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Thursday, August 15, 2019

Make your decisions in the light of the high hour

Can you tell the difference between patience and procrastination? 

It’s harder than you think. 

Because it’s one thing to take your time and avoid rushing and ship quality work out the door; but it’s another thing to delude yourself with a brilliantly executed stalling maneuver. 

It reminds me of my lawyer friend. God bless his extreme detail orientation, which is essential in the legal professional where there is zero margin for error. But when it comes to picking a restaurant for dinner, he couldn’t make a decision if his life depended on it. 

Marty would rather ask a thousand questions and vet multiple online reviews and send out a survey to everyone in the group to see if the data has statistical significance. 

Sweet merciful lord, can we just eat tacos and move on with our lives? Does it really matter where we eat if we’re are all together?

Besides, life is not about the food on the table, it’s about the people sitting around it. 

In fact, it’s not even about dinner. It’s about decisions. Knowing that our whole life doesn’t depend on every choice we make, and so, we as well just get on it with.

Because eventually, each of us is going to have to plant a flag on a mountain of uncertainty and make some decisions based on less than complete information. It will be scary and threaten our sense of control. And it will make us want to barge off into the land of procrastination where we can continue to stall the process. 

But if we can resist that, we might have a real chance at moving our story forward. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
How impatient can you afford to be? 

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

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Wednesday, August 14, 2019

The stronger we get; the sooner the gods will find us

The winds of work are variable in the extreme. 

One day we’re operating at our highest point of contribution, creating significant value at within the organization, the next day we’re sneaking off during lunch to do job interviews with potential employers.

It’s confusing and stressful and frustrating. 

But the good news is, when we view our career as a long arc game, treating each of our jobs as stopovers on our lifelong journey of personal growth, we are less likely to panic at the day to day fluctuations. 

Even if a particular gig or project does go south, we trust that our wealth of unique experiences, instincts and skills that combine to form our talents, goes north. 

Because each time we move from one organization to another, we bring more value with us. We are that much more evolved and sophisticated than when we started. And even if our previous employer does have amnesia about our contribution to its body of work, we don’t forget. 

To paraphrase the bravest warrior in history:

They can take our job, but they can’t take our experience. 

And so, shitty days notwithstanding, let us remember that it is always within our power to make our skill indispensable. 

We take ourselves with us everywhere we go. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...

Is there anything on the native ground of your own experience that can serve you in the future?

* * * *
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, August 13, 2019

Tape my mouth shut and stuff me in a trunk

It’s true that language is a powerful lever for changing the world around us. 

But it’s also true that words can be twisted to match any desire we have, and interpreted to justify any action we take. 

In fact, many of our greatest revelations occur in speechless moments when we perceive things greater and beyond the sum total of all words. 

That’s one of the great joys of songwriting. People feel our music before they listen to it. 

Unlike prose or poetry or other types of one dimensional compositions, our medium of song isn’t under as much pressure to make sense or prove anything or even mean anything. 

Because it has layers. It relies on the rhythm and melody to do most of the heavy emotional lifting. That’s where the real magic comes from. The words are almost pedestrian at that point. 

Hell, the best songwriter in rock history famously used the word scrambled eggs as his working title to hold the music and phrasing in place until he found a suitable replacement. And once he substituted it with the word yesterday, it became the most covered song of all time. 

Think of it this way. Ever realized that you have been singing the wrong words to a popular song your whole life? 

Once you learned the correct lyric, did you change the way you sang it? 

Of course not. Because all that mattered was how the song made you feel while you sang it. 

Remember, words are chewed gum. Don’t allow yourself to get trapped in a language with too little imagination. 

Release the grip of neurons on all your small thoughts. And excuse me while I kiss this guy. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
Do you have the strength and the love to sit in the silence that goes beyond words?

* * * *
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, August 12, 2019

An inert zombie waiting for time to pass

Emerson wrote that good thoughts are no better than good dreams, unless they be executed. 

It’s a loving invitation for us, in whatever endeavor we’re chasing after, to push towards that precious point of no return. Where we stop longing and start making it a matter of transaction. 

Sadly, some people never make it to that point. They remain trapped in their dream world, gradually grinding down their grand hopes for genuine fulfillment. They never make it to the world of transaction. They drag their sadness behind them like a turd on a stick. 

One question that has always helped me catapult out of my own inertia is:

Okay, who is the one person that would be most powerful in moving this dream forward? 

Because in most cases, it only takes one person to make the difference between isolation and connection; between idea and execution; between dream and reality. 

That real life transaction, that human exchange, strengthens our capacity for future action. 

Of course, there is no guarantee that each person we reach out to will change our lives or even help us or even respond to us. But dreaming, like so many things in life, is a numbers game. It’s ours for the asking. If we want to transform visions into actions and actually execute on our insides, we can’t do it alone. 

We need to keep reaching out to the people who can help us become who we need to be until something clicks.

LET ME ASK YA THIS...

If your immediate and natural impulse is not to force yourself into action, whom might you call upon to help move your story forward? 

* * * *
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, August 10, 2019

Shrinking the size of our ambition to fit our personal reality

Everything in this country is extra, extra large. 

We love our big cars, big houses, big food, big guns, big corporations, big brands and big personalities. 

In fact, according to a recent study from the journal of female health sciences, even our women have a significantly larger mean breast volume than women born in other countries. 

America is always trying to stay ahead of the curve, aren’t we? 

But let’s stay abreast of the larger issue.

Our nation’s history and obsession with the goal of big has officially seeped its way into our cultural filament. It’s created a collective trance that keeps us distracted from our own truth, which might even include the desire to grow big. 

When the reality is, it’s not weak to be oriented towards small. It’s actually quite liberating and surprisingly satisfying. 

Just imagine. 

Instead of being dependent on nationwide appreciation, we can fan ourselves out into our local community. 

Instead of becoming superficially noticeable to a mass audience, we can focus on simply becoming more deeply useful the people closest to us. 

Instead of spreading ourselves too thin in the name of growth, we can shrink the size of our ambition to fit our personal reality and keeping only the parts we love the most. 

My favorite songwriter of all time, reflecting on the changing size of his concert audiences over the years, said it best:

It’s not necessarily about how many people are in the room, but how intently they are experiencing your stories and songs. 

And so, it’s not that size doesn’t matter, it’s that size might be what keeps you from mattering. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...

How will you avoid being carried along on a wave of cultural unconsciousness?

* * * *
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, August 09, 2019

That moment that change is no longer terrifying

We have a genetic reflex to avoid change. 

And we are geniuses at inventing reasons to avoid change. 

But what we don’t realize until we come out grizzled on the other side is, change isn’t actually what hurts. It’s our resistance to it that creates the suffering. 

Bonnie sings one of my favorite songs about it. It’s obviously a breakup song, but what’s fascinating is, if you switch the pronouns from singular to third person, the meaning of the tune expands to include the larger changes of life:

We can feel you fading, but until you’re gone, we’re taking all the time we can borrow, the getting over is waiting, but we won't move on, and we’re gonna wanna feel the same tomorrow, we know the truth is right outside, but for the moment it’s best denied. 

What are you pretending not to know? 

Look, changing sucks and it’s hard and it hurts like hell. But once we conquer our initial resistance to it, once we recalibrate our posture regarding the process of change itself, the nuts and bolts of change aren’t all that bad. 

Intention counts for more than we realize. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...

Are you learning to adapt to that which you can’t prevent? 
* * * *
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, August 08, 2019

These wonders are brought to our own door

Emerson was said to have lived his life as a series of experiments upon the external world, and by every one of which a new power was awakened in his mind. 

The words from his celebrated book come to mind:

Leave me in the splendid labyrinth of my perceptions to wander without end. 

It’s a standing invitation for the collective sanity of humanity. The philosopher’s forewarning is not to close the laboratory doors too soon, but to keep the spirit of experimentation alive in everything we do. Especially in those moments when overwhelming feelings disgust course through our veins and we want nothing more than to throw up our hands in disgust and say, oh fuck everything, just fuck it all to hell. 

That’s when we need the gift of wonderment the most. Because inside of it lay the seed of joy. Real joy. Not candy bar joy, but that sustaining source of power whose blazing spotlight of love pierces our inner gloom and reminds us that life has a brighter side. 

Emerson, strangely enough, had an unknown pupil who reflected on the same topic nearly a hundred years later. Camus took up the transcendentalist mantle when he wrote:

One must keep a freshness and a source of joy intact within, loving the daylight that injustice leaves unscathed, and returning to the fray with this light as a trophy. 

If we can remember that, these wonders will be brought to our own door. 

And we will return to the place within where we are eternally whole. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
How do you orient yourself to a sustaining source of power?
* * * *
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, August 07, 2019

Reach less people more deeply

You can’t scale yourself. 

Even if you could, you wouldn’t want to. Because unless you have buckets of cash, an endless supply of energy, or a human cloning machine, scaling yourself is not a sustainable strategy. 

It might work for a few years or even a decade, but eventually it’s going to catch up with you. 

Let’s back up for a minute. Why do you want to scale in the first place? 

To unlock your ability to make an impact, or because scaling is the hot thing to do right now and bigger is always better and anything less than shooting the moon with your brand would be viewed as a weakness? 

Remember, metrics can be gamed. Impact can’t. Perhaps we should base our success on that. 

My mentor, an educator and preacher, once told me that if you want to help the greatest number of people, just become an example. William always used to say that he could have been a global celebrity if he really wanted to, he could have grown his brand to reach a mass audience, but he opted out of scaling. Because that would have been misaligned with his vision and values. 

Being an example was more important to him. 

Doesn’t that approach sound so much more organic and less labor intensive than world domination? 

Imagine, rather than trying to scale ourselves, we could aim to reach less people more deeply. 

In a world where we have fetishized scaling, it sounds awfully satisfying to me. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...

Does your ability to make an impact necessarily depend on 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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Tuesday, August 06, 2019

Discern the path that leads toward a greater sense of unity

Our great joy in life is when we realize that the journey is no longer a solo adventure, but a communal undertaking. 

That we can’t survive alone, and even if we could, we wouldn’t want to. 

Because it’s not the way our species is wired. Keen’s theory comes to mind, that human beings are single selves who exist only within a community of interdependent beings. And as we grow aware of how isolated we have been, we start to feel our loneliness for the first time and are filled with a longing for reunion. 

Question is, how do we shift our posture away from being solo adventurers and towards communal joiners? How do we discern the path that leads toward a greater sense of unity? 

Sometimes it’s simply a matter of intention and attention. 

Personally, one tool that helped me overcome my antisocial tendencies was asking myself the following question before taking an action. 

How could this activity involve other people? 

For example, instead of playing music in my apartment all day, a short walk to the park would allow me to busk in public and connect with tons of real people.

Another example is, instead of ordering takeout and watching a movie in my underwear, a few quick text messages to friends would open up opportunities to hang out face to face. 

How could this activity involve other people? 

It sounds silly, but this question is my top micro practice for amateur cognitive behavioral therapy. It helps shines a torch into my thoughts, assumptions and beliefs. Reminding me that there is always a beautiful world waiting for me to return to it. Even when my abiding loneliness seems unconquerable. 

Yet another reminder, that when we change our pronouns, we change our life. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...

How might you redefine your current experience in relation to others? 

* * * *
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, August 05, 2019

The bigger the talent, the less bullshit they bring to the table

Managing other people’s perceptions of us can be a full time job. 

If there were an application posted on a career website, the headline would read:

Seeking a codependent narcissistic workaholic to dive deep into the ego vortex of excessive impression management. Low pay. Burnout likely. Zero prior experience necessary. 

Funny thing is, we justify our obsession with people’s perception of us in the name of managing our golden reputation. Protecting our precious personal brand. 

Until we finally reach the age of reason, realizing that, like most things in life, reputation is not actually something we have control over. It never was. Because it’s not even real. It’s just a story people sell themselves about who they think we are, based on their own projections, triggers and insecurities. 

The kicker is, the moment we do something that people don’t like, the moment we commit the crime of being human, our reputation changes faster than a pregnant woman’s mood swings. 

And we will never understand how. Therefore, why should we be invested in another person’s chemical reaction to us? What they think about us is none of our business. 

Talent, on the other hand, is our business. It’s the one thing in this world that does belong to us. The one thing we actually have control over. And because each of us is born with a talent, a special gift that is unique and necessary to the whole of humanity, we have a sense of responsibility to use it, not bury it. 

Don’t waste your time trying to manage people’s impression of you. 

Let go of trying to control what you never had control over in the first place, and you will free up your energy to show the world what you’ve come here to contribute. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
How are we going to keep you and your talent from dying 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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Sunday, August 04, 2019

Looks great except change everything

Explicit and direct communication not only alleviates potential frustration and misunderstanding, but it also saves organizations massive amounts of time. 

The problem is, we’re too busy empowering each other. We’re too focused on tap dancing around the issues to spare people’s feelings. 

It reminds me of a review from an employee who was working at a healthcare organization. Her advice to management was as follows. 

Stop with the meetings. All you do is talk, talk, talk. Just tell employees what you want. You don’t actually care what we have to say, so let’s just get on with the work. 

It’s cynical and disengaged, but this employee makes a good point. 

Why do we always have to bullshit each other? Can’t we just be clear and upfront with our expectations and needs? 

Otherwise communicating starts to feel like designing a new piece of software without requirements. It’s like our kindergarten teachers remind us. 

Use your words. Early and often. 

Instead of hoping people read your mind and recommend the decision you’ve already decided on, just tell them what you want. 

Instead of waiting for people to give the wrong answer and then forcing then to change their minds, just tell them what you want. 

Instead of hoping that people read the air and figure out what you want them to do, just tell them what you want. 

Instead of engaging in a pointless, expensive and time consuming game of insipid guesswork, just tell people what you want. 

Homer actually said it best right before taking his remedial science exam. 

Alright brain, you don’t like me and I don’t like you, but let's just get through this and I can get back to killing you with beer

Enough with all of the implicit, subtle suggestions. 

Assume you are going to be misunderstood and just tell people what you want. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
Are you still angry at people because they didn’t realize something you thought?

* * * *
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, August 02, 2019

Okay, this is a new medium, what can we do with it?

Mcluhan famously wrote that a medium is any extension of man that amplifies his senses and faculties to determine what he is. 

Meaning, the medium is more than merely the instrument by which something is conveyed. The medium is that which gives expression to our sense of life and allows us to achieve and objective definition of our cherished values. 

Sound grandiose and pretentious? 

It is. That’s the whole point. 

Because once we broaden our definition of what the word medium means, it enables a change in the relative size of what we think is our creative territory. 

In my own creative life, recording albums, writing books and giving speeches were my first three loves as an artist. But about fifteen years into my career, film became the new and preferred mode of expression in my creative arsenal. It was the medium that allowed me to engage all of my being, employ all of my skills and use state of the art media to communicate my gospel in three dimensions. 

And not only did it allow me to operate at my highest point of contribution as an entrepreneur, but it also equipped me to become a more valuable employee when working together with a team. Film served me powerfully in every subsequent incarnation of my creative life. 

That’s the power of medium. Mcluhan was right when he wrote that every major technology changes the balance of the senses. 

Are you currently using various forms of media to circulate your views? What might be the next technological advancement to express your creative vision? And how could you potentially invent a whole new way of communicating your message? How might your work suggest new possibilities for what the medium could become?

Remember, each of us can choose how our technology will change us. 

May we be fearless in pursuing various vehicles to express our cherished values. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
Are you in a space where you can reevaluate your relationship with technology?

* * * *
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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