Moments of Conception 088 — The Woody Scene from I’m Not There

l creativity begins with the moment of conception.

That little piece of kindling that gets the fire going. That initial source of inspiration that takes on a life of its own. That single note from which the entire symphony grows. That single spark of life that signals an idea’s movement value, almost screaming to us, something wants to be built here.

And so, in this new blog series, I’m going to be deconstructing my favorite moments of conception from popular movies. Each post will contain a video clip from a different film, along with a series of lessons we can learn from the characters.

Today’s clip comes from the Woody scene in I’m Not There:





What can we learn?



Scratching itches early and often.Dylan’s moment of conception is
well documented. It started with a book. Guthrie’s autobiography inspired him
to begin mimicking the folk hero’s speech patterns and songwriting style. Years later, when his idol became ill, the moment of conception continued.
Dylan tracked down his hero at the psychiatric hospital, played a song he wrote
just for him, and the tune was met with the legend’s approval.The rest was history.Pardon the pun,
but this scene strikes a chord with me. Growing up, I never needed to run away.
I was fortunate enough tofloat
on a tsunami of in house support.A family of joiners. People youdon’t even have to ask. People
who believe saying yes to others is the ultimate love language. People who
just want to be part of everything. Whatever you’re doing, whatever you’re
thinking, whatever you’re feeling, they’re happy to be there. Physically,
emotionally and spiritually. On board at a moment’s notice. It’s the opposite
of pulling teeth. Relentless affirmation. Instant encouragement. Endless
participation. Radical acceptance. You’re never met with a tilted head. The
point is,we all need a secure human base to operate from. People in our
corner to support us. Even if it’s just one person sitting in hospital bed,
holding our highest vision in front of us. That can be enough to send an artist
on a creative trajectory that lasts a lifetime.What
support system can you count on?

Getting lost in somebody else’s dream. The smartest move I made in
the early years of my writing career was moving back in with my parents. Their
support gave me something more valuable than money, which was the ability to be
brave. Since I had no debt to cover, no spouse to support, no kids to feed and
no rent to pay, I could afford to invest every dollar I earned back into my
business. I could take substantial risks with my creative work. And I could
bear the brunt of failure without significant financial losses. Of
course, that’s not the norm for many creators. 
Dylan makes no mention of his family of origin or heritage in his own
autobiography. As the movie portrays the mythology, he skipped town and fled
across the country like an orphan with no direction home and only ten dollars
in his pocket. And so,
having
grown up in a healthy, creatively nurturing community, it’s hard for me to
fathom the psychological damage young artists must experience when they’re
blinded by the dangling sword of family disapproval. Imagine trying to find your voice as an
artist with a layer of disapproval over everything they do. Yet another reason
to be sick with sweet gratitude for growing up with a solid support structure.
If your family would support anything you chose to do,
what would you do?



Quality is
surprisingly overrated.
Dylan couldn’t sing. Or play guitar. But that
didn’t stop him from selling a hundred million records, rewriting the rule of
pop music and becoming the most influential musical figure of the twentieth
century. Proving, that talent is helpful, but sometimes, there are bigger
creative fish to fry than simply being good. If your art represents something
important, builds an emotional connection, tells a remarkable story, starts a
movement, inspires a revolution, changes popular culture, defies the norm,
crosses categories, gives voice to a new generation or raises global
consciousness, thenqualityis
neither here nor there. Job number one is to create an exhibition of love
through your art. Dylan knew that intuitively, that he didn’t have to be great
to get started, but he had to get started to become great. And that over time,
his shortcomings would be eclipsed by his mighty love.Are you spending time increasing your talent or increasing your character?



What did you learn?

* * * *

Scott Ginsberg

That Guy with the Nametag

Author. Speaker. Strategist. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter. 

scott@hellomynameisscott.com


Never the same speech twice. Customized for your audience. Impossible to walk away uninspired.

Now booking for 2014-2015.

Email to inquire about fees and availability. Watch clips of The Nametag Guy in action here!


Moments of Conception 087 — The Operating System Scene from Jobs

All creativity begins with the moment of conception.

That little piece of kindling that gets the fire going. That initial source of inspiration that takes on a life of its own. That single note from which the entire symphony grows. That single spark of life that signals an idea’s movement value, almost screaming to us, something wants to be built here.

And so, in this new blog series, I’m going to be deconstructing my favorite moments of conception from popular movies. Each post will contain a video clip from a different film, along with a series of lessons we can learn from the characters.

Today’s clip comes from the operating system scene in Jobs:


What can we learn?



Be okay being the only one who
cares.
I have a
friend whose chief creative block is worrying whether or not anybody will care
about his work. Which is understandable from a strategic business standpoint,
but ultimately, that mindset doesn’t serve his artistic efforts. It only adds a secondary layer of worries around his
creative process. A smarter approach is to practiceselective indifference. To save his heart for the moments that matter. To care like crazy when it counts and let the rest
go. To courageously
say to himself,who cares if anybody cares,and make art because he wants to see it exist in the world. Keep in mind, thought, that selective indifference isn’t about being too cool to care, it’s
about being discerning enough not to dwell. It’s about refusing to push our
creativity out to make room for all the backwards, soul killing mental traps
that keep us from bringing new life to what might be. Because there will always time
to be sensible later. Jobs knew better than anyone, nobody knows what nobody
wants to see until somebody sees it. And people don’t know what they care about
until somebody conjurers it into existence and makes them fall in love with it. Are
you looking to others to validate your efforts or your purpose?



Give your work a
singular quality.
The
greatest advantage in art is not giving a shit. Zeroing out our expectations about
other people’s desires. That’s selective indifference at its finest, and it creates
a unique brand of freedom unavailable anywhere else. Jobs became a legend for
this very reason. He didn’t hole up in his office, run a bunch of market
research and wait around for customers tell him what they liked. He built the computer he wanted to
see in the world. Instead of shipping another product that was a little
bit different from the competition, he created a new standard with
his art. And as a result, he captured the world’s imagination with products we
didn’t know we needed, but suddenly couldn’t live without. As it says in hisbiography, his job was to figure
out what customers were going to want before they did.Sound impossible?It’s not. People do it everyday. Creators aren’t
just creating art, they’re inventing entirely new genres, categories, mediums,
platforms, industries, languages, classifications and styles for their art. There
isn’t an element of their work that isn’t original. And it’s not about talent,
it’s a matter of having the right amount of fearlessness, imagination and
resourcefulness.Are you reading things
that are not yet on the creative page?

The
first sale is the one I make to myself.
Our chief
weapon as artists the convincing of ourselves. The internal monologue that
inspires us, down to our bones, to believe in what we’re making. If we don’t
believe that the art we’re creating is the greatest thing that ever was, we’re
finished. If we don’t think our work matters in a massive way, we’re toast. And
if we don’t think our ideas are going to change people’s lives forever, we’re done.

Jobs may have been a notorious asshole, but the man was sold
on his own brand. And he kept making that sale to himself, every day, until he
died. Did he believe too much of his own publicity? Probably. But
creativity, at its most existential level, is about believing, against all odds
and all evidence, that the art you’re making is the greatest thing that
ever was. Jobs believed that in his bones. He personally embraced and
internalized his vision. And that’s why his famous new product introductions
always seemed like epochal moments in world history. Proving, that if you want
to jumpstart the audience, you have to make sure your battery is charged first.
How sold are you on your own brand?

* * * *

Scott Ginsberg

That Guy with the Nametag

Author. Speaker. Strategist. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter. 

scott@hellomynameisscott.com


Never the same speech twice. Customized for your audience. Impossible to walk away uninspired.

Now booking for 2014-2015.

Email to inquire about fees and availability. Watch clips of The Nametag Guy in action here!


Moments of Conception 086 — The Busking Scene from Once

All creativity begins with the moment of conception.

That little piece of kindling that gets the fire going. That initial source of inspiration that takes on a life of its own. That single note from which the entire symphony grows. That single spark of life that signals an idea’s movement value, almost screaming to us, something wants to be built here.

And so, in this new blog series, I’m going to be deconstructing my favorite moments of conception from popular movies. Each post will contain a video clip from a different film, along with a series of lessons we can learn from the characters.

Today’s clip comes from the busking scene in Once:

What did you learn?

This
is what you’ve waited for.
Watching a man surrender himself like that,
screaming the top of his lungs, in the middle of the night, in the middle of
the street, standing out in the cold, is the most moving opening
sequence of any movie I’ve ever seen. His voice isn’t perfect, but who cares
when you have goose bumps? Glen is a freight train of raw, naked emotion, which
is exactly what ever songwriter should aspire to be. In fact, this scene ended
up becoming my moment of conception.
After we saw Once in its broadway premiere, this musical was responsible for
kickstarting a creative transformation in my own life. Glen’s story inspired me
to finally publish my original music online. Which urged me to crawl out of
music hibernation. Which compelled me to start performing in public again.
Which gave me a platform to play weekly concerts in my neighborhood park. Which
provided me with a source of power I did not have before. Which inspired
me write music that was more muscular and soulful. Which inspired me to write,
produce, direct and star in my first concert documentary. All from hearing one three
minute song. Too bad I can’t repay
him. Guess I’ll just have to pay it forward. Perhaps my work will inspire the
next songwriter. Which art inspires your
art?

A
chance to even up the score.
Glen explains that during the daytime, people want
to hear songs that they know, songs that they recognize. And if he played this
song, they wouldn’t listen. That’s a common conundrum among street performers.
We’re tempted to use other people’s songs to lure in the crowds. Bu the reality
is, there’s no cover bands in the rock and roll hall of fame. If you want to
make a name for yourself, you have to make your own music. And that’s what the
songwriter does throughout this movie. Once he lets the animal out of the cage,
once he gives himself clearance to be completely free with his art, the one
person who needs to hear his song, does. And she changes everything. The whole
course of his life pivots on that encounter. She turns love around for him, and
she does it in five days. That’s the beauty of performing in public. There are
no limits. It’s a permissionless platform. An honest canvas where we can play
and sing and purge whatever we want, as loud we want, as much as we want, and we
stick around and continue to be yourself, eventually, the correct people
will find us. Will you still be around
when the world is ready for you?

There are no
emergencies.
I’m amazed at certain people’s ability to involve themselves
with every controversy, news story, celebrity scandal and inconsequential social
drama the world has to offer. It’s an addiction. An emotional high. A cycle of
feeding off of other people’s misfortune. Almost like they’re leading someone
else’s life for a short period of time. And what’s sad is, that time could be
reinvested in making art. Bringing something new into the world. But instead,
they allow the ambient hysteria to infect their brain and poison their creative
well.
They allow other people’s drama to bait them into a life of worry. And
that’s what I love about this scene. Glen chooses to maintain a serene distance
from most of life’s commotion.
He
knows
the more time he spends participating in other people’s drama, the
less time he spends on himself. And so, he intentionally steps out of the current.
He finds his sanctuary. He doesn’t allow other people’s shit to stand
in the way of his art. What a great lesson for any creator.
Impose your
own order on chaos. Have you found a way to prevent the world inside of you from being
contaminated by the world outside of you?


What did you learn?

* * * *

Scott Ginsberg

That Guy with the Nametag

Author. Speaker. Strategist. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter. 

scott@hellomynameisscott.com


Never the same speech twice. Customized for your audience. Impossible to walk away uninspired.

Now booking for 2014-2015.

Email to inquire about fees and availability. Watch clips of The Nametag Guy in action here!


Moments of Conception 085 — The Focus Scene from Deconstructing Harry

All creativity begins with the moment of conception.

That little piece of kindling that gets the fire going. That initial source of inspiration that takes on a life of its own. That single note from which the entire symphony grows. That single spark of life that signals an idea’s movement value, almost screaming to us, something wants to be built here.

And so, in this new blog series, I’m going to be deconstructing my favorite moments of conception from popular movies. Each post will contain a video clip from a different film, along with a series of lessons we can learn from the characters.

Today’s clip comes from the focus scene in Deconstructing Harry:


What can we learn?



Your personal pause
buttons.
When the quality and frequency of your thoughts determines your
livelihood, panic is always right around the corner. The life of the mind may
be a dazzling and voluptuous operation, but it’s also a territory for which
there is no roadmap. And if you don’t have a personal, portable toolbox for
reducing the experience of anxiety on a moment’s notice, you can end up
overdosing on yourself. Harry feels like a blob and a blur, just like one of his
fictional characters. His brain burns with the color of anxiety. And yet, the
more he tries to calm himself down, the deeper he descends into an infinite
loop of neurotic hell. Cookie, aptly named, knows exactly how to nourish her
friend back to life. She has an armory of anxiety reduction strategies to talk
him down, including drinking tea, eating snacks, holding hands, making jokes,
telling stories, talking about sports, taking deep breaths, all of which help
reassure, relax and restore him back into focus. If more of us had a toolbox like
that at our disposal, panic would come and go like a revolving door.What are you willing to try to heal
yourself?



Another game of blame roulette. When
a subject starts to become fuzzy and soft and blurry, the default response is
to blame the junky camera. Or the dirty lens. Or the inclement weather.That’s the human instinct. We externalize blame.We
expect the world to adjust to the distortion we’ve become.We artfully find all the ways everybody else was
wrong, which makes you innocent through process of elimination. When the
reality is,weare the one
that need sharpening.Weare the one
making ourselves blurry. Which is both the profit and the peril of being a
professional creator. Since we’re the only ones here, should we fail to
discipline ourselves, fall short on our goals or ship mediocre work when we know
we could do better, there’s no assistant to hide behind, no intern to scapegoat
and no coworker to blame. Technically, it should be our fault and ours alone. Then
again, who’s going to find out? If wedon’ttake the blame, it not like there’s a boss or a supervisor or a manager
standing over our desk, breathing down our necks. It’s almost like our own
private version of the honor system. We have to find ways to make the fuzziness
our fault.Are you building the emotional
muscle of ownership along your creative journey?



We are connoisseurs
of chaos.
Anxiety makes true creativity possible. If we were perfect, we
wouldn’t need to make art. And so, we acknowledge and accept that inner
turbulence is part of the process. We give thanks for our psychological
stirrings. But we also understand that the discipline of creating while anxious
is essential to our success. That our sense of interior stability is what
allows our work to thrive. Harry can’t keep his peace from being stolen away by
anxiety thieves, so he drinks and pops pills. Which certainly helps him return
to homeostasis in the short term, but ultimately, it’s a losing system.Because when creators give themselves
a crutch they don’t need, they develop a limp they shouldn’t have. And so, what
each artist needs is to developan early warning system. A personal
seismograph that helps them take preemptive action against impending inner turmoil,
without the aid of outside influences. Because unfortunately, there won’t
always be a prostitute on the couch, standing by to give us a pep talk off our
ledge of anxiety. Calmness is on us.What positive
coping mechanisms do you regularly use to lower your stress level?

What did you learn?

* * * *

Scott Ginsberg

That Guy with the Nametag

Author. Speaker. Strategist. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter. 

scott@hellomynameisscott.com


Never the same speech twice. Customized for your audience. Impossible to walk away uninspired.

Now booking for 2014-2015.

Email to inquire about fees and availability. Watch clips of The Nametag Guy in action here!


Moments of Conception 084 — The Destruction Scene from Star Wars

All creativity begins with the moment of conception.

That little piece of kindling that gets the fire going. That initial source of inspiration that takes on a life of its own. That single note from which the entire symphony grows. That single spark of life that signals an idea’s movement value, almost screaming to us, something wants to be built here.

And so, in this new blog series, I’m going to be deconstructing my favorite moments of conception from popular movies. Each post will contain a video clip from a different film, along with a series of lessons we can learn from the characters.

Today’s clip comes from the destruction scene in Star Wars:



What can we learn?



Move matters to a
higher ground.
A pivotal moment in the creative journey is when we finally
let go of the illusion that we can control anything. There is no control. There
is only the work we make. Our job as creators is to put everything we’ve got
into the task of creating, and then let it go. Our job is to focus on the labor, and then let everything else
flow from there. Sound frightening? It
most certainly is. But it’s also freeing.
Because there’s a deep release
and relief when we empty ourselves of expectation. And once we stop burning
calories worrying about things we can’t control, our mind is free to move
matters to a higher ground. Specifically, to principal creation, which is the primary work unit of our creative
process. Whether it’s typing words on the screen, writing new melodies on the
piano or clicking the shutter on the camera, principle creation, the one thing
we can control, has finally become job number one. It’s creative nirvana. The imperturbable
stillness of mind after the fires of desire, aversion, and delusion have been extinguished.
Luke is surrendering to the facts of existence. He shuts down his targeting
computer and stops obsessing about hitting the target. And in return, he
actually gains the energy and desire to achieve the impossible. Are you focusing on outcomes or what needs
to be done right now?

Force nothing, allow
your work to lead you.
Luke has enemy fighters unloading on him from every
direction, his master’s words of wisdom ringing in the back of his mind, the
base captain screaming into his headset and a limping, smoking droid hanging
off the side of his jet. Talk about a crowded environment. Does your creative
life ever feel like that? If so, that’s normal. Because number of variables
affecting any given outcome is near infinity. If we produce and publish our new
landscape painting, for example, there’s no telling how the marketplace will
respond. They may give it an active resonance, a dull thud or a shattering
silence. It’s completely unpredictable. And so, do we really want to waste time
trying to make that calculation? No. We’re better off staying in motion, making
more art, making more contributions to the world’s reservoir of truth and
beauty. That way, we can allow new opportunities find us through the attraction
of working, not the agony of worrying. The point is, we can’t make things
happen the way we want. We can only create. When
was the last time a more interesting result happened when you decided to go
with the flow?

Just when you get there, there disappears. This four minutes of cinema is
better than all of the prequels combined. I remember replaying this scene over
and over again as a kid, and it still gives me goose bumps three decades later.
What’s interesting is, it wasn’t until my late twenties until I truly
understood the productive and calming power of letting go. Taoists call it the
law of polarity, whereby any over determined action produces its exact
opposite. Like quicksand, the more your struggle to get out, the deeper you
sink. That concept will fundamentally alter the way you do your creative work.
Learning how to turn toward anxiety, instead of trying to eradicate it.
Learning how to view stress as a gift, not a condition. When you work a
nontraditional job with erratic income, sporadic employment, feast or famine cycles and lack of
job security, these kinds of strategies are the closest thing you’ll
ever find to the force. Are you putting
your enemy against the wall, only to force him to fight harder?

What did you learn?

* * * *

Scott Ginsberg

That Guy with the Nametag

Author. Speaker. Strategist. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter. 

scott@hellomynameisscott.com


Never the same speech twice. Customized for your audience. Impossible to walk away uninspired.

Now booking for 2014-2015.

Email to inquire about fees and availability. Watch clips of The Nametag Guy in action here!


Moments of Conception 083 — The Monty Hall Scene from Twenty One

All creativity begins with the moment of conception.

That little piece of kindling that gets the fire going. That initial source of inspiration that takes on a life of its own. That single note from which the entire symphony grows. That single spark of life that signals an idea’s movement value, almost screaming to us, something wants to be built here.

And so, in this new blog series, I’m going to be deconstructing my favorite moments of conception from popular movies. Each post will contain a video clip from a different film, along with a series of lessons we can learn from the characters.

Today’s clip comes from the classroom scene in Twenty One:




What can we learn?



The product of
picking a good system.
I love this movie because it’s not about luck, it’s
about math. That’s why every artist should watch it. Because luck, more often
than not, is simply a matter of volume. Basic probability. For example, if you
pick from a bag that has forty red marbles and eighty blue marbles, which color
are you more likely choice? Blue.
Because there are twice as many. And so, the goal for creators is to build a
system that increases our number of blue marbles. To pursue a conscious
strategy that makes it easier for luck to find us. Jonathan Mann creates and publishes a new song and video each
day. He’s been doing this for years. And due to his vast quantity of material
and speed of composition, he’s built a massive body of work, earned critical
acclaim and secured his career as a working professional songwriter. That’s not
luck, that’s volume. In his career, each song is another blue marble. Mann has
anchored what he creates to probability. His success is a product of
picking a good system and following it until luck finds him. It’s an inspiring
reminder that our economy rewards generosity. That there is no gift if there is
no art. And that giving the first creation away makes the second one possible. If you work that way, there’s no need
to gamble. Have you chosen a system that
vastly increases your odds of getting lucky?

Overcoming emotion
with statistics.

Artists tends to be emotional, impulsive creatures with a hypersensitive
relationship to the world and a penchant for exaggeration and drama. But as the
professor explains, if you don’t know which door to open, it’s best to keep
emotions aside and let simple math get your ass into a brand new car. Our version of simple math, then, is getting our units up. When in doubt, create.
Because on the neverending list of things to do, creating more real work,
executing more actual product and shipping more lasting value, in the unique
way that only we can deliver, is always the our best bet. Again, simple
probability. If we want to be in the right place at the right time, we need to
be in a lot of places. Consistency plus volume. It’s the only surefire path to
creating a market wide hunger for our work. Even if we aren’t necessarily
creating all day, as long as we’re
creating everyday, art won’t take as long to pay for itself as we originally
thought. Conroy once wrote that he used books
as instruments to force his way into the world. Perhaps each creator needs
their own version of that to let the best have a real chance at them. When you don’t know which creative door to
open, what’s your default strategy?

Mentoring is the real
jackpot.
Ben solved the statistics problem flawlessly. Then again, it could
have been a fluke. One answer does not a genius make. So the professor
investigates further. And after noticing a stunningly high score on his latest
term paper, he connects the dots. He’s found a winner. His next card counting
superstar. And so, he coaxes him into join his blackjack team. And the rest is
history. What’s interesting is, Ben’s character was based on a real student. A kid whose extracurricular gambling antics
afforded him the opportunity to launch several startups, develop an engineering
software product and work as a consultant to professional sports teams. All
because the professor saw something in him. That’s another form of luck.
Finding mentors at a time in your life when you’re capable of listening.
Encountering guides that give you new contexts from which to relate to the
world. Of course, it’s not entirely luck. There has to be something about you
that will allow great mentoring to happen. If you
were starting your career over again, in what area would you want more
mentoring?

* * * *



Scott Ginsberg

That Guy with the Nametag

Author. Speaker. Strategist. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter. 

scott@hellomynameisscott.com


Never the same speech twice. Customized for your audience. Impossible to walk away uninspired.

Now booking for 2014-2015.

Email to inquire about fees and availability. Watch clips of The Nametag Guy in action here!


Moments of Conception 082 — The Recruiter Scene from Risky Business

All creativity begins with the moment of conception.

That little piece of kindling that gets the fire going. That initial source of inspiration that takes on a life of its own. That single note from which the entire symphony grows. That single spark of life that signals an idea’s movement value, almost screaming to us, something wants to be built here.

And so, in this new blog series, I’m going to be deconstructing my favorite moments of conception from popular movies. Each post will contain a video clip from a different film, along with a series of lessons we can learn from the characters.

Today’s clip comes from the recruiter scene in Risky Business:


What can we learn?



Creators have to cut
their own channels.
This movie reminds me of an inspiringstoryabout a wild food forager.
His local farmer’s market wouldn’t permit him to become a vendor because he
wasn’t he primary producer of the food sold. And so, he crated his own market.
Literally. He began offering wild food walks in the region, wild mushroom
adventures and workshops, acorn classes, local fishing tours, and most
excitingly, community supported foraging. This underground marketplace that was
a private, members only club, that charged a nominal entrance fee and offered a
wide selection of locally foraged foods. Within six months, the market had
exploded to thousands of members, ultimately creating a middle ground for
vendors who didn’t want or weren’t ready to sell their foods through larger
institutions. It may have been risky business, but the dividends were worth it.Is your work created in response to
demands of the market or demands of the gift inside of you?



Don’t let the market
call the tune.
Joel doesn’t have the grade point average, test scores or class
rank to gain admission to the ivy league. The recruiter is visibly unimpressed
by his resume. Then again, let’s not forget his work at the school of hard
knocks. Joel deals in human fulfillment. He grossed over eight thousand dollars
in one night. That’s one hell of an extra curricular experience. What’s
interesting is, at the end of the movie, Joel’s father comes up to him and
excitedly informs him that the recruiter was satisfied with the interview and
said their university could use a guy like him. Not because he was ivy league
material, but because he was a fully functioning, independent adult.Time of your life, huh kid? Joel hired
himself. He created an environment of unlimited possibility instead of
accepting an blueprint of inherited options. He acted without feeling dependent
on circumstances, without having to wait for events to align in his favor. A
reminder that it is our work that creates the market, not the other way around. Are you letting the market call the tune of
your creative symphony?



The revolution of the
willing.
Losing your virginity isn’t about sex and it isn’t about loss.
It’s about coming of age, pardon the pun. And so, the larger story of this
movie is about a guy, inexperienced and uninformed, who uncovers a stepping
stone to a new level of awareness and maturity about himself and the world in
which he lives. Joel’s personal transformation is a beautiful thing. A rite of
passage. A healthy human milestone. And while it is the end of the innocence,
it’s also the beginning of opportunity. And that’s why this is such a powerful
scene. We’re literally witnessing a person crossing the threshold into
adulthood. The ringing phones, the loyal customers, the zealous fans, the sexy
girlfriend, the lit cigarette, the cool guy glasses, they’re all markers.
Artifacts. Symbols of transformation from a shy mama’s boy into an
enterprising, savvy young man. This is his moment of conception. Joel is like
the metal alloy that, once yielded, will never return to his original shape. He joined the revolution of the willing and he’s
never looking back.How aware are you of
priceless learning opportunities?

What did you learn?

* * * *

Scott Ginsberg

That Guy with the Nametag

Author. Speaker. Strategist. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter. 

scott@hellomynameisscott.com


Never the same speech twice. Customized for your audience. Impossible to walk away uninspired.

Now booking for 2014-2015.

Email to inquire about fees and availability. Watch clips of The Nametag Guy in action here!

Moments of Conception 081 — The Bar Scene from Into the Wild

All creativity begins with the moment of conception.

That little piece of kindling that gets the fire going. That initial source of inspiration that takes on a life of its own. That single note from which the entire symphony grows. That single spark of life that signals an idea’s movement value, almost screaming to us, something wants to be built here.

And so, in this new blog series, I’m going to be deconstructing my favorite moments of conception from popular movies. Each post will contain a video clip from a different film, along with a series of lessons we can learn from the characters.

Today’s clip comes from the bar scene in Into the Wild:

What can we learn?



Use baitless hooks. Edison
famously built his own private fishing pier so he
could have a place to be alone with his thoughts each day. What’s interesting
his, he never used bait. Just a hook. That’s how process oriented he was.
That’s how detached from outcomes he was. To him, fishing wasn’t about reeling
in dinner, it was about reveling in the experience. Alex seeks a similar
existence. A life of
single minded immersion.
His dream is to trade his traditional achievement orientation––working as

a means for achieving an ends––for his coveted adventure orientation, which is
living in the moment and being one with nature. And so, the question becomes,
can the modern artist live this way? Can the creator of ideas, a responsible
person who wants to make art but also wants to pay the bills, afford to fish
with baitless hooks? It’s hard to say. Because you can’t neglect your basic
needs. Everyone has to resolve the problem of livelihood. And that’s the
challenge with transcendentalism. It’s romantic and admirable and interesting,
but not always the most practical way to live. How do you balance your need for achievement with your desire for
adventure?



Love the work more than what it
produces.
Making
an idea real takes consistent, persistent application of energy toward that
idea. And that takes time. Lots of it. And so, for the sake of our sanities, we
may as well discover the ecstasy within the process itself. We may as well
embrace the sublime joy of seeing things come together to produce an artistic
whole. Detaching from outcomes in this way help keep us focused on the creative
process, not what creativity produces. In fact, contemporary flow research shows that creators
and performers are actually motivated by the quality of the experience they
feel when they are involved with the activity, not the end result. They operate
from an autotelic mindset, meaning
they enjoy the process of creation for its own sake. Alex is an inspiring example of someone completely engrossed in
the moment. Someone who knows the journey is
the destination. I’m reminded of
something my mentor used to say. It’s not the book, it’s the person you become
by writing it. And the best part is, that principle applies to any creative
project. Because the medium we’re working with is ourselves. Is the present moment your friend or your
enemy?



A look back at all those times the world didn’t end. This movie stirs up boundary issues
for me. Alex reminds me to always wonder, is this an opportunity, or an
opportunity to be used? Is this going to bring me closer to success, or is this
everyone else’s agenda for my time? Boundaries, after all, determine how others
will treat us. They define what we are and are not responsible for. And if we
don’t set them for ourselves, others will set them for us. Most artists
struggle with this issue at one time or another. They’re terrified of
containing the access people have to them, depriving themselves of the many pulls
on their time an attention. But the thing about boundaries is, it’s not being
irresponsible to our work or our relationships, it’s being responsible to
ourselves. In my late twenties, I used to take mini sabbaticals. I’d spend a
few days in a cabin in the mountains, free from the burdens of technology,
completely cut off from the world. And it was
difficult. As someone who’s genetically wired for hard work, one of the hardest
things to do is nothing. Especially when that next email might be a paying
client. But what I realized is, my
life doesn’t need to revolve around one pseudo digital
crisis after another. Most of the world is not sitting on the edge of
their seats, eagerly anticipating my every move. What would a radical level of self care look like for you?

What did you learn?

* * * *

Scott Ginsberg

That Guy with the Nametag

Author. Speaker. Strategist. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter. 

scott@hellomynameisscott.com


Never the same speech twice. Customized for your audience. Impossible to walk away uninspired.

Now booking for 2014-2015.

Email to inquire about fees and availability. Watch clips of The Nametag Guy in action here!


Moments of Conception 080 — The Doorway Scene from As Good As It Gets

All creativity begins with the moment of conception.

That little piece of kindling that gets the fire going. That initial source of inspiration that takes on a life of its own. That single note from which the entire symphony grows. That single spark of life that signals an idea’s movement value, almost screaming to us, something wants to be built here.

And so, in this new blog series, I’m going to be deconstructing my favorite moments of conception from popular movies. Each post will contain a video clip from a different film, along with a series of lessons we can learn from the characters.

Today’s clip comes from the doorway scene in As Good As It Gets:


What can we learn?



Build a routine and
ride it.
The worst advice in the world is when someone tells you tojust do it.Because as profound and
simple and honest as those three words may be, they’re not especially useful
for the struggling artist. Fact is, ifjust
doing it
was all it was going to take, you would have just done it by now. Unfortunately,
the creative process is a bit more complex than a shoe commercial. I’m reminded
of a writer friend of mine who recently asked what he could do to overcome his
creative block. Part of me wanted to smack him on the back of the head and
tell him just do it,but I knew that
wouldn’t be helpful. And so, I asked him the same question I ask everyone in
his situation: What’s your writing schedule? His answer was, sometimes he
writes in the mornings, sometimes he writes in the evenings, and on and on. I interrupted
him and said sometimes wasn’t a schedule. We both had a good laugh. But
together we realized, every artist needs to build a routine and ride it. Even
if that means shutting out the neighbors. After all, the creating we don’t do
today is lost forever.When was the last
time you sat uninterrupted and quiet with just your thoughts?



Create your own
standards of discipline.
Vonnegut famously said that the triumph of most
things is a matter of organization. What’s interesting is, he was talking about
morality. About good versus evil. Angels and mobsters and the like. And yet,
his advice perfectly applies to the physical organization required to thrive as
a creator and communicator of ideas. Because we all need a secure base to
operate from. We all need reliable containers for the energies rising within
us. Melvin may be an obsessive compulsive, disdainful, unlikable pain in the
ass, but you’ve got to hand it him, the man knows how to keep a schedule.
Ridiculous as his routine may be, it’s still a helpful lesson for creators.
Especially those of us who work out of our homes. We have no choice but to
create our own standards of discipline. Every day, we have to set up narrow
parameters that keep our productivity in check, but also create just enough
room to be free and play.Which routines
naturally call forth your most productive, enjoyable and concentrated
abilities?



Train yourself to
deal with bad conditions.
I’ve spent the majority of my adult life working
at home. And despite my best efforts to inoculate myself against distractions
and interruptions, I accepted the fact that there will always be a barking dog
down the hall, a construction crew hammering down the street, or a retired
neighbor who smokes pot in the bathroom right after lunch. That’s my life
sentence as a writer, and I’ve made peace with it. Melvin, on the other hand,
is unable to withstand the external pressures that attempt to deter him from his
productive path. As a result of his obsessive compulsive disorder, he insists
on working under ideal conditions. But as a result of that routine, his
perfectly crafted creative nirvana, he’s not mentally and physically prepared to
cope with the unusual events that transpire during the movie. And therein lies
the lesson. Instead of trying to swim against the disruptive current, what we
should do is systematically practice with distractions. Intentionally surround our
creative process with obstacles, embrace the distractions and find the inner
focus that exists regardless of the external environment.How could you become so accustomed to stress, distractions, and
pressure, that they no longer phase you?

What did you learn?

* * * *

Scott Ginsberg

That Guy with the Nametag

Author. Speaker. Strategist. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter. 

scott@hellomynameisscott.com


Never the same speech twice. Customized for your audience. Impossible to walk away uninspired.

Now booking for 2014-2015.

Email to inquire about fees and availability. Watch clips of The Nametag Guy in action here!


Moments of Conception 079 — The Interview Scene from Pollock

All creativity begins with the moment of conception.

That little piece of kindling that gets the fire going. That initial source of inspiration that takes on a life of its own. That single note from which the entire symphony grows. That single spark of life that signals an idea’s movement value, almost screaming to us, something wants to be built here.

And so, in this new blog series, I’m going to be deconstructing my favorite moments of conception from popular movies. Each post will contain a video clip from a different film, along with a series of lessons we can learn from the characters.

Today’s clip comes from the interview scene in Pollock:



 

What can we learn?



Rituals to accompany your
creative journey.
Pollock
works from within. He trusts himself. He knows that in the creative process,
nothing is guaranteed, but nothing is gained by predicting the worse, either.
So why dismiss rather than affirm his chances? He proves that when we
point ourselves in the direction of possibility, optimistically announcing that
our internal, external and cosmic resources are available to us, we increase
the odds of success. When I started my career as a writer, I began using a
series of affirmations and short cognitions. They pointed my mind in the
direction I wanted it to go. They talked me into a more trusting frame of mind.
And they loosened the grip of my negative thoughts. One example from my daily
centering sequence is the phrase I trust
my resources
. When I recite those four words throughout the day, I draw a single deep breath, using my
respiration as a ten second container for that specific thought, matching the
rhythm of my respiration to the symmetry of the words. It’s a small, simple
tool, but it works wonders because of accumulation. Like any routine practiced
multiple times a day for several years, it has a profound effect on your
mindset. What ritual could you employ to
intentionally support your ability to trust yourself?

Trust comes from experience. In the water purification
process, the goal is to remove all the undesirable chemicals, biological
contaminants and gases before the water is fit for human consumption.
Interestingly, trusting yourself works the same way. In order to keep trust
alive, you must start with making yourself trustworthy. Meaning, you have to
endure a process that removes the
mental contaminants, like doubt and fear and anxiety, which prevent you from
trusting yourself. And that purification process, of course, is creating art. Repetition. Dedicated
practice. Daily discipline. Accumulating a track record of trustworthy
behaviors that make your more likely to believe in yourself. Pollock trusted
his unique style of drip painting, but only because he first spent so many
years experimenting with novel tools like enamels and sticks and basting
syringes and paint applicators. That was his purification process. He was
building a bank of experience that deepened and broadened his trustworthiness. By
staying in motion, continually creating everyday, he ultimately accumulated
enough experience to trust himself. Do
you spend your time building up your strength or worrying about whether or not
you’re going to become successful?

We become what we expect. When we trust
ourselves, we tend to prove ourselves right. When we believe in the
availability of our own answers, they tend to show up at the right time. That’s
how expectation works. It’s not magic, it’s a psychological primer for future
performance. It’s been scientifically proven that there’s a positive correlation
between expectation and performance. And so, if we proclaim ourselves as
creative and prolific and artistic, then we’re already ahead of the game. What
if, then, we started

each day of work from the sure place that we were artists, no matter how our current
projects were going, no matter what we saw on the page in front of us? What if
we
announced to ourselves that we were well equipped with sufficient
internal assets to be successful? These sorts of expectations can have a
profound effect on our attitudes. Because we can’t always wait for
overwhelming evidence to trust ourselves. Sometimes we just have to act as if.

Do you have a deep belief that everything
you’ve experienced in your life, up until this very moment, will sufficiently
support whatever you do in the next moment?

What did you learn?

* * * *

Scott Ginsberg

That Guy with the Nametag

Author. Speaker. Strategist. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter. 

scott@hellomynameisscott.com


Never the same speech twice. Customized for your audience. Impossible to walk away uninspired.

Now booking for 2014-2015.

Email to inquire about fees and availability. Watch clips of The Nametag Guy in action here!


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