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Thursday, October 31, 2019

If there was a god, it would be in his hands now

We don’t get what we deserve, we get what we negotiate. 

And so, if we are waiting for our success to be delivered to our door like a pizza, praying that this next big opportunity will finally be one thing that changes everything forever, entirely by itself, without us really doing anything, then we are going to be waiting a very long time. 

Because there is no deserve. There is no surefire reward that our good and faithful service entitles us to. 

On the other hand, if we are taking material steps towards our dreams, making significant daily measures to change our circumstances, and pushing our edge to create deep and relevant growth, then we are the winners no matter what. Regardless of outcome. Even if things don’t turn out exactly how we hoped, or exactly when we hoped they would, we still come out more valuable on the other side. 

And nobody can take that away from us. 

This the only reward there is in life. Krishna notably said, we have a right to our labor, but not to the fruits of our labor. 

May we not mix those two things up. May we devote our time and energy to the work itself, to the process itself, for as long as we can. 

And once the hay is in the barn, as the farmers like to say, may we rest and revel in the sweetness of that moment, and then let it go. 

If there was a god, it would be in his hands now. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
When are you planning to become the person you were born 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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Tuesday, October 29, 2019

There are no awards for awakening

Acheson, the secretary of state who played a central role in defining the foreign policy of our nation, famously said:

The great corrupter of public man is the ego, and looking at in the mirror distracts one’s attention from the problem. 

As such, it’s worth unpacking some of the assumptions connected to this ego. 

First, we assume that our ego is always out to protect itself at the expense of all else. Must be right. Successfully defend point of view. 

Next, we assume that our ego won’t let us admit that we have no control. Must be safe. Preserve reputation and personal interest. Survival equals good. 

Third, we assume that our ego will try to convince us that nothing will help and nobody will understand. Must be independent. Pride swallows humility. Take my secret special separateness and run into the corner. 

And most importantly, our final assumption. 

We assume that the greatest threat to the domination of the ego is the awakening of the soul. 

But this last one is actually a good thing. Because every time we allow new things to serve our awakening, every time we widen the possibilities for igniting our spirit, and every time we intentionally put ourselves into environments and relationships and activities that awake our soul system, we lay that fragile ego on the anvil and give the world a chance to swing a hammer at it. 

Which certainly won’t get rid of it, but it might purify it. 

Of course, the great paradox is, there are no awards for awakening. Nobody will congratulate us on waking up. 

And that’s the point. The moment we let go of needing to win, needing to be the best, needing to be the only, and needing to be praised for authenticity, we bow to something bigger. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
What is your great corrupter?

* * * *

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, October 26, 2019

My value has been added to you in the shape of power

Masters writes a gorgeous definition of power in his book about the transformation through intimacy:

Power is the capacity to act effectively, to generate significant change and to impose our will on our environment, both inner and outer. 

This definition is worth parsing out word by word. 

Effective, meaning the belief in our capabilities to organize and execute whatever courses of action that the moment requires. 

Generate, meaning bringing forth some new form that has never been brought forth before. 

Significant change, meaning taking things to a whole new level beyond just an incremental improvement. 

Impose our will, meaning the faculty by which we initiate purposeful action. 

Environment, meaning whatever surroundings and conditions in which we operate. 

Inner, meaning the mind, body and soul. 

Outer, meaning the world of other people. 

This power can invade and indwell in us if we choose to be present to it. And it can be a formative vehicle for creating true fulfillment. 

But what we have to accept is, power is not an isolated incident. It’s not a one and done line item. It’s a moving target. A constantly unfolding organism. 

After all, each of us constantly evolving toward an ever more perfect whole. And that’s why it takes a lifetime to discover what is in our power and what is not. 

My coach once told me that the key to our success often lies in something we already do, but do not see as our power. It’s something we might not know yet what it’s for. And only the passage of time can help us pick that lock. 

Instead of resigning yourself to powerlessness, trust the process to reveal to you where your muscles lie. Trust that you have the capacity to act effectively and to generate significant change and to impose your will on your environment, both inner and outer. 

Like most good things, it comes in time. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...

What kind of power do you need to do what you want to do? 
* * * *

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, October 25, 2019

The last mirror we look into to get a glimpse of who we are

Accepting low paying gigs. Saying yes to mediocre opportunities. Acquiescing to the comfortable vortex of the middle market. Compromising our fee just to get our foot in the door. 

Discounting our value because we’re afraid of turning down new work. Violating the boundaries of our generosity just to make an impression. Allowing ourselves to be flattered into free labor. 

These are just some of habits that trap us in the wrong mindset about our worth. 

And the danger is, these behaviors create an inertia of the spirit, which can keep us treading water in an unsatisfied state of our own making for far too long. 

Unless, of course, an external force finally yanks us out. 

The key word here is external. Because that’s the only way we rebuild the self. By transacting with other selves. By confronting the blank canvas of another human being, allowing our true value to be witnessed, and trusting that this interactional mirror will tell us that we are, in fact, the fairest of them all, or at least, much fairer than we once thought. 

It’s an invigorating moment. When somebody we only just met gives us a good once over and says, wow, you are fucking amazing, and you feel like the kind of person equal to the responsibilities of this new challenge, so we want you to join us. 

This is the tremendous gift of being seen. And it is only received when the validity of our experience is mirrored back to us by another self who recognizes our value. 

It feels good to be believed in. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...

Are you prepared to believe the truth about yourself no matter how beautiful it is?

* * * *
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, October 24, 2019

A system you have inherited, a self you have initiated

The word culture literally means the tilling of the land. 

And so, from the anthropological view, culture is the way we cultivate the ideas, beliefs, values, and knowledge, and transmit them from one generation to the other.

It’s the ultimate food for thought and the basis for society’s ongoing discussion with ourselves as to how we think we should be. 

As the saying goes, without culture, we are nothing. 

And yet, it shouldn’t trap us into accepting everything.

When culture becomes a conspiracy to convince its members to conform their desires to what is considered by the masses as right and good, we are in trouble. 

When culture becomes this enormous force of persuasion that fully indoctrinates people with its deluded model of happiness, we are in trouble. 

It reminds me of a question my college roommate used to ask:

Do you believe what you believe because you investigated the truth and made the decision to believe, or because lots of people told you to believe, and you mindlessly followed? 

That’s when culture can turn on itself. When it becomes our replacement for independent thinking. 

And make no mistake, the value of shared effort and cooperative spirit is immeasurable to the future of our species. 

But it’s also key that each person understands the boundary between where self ends and culture begins. 

That we carve out a special space in the world in which we find our authentic voice. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
How far can you travel from your core self without breaking?

* * * *
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, October 23, 2019

You’re angry at the world for lying to you

Some people actually believe that every joy must be equalized by a setback. 

Their cosmic scorecard must always be balanced. 

And to inoculate themselves against not feeling too bad, they make sure never to feel too good. 

Because surely, right around the corner is something that’s going to be the end of everything. 

The problem with this posture, aside from being exhausting to be around, is the damaging effect it can have on the body and mind. 

Take a minute to think about someone in your life who perpetually waits for misfortune and unpleasant surprise to darken their doorstep. Someone who whips themselves into a continuous state of tension and animosity. Someone who’s always angry at the world for lying to them. 

Could it be true that everyone is out to get them? That they are stranded on this earth under an unfathomably dark cloud? 

Or is it possible that they have allowed themselves to become victimized by the very experiences they expect? 

Weiss began arguing this point nearly twenty years ago, and his words have always stayed with me. He wrote:

The worst form of self oppression is that of deliberately conforming to the role of victim. It’s toxically disempowering. All of us stand readily against oppression. Why, then, oppress ourselves? Whatever it is we are unhappy about, begin to change tomorrow. Or stop complaining. 

Control may very well be an illusion, but that doesn’t mean we should deny ourselves permission to live a life of joy and abundance and fulfillment. 

Instead of obsessing over some imaginary scorecard, let’s focus on finding the inclination to create our own change initiatives. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
Do you still believe that someone else has the power to make you 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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Monday, October 21, 2019

It’s not a sticker, it’s a steeple

Buber’s groundbreaking philosophy of dialogue says that when two people relate to each other authentically and humanly, god is the electricity that surges between them. 

He called this the melting of the between, the shared unity of being. The sacred space that can only be created through encounter, where the divine pervades and interpenetrates. 

According to his theory, god is not some keeper of the black book of transgressions. Not some all powerful sky daddy who demands our devotion. But a word that describes the fundamental human sense that there is more. 

God is name given to that which has depth and density. 

This pulsing field of energy, this humming electrical current between people. 

It’s no secret that this is what we all secretly want. Everything else is an intermediary. A placebo, a substitute, a surrogate for the real connection we so desire. 

Now can you understand why somebody would wear a nametag every day? Now do you see why this social experiment is so meaningful to me? 

It’s not a sticker, it’s a steeple. A portable temple where we people shed their layers of worldly distractions and ignite the electricity between each other. Even if only for a moment. 

Listen, the deluding power of connection substitutes is extraordinary. The marketplace constantly overwhelms us with the urgency that we are one purchase, one bite, one drink away from happiness. 

And so, let us be vigilant. 

Instead of using habitual substitute satisfactions for our essential unmet needs, let us pick up the phone and actually call somebody when we’re lonely. 

Instead of returning to the unhealthy places where we cut the threads of connection, let us involve others in the activities we’re doing. 

Instead of throwing up our hands and letting the alienation win, let us find more and more ways to snap out of our little world to rejoin others in intimate exchange. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
What happens in the space between you and the people you encounter? 

* * * *
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, October 20, 2019

Exalt what is and adore that it returns

Hyde’s research on the gifting process explains that gratitude is the labor undertaken by the soul to effect the transformation after a gift is received. 

Meaning, when lady fortune comes to us with both hands full, and we stand in the stream where surplus wealth flows toward need, we close our eyes, breathe it in and give thanks. 

This peaceful feeling of thankful agreement with existence is how we sustain our spiritual momentum. Once we initiate the current of gratitude, it is only amplified over time. 

And the liberating part is, it doesn’t actually matter what or whom we offer our thanks to. The sacred act of personifying something to point our gratitude towards is a deeply useful experience. 

Especially during times of great pain and hopelessness. Locating and expressing our gratitude is one of the few surefire tools to cope with life’s difficult, stressful and negative experiences. 

Ask any shrink in the world, the practice of gratitude is not only an effective clinical intervention for anxiety and depression, but it helps take our suffering in stride so we can gain a healthy dose of perspective. 

Does this sound hokey, cheesy and mushy to you? 

It certainly is. And that’s okay. 

Because when life beats us to our knees and we have exhausted every other option, we have to take our hope wherever we can get it. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
What if you your lack of gratitude was a sign that you have forgotten how far you’ve come?

* * * *
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, October 19, 2019

When you see me, you bring me into existence

You would think wearing a nametag everyday would lose its charm quickly. 

But after nearly twenty years, this simply social experiment has only grown more fun and more meaningful. 

Like when the barista actually makes eye contact and greets me by name with her real smile on her face. 

Or when a stranger on the hiking trail says hello, pats me on the shoulder and continues walking up the mountain in the opposite direction. 

Still to this day, each of these moments allow me to see and feel seen. To experience a rush of joy and surprise and presence. And to create a real human connection that otherwise would not have existed. 

It’s such a small and mundane thing, and for all I know, most people don’t even realize or even care about it at the time. 

But it still matters. It still accumulates. Wearing a nametag enables me contribute to the compound interest of social capital our world sorely needs. 

Becker’s research on the structure of evil puts it best:

Man must be built upon the basic human encounter, and that the self can only be developed in transacting with other selves. 

And so, because we define the self in relationship to other people; because a person is a person solely because of the interconnectedness of the other persons around them; because when we see someone, what we are really doing in that moment is bringing them into existence, there is no reason to take this silly little sticker off. 


LET ME ASK YA THIS...
How will you create acts of visibility in moments of anonymity? 

* * * *
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, October 18, 2019

We assume anybody wants what we have

Evangelizing is when we take something that worked for us and insist that it will work for someone else. 

And the problem with this exchange is, our enthusiasm outmaneuvers our emotional intelligence. We fail to check in with the other person to see if they actually need any help in the first place, or if our help will even be useful to them. 

Like when the random unemployed hipster in the locker room notices your allergies and starts prescribing you his proven remedy of apple cider vinegar, cayenne pepper, local honey, probiotics and frankincense essential oil. 

Thanks, doctor. 

This is the fallacy of evangelism. 

It has nothing to do with the gospel and everything to do with the guess. 

We make assumptions. That others need enlightenment. That people know and understand our thinking. That everybody wants to operate at our level. That everybody wants what we have. 

They don’t. They never do. 

Devine’s pioneering book on experiencing loss reminds us that it’s not our job to fix people’s pain. Doing so is not humanly possible, but it’s also not what we’re called here to do. Instead, our job to is to companion people inside of their pain. To interact from a place of compassion and curiosity, not assumption and ascribing. 

Next time you’re tempted to go make disciples of all nations, baptizing everyone you meet with holy water of your own personal ideology, remember that not everybody wants what you have, and that’s okay. 

It doesn’t make them wrong or evil or stupid. 

Merely human. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
Have you become obnoxious about your newfound enlightenment?

* * * *
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, October 16, 2019

The simpler the path to your dreams will be

How are you deepening your capacity to make yourself do things you don’t feel like doing? 

If you can muster and master this one attribute, packing a discipline forged of steel, you will blow the ceiling off of anything even resembling a limitation. 

Because let’s face it. Nobody ever feels like doing anything. 

With the exception of having sex and eating lunch, the majority of adult life is doing things we don’t want to do. 

And so, why not start with that assumption? Why not reconcile with that reality? It’s a useful way to empty our expectations from the very beginning and get really honest with ourselves. 

Whatever it is we have to do, we are probably not going to like it. 

Acknowledging that dread and not running from it is precisely the kind of mindset that will get us closer to our dreams.

Whatever it is you don’t feel like doing, create a situation where you have no choice. Paint yourself into a committed corner. Build an apparatus of physical accountability that keeps you on the hook. 

Because the more you free yourself from such impediments like mood, motivation, desire, circumstance, time or talent, the smoother and simpler the path to your dreams will be. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
Do you have the deep honesty and great courage to break this cycle?
* * * *
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, October 15, 2019

We will not feel complete until we give a gift

The act of sacrifice simply changes the identity of our offering, it doesn’t inoculate us against failure and rejection. 

Just because we dutifully slave away over something and deliver it to someone with confidence and care, that doesn’t necessarily guarantee a response. Nor does it push our names to the front of the line in their heart. 

Truth is, we have limited control over how people perceive our intentions and receive our gifts. Only the creation of the gift itself. 

Take it from a pathological romantic. The danger with sending love letters is that they impose a very heavy load of unintended expectations on the recipient. 

That person may feel overwhelmed and unable to receive our affection. 

That person may experience our generosity as an infringement of their personal freedom and autonomy. 

That person may become angry and resentful because the gift feels conditional. 

That person may grow suspicious and feel guilty about not reciprocating.

That person may not feel a goddamn thing and move on with their life and ghost us like a bad boyfriend. 

Godin famously wrote that art is a human act, a generous contribution, something that might not work, that is intended to change the recipient for the better, often causing a connection to happen. 

The key phrase in his definition is, that might not work. 

Because that’s the first thing we usually forget. The story we tell ourselves, usually while staying up night crafting the perfect turn of phrase to secure our spot in someone’s heart, is that the more sweat we invest, the more sweetness we deserve. 

If only that were true. 

All the more reason to treat the work as a gift to ourselves. 

All the more reason to trust that the act of giving it is a reward in itself. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
Do you fear setting boundaries with your generosity?

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

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