wasn’t built for intimacy, it was built for real estate. 

Ancient societies needed a secure environment and a system of rules to handle the granting of property rights and the perpetuation of bloodlines. 

And so, couples tied the knot out of social and economic stability, not necessarily love and desire. 

It’s so romantic. 

Of course, that was hundreds and even thousands of years ago. Modern couples now have the opportunity to use their relationships for a much more meaningful purpose, which is to create a path to personal growth. 

The relationship allows these two people to be connected to each other through intimacy. 

It allows them give and receive support to ease the burdens of life and enhance the enjoyment of living. 

It allows them to give and receive the reality of each other without the need to judge or fix it. 

It allows them to share the mysteries of life as they unfold, starting a conversation that never ends. 

What a wonderful adventure to intimately participate in the journey of a fellow soul. It makes us think to ourselves, wow, we can’t wait to see what’s around the next corner, and what a thrill to be with a person who’s up for it. 

The relationship gives us hope that challenges will be met with courage, strength and grace. Because anything that happens outside our relationship can be healed within it. 

Somatica published a compelling essay on intimacy found that once of the reasons long term relationships provide us with such a huge opportunity to grow is because they cause us to face our deepest longings and fears as we connect with another human being whose needs, feelings and desires differ from ours. 

That was actually something my marriage counselor warned me about. That before getting married, you rarely delve into your complexities. But once you cross that threshold and fully embrace the partnership and start bumping up against something solid, you truly learn who you really are. Which, in my case, is someone who farts too much.

But through your closeness to someone, you are instantly confronted by a new awareness of yourself. And like having a color television set, you never want to go back to black and white. 

Now that’s romantic. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
Is your relationship a constant struggle, or a pathway to joy, intimacy and growth?
* * * *


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, July 27, 2018

Some divine structure has just whipped through here

Schomburg, the famous writer and historian, described his creative moment of conception in the most beautiful way. 

A novel had announced itself. It was coming to town. Posters were plastered on every wall in my cerebellum, a vacant lot in that vicinity had been reserved

That moment is the most intoxicating part about making things. When you know in your heart that something wants to be born, and you make the commitment to bring that baby into the world. 

Holy smokes. There’s nothing better. Makes my knees wobble with excitement. T

he question is, what happens if that moment never comes? What if, despite your bestest intentions and boldest ideas, you can’t locate harmony within hierarchy? 

The advice I give to my clients is:

Structure is the side effect of volume. It manifests incidentally, not intentionally. 

And so, if you’re fatigued and frustrated because you haven't uncovered the organizing principle of your new project yet, just keep creating. Trust that order comes later. 

For now, just keep your head down and keep making the pile bigger. Because with every new piece that you add, the easier it will become to notice patterns within the whole. Before you know it, you’ll understand exactly how the project is supposed to build out. 

It’s like my mentor used to tell me at the start of my career. You haven’t written enough to know what kind of writer you are yet. 

When in doubt, create your way out. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
What did you write today?

* * * *

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, July 24, 2018

Salvaging a career teetering on the brink of ruin

Shackleton’s famous advertisement ran in the newspaper to try to recruit men for his polar expedition. 

Here’s what the message said, nearly one hundred years ago. 

Men wanted for hazardous journey. Low wages, bitter cold, long hours of complete darkness. Safe return doubtful. Honor and recognition in event of success. 

Does that sound antiquated, bizarre and over dramatic? 

It’s actually not. 

Shackleton practically described the entire career path of most entrepreneurs. Ask anyone who started their own business at some point in the past twenty years. Here’s what they won’t tell you. 

You’re constantly doing the hustle dance to game the system. You’re living and dying by every gig you get. You’re making a living off on one act of hokum to the next. Every day you don’t kill yourself is a day you’ve lost work. Meanwhile, anxiety gnaws at the core of your being and the chronic hunger creates a sense of desperation. Because every day is a frantic scramble for position, prestige, profit and power. 

That’s one hell of a job description. Good luck with your booth at career fair. 

Of course, some people have the constitution to handle it. They can absorb the pressure of being the single point of success or failure. Their ambition and intensity are sustainable over the long haul. And they aren’t likely snap over to the place of I just don’t give a fuck anymore. 

Good for them. They deserve every success they get. 

But for the rest of us, there’s nothing noble about salvaging a career teetering on the brink of ruin. 

Just because you’re made in it doesn’t mean you’re made for it. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
What’s your plan for when your golden goose stops laying eggs? 

* * * *


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, July 23, 2018

Preventative medicine of the spirit

Each of us needs a sanctuary where we can forget who we are. 

A quiet retreat that can help us do the private healing we need. A personal island of renewal that we can turn to for serenity and strength. 

Without making space for these nourishing moments in each day or week or month, we can easily become overshadowed by the demands of survival. 

I was lucky enough to have a therapist who specialized in this very practice. He taught me how to orient myself when there were no familiar landmarks, specifically through tools like hypnosis, meditation, dream interpretation and mindfulness. 

And what I quickly learned was, there’s no one way to do it. There are as many personal islands of renewal as there are persons to visit them. It doesn’t matter how we do it, only that we do it. 

Even if it does take time and cost money and push our schedule back a bit. Fine. It’s s small price to pay for the health of our souls. 

It’s preventative medicine of the spirit. 

In fact, the people closest to us are usually grateful for the degree of sanity to which we’ve been restored. They might even get inspired to settle down and find a measure of peace for themselves. 

The other thing is, as time goes on, it’s also an exciting part of our journey to develop additional ways to reconnect to self. To find new and exciting tools for widening the possibilities for awakening spirit. 

That’s the best part about visiting the island. We control the landscape. It evolves and matures and expands right along with us. And every bit of our healing leads us closer to the life we really want. Every experience of restoration returns us what we already possess. 

And so, if we’re truly serious about participating in the active process of healing, the first step is trust. 

Trust that we have a safe space and the tools necessary to begin. Trust that we are strong enough to allow time to help us heal. Trust that we can find our way back to a condition of peace. Trust that we are becoming a happier and healthier person in the process. 

The time has come to let go of our resentments for our own healing and look after the essentials of personal care. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
What is the personal island of renewal that you can turn to for serenity and strength?

* * * *


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, July 22, 2018

Meaty bundles of frenetic ideas

We are artists. 

And here’s what that means. 

We are always working on something, even if it isn't ready yet. We are driven by an ecstatic urgency to give rise to that which is new. We feel a deep yearning inside to make our vision happen. We want to make things forever, but not the exact same way forever. 

We have ideas floating around like some weather system inside our heads. We have the ability to take the most stupid of ideas and turn them into a plan. We create a different world to express the way we feel about this one. We chose to take our own creative urges more seriously than our doubt. 

We know how to attend unswervingly, moment by moment, to our work and ourselves. We will destroy what we’ve created in order to move forward. We commit to the creative life as an imperative as real as breathing. We build a space to allow ourselves to grow creatively. We focus on giving people our soul, not being good. We know the act of creation, not the creation itself, is what gives life meaning. And we trust our intuition when it tells us not to give up on things. 

We are artists. Meaty bundles of frenetic ideas stuffed into a cannon and shot through the particle accelerator known as our hands and hearts. 

It’s a beautiful job description, except for the fact that it’s not a job. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...

How are you expanding into a larger definition of yourself as an artist? 
* * * *


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, July 21, 2018

Our hearts may break, but they keep beating

Here’s the best advice nobody ever gave me. 

Learn not to panic over simple misfortune. Know that one trying incident doesn’t have to ruin the whole day. Don't assume that an obstacle in one area means a setback everywhere. Trust that your ultimate contentment doesn’t depend on having things work out your way. 

Never allow the mean part of your brain to turn every little problem into a catastrophe. Practice living with all of your feelings, many of which you don’t want. Accept that ninety percent of life is a gradual progress punctuated substantial setbacks. Realize that when life goes to shit, your theatrics and storytelling are merely forms of exhibition. 

But always keep moving forward, even when you see no signs of momentum. Keep walking, even when your fear wants you to cower in the shadows. And learn to take slow, small, solid steps to build a forward momentum of healing. 

Because the minute you put the key of willingness in the lock, the latch springs open. 

Even for you. 

You, who thought you were little gods and that the world was here just for you. 

You, whose heart may break, but it keeps beating. 

You, who came from the stars and rush in where the angels fear to tread. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
What’s the best advice nobody ever gave 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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