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Saturday, May 18, 2019

Bring your skepticism along for the ride

A blacklister is someone who tries to put an embargo on your joy. 

A hyper skeptical cynic who not only doesn’t like the things you like, but also judges you for liking the things you like. Simply because it’s not in their taste. 

Being around these people is exhausting and infuriating and makes my stomach hurt. Because you can always count on their sardonic commentary to ruin a good time. 

Like when they shoot down your ideas before you even finish explaining them. Or when they expertly dismantle your enthusiasm from a variety of angles. No matter what the topic is, they’re good for at least four or five scathing comments to tear apart everyone and everything in their path. 

And sadly, there’s no book on dealing with difficult people that can save you. Blacklisters take this art to a whole new level. And sometimes it feels impossible not to get sucked into their misery vortex They are immune to your consultations, to quote the great eighties pop song. 

The important thing to remember about interacting with these people is, it’s not personal. It’s not your fault. It’s not an attack on you or your character. And it is not something thing you need to fix or fight. 

Blacklisters treat everyone this way. Their negativity is a reflection of their chaotic inner state expressed externally. You just happen to be within the blast radius. Meanwhile, they’re sabotaging themselves in order to return to the more comfortable and familiar state of misery. 

Spezzano's book on heartbreak makes a radical suggestion. He says that when a person attacks, they do so because they are frightened, and they do not expect someone to move toward them. And so, we pour love into them as they are attacking. That way, both people move forward. 

Is it even possible? Can we truly loathe the behavior, but love the person? 

It’s certainly worth trying. To open our hearts to people in such a spacious and generous way, to use our imaginations to find things to love about them, even as they prove themselves to be sneering killjoy cock blockers, they’ll never see it coming. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
Will you take the risk and leap into the unmapped, unsafe and unreliable territory where love lives?

* * * *
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, May 17, 2019

A deeper darkness inside of me where worse monsters lived

Most tornado deaths are the result of flying debris. 

It’s not the twister itself that kills people, it’s all the giant shards of wood, chunks of metal and slabs of concrete that are swirling around at two hundred miles an hour. That’s what we really have to watch out for. 

Interestingly enough, our brains work in the same way. The tornado that is the human mind constantly churns out all kinds of irrational, bizarre and hostile thoughts. In fact, sometimes there is no darker place than our own mind. 

And yet, it is our guilt about those thoughts that is far more damaging than the thoughts themselves. It’s mental debris. The extra level of suffering we layer on top of our pain. 

For example, perhaps there is someone whom we wish pain or misfortune. Or a business competitor that we irrationally hate. Or even colleague that we sexually fantasize about in our private moments. That’s okay. These thoughts and feelings don’t make us sick and horrible people. They don’t signify that something is wrong with us. 

But there’s no reason to add an extra layer of debris by beating ourselves up for having them in the first place. 

As my therapist once told me, the movies inside our heads are badly written, poorly directed and cheaply produced. 

Next time you notice worrisome thoughts and feelings feeding into the stream, start by not making it worse for yourself. Accept that your thoughts have zero mass, and unless put into action, have zero force. They simply float away like weather patterns. 

Remember, nothing causes more emotional distress than the thoughts you think about the thoughts you think. 

Learn to manage the debris of your nagging mind. 

Reduce the cause of your own future suffering. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
What kinds of things do you do to cope that actually make things worse in the long run?
* * * *
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, May 16, 2019

Kill the hero in the first chapter

The reason you’re stuck creatively is not because your mind has run out of ideas. 

It’s because your mind is churning out too many thoughts veined with worry, and that’s clouding your sense of proportion and priority. 

Truth is, before you can even start cultivating your idea, you first have to navigate all of the mental debris that stand in the way of its fullest and truest expression. 

Mythology research calls this phase the first threshold on the road of trials. It’s the test. The proving ground. The initial obstacle that, when overcome, makes you stronger and prepares you for the final showdown. 

And it’s not purely physical. 

Psychologically, the road of trials is where the hero can transcend their destructive behavior patterns and thoughts. Campbell says that the departure into this land of trials represents the beginning of the long and really perilous path of initiatory conquests and moments of illumination. Dragons have now to be slain and surprising barriers passed, again and again. Meanwhile, there will be a multitude of preliminary victories, unretainable ecstasies and momentary glimpses of the wonderful land. 

And so, in your hero’s journey of creativity, here are a few characteristics of that first threshold. 

Instead of worrying about doing something right or wrong, you must focus on moving in a direction that makes sense. 

Instead of worrying about whether your efforts are good or bad, you must focus on what gives you energy and captures your imagination. 

Instead of worrying about people judging your work, you must focus on what you like about the process and what resonates with your soul. 

If you can pass through that essential mental threshold, you’re lightyears ahead of most on the road towards creative enlightenment. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
Are you prepared to let go of unhealthy but comfortable patterns when you’re stuck?
* * * *
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, May 15, 2019

Where so much of our growth takes root

Does this feel like a source of untapped potential? An uncomfortable place that we typically avoid? Perhaps a new dimension of ourselves that could present us the opportunity for growth and change? 

Perfect. That’s our edge. And we should lean into it like a heavy caliber rifle. Because that’s where all the wisdom lies. 

Masters outlined the characteristics of this sacred place in his book on true masculine power. He refers to our edge as the existential threshold where we allow the armoring around our heart to melt. It’s the developmental crucible and initiatory testing ground that demands our full blooded participation. 

The secret is being honest with ourselves about what an edge is not. Because whatever thing we’re doing, if it’s easy, if it’s asking nothing much from us, then it’s not our edge. If it’s not a significant challenge, if it doesn’t require courage, and if it doesn’t bring up resistance, then it’s not our edge. 

Which doesn’t mean that thing won’t have meaning, it’s just that it won’t be valuable door to our growth. 

We never get rewarded for doing what’s easy for us. 

Make sufficient effort to do the inner work that would result in real growth. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
Where in your life are you rejecting growth? 

* * * *
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, May 14, 2019

If you don’t tell anybody about it, it never happened

Here’s the most important thing you want people to remember about you. 

This isn’t all you do. You’re not a one trick pony. There are other arrows in your professional quiver. You have wealth of interesting instincts and skills that combine to form your arsenal of talents, each of which can create real value for real people. 

My mentor even had a mantra for this:

Everything you do should lead to something else you do. 

That was the skill layered on top of everything else. Leverage. Your ability to kill two stones with one bird. 

My publishing company launched a software program to help people do just that. It’s a strategic framework for increasing the rate of return on your personal assets. Simply by asking yourself pointed questions. 

For example, if you recently completed a new customer service initiative at a large company that has multiple departments and outside of your immediate team, you might ask yourself this. 

Who else needs to know about this? 

Meaning, which other employees, who might work in complimentary or adjacent or even perpendicular functions, could adapt your program to their team? Hunt them down. Surprise people with skills they didn’t know you had. Take the risk that you might make someone upset with your initiative. And before long, people will start seeking you out. 

Remember, nobody is standing in the way of your ability to create value. You are the only person preventing you from making full use of your talents and abilities. It’s time to start acting in a way that will make you a giver and not a taker. 

Because having passion for your work is not enough. You also must have perseverance in spreading the word about your work. 

If you don’t tell anybody about it, it never happened. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
How are you giving each of your talents a more prominent place in your 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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Monday, May 13, 2019

Blind to the very things that might make our careers more meaningful

What’s worse than an entrepreneur who is afraid of commitment? 

An entrepreneur who is living their lives to accommodate an outdated commitment because they’re afraid of contradiction. 

That was the stubborn siren song of my professional life for years:

Stick to your guns, shoot yourself in the foot, and then aim the gun at the other foot just so you have a matching set of holes. 

My career was the poster child for firearm regulation. 

From a small business standpoint, it’s understandable. It’s good for the brand. Commitment can make us feel like we have honor. It can make us feel like a special and noble professional who deserves to be congratulated on their idealism. 

But on the other hand, commitment can also make our work narrower and less flexible. Blind to the very things that might make our careers more meaningful, more satisfying and even more profitable. 

My mentor once told me that being religious about how we make our money is the quickest way to go out of business. And so, our responsibility as we progress in our careers is to adapt, evolve and recalibrate our commitments as time goes on. 

Here are a few key questions to ask yourself along the journey. 

Have you locked yourself into a lane that you will have a hard time getting out of? 

Are you so invested in your current strategy you have stopped thinking about other possibilities? 

Have you gotten so worked up thinking your approach is going to work that you can’t imagine it won’t? 

Are you so focused that you are unconscious to the opportunities to pivot to a game that has better odds for you? 

Do you limit yourself because you won’t accept the fact that you might be able to do something else? 

Remember, the commitment police aren’t going bang down your door if you decide change your mind. 

Duchemin once wrote that there is there is no prize for the one who leaves his canvas clean. 

Perhaps the same idea can be applied here. 

There is no prize for the one who never changes lanes. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
What obsolete commitments might be trapping 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, May 12, 2019

Don’t love them to pieces, love them to wholeness.

What do you mean you don’t want to spend every waking minute with me? 

That was the fear narrative running through my head for many years. That my girlfriend would feel abandoned and rejected and question my love for her if I took an occasional weekend for myself. 

And so, the nice guy inside of me, that friendly midwestern passive aggressive confrontation phobic codependent love addict, would leap in and prevent me from taking strong stands. He would convince me that our desire for harmony was more important than the stands we need to take. And that if we rock the relationship boat and actually announce to this woman that we need some time for ourselves, she is obviously going to burst into tears and run away forever. 

What a perfect opportunity cling on to her like an infant, suffocate her with as much love as possible, make her the center of my universe, cancel plans with all my friends, quit the football team and spend my weekends sitting alone in the bar where she works waiting for her shift to end so we can spend more time together. 

What woman could resist? 

Let’s move in together. 

Perel’s prominent book on mating in captivity explores this relationship misstep in great detail. She explains that you’re so afraid to lose your lover that you’ve alienated yourself and lost your freedom. There isn’t a separate person here for your partner to love. If you truly seek a healthy, sustainable, boundaried relationship, you must create a space between people into which desire can flow more freely. 

And that starts with nurturing a sense of selfhood. Developing personal intimacy with one’s own self as a counterbalance to the couple. Something that highlights a connection to self, rather than a distance from one’s partner. 

In short, not spending every waking minute with each other. 

Now there’s a lesson that would have been helpful to learn about twenty years ago. 

Don’t love people to pieces, love them to wholeness. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
Are you forgetting that fire needs air?

* * * *

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, May 11, 2019

If this boat’s a rocking, shame on you for knocking

Holman’s handbook of addictive disorders defines shame in the following way. 

He refers to it as feelings of defectiveness because of having a need. 

Because that’s the story we sell inside our heads. Even though we want to bring ourselves into full alignment with what we long for, some part of our brain superimposes guilt on top of that need. 

After all, having a need might mean tension and conflict and standing up for ourselves. Having a need might mean not being agreeable, setting boundaries with other people and causing trouble. 

We can’t have that. If this boat’s a rocking, shame on you for knocking. 

It’s a form of deprivation. Extraordinary denial. Disciplined avoidance. This mindset is not serving us. Each time we shame ourselves, our capacity to function well plummets. Each time we shame ourselves, it weakens our immunity and steals our energy. 

On the other hand, as they say in recovery circles, each time we represent ourselves as people whose needs deserve to be taken seriously, we’re strengthened. We’re less likely to let unacceptable situations build up over a long period of time. 

The world doesn't want your shame. It has no use for it. 

The time has come to bulldoze your way out of its debris. To step forward and honor your deepest needs. 

That doesn’t make you defective, it makes you a human being. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
Do you experience yourself as a real person with needs, desires and a point of view, or a vessels to fulfill other people’s 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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Friday, May 10, 2019

The yeast that makes your hopes rise to the stars

Ford was an industrialist, but he was also an enthusiast. 

The combination of which enabled him to profoundly impact the landscape of the twentieth century. Consider his words from over one hundred years ago, which still ring true today. 

Enthusiasm is the yeast that makes your hopes rise to the stars. Enthusiasm is the sparkle in your eyes, the swing in your gait, the grip of your hand, the irresistible surge of will and energy to execute your ideas. Enthusiasts are fighters. They have fortitude. They have staying qualities. Enthusiasm is at the bottom of all progress. With it, there is accomplishment. Without it, there are only alibis. 

The infuriating thing is, not everyone is enthusiastic about enthusiasm. Some people believe enthusiasm is a strength for which there is little use. Some people will even try to dissuade us of the delusion that our earnestness and fervor can actually make a difference. 

During our summer kickoff meeting at my college radio station, my brand new notebook was filled with exciting ideas for remote broadcasts, advertising spots, dining hall streaming, in studio performances and other on campus promotions. It was the most exciting day of the semester for me. 

But by the time my speech was finished, a few of the veteran board members looked at me like I’d suggested skinning a baby with a spoon. 

Apparently plunging ahead and letting your primal enthusiasm lead the way wasn’t something they were used to. After all, it was only college radio. Even the general manger jokingly patted my shoulder and said:

Relax freshman, it’s only the first week. 

Has this ever happened to you? Have you ever felt the sudden urge to apologize for your passion? 

It’s deflating as hell. Because true enthusiasm is not something that can be counterfeited. It’s pure joy. It comes from deep inside that beckons to be shared with the world. And when it moves us to our feet, there’s nothing worse than people dismissing it. 

Next time somebody tries to prevent you from seizing the key of curiosity that allows you to open new doors, replenish your supply of enthusiasm anyway. 

Trust that all of your breakthroughs will be a consequence of earnest interest. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
Are you known as a person of enthusiasm?

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

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Thursday, May 09, 2019

Save the whiskey for your pecan pie

Proactive coping is preparing in advance to be upset, angry and disappointed. 

Setting yourself up to emotionally thrive in a potentially triggering or stressful situation, knowing that you won’t be in the right mind at the time. 

For example, before leaving town to visit your extended family for the weekend, you can activate your healthy support system ahead of time. Perhaps alerting friends or your spouse that you would appreciate a short phone call at the end of each day so you can process things with other people, as opposed to locking yourself in the bathroom with a fifth of whiskey. 

Because in many cases, trying to regulate by yourself, you’re stuck in a circle. On the other hand, when you use connectedness as the frame in which to process your experiences, you build a safe container to hold your many feelings and emotions. You practice dancing reality rather than dodging it. 

That’s the bigger picture we fail to realize when the adrenaline is pumping and the cortisol is flowing. Whatever is bothering is, it’s not just the issue, it’s the unhealthy coping mechanism we're using to deal with the stress of the issue. It’s the suffering layered on top of the pain. The second arrow, as it were. 

Ask yourself this:

What overwhelming feelings do you have no healthy coping mechanism for? 

Plan for that failure in advance. Preselect people whom you can cleanse yourself with. Use them as your lifeline. 

That way, when the shit hits the fan, you won’t resort to the unhealthy ways that you’re used to coping with stress. 

Save the whiskey for your pecan pie. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
What mechanisms can you put into place now so you can execute when the pressure is on?

* * * *

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, May 08, 2019

Fugitives from our place of profound identity

A recovering consultant friend of mine jokes that he used to be paid handsomely to help companies build up the facade of a business that deep down they knew was cracking at the foundation. 

It’s a sad but widespread paradox of life. One that only happens to corporations, but also to individuals. 

Many of us have been there before. Putting energy into being other than ourselves, it's completely exhausting. Even if it is sustainable for a while, eventually, we lose the energy to keep up the faƧade. And we feel like fugitives from our place of profound identity. 

But that’s not necessarily a bad thing. It’s a lesson that’s given to help us remember who we are. It’s a sacred opportunity to find the path back home. 

Years ago, after ending a long relationship with a woman who was completely wrong for me, a friend of mine said something that stuck with me forever. When you were still together, he said:

Everything she did seemed to work in concert to try to take you away your true self. But now that you’ve broken up, it’s been really nice getting to know the real you. 

He was right. For the first time in four years, my soul was finally called back home. The filters had evaporated. The bars to my heart melted into piles of thick, hot globs of iron. And I felt liberated from the invisible chains that kept me from moving forward. 

What’s more, those who knew me best could tell. The freedom was written all over my face. 

Is your true self is missing you? 

That’s okay. We all get lost sometimes. 

But each person has to find their own way to meet the world and carry their true self. 

It’s one of life’s great tasks. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
Are you grieving aloud for the loss of self you imagined?

* * * *

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, May 06, 2019

Our perfect comes in our commitment to progress

Every guitar player learns the same first lesson.

It’s better to practice five minutes every day than five hours on the weekend. 

That regular interval of concentrated effort keeps us connected to the music. Not to mention, helps heal those painful callouses faster. 

This principle applies to almost every area of life. Because if we only do something every few months, it’s impossible to get on top of the process. Only through consistent daily action can we develop the habits that create extraordinary outcomes. 

That’s how we build momentum and accumulate compound interest. By dutifully returning to the work over and over, not treating it like some object we acquire and then put on a shelf somewhere. 

Going beyond discipline to commitment. Devotion. Identifying which variety of suffering we would most like to sacrifice ourselves for. 

As the integral psychologists call it, an open eyed, ongoing and resolutely empowered yes to a well considered choice. 

And so, whatever activity or endeavor we choose to undertake, we build a practice that’s truly our own. We accept that each day’s march is the goal in itself. We get extremely clear in our own mind what the commitment would amount to. 

And we trust that eventually, we will gain so much momentum that it will become easy to succeed. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...

If you created your own daily practice, what would it look like?

* * * *

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, May 05, 2019

Look into each other’s eyes and whisper their joy

Our level of happiness depends on how we act upon or repress our instinctual needs. 

If we grew up in a hyper religious and puritanical tradition that was profoundly suspicious of pleasure, it’s quite possible that we will not respect the basic needs of our body and spirit. We will not honor our fundamental human longing for joy. 

Because that would be a sin. Only heathens indulge in the corruption of the flesh. 

And so, we’ll remain trapped in shame’s chains. And our capacity to function well will plummet. 

That doesn’t sound like happiness. If our days slip away and we forget to do the things that give us pleasure, the zombie apocalypse has officially arrived. 

The solution, however, is not to hop on the hedonic treadmill and solely pursue happiness through the pleasures of the senses. Rather, it’s to gain a greater understanding of our own needs. To make deeply considered choices about what life suits us. And to find the wherewithal to respect our own needs. 

After all, one person’s joy is another man’s heartbreak. If we never felt the pang of longing to own a house, get married, have children, work a straight job and join the local congregation, and would rather live abroad, that’s okay. This is our way of having joy. 

If we discover an unorthodox but healthy lifestyle that brings us massive fulfillment, but offends and confuses half of our family members, that’s okay too. This is our way of having joy. 

Look, if you’re happy as you’d like to be, think about which of your instinctual needs are being ignored, repressed or not acted upon. 

Look into your own eyes and whisper your joy. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
Have you considered the disconnect between what you’re encouraged to want and what you’re allowed to have? 
* * * *

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

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