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Thursday, November 14, 2019

Bursting the fantasy illusion

Some of us choose the wrong heroes. 

We become tickled by great names. 

And so, we put these famous, celebrated, successful people up on a pedestal, but then the very moment they commit the crime of being human, when they suddenly swing from sugar to shit, we become all angry and betrayed and disappointed. 

Because we built up this imaginary relationship inside our minds about who we wanted them to be. 

We thought we knew them. But we didn’t. 

We thought they cared about the same things we cared about. But they don’t. 

Reality is, we didn’t know them any more than the quickie mart clerk knows the hundreds of customers purchasing beer and cigarettes on a daily basis. It’s all projection and expectation. 

It reminds me of the mantra, never meet your heroes. 

It has validity, but perhaps a more valuable insight is, we should always question who our heroes are in the first place. 

Carlin once joked that he was sick of being told who his heroes ought to be, and tired of being told who he ought to be looking up to. That liberated brand of thinking, ironically enough, actually made him a hero to millions. 

If you have recently found yourself disillusioned by someone you once deified, here are several practices you might consider. 

Instead of forcing people to be what you want, try letting go of expectations. 

Instead of allowing the neurotic fantasy script inside your heads to be the arbiter of your reality, find ways to forgive others for not being as you’d hoped. 

Instead of freebasing the fatal drug of trying to control other people, find ways to create your own feelings of safety when things don’t go as you planned. 

Remember, everybody is disappointing once we get to know them. 

We are all tickled by great names. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...

When have you chosen the wrong heroes?

* * * *

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, November 13, 2019

Slowly making peace with the weirdness in myself

There are as many paths in the world as there are people to take them. 

Which means not everybody you encounter will understand and relate to your unique approach to life. 

And that’s fine. One man’s weirdness is another man’s refuge. 

What matters is making peace with that weirdness in ourselves. Taking pride in our own habits and needs, and not abandoning them on a moment’s notice just because some jerk who barely knows us finds our actions to be unusual and confusing. 

Happens to me plenty, and even if a part of me feels hurt and rejected and shamed by their judgment, there are several questions that remind me to make peace with the weirdness in myself. 

You might ask yourself a few of these the next time you’re shamed for being yourself. 

  • Does this help me build a life that supports calmness?
  • Does this enable me to make significant contributions to the world? 
  • Does this make me more effective as a human being? 
  • Does this keep me connected with self and spirit? 
  • Does this bring joy, meaning and fulfillment to my relationships? 
  • Does this help me act more kind towards myself and others?
  • Does this allow me to make healthy choices that please and nurture my soul? 
If the answer is yes, go for it. With all your heart. 

Do whatever you need to do to take care of yourself and others. 

Even if people look at you like you have three heads. 

Those who would embrace the weirdness you have to offer will come running. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
Are you brave enough to choose precisely what it is you want?
* * * *

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, November 11, 2019

The secret places of our souls where no stranger intermeddles

When nothing seems to be going well for us, the easiest thing to do is blame it on our lack of external support. 

Surely it must be the people and the environment and the surroundings in which we operate that are the causes of our discontent. But once we accrue enough savings to abandon this soul deadening job and move to the country and get married and open a farm and find a new community, then fulfillment, instead of being elusive and arriving fleetingly, will finally reign supreme. 

Sounds idyllic. And based on our calculations, it will only take six more years of sucking it up, and happiness will be here before we know it. 

But what happens if, just when we get there, there disappears? What happens if we discover we have been actually been holding our happiness hostage this whole time? 

Metallica sang it best:

Then it comes to be that the soothing light at the end of your tunnel is just the freight train coming your way. 

Reminds me of my friend who has spent the last fifteen years working in fashion. The pay is huge, the work is challenging and the lifestyle is luxurious. But she’s not, as she puts it, in her heart, while at work. It feels like she parts with her soul the moment she crosses that professional threshold each morning. 

This is the question we keep coming back to:

How do we protect our souls in a soulless environment? How do we keep our senses alive in an otherwise a desensitizing and dispiriting situation? 

Chambers, in his famous devotional written specifically for soldiers at the turn of the century, wrote that the battle is lost or won in the secret places of the will, never first in the external world. 

Therefore, if we continue to treat life as an overwhelming, seemingly endless barrage of frustrations that we have to battle against each day to preserve our very humanity, then fulfillment will forever elude our grasp. 

But if we take a heroic stance in order not to feel pushed around by circumstances, if we operate with as much honesty and integrity as we can afford, and if we employ our reserves of creativity and resilience to wrest happiness out of even the most unfortunate situations, then fulfillment will have a real chance at us. 

Right now. Not in six years when the time is right and we have enough money saved. Right now. 

Look, at some point, everyone finds themselves in the middle of circumstances they didn’t want. But we cannot allow the conditions of our life destroy our ability to reinvent ourselves. 

And so, ask yourself what is going on right in front of you that you might be missing. 

Channel your uncommon human sensibility to see through this apparent reality to some other part underneath. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
Which inside job are you still trying to outsource?

* * * *
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, November 08, 2019

Abandon the limitless fountain of abundance

We all grow wedded to our accustomed ways. 

We hold onto the deep grooves of holy habit, carved into our lives over and over by repetition. And we become so familiar to our choices and routines and lifestyle, that they don’t even seem weird anymore. 

Silverman observed it best in her comedy special when she joked, nothing seems crazy when you’re used to it. 

However, somewhere down the line, it starts becoming clear to us that our plan is no longer working. Maybe our current source of power is more trouble than it’s worth. And it might finally be time to operate beyond the limits of our winning strategy. Because the possibility of happiness beyond our precious little worldview isn’t as unattainable as we once thought. 

Question is, will we give up certain cherished parts of ourselves? Will we abandon the limitless fountain of abundance we have been accustomed to? Will we wake up and laugh about how it used to be? 

The revolutionary futurist artists, in their provocative manifesto, remind us that our eyes, accustomed to semi darkness, will soon open to more radiant visions of life. 

Their words are a benediction of transformation for both artists and civilians alike. They assure us that as hard and as scary as change is, even if we would rather die than give up our organizing myth, it’s ultimately the next right action to take. 

No matter how much pleasure we’re getting out of not changing, what awaits on the other side is nothing short of miraculous. 

Change is already taking place everywhere at every moment anyway. 

It seems wrong not to participate. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...

How will you react when the standards according to which you live undergo a decisive change?

* * * *
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, November 07, 2019

Hear Scott's New Album, "Days To Bloom"

There is an interesting term that gardeners use for how long it takes a particular plant to go from germination to flowering. 

It’s called days to bloom. 

Most seed packets will include the expected number on the package itself, so we can plan appropriately. 

But nature is a fickle and fleeting mistress. Maturity value, like any prediction, is never perfectly defined. Days to bloom depends on several factors, many of which are outside of human control. 

There is the type of plant itself, like annuals, perennials, vines or edibles. There are the ecological conditions, like water level, seasonality, temperature and soil. And let’s not forget our furry and buggy friends who like to munch on our plants before we even get a chance to harvest them. 

The point is, regardless of how badly and how quickly we want something to grow, nature can’t be rushed. We must learn to be patient with the unique blooming of each organism, according to its instinctive agenda. 

This concept not only applies to ecological concerns, but also to human connection. Because relationships are living, breathing organisms too. And they too, bloom at their own speed. 

After all, people are complicated organisms who are embedded in complex social, cultural and political contexts, resting at the nexus of a vast number of interwoven causes and conditions that influence their behavior. 

No two individuals have the same maturity value. 

And so, at the beginning stages of our new relationships, let us be patient with the speed of each other’s growth. Let us not rush and hurry and overwater, begging the rose to unfold faster. 

Because humans are primed for immediate gratification, and if we don’t have to be patient, we won’t.

But as the famous biologist reminded us, the universe is sustained by a continual and infinitely patient act of love. 

P.S. My new album is out, it's called Days To Bloom.

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
What’s your rush? 

* * * *
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, November 04, 2019

Spawning deep roots and sturdy wings

Adorno’s controversial book about the jargon of authenticity makes a key point about the struggle for belonging:

Shelteredness is an existential value that we all long for, and the experience of home will only come to be when it has freed itself from particularity. 

And so, for those of us curious to press on in search of where our we belong, we must open and expand and evolve our own definition of the idea. 

Because maybe home is any place where we can be ourselves without the fear of rejection. Maybe home is any personalized container within which our longing to be is fulfilled. Or maybe home is any shared context for a group of people to remember, discover and share our personal values and priorities. 

Each of these definitions have been freed from particularity. They empower us to find a way to experience home our own terms. To imagine a variety of paths by which we grow and evolve as human beings. And to advocate for the person we truly are as opposed to the one we think we’re supposed to be. 

Let nobody tell you any different. Any healthy lifestyle that brings us a sense of belonging is valid. If we grew up wanting to find home, and now we actually have one, then we won. We did it. Everything else is just a measure of degree. 

May we spawn deep roots and sturdy wings and seek home with straight eyes. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...

When will you free your definition of home from such particularity? 

* * * *
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, November 01, 2019

The moral horizon we choose to inhabit

What is the definition of honest work? 

Perhaps it means a career that isn’t the best paying. Or a project that is unglamorous, but legal and useful to the world. Maybe honest work is a holding a mundane day job that provides a living for your family, even though it’s not your primary meaning container for holding your hopes and dreams. 

Then again, honest work might refer to a street performer generously sharing her creative gift with the world for spare change on the weekends, even though she doesn’t really need the money. 

Zelizer, the scientist who researched the social meaning of currency, offers a deeply human definition for the phrase, an honest dollar:

Money not stained by its ethically dubious origins. 

What’s beautiful about this explanation is, it’s less about the payment for the work and more about the posture with which we approach it. 

And so, it’s a concept that can be applied to everything we do, paid or unpaid, personally or professionally, throughout our lives. Our honest work is a function of the moral horizon we choose to inhabit. 

Here are some definitions from my own experience:

If it is not a strategy we use to trick other people into giving us what we want, that’s honest work. 

If it is not a reverse psychology technique we pull to convince the rabbit that it’s actually duck season, that’s honest work. 

If it is not a spiritual jujitsu move that manipulates life into granting us all of our desires, that’s honest work. 

It’s all a function of the moral horizon we choose to inhabit. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
What’s your definition of honest work?
* * * *

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, October 31, 2019

If there was a god, it would be in his hands now

We don’t get what we deserve, we get what we negotiate. 

And so, if we are waiting for our success to be delivered to our door like a pizza, praying that this next big opportunity will finally be one thing that changes everything forever, entirely by itself, without us really doing anything, then we are going to be waiting a very long time. 

Because there is no deserve. There is no surefire reward that our good and faithful service entitles us to. 

On the other hand, if we are taking material steps towards our dreams, making significant daily measures to change our circumstances, and pushing our edge to create deep and relevant growth, then we are the winners no matter what. Regardless of outcome. Even if things don’t turn out exactly how we hoped, or exactly when we hoped they would, we still come out more valuable on the other side. 

And nobody can take that away from us. 

This the only reward there is in life. Krishna notably said, we have a right to our labor, but not to the fruits of our labor. 

May we not mix those two things up. May we devote our time and energy to the work itself, to the process itself, for as long as we can. 

And once the hay is in the barn, as the farmers like to say, may we rest and revel in the sweetness of that moment, and then let it go. 

If there was a god, it would be in his hands now. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
When are you planning to become the person you were born to be?

* * * *


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, October 29, 2019

There are no awards for awakening

Acheson, the secretary of state who played a central role in defining the foreign policy of our nation, famously said:

The great corrupter of public man is the ego, and looking at in the mirror distracts one’s attention from the problem. 

As such, it’s worth unpacking some of the assumptions connected to this ego. 

First, we assume that our ego is always out to protect itself at the expense of all else. Must be right. Successfully defend point of view. 

Next, we assume that our ego won’t let us admit that we have no control. Must be safe. Preserve reputation and personal interest. Survival equals good. 

Third, we assume that our ego will try to convince us that nothing will help and nobody will understand. Must be independent. Pride swallows humility. Take my secret special separateness and run into the corner. 

And most importantly, our final assumption. 

We assume that the greatest threat to the domination of the ego is the awakening of the soul. 

But this last one is actually a good thing. Because every time we allow new things to serve our awakening, every time we widen the possibilities for igniting our spirit, and every time we intentionally put ourselves into environments and relationships and activities that awake our soul system, we lay that fragile ego on the anvil and give the world a chance to swing a hammer at it. 

Which certainly won’t get rid of it, but it might purify it. 

Of course, the great paradox is, there are no awards for awakening. Nobody will congratulate us on waking up. 

And that’s the point. The moment we let go of needing to win, needing to be the best, needing to be the only, and needing to be praised for authenticity, we bow to something bigger. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
What is your great corrupter?

* * * *

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, October 26, 2019

My value has been added to you in the shape of power

Masters writes a gorgeous definition of power in his book about the transformation through intimacy:

Power is the capacity to act effectively, to generate significant change and to impose our will on our environment, both inner and outer. 

This definition is worth parsing out word by word. 

Effective, meaning the belief in our capabilities to organize and execute whatever courses of action that the moment requires. 

Generate, meaning bringing forth some new form that has never been brought forth before. 

Significant change, meaning taking things to a whole new level beyond just an incremental improvement. 

Impose our will, meaning the faculty by which we initiate purposeful action. 

Environment, meaning whatever surroundings and conditions in which we operate. 

Inner, meaning the mind, body and soul. 

Outer, meaning the world of other people. 

This power can invade and indwell in us if we choose to be present to it. And it can be a formative vehicle for creating true fulfillment. 

But what we have to accept is, power is not an isolated incident. It’s not a one and done line item. It’s a moving target. A constantly unfolding organism. 

After all, each of us constantly evolving toward an ever more perfect whole. And that’s why it takes a lifetime to discover what is in our power and what is not. 

My coach once told me that the key to our success often lies in something we already do, but do not see as our power. It’s something we might not know yet what it’s for. And only the passage of time can help us pick that lock. 

Instead of resigning yourself to powerlessness, trust the process to reveal to you where your muscles lie. Trust that you have the capacity to act effectively and to generate significant change and to impose your will on your environment, both inner and outer. 

Like most good things, it comes in time. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...

What kind of power do you need to do what you want to do? 
* * * *

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, October 25, 2019

The last mirror we look into to get a glimpse of who we are

Accepting low paying gigs. Saying yes to mediocre opportunities. Acquiescing to the comfortable vortex of the middle market. Compromising our fee just to get our foot in the door. 

Discounting our value because we’re afraid of turning down new work. Violating the boundaries of our generosity just to make an impression. Allowing ourselves to be flattered into free labor. 

These are just some of habits that trap us in the wrong mindset about our worth. 

And the danger is, these behaviors create an inertia of the spirit, which can keep us treading water in an unsatisfied state of our own making for far too long. 

Unless, of course, an external force finally yanks us out. 

The key word here is external. Because that’s the only way we rebuild the self. By transacting with other selves. By confronting the blank canvas of another human being, allowing our true value to be witnessed, and trusting that this interactional mirror will tell us that we are, in fact, the fairest of them all, or at least, much fairer than we once thought. 

It’s an invigorating moment. When somebody we only just met gives us a good once over and says, wow, you are fucking amazing, and you feel like the kind of person equal to the responsibilities of this new challenge, so we want you to join us. 

This is the tremendous gift of being seen. And it is only received when the validity of our experience is mirrored back to us by another self who recognizes our value. 

It feels good to be believed in. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...

Are you prepared to believe the truth about yourself no matter how beautiful it is?

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

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