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Saturday, March 23, 2019

A rare opportunity to create a life from scratch

The world novelty signifies something with a transitory appeal. 

A useless but amusing object, like a cheap toy, ornament or trinket. 

Which is fine for a purchase at the dollar store, but what happens when someone uses the word novelty to describe you? 

It can come off as dismissive, reductive and derogatory. 

After all, nobody wants to be thought of as tacky or trivial. We want to be seen as useful, not just a one trick pony or a passing fad that holds nothing but entertainment value. 

Take it from a guy who’s been wearing a nametag every day for nineteen years. Novelty is a word that’s been used to describe me for the last two decades. And for a long time, that description hurt my feelings. Being thought of as a novelty made me feel small and useless. 

But over the years, something occurred to me. 

Novelty is more than a just adjective, it’s a skill. One that’s worth money. The ability to produce something original; the talent to invent something useful that can be operationalized within an organization; the aptitude to bring something to life in winning form that can be replicated and evolved by broader culture, that’s novelty too. 

And it has significant value for others. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
How are you capitalizing on your impulse to originate?

* * * *

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 22, 2019

Marveling at the profound turns life takes

We live in an age of anxiety. 

A culture where there are no hallelujahs for idleness. A world where our addiction to busyness keeps us alienated from our hearts. 

As a result, we often neglect the transitions that are unique in our lives. Forgetting to take the long view of our journey and ask hard questions about how we’re evolving as people. 

How do we pivot into what we need to involve to next? 

What will we have to change to step into our vision’s reality?

Where will we have to grow to propel ourselves toward our deepest desires? 

A helpful framework for holding space for these questions is to imagine ourselves as the protagonist in a heroic narrative. To sit back as the audience of our own story, notice the structures that hold the house together and identify the patterns that give significance to our character’s existence. 

It might sound absurd and grandiose and indulgent, but considering that reinvention can be one of life’s great existential emergencies, why not give it a go? Why not save some imagination for ourselves? 

This exercise has been life changing for me. It's helped me navigate multiple transitions, both personally and professionally. And it's assured that I wasn’t trapped in the same goddamn character forever. 

Put the victim to bed, wake the hero instead. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...

What inner quality are you missing that is holding you back from becoming the protagonist of your own life story?

* * * *

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 21, 2019

Someone with whom we weave a story of life

If a company advertised a product that failed fifty percent of the time, would you buy it? 

Of course not. Those odds are ridiculous. Apple wouldn’t ship a single phone if that was the messaging of their new ad campaign. 

And yet, millions of couples get married every single year, fully knowing that there is about a fifty percent chance that it won’t work out. How is that possible? 

Perel’s book about mating in captivity makes several compelling arguments. Here’s one. 

There are very few rituals at this moment. With the loss of religion, there are no more structures and institutions to which we adhere. That’s why marriage works. It’s a ritual rooted in a tradition that comes with a code of conduct. It has an official cultural norm to it. Marriage is a spine. It’s a pillar. A buttress. A solid construct. Marriage is architecture. And people are desperate for it. 

The advantage of this ritual, she says, is that it becomes an enabler for the rest of our life. Our relationship reminds us that we have two feet to stand on. It is the everyday vehicle for using each our signature strengths. And our ultimate safety within this established base makes it easier to take risks and muster the courage to act on our professional ambitions. 

Sign me up.


LET ME ASK YA THIS...
With whom do you share a mutual understanding of the fabric of the universe?

* * * *

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 20, 2019

The heart to be happy and the nerve to be hopeful

Shunya’s theory about ayurveda makes the claim that hopelessness is the primary disease which precedes all symptoms. 

It’s an interesting assertion. And do we think it’s scientifically sound? Probably not. But then again, not believing in the destructive power of hopelessness doesn’t protect us from it. 

For the good of our sanities, and for the good of the world, let us err on the side of optimism. Here’s how. 

We let our landscape of hope become our reality. 

We remember to celebrate what is right with the world. 

We cultivate our ability to be lifted super high by the smallest drafts of hope. 

We find the silver lining in everything as a survival mechanism. 

We constantly share our enthusiasm for life’s smaller offerings. 

We rekindle even the faintest glimmer of optimism in failing spirits. 

We transform even the slightest events or situations into breakthroughs in thinking and action. 

In the age of anxiety, hope isn’t easy for everyone. Especially when life feels like you’re being backed into the wall with nowhere to run and no reason to move, hope requires a titanic amount of courage, resilience and imagination. 

But it is possible. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
Are you willing to open your heart’s hand and allow the touch of hope?

* * * *

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 19, 2019

Stones on the path toward something even larger

We are not supposed to be one thing in life. 

Real fulfillment comes from the complete integration of our many dimensions. Emergence, as the great physicists would call it. The phenomenon where things start to come alive once their elements are unified into one another. 

The scary part about this process is trusting our experience. Having faith that the things we have done all our lives are finally leading up to something. They’re stones on the path toward something even larger. 

Maynard’s story as a poet, star athlete, soldier, pet shop prodigy, set designer, actor, comedian, jujitsu master, metal singer and pioneering winemaker is the ideal example. 

Reading his inspiring autobiography about a perfect union of contrary things, reminded me of the power of integration. Here’s a man who knew that if he expanded his palette, everything would benefit from everything else. He approached the many inflection points in his trajectory not as changes in direction, but shifts in perspective. A seamless opening to yet another aspect of his art. 

It’s the kind of attitude each of us should aspire to. 

Ethel’s psychological research on feeling strong names this attitude the achievement of authentic power. It comes from our ability to integrate our experiences in such a way that everything is ultimately incorporated into the process of growth. 

And so, if you’re detecting the awakening of one or more of these dimensions in yourself, trust them. 

They are stones on the path toward something even larger. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
What is your life experience accidentally preparing you 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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Monday, March 18, 2019

The promise that just moments ago had shined so brightly, is shattered

Arendt’s groundbreaking tome on the human condition makes a powerful point about accountability. 

She writes that promises made to oneself have no reliability, but when plural persons come together to bind themselves for the future, the covenants they create among themselves can throw islands of predictability into the ocean of uncertainty, creating a new kind of assurance and enabling them to exercise power collectively. 

Imagine how many goodhearted commitments we make, to ourselves, to loved ones, to the world, but we fail to keep, because they stay inside our heads. The number must be in the millions. 

The solution, then, to turn hypothetical agreements reached in our imaginations into concrete actions out in the world, is the magic of the plural. We meed at least two people with whom we share our promises. This apparatus of accountability does wonders for our ability to take action on our dreams. 

When I was part of an accountability group, we had a standing exercise called challenges. Each member announces his weekly task to the group, which must be alignment with his mission, along with a consequence for not completing it. Then, during the following week’s meeting, he reveals whether or not he was successful. 

It’s simple, structured, solid, and most importantly, social. And although members don’t complete every challenge every time, the percentage is significantly higher that if they would have promised something solely to themselves. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
What variety of accountability might help you grasp the full impact of being whole responsible for 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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Sunday, March 17, 2019

Chronically concerned with remaining the way you are

Growth is about letting go of what no longer fits you. 

Accepting that what got you here won’t get you where we need to be. And trusting that if you evolve beyond your old way of being, people won’t forget about you, and you might even be able to create a new context from which to relate to the world. 

It’s like the comedian who makes a name for himself as the angry guy. In the early years, he uses rage as his main source of humor because that’s the only note he knows how to play. 

But two decades into his career, he starts asking himself some hard questions. 

How will you maintain the anger that your comedy now thrives on? What if you become so happy that you forget your rage? Who would you be if you didn’t wake up with this rolodex of people that you resent? And what is the worst thing that could happen if you decided to let go of your anger?  

These questions could apply to any profession and any emotional state. Because it’s not about some comedian, it’s about all of us. Anyone who is chronically concerned with remaining the way they are. 

Next time you start suspecting your best days are behind you, wondering if you’re done doing that which defined you, remember this. 

You have so much talent, skill and history, that you don’t need that thing anymore. 

It might have been who you were when you started, but it’s not who you are today. 

If you are feeling trapped by your signature work, the work that everyone now wants and demands from you, it’s a sign that letting go might be in order. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...

What the worst thing that could happen if you decided to let go of your precious trademark style?  
* * * *

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 16, 2019

A sense of inner poise gradually grows within us

When you’re an optimist on such a deep level that it’s almost a subatomic condition to your personality, being around negative and cynical people can be very painful. And confusing and maddening. 

You can only listen to someone eulogize their own negativity for so long before you feel like hurling yourself in front of a moving garbage truck. 

Yes, there are many ways to resist the pull of this negative energy. You can physically remove yourself from the room, plug in headphones and relax into your favorite music, or simply ignore people. 

But in many situations, there is no escape. You are trapped. And you have to learn to acclimate to even the most unpleasant people. Identifying where they end and you begin. Discerning what’s yours and what’s theirs. And monitoring your own behavior to make sure you don’t get sucked into their vortex. 

Remember, if we let external circumstances dictate our inner peace, we are the losers. If we sit there in a silent state of boiling inner rag, we are the losers. 

As optimists, our spirits will stumble under the weight of negativity. 

And so, it’s our responsibility to defend our own sense of inner order. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
Who drains your energy and optimism? 
* * * *

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 15, 2019

Maybe it is not part of my path in this lifetime

What if you have to abandon a dream you’ve already given so much of yourself to? 

What if your dream ends up being more trouble than it’s worth? 

What if your dream is suddenly over before it’s even started? 

These scenarios are possible. Maybe even probable. And they will make you feel sad, unmotivated and tempted to beat yourself up. 

But once you’re finished crying until you can’t breathe anymore, what you might announce to yourself is:

Well, maybe it is not part of my path in this lifetime. And that’s okay. 

Maybe dreams don’t always come wrapped in the package I was hoping for. And that’s okay. 

Maybe it’s enough to relax and enjoy the view on the strange detours in my road. And that’s okay. 

Lefsetz wrote a brilliant essay on this very topic:

Life rarely turns out the way we planned. If you opt out, you’re no longer a member of the tribe, you’re the other, on your own path, and sometimes the stars align and your choice is exalted, but usually this isn’t so. If you take the road less traveled, you’ve got to be secure, no one is going hold your hand, you’re going against the grain and those who are with it are not going to encourage and support you. 

Sound scary? It is. And that’s okay too. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
Are you looking for people to tell you that your dreams are crazy so you can abandon them and make it their fault, not 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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Thursday, March 14, 2019

Hurry has no blessing

Nothing grows at the speed our anxiety would wish it to. 

That’s the infuriating part about change. We can’t alter its rate. That would be like trying to speed up or slow down the current of a stream. No matter how good our intentions, no matter how sturdy our rocks, there’s nothing we can do to hurry the process. 

Even if we build a dam, we still can’t make the river flow in the other direction. 

Masters addressed this tendency in his astute book about spiritual bypassing. The greater our hurry to arrive, he says, the longer it will take. But when we’re on track, it doesn’t really matter how long it takes to reach our destination, because we know in our heart that we are going in the right direction, however much the path might meander. 

Thus, the flow of change requires surrender. Jumping into the stream of life and letting the current carry us where it will. The flow of change requires trust. In ourselves and in the process. And the flow of change requires presence. Learning to enjoy the journey without caring when the path will end. 

Hurry has no blessing. 

Get mentally ready for that eventuality, and you’ll be fine. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...

Why is it worth what you are changing? 

* * * *

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 13, 2019

Make your enthusiasms happy

Here’s a terrific passage from an old yoga journal

Intuition is the only reliable equipment we have for navigating in this flawed phenomenal universe of ours. 

Which doesn’t mean it’s a perfect tool, but it’s certainly a knife that’s worth sharpening.

To do so, all it requires is some intention and attention. Reading books, taking online courses and attending weekend seminars probably won’t hurt, but there’s no need to break the bank just yet. 

Start by asking yourself a few compelling questions. 

What vision of the future makes you the most curious? What things provide you the most positive energy? And what endeavors in life has something deep inside told you not to give up on? What is hard wired in you that would feel bad not doing? 

Odds are, there will be some overlap between your answers. Good. Now all you have to do is take one small step in that direction. 

Like the first time we walked through the beautiful historic tunnel in my neighborhood park. The acoustics were magical, the aesthetics were inspiring and the ambiance was breathtaking. And in that moment, something inside urged me to come back the next day with my guitar and fill that tunnel with music. 

Since then, the tunnel has become my weekly performance venue, a new income stream, the visual centerpiece of my first concert documentary and a cherished sanctuary where I go to connect with self and others. 

Because the intuition is reliable equipment. And each time we follow and listen with it, we water and fertilize our faith in ourselves. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...

What if you saw things as the natural consequence of your own correct intuitive prioritizations?

* * * *

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 11, 2019

The fertile soil of love and acceptance

The hardest and most demanding response to feedback is to say nothing. 

To sit into the silence of empty space. To let what people say have an impact on us. Even if we don’t agree with it. 

As my therapist used to say

Let the pearl sink. Allow things to profoundly penetrate you. 

It’s harder than it sounds. Sitting in silent acceptance of other people’s experience of our behavior? Without deflecting or defending? That requires deep presence, patience, vulnerability and openness. But when practiced, it’s a skill that can serve us well in life. 

Here’s a helpful first step. Next time your spouse mirrors your reality back to you, instead of getting touchy and growing combative, take a breath and listen to your body. Next time your coworker offers you candid feedback about your attitude, instead of reflexively ignoring honest critiques and deflecting it back as quickly and snidely as possible, see if any of their points truly land with you. 

It will feel very uncomfortable at first. The urge to break the silence will be strong. It might even make your eyelids twitch. But if you can learn to soften your heart, energetically reposition your being and relate to people’s feedback rather than identifying with it, you have a real shot at authentic living. 

We cannot absorb feedback when we’re caught in the fangs of fear. 

Ground yourself in the fertile soil of love and acceptance, and see what sprouts to the surface. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
What is your feedback system? 
* * * *

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 10, 2019

Saying no won't tilt the world on its axis

Many people don’t have the force of character to say no. 

They are not practical about what their energies allow them to undertake. And they reflexively say yes to people’s requests without paying attention to the hesitation they feel within themselves. 

In short, they participate silently in unacceptable situations. 

Sound familiar? That was certainly me for many years. The lifelong journey of setting and maintaining personal boundaries hadn’t begun yet. 

But in time, it occurred to me that most requests are not as urgent as the sender believes. It occurred to me that the world never, ever, ever falls apart if the unread messages in my inbox accumulate. It occurred to me that the freedom to decline a request is deeply empowering. It occurred to me that learning to say no as a complete sentence is a sign of growth, an instrument of truthfulness and a shield against exploitation. 

Do you struggle to protect yourself and your schedule from ambushes? Are you the kind of person whose feeling of inadequacy prompts you to compromise your needs and give up your integrity in an effort to please? 

You’re not alone. Whenever you’re ready to hold a courageous conversation to reinforce your personal boundaries, know that you are richly supported. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...

When did you say no 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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Saturday, March 09, 2019

My elite concession to myself

Here’s an interesting paradox. 

One of the key ways human beings add meaning to our lives by entering into new relationships, commitments and obligations. 

And yet, most of the stress we experience comes from poorly managed commitments. 

How do we draw the line? 

With intention. Take the example of a family vacation. An annual situation in which our normal, healthy routines are thrown out of whack by people who know exactly how to push our buttons. 

But instead of feeling burdened by our needs, we announce to ourselves that we take extreme ownership over our boundaries. We accept our need to take special measures to protect our health. We reframe everything we do as a conscious choice. We allow ourselves to do whatever it takes and whatever works to uphold our values. 

That way, we can represent ourselves as people whose needs deserve to be taken seriously. That way, before answering family requests impulsively out of a sense of urgency, we’re already clear in our own minds what our commitments would amount to. 

Also, let’s not forget the critical piece of trust. 

Knowing that if we tell someone no thanks for another piece of pie, or that we require an extra half hour in the morning to get some necessary exercise in, the rest of the family is not going to burst into tears. 

People won’t think less of us. They won’t accuse us of selfishly lagging behind. They’ll simply be glad we showed with quality energy that is enjoyable to be around. 

Remember, setting and maintaining personal boundaries is a lifelong journey. 

Might as well start today. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
Are you saying yes to requests without paying attention to the hesitation you felt within 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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Friday, March 08, 2019

Stretch our hearts wide enough to embrace paradox

Rand’s novel about the greatest architect in history makes a profound point about integrity. Not only in reference to the structures of buildings, but also the hearts of men. 

Roark claimed that an honest building, like an honest man, had to be one piece and one faith; what constituted the life source. And if one small part committed treason to that idea, the thing or the creature was dead. The good, the high and the noble on earth, he said, is only that which has kept its integrity. 

He quickly learns, though, that in practical life, one can’t always be so flawlessly consistent. There’s always the incalculable human element of emotion. 

My heart skipped a beat when I first read this passage. Because consistency was always something that mattered to me. My expectation for myself was to become unified system without internal contradictions or disharmony. 

It didn’t work. Turns out, most of us are an absolute clusterfuck of contradictions. We’re all just one big series of overlapping and conflicting impulses. And no matter how hard we try to scrub away those layers of inconsistency, another one always resurfaces. 

But this contradiction doesn’t mean we’re hypocrites, it means we’re growing, moving, imperfect human beings taking new shape and form. 

Therefore:

Let us stretch our hearts wide enough to embrace paradox. 

Let us feel alive in all our contradictions, without trying to put our many selves in neat little categories and patterns. 

Let us live multiple life purposes fit together seamlessly into a composite life purpose agenda. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
How are you making sense out of multiple selves that seem at odds with each other?

* * * *

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

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