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Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Time has lost its faith in you

When it comes to public creative expressions like singing, dancing and playing music, my motivation is not to delight, but to disappear. 

The goal is not entertainment, it’s abandonment. 

And this isn’t about looking cool and impressing others, this is about going to another place and pouring myself out. 

It’s just the way my expressive function works. Completely process oriented and internally focused. My art is a temple of one. 

Reminds me of a friend’s bachelor party from years ago. It must have been about four in the morning. My friends had all passed out drunk in in their chairs. But me, the only sober guy in the entire club, was still on the dance floor, grooving hard. Covered in sweat, completely oblivious, lost in my trance, I suddenly came back to earth for a moment and realized three things. 

1. Nobody else was dancing.
2. No music was playing.
3. The bar staff was cleaning up. 

This moment perfectly characterizes my approach to the act of creative expression. 

Disappearance, abandonment and liberation. It’s not right or wrong, it’s not good or bad, it’s just that for me, there is no other way to do it. 

Nolan’s original script for his first movie comes to mind. Leonard is a man who juggles searching for his wife's murderer with keeping his short term memory loss from being an obstacle. In the film’s closing monologue, the voice in his head says this: 

It's not so much that you've lost your faith in time, as that time has lost its faith in you. Time is three things for most people, but for you, for us, just one. A singularity. One moment. This moment. Like you're the center of the clock, the axis on which the hands turn. Time moves about you but never moves you. It has lost its ability to affect you. What is it they say? Time is theft? But not for you. Close your eyes and you can start all over again. Conjure up that necessary emotion, fresh as roses. Time is an absurdity. An abstraction. The only thing that matters is this moment. This moment a million times over. You have to trust me. If this moment is repeated enough, if you keep trying, and you have to keep trying, eventually you will come across the next item on your list. 


LET ME ASK YA THIS...
What kind of relationship do you have with the present moment?

* * * *

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 26, 2019

Choking someone with a phone charger

Anger is not a primary emotion. 

It’s a defensive feeling that protects another feeling, like fear or loss or a combination thereof. 

And yet, it’s gift. Anger asks us to take action on our own behalf. It’s the emotional stairway that takes us down to more interesting and vulnerable places. '

Deida, in his provocative book about unquenchable love, reminds us that anger can provide us with the sharp thunder necessary to awaken from moody distraction, and we can use it cut through the momentum and plunge to the heart of this moment. 

Consider this list of examples. 

When we get sick for a week and become enraged at our crippling allergies, could it be that we feel afraid that we’re not as healthy as we thought we were? 

When we get cut off by our asshole boss during a presentation and start retaliating with snide, passive aggressive comments, could it be that we feel a loss of power?

When a mediocre competitor gets their own network television show and we have the urge to rip the fan out of the ceiling, could it be that we feel sad about our own level achievement? 

When our coworker holds a brainstorming meeting without us and it makes us want to choke them with a phone charger, could it be that we feel lonely and isolated? 

Anger, then, is the catalyzing force. An expression of something deeper that’s worth exploring. 

Next time you have an experience that makes your face feel like it could heat soup, use your anger to walk down the staircase to the more interesting place. 


LET ME ASK YA THIS...
What if all the things that make us angry lie inside of ourselves?
* * * *

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 23, 2019

Living off the hunting and efforts of the beast

Camus famously wrote in his notebooks about the remora, a fish that swims poorly. 

He believed their only chance to move forward consisted of attaching themselves to the back of a big fish. They plunged a tube into the stomach of a shark, where they sucked up their nourishment and propagated without doing anything, living off the hunting and efforts of the beast. 

Maybe you know someone like this. The kind of person with few talents or originality whose only apparent skill is coattail riding and star fucking their way to success. 

Because who needs hard work when you have proximity? 

It’s infuriating. Especially if you’re the kind of person who actually does work hard to build their talents and actualize their potential and make a difference in the world. 

The thing about the remora strategy is, it works. These little fish eat great, stay safe, get free rides across the ocean floor, and they benefit deeply from the social proof of being attached to the big fish. 

The marketplace rewards them. And there’s not much you can do about it. 

Therefore, the only useful response to this oceanic conundrum is, just keep swimming. Stop worrying about what the other fish are doing or not doing, and just keep swimming. Enjoy swimming. Be grateful that you even have the chance to swim. Take pride in your stroke. Revel in the gorgeous marine landscape around you. Surround yourself with other strong swimmers who love swimming as much as you do. 

And sleep soundly with the satisfaction that you are building a fulfilling career on the foundation of your talents and values. 


LET ME ASK YA THIS...
How does social comparison erode your sense of worth?

* * * *
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 22, 2019

Suffering our way straight into heaven

Saying we deserve something feels empowering, but it’s really just entitlement in disguise. 

It’s assuming that we are the center of the universe and cosmic justice revolves around us. 

When the reality is, just because we have done the work and put in the time and paid our dues and built up our struggle points, or whatever other socially sanctioned requisite action we think will move our name higher on the cosmic credit ranking, doesn’t mean that we are suddenly entitled to anything in return. 

If our current employer, for example, has spent the last two years making us feel like an underpaid, overworked, expendable cog in their faceless corporate wheel, that really sucks, but that doesn’t mean we suddenly have earned the right to land our next job at an amazing organization with a seven figure salary and unlimited personal time off. 

Our wounds are not rewarded. We don’t suffer our way straight into heaven. There is no omnipotent hope for lordship over life. 

Nature doesn’t work that way. There is no deserving, only deciding. 

And so, we can decide to take our power and put it to work at an organization that will actually reward for doing so. But we don’t deserve that. 

We can decide that our portfolio at the last company is now part of our legacy and we are going to use the hell out of it to leverage the next position. But we don’t deserve that. 

Fuller, the legendary inventor and visionary, summarized it perfectly:

Nature is trying very hard to make us succeed, but nature does not depend on us. We are not the only experiment. 

Before we start making a list of all the things we deserve, lest we remember. The world is not our casino. 

There is no cosmic counter where we cash in our suffering chips, get handed a small receipt and redeem our heart’s desire. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
Are you manipulating the world to coincide as nearly as possible with what you think you deserve? 

* * * *
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 21, 2019

Do people get their horizon enlarged through you?

There is no right way to believe. 

Some of us hold that divine reason has ordained our life to serve a purpose in the overall economy of the cosmos. Some of us are completely free of the binding illusion that their fate is written in the stars. Some of us feel like riffraff on the tide of history destined to be washed away into a whirlpool of meaninglessness. 

Fine. Let’s not shame each other for our differences around these things. 

People should be able to believe anything they want, including nothing. 

My argument is, there is one thing we can all agree on, and that’s the idea of potential. Meaning, each of us has parts of ourselves where our greatest value lives. Each of us carries within us the fullness of our undeveloped powers. And each of us has at least some desire to offer that quality as a gift to others. 

Let’s start there.

Because in a world where our differences seem to divide us more than they unite us, we desperately need something to rally around. 

Why not let that thing be potential? And not just our potential, but other people’s. 

Chambers famously wrote that if you never learn to pour yourself out, other people will not get their horizon enlarged through you. 

That’s a good goal. To pour our potential out, trusting that the people around will be inspired to do the same. Regardless of what they believe. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...

How are you increasing the potential at which your potential operates? 

* * * *
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 20, 2019

Suffer hard enough and come out good on the other side

We all seem to be kicking around the same question in many different ways. 

How do we stay grounded? How do we restore our spirits when they sag? How do we maintain our center in this ocean of chaos? How do we keep our senses alive in a desensitizing and dispiriting environment? 

It really sucks. The exhaustion and overwhelm in is palpable in our words. 

And yet, maybe the answer to the noise isn’t more noise. Maybe instead of scratching ourselves bloody, we surrender to the itch and just let life tickle us for a while.

Perry’s book on addiction recovery has a brilliant meditation on this: 

Instead of trying to beat our sadness into submission, we simply accept our adverse condition and let go of all resistance to it. 

Now, this philosophy is counterintuitive to our typical western mentality, which is:

Put on your marketplace face take no prisoners never give up ain’t nobody gonna hold me down oh no we got to keep on moving. 

That’s very noble, but maybe this is not the time for fighting back. What if the most healing thing we could do right now is notice, name and tolerate our difficult feelings, and ride them through to the other side? 

Then once we get there, anticipate the return of our own spirits and faiths. 

It’s certainly not as spiritual satisfying as doubling down against the resistance and putting the axe at the root of the thing which is preventing us from getting through. 

But as my mentor used to say about writing books, sometimes staring harder doesn’t help. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...

What will be your response when you are not able to easily sort out your low spirits? 

* * * *

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 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

It's the world's first, best and only product development and innovation gameshow!

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