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Tuesday, December 11, 2018

We don’t need the whole world on the first day

We wake up with aspirations of grandeur. Thinking we can come right out of the gate and blast past our edge. 

Which is a commendable mindset. But we have to be honest with our own limits. We have to ask if we’re merely impressing ourselves with a temporary surge of ambition. We have to wonder if we’re unwilling to accept the sometimes slow process of change. 

Recovery programs teach addicts to look for small, slow changes rather than big, dramatic ones. To seek satisfaction through the measurable progress through small victories. 

It’s a lesson all of us need to learn. How to pull back on the reins of our ambition. How to trust the grace of a patient universe. And how to gently open the door to change. 

Here are a few mantras that have been useful for me:

We don’t have to fight all of our battles today. 

We don’t have to tackle all our problems at once. 

We don’t have to understand everything immediately. 

We don’t have to fire all our weapons simultaneously. 

We don’t have to change everything in our lives right now.

We don’t need to get it perfect on our first attempt. 

It’s humbling and time consuming and requires more patience than we’re used to. 

But then again, we’re here to express, not impress. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
Are you creating real, sustainable change, or building a monument to a rare burst of enthusiasm?

* * * *
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 09, 2018

Joy is waiting to be welcomed back home.

It’s the small thrills that remind us who we are. 

Those mundane, quiet, undramatic everyday experiences that are gently woven into our days, these are the moments we remember forever. These are the joys that create the inner smile of peace and rebalance us above the precipice of meaninglessness. 

Without them, we’re just piles of dust and bone. 

Consider this hilariously pathetic article from the world’s best satire magazine about the man who brings lunch from home to cut down on small joys:

Speaking with reporters while opening ziploc baggies of pretzel twists and baby carrots, local man said that making your own lunch each day is a great way to reduce your simple pleasures throughout the week. It’s already made a huge difference for me, said the middle aged insurance underwriter said as he unwrapped a plain turkey sandwich from aluminum foil that he had woken up fifteen minutes early this morning to prepare. He used to go out for lunch with coworkers and actually enjoy himself every day, but now he just sits at my desk and eats something he packed from home. It’s quick, easy, and has cut his weekly sense of gratification by at least half. The man went on to say that he is considering canceling his cable service as well, which would save him ninety hours of genuine relaxation time a month. 

This article invites several existential questions. 

What small joys do you regret eliminating from your life? 

What treat, that will not only reward you but also improve you, are you ashamed of acquiring? 

What pleasures and delights are you still not allowing yourself to have? 

What compulsive restrictions are leaving you twenty percent healthier but fifty percent unhappier? 

What affordable luxury that would give you five minutes of happiness are you too proud and too frugal and too guilty pursue? 

In other words, when did you decide that you didn’t deserve to feel good? 

Listen. Listen loudly. At any point during any day, we can pause and remember that we have a place to come home to. It’s a small price to pay for health and sanity. 

But these moments are so small and soft and subtle, they’re easy to miss. And forget about. And get lazy with. And take for granted. And sadly, we can never go back to claim the joy we missed yesterday. 

And so, the goal is not only to see the big picture, but also to notice, experience, enjoy, share and give thanks for the little ones. 

That’s the irony. If we’re not able to do these small things for ourselves, and if we’re not allowing enthusiasm for life’s smaller offerings, then we’re actually missing the picture entirely.

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
Do you have a handy list of existentially nourishing activities and tasks that are guaranteed to provide you with the experience of meaning and 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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Saturday, December 08, 2018

With questions in my head spinning like plates on sticks

Many of us have mission statements, but we should really have mission questions. 

Because good questions work on us, we don’t work on them. Each one is a small experiment. A mirror into which we can see what’s possible for us. And if we learn to love questions themselves as if they were locked rooms, there’s no telling what me might discover inside. 

Several years ago, my company launched a search engine, indexed with five thousand questions from my personal database. It’s crude and simple, but it’s also a helpful resource for writing, reflecting, conducting meetings and even facilitating team brainstorms. 

What’s interesting is how the questions naturally clump together. Almost like galaxies. The questions are related, like members an extended family of ideas around a general topic, gradually forming into a whole. 

One example I recently discovered was a collection of questions centered around misinterpreting past performance. They challenge us to rethink our experiences through the lenses of maturity and perspective and distance. 

And so, reflect back on a past relationship or job experience or period of your life, and see which of these questions resonate with you. 

  • Were you smart, or just lucky? 
  • Were you innovative, or merely opportunistic? 
  • Did you fix something, or simply change the problem? 
  • Were you really growing, or merely rearranging your prejudices? 
  • Was there true joy in the act, or was it just anesthesia? 
  • Were you standing up for your integrity, or just full of pride? 
  • Were you making a serious change, or just going through a phase? 

They’re certainly not the most comfortable questions to answer. But that’s point. The confrontation with self might create an episode of unusual mental clarity. 

And once you taste that understanding, you will become much more aware of when things are not clear in the future. 


LET ME ASK YA THIS...
When everything is gliding along fine, do you still question things? 
* * * *
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 07, 2018

The sudden and uncontrollable urge to choke somebody with a phone charger

Here’s an interesting paradox. 

Only the pain of anger can tell us who we really are. 

And yet, anger is the mood we are the worst at controlling. 

Because most of us never learned how to allow that emotion to work for us. Our parents and teachers never told is that we could actually domesticate and metabolize anger before it turned into resentment. What a concept. 

Lincoln was a master at this during his presidency. Whenever he felt the urge to tell someone off, he would compose one of his famous hot letters before going to sleep. The president would pile all of his anger into the note, set it aside until his emotions calmed down, and then write at the bottom, never sent, never signed. 

What’s your ritual for discharging anger? What’s your emotional catharsis for letting it all out, without the repercussions of true engagement? 

Each of us needs this kind of tool. Because when situations arise that provoke genuine appropriate anger, we need outlets for discharging it. Otherwise those feelings are going to find a home in our body. 

Pohl’s book on how to restore physical, mental, emotional and spiritual balance makes an interesting point on anger. The doctor writes:

In the same way that lightning always finds a path to ground, feelings always find a path to expression. And if we don’t allow ourselves to feel and talk about them, then they invariably come out sideways in indirect forms via our unhealthy, defeating or explosive behavior. 

Proving, that anger isn’t unhealthy, the way we’re expressing it is. 

Next time you get the sudden and uncontrollable urge to choke one of your coworkers with a phone charger, try taking your anger and putting it into your pen. 

Start writing an angry letter to that person, and by the time you’re done, you’ll be signing it with love. 

Or, not even signing it at all. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
When anger dares you, will you rise to the occasion?
* * * *
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 06, 2018

Part of an old life that doesn’t fit us anymore

Reacher, my favorite fictional character, is a retired solider turned vagrant who reluctantly solves government crimes and usually beats up five guys at once. Nobody does it better. 

In one particular story, his former commanding officer asks him why he chose to quit the army after thirteen years of decorated service. To which he replies:

You wake up one morning and the uniform doesn’t fit anymore.

Love that passage. As someone who is deeply conscious about his own iterations, transformations and evolutionary leaps, this kind of stuff fascinates me. It’s such a simple but powerful visualization about the evolving constellation of our identity. 

Because we all outgrow our uniforms. We all have those prescient moments when we suddenly know a different sense of living, and we must have the discipline to discard what doesn’t fit anymore. 

The crazy part is, there is no warning. There is no text message. We just look in the mirror one morning and notice our buttons pulling at the fabric to try and reach each other. 

And so, there is only acceptance. There is only embracing the mystery of our evolution, moving forward and trying not to look over our shoulder. 

Because not believing in our own evolution won’t protect us from it. 

We may as well throw out the old uniform and find a new one that fits the person we are today. 

It’s the only way to evolve toward an ever more perfect whole. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
How are you waking up to a bigger context about your own future?

* * * *
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 05, 2018

It is a wrong to the day you live in

Dickinson was prolific, but private. 

As the legend goes, she wrote nearly two thousand poems, but only about a dozen were published during her lifetime. Emily believed that publication was the auction of the mind. 

Meanwhile, one of her colleagues scolded her refusal to publish with the following.

You are a great poet, and it is a wrong to the day you live in that you will not sing aloud. 

How sad. Because singing, literally or figuratively, is the whole point of being an artist. Not because singing allows us to become rich or famous or even successful, but because singing allows us to humbly and proudly return the gift that you’ve been given back to the world. 

As a profession, that’s why we’re here. Every creator has an inner imperative to give their voice aperture. 

And understandably, preparing our work for public consumption can be a scary, vulnerable and anxiety inducing experience. In fact, there’s something to be said about making art for our eyes only. 

But there’s a fine line between engaging in healthy selfishness and hiding our light from the world. There’s a fine line between paying yourself first and dying with your music still in you. 

As a singer and songwriter, it took me five years to share any original music with the world. This reluctance stemmed from a combination of fears, which included the fear of being rejected, being ignored, being humiliated, being not good enough, and being vulnerable with my deepest feelings. 

Not to mention, my own stubbornness, naiveté and immaturity. 

Point being, singing aloud was terrifying. But eventually, and who the hell knows where this strength came from, maybe it was just a matter of time, my silence was finally broken. 

I went public with my song, quite literally. And despite its immaturity and imperfection, doing so brought me more joy than I ever thought was possible. There was no going back. Top five best decisions of my life. 

Edwin said it best in one of my favorite songs:

It was a love so big that it filled his heart, until it swelled and finally burst apart, and where the love spilled out they called it art, but he never really had no choice. 

Remember, if you wait long enough, you just might die in time to avoid being publicly humiliated. 

Or you can choose to unmute yourself. And discover that it’s worth it. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
What are you depriving yourself and the world of by remaining silent?

* * * *
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 04, 2018

A name is the hieroglyph of the soul

Taoists monks believe that words obstruct understanding. 

When there is naming, they say, the name is mistaken for what has been named. As it reads in their holy scriptures:

The name that can be named is not the eternal name. 

But here’s the issue. Things persist as long as we have no name for them. It is the name that makes the invisible visible and, therefore, easier to discuss. It is the name that becomes the handle by which we interact with mysterious forces. It is the name that puts the power back in our hands. 

Fox said it best in his recovery devotional from the early thirties:

A name is not merely an arbitrary label, but actually a hieroglyph of the soul. 

And so, whatever problem or issue or compulsion or addiction you’re dealing with, perhaps it’s time to turn on the lights and give that boogeyman a name. No need to grow attached to it. And no need to reorganize your whole identity around it. 

But maybe accept that sometimes, it’s just nice to know that what you’re struggling with has a name. 

Because the other thing about names is, they stimulate new beginnings. empower us to take a compassionate, gentle and loving stance towards ourselves. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
Do your labels devalue you, or help define 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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Monday, December 03, 2018

Grant me patience right now

Each of us has our breaking point. 

It’s that dreaded moment of surrender when we’ve hung in there for as long as we possibly can, but we just can’t take it anymore. 

And so, we give up. Or break down. Or run away crying. And that’s okay. We’re all human. We all have limits. The intensity of the environmental stress necessary to reach this moment may vary from person to person, but eventually, everybody breaks. 

The goal, then, is deepening our stamina. Expanding our psychological bandwidth. Training our head and heart to last longer and longer, so that our breaking point happens later and later. 

To do this, we must not only understand the value of patience, but also treat it as a muscle that needs practice to grow. Which is kind of absurd, if you think about. It’s like we need to be patient to realize its rewards.

Nevertheless, here’s an insight from my favorite psychotherapist monk. It helped me reframe my thinking around this issue:

Patience isn’t about letting someone walk all over you, it’s a conscious decision to let things go. 

This is not an insignificant distinction. The story we tell ourselves about our breaking point is as important as the moment we reach it. And if we have any intention of growing that muscle, of increasing our ability to endure great stress before suddenly cracking open, reframing our basic understanding of patience is a great place to start. 

Forget about what the cynics say. Patience is not just another word for getting old. It’s not procrastination without the anxiety. It’s not the ability to postpone gratification and to bridle our passions. And it’s not just waiting around with our thumbs up our asses. 

It’s letting go. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...

What mindset will help you transcend all the annoying little things that life is known for?

* * * *
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 02, 2018

A million pointless battles fought

Everything you ever wanted to learn about acceptance, surrender, letting go, forgiving yourself and finding peace can be summarized in five simple words. 

Get on with your life. 


Consider all the examples that play out on a daily basis. 


Instead of trying to argue with reality, walk away in kindhearted acceptance. And get on with your life. 


Instead of obsessing over labels and minor details, remember that it won’t matter a year from now. And get on with your life. 


Instead of burning calories on another pointless battle with someone who isn’t worth your time, just delete the email. And get on with your life. 


Instead of spending your entire lunch break on the phone trying to convince the bank to remove that nominal overdraft fee on your account, just let the four dollars go. And get on with your life. 


Instead of disappearing down the social media rabbit hole of comparison, put your phone back in your pocket. And get on with your life. 


Instead of chasing after people who have consistently rejected you and try desperately to change their minds, accept that it wasn’t meant to be. And get on with your life. 


Instead of letting a momentary poor judgment create a lifelong depression, forgive yourself for being human and making a mistake. And get on with your life. 


It’s an act of mercy toward yourself. 


These five simple words will bring you more peace than you can possibly imagine.


LET ME ASK YA THIS...

Is this moment a sign that letting go may be in order?

* * * *
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 01, 2018

The journey of what it means to live sustainably

The first twelve years of my career were spent building a business that wasn’t designed to sustain me over the long term. 

Which, at the time, was fine. When you’re single, in your twenties and filled to the brim with hungry youth juice, it’s not an issue. 

But over time, priorities evolve. Grey hairs accumulate. Markets change. And into the second decade of my business, something occurred to me. 

My golden goose was done laying eggs. I was burned out going it alone, and had no desire to scale in order to burn out even more. 

And so, the time had come to adjust my professional vector onto a healthier and more mature trajectory. Something that served my long term wellbeing. Something that would allow me to live within a rhythm of life that was actually sustainable. 

That wasn’t an easy decision to make. It’s painful to accept that you are facing a dead end and despite the amount of energy you invest, nothing is likely to change.

But that’s what being an adult is all about. Accepting your limitations. Entering the valley of humility. Crashing into deep, dark and uncertain waters of bigger dreams. And courageously making changes that seem difficult initially, but ultimately contribute to the development of long term serenity. Without regret, guilt or shame. 

Which favorite version of yourself are you still holding onto? Are you clinging to vain hopes about your business or life or relationship, even in the face of overwhelming contrary evidence? 

That might be a sign that a you’re refusing to be an adult. Because in my experience, when we cling to our known life, to the limited sense of who we are, we deny ourselves the chance for expansion. 

But when we honestly explore the journey of what it means to live sustainably, joy can have a real chance at us. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...

Are you moving at a pace that allows you to stay connected to self and other?

* * * *
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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