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Thursday, April 11, 2019

Expectations are the track our relationship train runs on

There’s a widely cited study in a social psychology journal about the benefits of positive illusions with close relationships. 

Murray’s analysis proved that individuals were happier in their relationships when they idealized their partners and their partners idealized them. In fact, her research found that a certain degree of idealization or illusion may be a critical feature of satisfying dating and marital relationships. 

Anyone who’s been coupled up for more than a year can attest to that. Humans need their illusions to live. Everyone has to let some lies into their life. And there’s nothing wrong with choosing to interpret people in a more positive light. 

We remember the past the way we need to. 

The danger is when we mistake those illusions for real life. The danger is when we connect our expectations with someone else’s behavior. The danger is we allowing the neurotic fantasy script inside our heads to be the arbiter of our reality. 

And all of these things are easy to do when our hearts are submerged in the glory of attraction, infatuation, love and dependency. 

Senge’s renowned book about building learning organizations comes to mind. It has nothing to do with marriage, but does reminds us about the sources of our cynicism. 

If we scratch the surface of most cynics, he says, we will find a frustrated idealist, someone who made the mistake of converting ideals into expectations. 

That’s the trap. We generate an unfeasible fantasy of people, and then hold them in contempt for falling short. Because we’re angry and disappointed. 

Thurber referred to this as the grief of relinquishing a romantic fantasy in the face of a disenchanting reality. 

And all goes back to idealization. Expectation. 

Two words that we ought to delete from our emotional vocabulary. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
Have you relieved yourself of the burden of trying to make outcomes match our expectations?

* * * *

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, April 10, 2019

Fugitives from our place of profound identity

Maisel’s comforting book about making your creative mark reminds make a key point about identity management. 

He says that we must know what to do when we think we’ve lost our right to call ourselves something. We must have a game plan, orchestrated in advance, so that when our identity weakens, we know exactly what useful things we intend to do to strengthen it. 

During my own low periods of doubt, gloom and hopelessness about my creative process, my first go to tactic is exposure. Going back through my body of work and reviewing my old albums, films and books. 

Some of which were more successful than others, but all of which make me feel proud and confident about my artistic abilities, and thus, they reinforce my creative identity. 

It’s like my doctor always tells me during flu season. Flood yourself with fluids. 

The same principle applies to our identity. When we realize that we have fallen asleep to who we are, or that we’re not being seen for who we are, we can’t waste time beating ourselves up for losing our way. 

Instead, we go find things that are tied to our inner most sense of identity and tap into their totemic power. 

Remember, it is on our shoulders to nurture our artist identity. 

Each of us must plan for these identity collapse moments in advance by creating our own personal identity rehabilitation protocol. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...

What will you do when you notice that your identity has begun to weaken or vanish?

* * * *

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, April 09, 2019

We can still choose not to disappoint ourselves

Expectations are the bones from which the soup of suffering is made. 

Any time we are anticipating future satisfactions, living for events or people or conditions that are yet to come, it’s detrimental to our serenity. 

Any time we build up some future pleasure in our minds to such an unrealistic pitch, the actual experience is guaranteed to be disappointing. 

It’s like the time my publicist assured me that my new book was going to be featured on the biggest morning show in the country. Sitting by the phone, waiting for the network to give us the green light ripped my guts into little fleshy tatters. To the point of hospitalization. 

And the bitch of the thing was, they sent a camera crew to my house, spent six hours filming, and never even aired my episode. All that stress for nothing. God damn it. 

Plant an expectation, reap a disappointment. 

We must learn to focus on what we want from ourselves, not what we want for ourselves. Because the former, we can control. It’s completely with the scope of our power. Even when the world disappoints us, we can still choose not to disappoint ourselves. We can maintain an attitude of lightness, acceptance, flexibility, trust and resilience. Those are things we want from ourselves. 

But the latter, the things we want for ourselves, that’s dangerous territory. Not so much the wanting part, but the waiting part. The attaching ourselves to acquiring them. 

That the soil in which anxiety, bitterness and disappointment live.

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
Are you expectations serving or frustrating 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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Sunday, April 07, 2019

Allowing ourselves the weakness of being happy

Enjoyment is a skill. 

It’s that experience where we switch off our brains, surrender to the moment and let life carry us to a place of peace, relaxation and contentment. Even if only for a few minutes at a time. 

Unfortunately, that skill is no longer a priority in our culture. We’ve completely lost the ability to enjoy anything. Because we’re too busy finding fault, being offended, intellectually deconstructing the social and political implications of every single goddamn moment, so that way we can publicly congratulate each other on how upset we are about the sad state of the world. 

There’s simply too much work to be done. Who has time to kick back and enjoy a summer superhero movie when we could be growing indignant about how damaging it is to our perceptions of equality in society? 

How can anyone appreciate that new dystopian fiction novel for what it is, when the writer clearly has insensitivities to a number of important causes? 

This is a very serious problem. Joy, pleasure and appreciation have been replaced by criticism, outrage and victimization. And it’s exhausting. For everybody. 

Look, there’s a time and place to protest, but there’s also a time and place to eat a hot dog. If we are to truly live life to its fullest, we have to allow ourselves the weakness of being happy. At least for a little while. 

Perhaps it’s time to grant ourselves a day off from mentally cataloguing all the ways that pop culture subtly mocks and shames us not living up unrealistic images, and just fucking enjoy life again. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
What prevents you from allowing yourself the weakness of being happy?
* * * *

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, April 06, 2019

Do not allow the day to go down in debt

Each day, we take a small step toward change. 

Each day, we allow ourselves to do whatever it takes and whatever works. Each day, we trust that a little effort on our part should open more doors to what we want. Each day, we respect the journey we are on. Each day, we steal period of time alone where we can get in touch with the center of our being. 

Each day, we accept the death of what came before. Each day, we try to create something that the world might be waiting for. Each say, we have faith that many things other than our own will are sustaining us. Each day, we remind ourselves that we are where we need to be. 

Each day, we revel in the world and soak in the awesomeness of it. Each day, we try to see ways to make things better. Each day, we do good work by giving ourselves the opportunity to do it. Each day, we allow everything to serve our healing. 

Each day, we bring ourselves into full alignment with what we long for. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
What do you do each day?

* * * *
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, April 05, 2019

Look for new ways to respond to old problems

Anytime we embark on another relentless quest to fix ourselves, we enter into a totally antagonistic relationship with ourselves. 

And that mindset rarely helps us solve anything. How limiting to let that attitude define us. 

It reminds of a memorable passage from alcoholism recovery devotional

When we fight a problem, we tend to think about it all the time. We build it up in our minds so that it occupies most of our attention and hits back at us. 

It's not the problem, it’s the state of mind we bring to the problem. If we cannot stop it, our best bet is to change our relationship to it. 

For example, if we show up for ourselves with true compassion, we face reality and transform our relationship to it. If we stop focusing exclusively on fixing our situation, we can start giving ourselves care and comfort. If we announce to ourselves that we will not wrestle with every problem today. 

Want to overcome an old problem? Look for new ways to respond to it. 

First surrender to it, and then maybe one day, you can outlive it. Until then, you just have to believe that you aren’t going to wake up tomorrow morning and it’s all going to be fixed. A

LET ME ASK YA THIS...

Are you trying to slay the dragon, or trying to love it and reduce its size? 

* * * *

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, April 04, 2019

The world is powerless to do anything for me

It’s important to honor our own natural and healthy urge for independence. 

Doing so reinforces our sense of efficacy, agency and power. 

But when we cross over to the stubborn desire to perfectly handle everything ourselves, that’s when get into trouble. 

Rollo’s book on the cry for myth reminds us how we foolishly think we can take care of ourselves without any support from others. How our pride balks at the thought of calling another person and asking them to be there for us. How we get such a satisfying sense of power out of demonstrating that the world can’t do anything to help our journey. 

And my personal favorite, how we get pleasure from telling people who do try to help, that their ideas won’t work for us. Even if, deep down, we know that their ideas will help. 

Because we’d rather be right. We’d rather stubbornly choose to do every single thing as an expression of our identity, rather than make ourselves vulnerable to feedback from someone who isn’t us. 

It’s funny, alcoholics may say that they are powerless to do anything about their addiction, but antidependents say that the world is powerless to do anything for them. God help us. 

Point being, it may be a temporary loss of independence to have someone else help you. But it’s also a permanent gain of connection. 

Because reaching out your hand to another, admitting that something is wrong and you can’t fix it alone, that’s what makes you a real human being. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
Which three people in your life were most responsible for helping you achieve your success?

* * * *

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, April 03, 2019

At the expense of not living life as a whole person

A writer friend of mine once told me the reason why he stayed single for all these years. 

Women are either in my work, or in my way. 

It sounded like a poetic and noble mantra at the time. But ten years after the fact, it actually sounds more compulsive than courageous. 

It’s something recovery literature helped me finally understand. Because for workaholics, anyone who gets in the way of our seemingly forward motion is viewed as a tremendous irritation. If we have to wait around for someone who doesn’t operate at our same speed, we grow fiercely impatient. And if people have the audacity to ask us to stop doing our work in order to do something else, we lose our shit. 

It sounds like the pull quote from an interview with a billionaire startup executive. The kind of executive profile people glorify and fetishize as the entrepreneur archetype we should all aspire to. 

Sorry, but that is not my life anyone. 

It’s one thing to be ambitious and focused, it’s another to view people as props in your personal play. It’s one thing to be dedicated to our work, but not at the expense of living life as a whole person. 

It’s interesting, we always remember the life events we missed out on while working late, but we never seem to remember the thing we were working on at the time. 

Chodron’s words of wisdom from her book about loving kindness come to mind. 

Inconvenience is not an obstacle, it’s simply a certain texture of life. 

Let us all know the value of pressing the off button, lest we work ourselves to death. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
How do interruptions to your energetic flow affect 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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Tuesday, April 02, 2019

Are we not merely swapping one fantasy for another?

Fantasy is central to our lives and essential to our wellbeing. 

When we let our imaginations soar in a way that serves, these fantasies can help charge and organize our lives for the better. 

However, there’s a fine line between consciously imagining from a place of inner connection and joy, and using fantasy to avoid reality. When fantasy becomes a way of trying to escape life, to outfox it, instead of living it, then we’re in trouble. 

Altman noted this paradox perfectly in his book about mindfulness. 

Fantasies can distract us and steal away precious time that could be spent in the actual here and now. To believe that grasping for a fantasy will help you escape pain is just another fantasy. 

Our challenge, then, is to face reality instead of escaping into a worse predicament. To feel our feelings and experience the unpleasant realities of living without reaching for an escape. 

And if we’re not sure how to discern between healthy and compulsive fantasizing, it really goes back to time. 

Any way that we escape, any activity that we’re doing that completely takes us away from our life, for extended periods of time, is something worth looking at. 

Because when we live in this fantasy because our life is not what we want it to be, it’s preventing us from living the life we want. 

Remember, reality is not a problem, trying to run from it is. 

Think about what might be blocking you from living fully. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...

When did you first feel like escaping your reality?

* * * *
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, April 01, 2019

Acceptance means recognizing reality and becoming comfortable with it

One of the many practices group therapy has helped me master is how to check in with myself. 

How to step back from the chaos of life for a moment, take a few deep breaths, ground my feet into the earth and ask a few fundamental questions. 

Here are a few from my collection. 

What sensations are happening in my body? 

What feelings and emotions do I notice? 

What shadowy aspect of my personality might be operating just outside of my conscious awareness? 

These questions, asked sequentially or individually, allow me to get hyper honest with myself in the moment. They allow me to practice sitting with and accept whatever comes up. 

It takes less than two minutes. 

And the best part is, there are no right or wrong, good or bad, positive or negative answers. It’s all about attention and intention. That’s the purpose of rituals. They are tools for communication. Spiritual technologies for being our best selves. 

Use your imagination to create rituals. Customize a carefully defined, highly structured practice that you can use to be here now. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
How do you check in with yourself to see what you need in order to feel more connected?

* * * *
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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