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Saturday, March 30, 2019

It doesn’t matter how good their excuse is

Everyone knows someone who is the classic chaos magnet. 

The kind of person who is either feeling a cold coming on, suffering from a cold, or getting over a cold. 

And of course, in the unlikely event of a time without a crisis or drama, fear not, that will inevitably be followed by some new whirlwind that will attempt to suck you right in. 

Are your shoes tied? Because this excuse is going to knock your socks off. 

And that’s fine. There’s nothing we can do to rescue them from their misery. They’re addicted to it like a drug. Saying that they’re miserable makes them happy. It’s the pellet that makes the rat feel like themselves. 

But lest we forget, their excuse may give them peace of mind, but it can also create anxiety for the rest of us. Even if their excuses distance them from any shred of responsibility, we still have to take extreme ownership over the energy we bring to the world. 

That’s why we have to be vigilant in not letting any of their stank get on us. Never participating in their tornado of nonsense. Opting out of conversations that we know will ultimately leave us exhausted, angry, or overwhelmed. 

It’s one of the many ways we set boundaries. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
Which people in your life don’t respect your time? 

* * * *

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 29, 2019

Each day presents the chance to overthink things.

All of my albums are recorded in a single day. 

Played live during one continuous session. Which usually takes about eight or nine hours. 

My sound engineer thinks I’m crazy, but there’s a method behind the madness. 

First of all, it’s much cheaper. Most studios charge by the day. 

Secondly, my impatient and imperfectionist nature won’t allow me to spend any more time than that. 

Third, my need for continuity and consistency is too great. And you never know how your instruments are going to sound on any given day. 

But the key reason for approaching the work in this way is as follows. 

By only giving myself a small, finite amount of time to record, it forces me to create something pure without overthinking it. Without losing momentum. It allows me to stay present, surrender to the music of the moment, accept whatever results show up and let it go the minute the session is over and the music is on wax. 

Whereas coming back to the studio for multiple sessions over a period of weeks or month would only create significant and unnecessary doubt and anxiety. 

Besides, my songs mature over time anyway. They grow into themselves. One, five or ten years from now, whatever happens in the studio that day will ultimately become a draft. 

Remember, each day presents us chance to overthink things. Next time you have project that could potential drag on for months, get in and get out. 

Don’t give yourself the chance to disappear into your mind and muck it all up. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
What happens when your mind is left to its own devices?

* * * *
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 28, 2019

Letting unhealthy thoughts have control over our lives

Guarding ourselves against those who seek to manipulate and persuade us is a critical skill. 

But learning to withstand the seductive whisperings from our own minds, good lord, that’s a whole different ballgame. 

Because for many of us, our thoughts are constantly tumbling us around, anxiously and compulsively thrashing us about. And if we continue to buy into them, they can run us into the ground. 

Fortunately, we can stop giving power to that part of ourselves. It takes patience and resilience and much more practice than we think it will. But it is possible. 

A helpful start is with an intention. Announcing to ourselves that we must wrest control of our mind. It’s worth repeating on an hourly basis. 

Another good exercise is to reflect on how our impulsiveness has gotten us into trouble the past. Personally, that helps me. Thinking back to the many moments when my anxious mind told me to isolate, buy clothes, eat a whole box of cookies and overwork myself, rather than just sitting with the uncomfortable feelings and letting them pass; this reflection reminds me of the addictive rabbit holes my mind is capable of falling down. 

It gives me a chance to have compassion for myself. 

All of which help me not buy into the story my mind tries to tell me. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
How do you protect yourself from your own thoughts?

* * * *

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 27, 2019

Large enough to survive our losses

Does a seed betray other seeds when it grows into a flower? 

It all depends on our mindset. 

Years ago when I parted ways with a longtime company vendor, a colleague offered a notable piece of advice:

Just because you have a history together doesn’t mean you have a future together. 

Yes, people might interpret your desire to move on as betrayal. Yes, it may feel like betrayal to live without them. And that’s okay. We must give ourselves the dignity of grieving our losses. 

Prechtel put it best his poignant book on loss. 

If we do not grieve what we miss, we are not praising what we love. 

Eventually, though, we do have to put a halt to the cycle of guilt. And we have to own this painful process as life. 

If you’re struggling with the grief and loss of fading friendships, here are a few things to keep in mind. 

You can make a conscious effort to change and let go of relationships as you grow, or you can hang out with the exact same group of people from ten years ago. 

You can lovingly sever relationships that you have outgrown or no longer serve you, or you can trap yourself in a cycle of resentment and inauthenticity. 

You can remember your old friends without feeling guilty about moving on, or you can beat yourself up about transitioning into a new season of life. 

You can setup betrayals in order to pay off your guilt, or you can form new relationships that are equally as strong as the bonds you have to break with your traveling companions of the past. 

You’ll be okay. And so will they. 

Trust that you are both large enough to survive your losses. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
Why does trying to extricate yourself from the clutches of a completed relationship feel like a betrayal of life’s natural 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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Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Be first, be smarter, or cheat

There’s nothing more valuable than unclaimed real estate. 

If you want to make your mark, go through a door nobody’s ever gone through before. Be first in something. 

Duplicity comes to mind. It’s surprisingly inspiring romantic comedy about former government operatives who are now collecting big paychecks from rival companies as corporate spies. 

During the culminating scene, the company president gives a passionate speech that paints his company as the innovator defending itself from duplicity and theft. Listen to these words. 

"Someone made fire. Someone was first. Not the idiot who found a burning stick and kept it going, but the fellow who could make fire. Until that knowledge was stolen, that fellow was the most powerful person on the planet. Because it means something to be first. It means you have an opportunity to reproduce with the highest frequency and with the most desirable partners. It means your offspring have the greatest chance of survival and a better opportunity to make their own fire. But human evolution has run its course. We live in a world where the people who can make fire have a tendency to wear condoms, sit in casinos and drink themselves into a stupor."

That’s what separates innovators from imitators. 

They are drawn to opportunities where the amount of craft they have to bring is higher.  Where there’s fresh powder on the mountain. 

Whereas attempting only what has been proven creates a life of imitation. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...

Are you challenging yourself to do work that’s been done before, or to explore the edges of a new 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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Monday, March 25, 2019

Blessed by the food of our intellectual interests

Our fear is that taking on a new venture, hobby, business, side gig or passion project will dilute our mainline commitment. 

But that only applies to people who have an unsophisticated sense of time and immature understanding of labor. 

Because when done right, it’s all integrated. Everything works together to inform the entirety of our life. 

Instead of borrowing from integrity to fund velocity, we trust that we have plenty of space to do everything we want to do. 

Instead of allowing a new endeavor to eradicate one of the existing parts, we integrate everything it into the whole. 

Instead of resigning to become either/or victims, we take pride in being both/and heroes. 

It’s all about permission. We are the source of time. We don’t have to be one thing in life. Our multi hyphenated existence informs and deepens every world that we inhabit. We are polycentric people with multiple centers of interest and attention. We are the center orbiting around many circles. 

Here are several examples from my own life. 

Practicing yoga makes me a more honest writer. Volunteering at my local coop makes me a savvier salesperson. Busking in the park makes me a more effective leader at company meetings. Conducting marketing focus groups makes me a more empathetic friend. Writing ad copy makes me a more direct and honest communicator. Practicing hypnosis makes me a more patient family member. 

The point is, this broad range of human endeavors that are meaningful to me don’t have to be polar opposites. They can be dance partners. 

Holding hands and laughing and parading around in circle, with my heart at the center. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
Have you accepted that the development and integration of your total intellectual environment is a worthwhile endeavor? 

* * * *

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 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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