Doubt is a sign that our faith has a pulse

My business was my first love. 

It was the first thing I gave everything to, and the first thing that gave everything to me. The two of us were absolutely faithful to each other. We were inseparable. You couldn’t tell where the company ended and I began. 

However, like so many first loves, after ten years of spending every waking moment together, I found myself bored, burned out and lonely. The buzz just wasn’t have the same effect anymore. And I knew that if the two of us didn’t spend some time apart, there might not be any hope for us long term. 

That’s when I made the unlikely decision to set aside my business and go work for somebody else. It was the last thing I ever thought I would do. It was the last thing anybody ever thought I would do. 

But then again, maybe that was the point. Maybe I was clinging to my gift too tightly. Maybe the only way to truly own my career was to set it down for a while. 

And so, I took a day job. I packed a lunch and commuted on the train and went to an office and collaborated with coworkers and answered to a boss and went to meetings and got a weekly paycheck. It was exquisitely ordinary and wildly refreshing. Like going on a break with your punk rock sweetheart to date a working girl in a beige pantsuit. 

And the good news was, my enterprise didn’t go anywhere. I still ran my business on the side. I still kept one foot in each camp. I still maintained dual citizenship as both an entrepreneur and an employee. 

But I had to see what else was out there. I had to sow my professional oats. And what’s interesting is, after a year of living this new life, something occurred to me. 

I missed my sweetheart. I missed the freedom of entrepreneurship. I missed the ability to create my own future. But I only realized that once I took the risk to walk away. 

Sting was right. If you love something, set it free. If you want to keep something precious, lock it up and throw away the key.

And so, two years later, once I had had my allotment, I returned to my roots. I reclaimed the mantle of entrepreneurship, reignited a relationship that I once thought was dead, and I’ve never been happier. 

Lesson learned, if you don’t leave it, if you don’t create a vacuum, you can’t fully own it. If you never doubted anything, perhaps you never really believed it in the first place. Doubt is a sign that your faith has a pulse. Sometimes the only way to slay the dragon of doubt is to ride it into the sunset. 

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Scott Ginsberg

That Guy with the Nametag

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

scott@hellomynameisscott.com

www.nametagscott.com

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

Now booking for 2015-2016.

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

Moments of Conception 158 — The Latimer Scene from The Program

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 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 Latimer scene from The Program:

 

Allow yourself to get carried away by your enthusiasm. Everyone is the same everywhere. We’re all just stumbling through the dark, searching for something to pour ourselves into. And so, when that thing we find provides us with the existential spark, there’s no stopping us. Because meaning and significance are a unique source of energy. Forget about getting enough sleep and eating enough carbs. Once we find something to meet our meaning needs, we’re off and running. Rooted in the things that move us, ready to take on the world. Lattimer played on the punt return team for the first three years of his college career, but this year, he intended to start. And so, he spent his summer in the gym. And after gaining thirty five pounds since last fall and shining during in tryouts, he has finally earned himself a place at the table. It’s such a perfect moment. This movie came out when we were playing high school football, and my friends and I would watch it after long, hot days of practice. And although we never smashed our heads through car windows, we still allowed ourselves to get carried away by our enthusiasm. When the weekly depth charts were posted on the locker room doors, we weren’t afraid to hoot and holler and run down the hall and jump for joy. Because that was the type of enthusiasm we needed on the field. I may not have been fast or strong, but I certainly knew how to celebrate, and how to infect the people around me with that same energy. Whatever it took to feel that our story was headed somewhere. Do passion and enthusiasm characterize all of your encounters?



Not everything is its own reward. Rewarding yourself is an essential celebratory experience that increases motivation and builds momentum. It can actually become a form of loving yourself, when done in a healthy, legal manner that doesn’t involve other people’s car windows. But it won’t make the journey any less challenging. Laying a reward system over an existing experience doesn’t make us like it any better, but certainly encourages us to tolerate it. Because we see the light at the end of the tunnel. Adams explains that by putting the pleasure of reward at the immediate end of a task, we develop a strong association between the task and the good feelings, and that forms a habit. The goal is to get creative with our rewards. To make them personal and meaningful and pleasant. For example, whenever I finish playing a concert, I reward myself with a long, hot shower and lunch at my favorite restaurant. Whenever I make a sale, I reward myself by ringing the hotel call bell on my desk and cheering aloud. Whenever I book a new client, I reward myself by booking a full body massage. Whenever I come home from a productive business trip, I reward myself by sleeping late the next day. And whenever I hit my daily writing quota, I reward myself by checking email without feeling guilty. The point is, not everything is its own reward. If we’re going slog through the reality, we deserve something a little extra at the end. What reward system do you have for yourself?



Become fully aware of your entire horizon. Lattimer’s downfall, besides illegal doping, was his expectation. He surrendered all his power to one person­­ to make or break his life. He relied on the coach’s whims to choose the success or failure of his athletic endeavor. A smarter move would have been to empty himself of expectation. To diversify his portfolio of happiness. To expand his repertoire of meaning. That way, if the coach did decide to make an omelet out of all the eggs in his football basket, his path wouldn’t be completely derailed. He’d still have other pursuits and endeavors and activities to engage with. Unfortunately, he never built that existential muscle. He never developed a shield against meaninglessness. And so, when he fails the drug test and gets kicked off the team, he’s completely devastated. Life, as he knows it, is over. Because he clung to his gift too tightly. He threw his heart into something, but let that one thing become all that he stood for. It’s a reminder to us all to maintain a diverse portfolio of happiness. One that builds emotional stability in any situation, helps manage risks we can’t control and weathers droughts through the many seasons of life. Are you giving one person, place or thing the power to make or break your life?

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Scott Ginsberg

That Guy with the Nametag

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

scott@hellomynameisscott.com

www.nametagscott.com

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

Now booking for 2015-2016.

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


Unburden yourself of those worries

If you want your creativity to erupt, you have to build an environment around you that allows for the best of you to emerge with the least amount of resistance. One that leverages your natural way of being useful to the world. 

In most cases, that means stripping inessential things away. Because if you truly want all your talents to play out, you have to make room. Heidegger notoriously called this space a clearing. A place of light and simplicity. An opening in which the invented future could crystalize and the impossible could happen. This clearing, he said, would grant us access to the being that we ourselves are. 

How does one create a clearing? One approach is through a process of elimination. 

Take television, for example. Neilson reports that the average adult watches over thirty hours a week. Good lord. Just imagine how much space could be freed up by eliminating that one activity. 

But that’s merely one example. The point is, if you have any intention of running at peak mental stride, you can’t afford to waste their valuable brainpower on bullshit. If you find that you’re not as creative or productive as you’d like, consider which daily might to be stripped away. Reverse engineer your clearing, and then sit back and listen to what wants to be written. 

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Are you paying extraordinary attention to the realities of your environment and how to flow within them to your advantage?

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Scott Ginsberg

That Guy with the Nametag

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

scott@hellomynameisscott.com

www.nametagscott.com

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

Now booking for 2015-2016.

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

Make the art you want to see and use

I’m a big proponent of productive selfishness. Scratching your own itches, making the art you want to see in the world and creating products that you, yourself, would actually use. 

Years ago I realized that my creative inventory, that is, my database of sentences and notes and phrases and fragments, needed a serious upgrade. I wondered if there was a way to convert my files into an online application. A searchable directory that I could access from anywhere in the world. 

Three weeks and two hundred dollars later, Sentence Junkie went live. And now I find myself using the database all the time. Either when I’m away from my desk and require a portable creative environment, or when I need to search my inventory for a particular word or phrase, this application has become wildly useful for me as a writer. And every time I use it, I feel a profound sense of satisfaction and pride. 

Because I made it. For myself. I scratched my own itch. Ahhhhh

Interestingly, I recently found myself in the same situation again. Except this time, I had amassed a massive creative inventory of questions. Six thousand interesting, challenging, useful, thought provoking, strategic questions, around of a number of topics, that I’d been collecting for more than a decade. And I thought to myself, why not rehire the same developer and create a second search engine? 

Sure enough, Question Junkie went live. I now use it all time, earning that same sense of creative satisfaction. What’s more, the two sites are now connected. Because I’ve created a brand. Who knows what new opportunities these portable idea warehouses might create in the future? 

Lesson learned, scratch your own itch. Make the art you want to see and use in the world. 

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Are you being productively selfish?

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Scott Ginsberg

That Guy with the Nametag

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

scott@hellomynameisscott.com

www.nametagscott.com

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

Now booking for 2015-2016.

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

Putting all your eggs in society’s baskets

I was listening a fascinating interview with the best poker player in the world. 

Phil admitted that the biggest mistakes he made in his career occurred in those moments when he didn’t keep his head down. When he carelessly took a look around and locked himself into the ego vortex of approval, criticism and public opinion. Those mistakes cost him millions upon millions of dollars. And he vowed never to pull his head up again. To always attain an inner posture of detachment, so he has a sense of self so complete that external influences have no authority within his consciousness. 

It’s a cautionary tale for gamblers, but also a powerful reminder to anybody living the life of the mind. We simply can’t allow ourselves to become mired in other people’s reality map. We can’t depend on society’s evaluation of our sanity. And we can’t waste our time running down approval alley, outsourcing our conscience, awarding other people’s judgments with a disproportionate amount of mental estate. 

Whatever art we create, our reality is an extension of the groundwork laid in the inner space of our mind. And the moment we start giving other people’s opinions more weight than they deserve, we’re dead in the water. 

Phil was right. Keep your head down. Stick your fingers in your ears. And get to work expressing your talents in meaningful ways that serve others.

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Are you arguing with the voice of dissent or training yourself not to hear it?

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Scott Ginsberg

That Guy with the Nametag

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

scott@hellomynameisscott.com

www.nametagscott.com

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

Now booking for 2015-2016.

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

Moments of Conception 157 — The Drown Tank Scene from Divergent

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 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 drown tank scene from Divergent:





If one and one makes two, you failed.
Wherever we land, whether it’s a new job or a new city
or a new industry, we’re greeted with a list of rules. And there’s this myth
that if we check all those boxes, we will get ahead. Of course, that’s just the
story perpetuated by the institutional agenda to keep us scared, stupid
and dreamless. Those who seek to keep our thinking as small as possible. The
reality is, the future belongs to the destroyers of all that has gone before.
And so, once we spot the ideas that are
too convenient to be killed, once we let the curious part of ourselves take a
risk and pay attention to the man behind the curtain, we become the great and powerful ones. Divergents possess that ability. They’re aware of when
they’re in a simulation. They’re conscious that what they’re experiencing is
not real. And so, they can manipulate or even shut down the system by
exercising their independent will. Because
it’s all in their head. That’s why the government is trying to wipe them out.
Divergents threaten the social order. If that’s not a metaphor for modern
society, I don’t know what is. Critics can call this movie another clone of the
post apocalyptic teenage dystopian fiction factory, but I experienced it as
mythic, archetypal and allegorical. What would you do if you saw yourself as being in control instead of
controlled?



No great band
ever wasted any time complaining.
Divergent is a story about stoic
characters. People who don’t do a lot of complaining. People who aren’t dependent
on externals for equilibrium. People focused on strengthening the mind, body
and soul so it can flourish in any environment. Because they recognize that all
situations unfold regardless of how they feel about them. And so, nothing can
shut them off from action. Tris is just now starting to internalize this
philosophy. First, she tries yelling. Next, she tries banging against the wall.
But then, as the water engulfs her body, she has a realization. The only way
out is through. The only way to face her fear of drowning is to swim deeper. So
she relaxes into the moment, confronts herself in the reflection, and gives the
pain of glass the tiniest tap. And that creates the crack that sets her free.
If that’s not a public service announcement for stoicism, I don’t know what is.
Pausch, in fact, wrote that complaining
doesn’t work as a strategy. That we all have finite time and energy, and any
time we spend whining is unlikely to help us achieve our goals or make us
happier. Tris reminds us, then, not to complain, because complaining sucks the air out of any new possibilities
that may appear in the present moment. Instead, we learn to take
the energy we would have used complaining
and filter it into action. What are your three biggest time wasters?



Sometimes all
we need is an ounce of not alone.
This particular tank
is merely a simulation. Later in the movie, when the characters are captured
and sentenced to death, Tris wakes up sealed inside a real life glass tank that
fills up with water. And she knows she can’t tap her way out. But at the last moment,
her mother appears, breaks the tank and rescues her. Because she, too, is
divergent, and understands the pain of being alienated. I’m reminded of a
powerful passage in the book around this very theme. Tris says that to live
factionless is not just to live in poverty and discomfort, it is to live
divorced from society, separated from the most important thing in life. Community. Because we can’t survive alone, and even if we could, we
wouldn’t want to. A touching reminder that life without witness, isn’t. That
we’re not built to be singular units. And that we’re never alone in this world
unless we want to be. In fact, the things that make us feel most alone have the
biggest potential to connect us. It’s simply a matter of finding the right
faction. How many centers of belonging do
you have in your life?

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What did you learn from this movie clip?

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Scott Ginsberg

That Guy with the Nametag

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

scott@hellomynameisscott.com

www.nametagscott.com

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

Now booking for 2015-2016.

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


Making smart investment decisions with your imagination

The reason I write every day is because I can’t afford not to. 

In my experience, when I stop creating, my mind turns on itself. Its power inverts. It uses the excess energy to creatively sabotage me from within, busying itself weaving a web of inner fears, doubts and excuses. And it traps me in an infinite regression of meaninglessness, procrastination and lethargy. 

That’s the thing about imagination, it’s a neutral construct. It’s a chunk of tofu in a bowl of soy sauce, taking on the shape and size of whatever environment it’s immersed it. 

And so, it doesn’t care if it’s creating symphonies or somatic stomach pain. It’s just another day at the office. Imagination follows whatever marching order we give it. The challenge, then, is making sure its energies are channeled into the healthiest, happiest and most helpful directions. 

If you notice yourself descending into a mindset of comparing and competing, recognize that you’ve made a poor investment decision with your imagination, take a deep breath, and reroute that energy into acts of creating and connecting. 

If you notice yourself degrading into an attitude of cynicism and apathy, accept that you’ve misdirected your creativity onto a negative canvas, take a deep breath, and deflect those feelings into acts of making art and solving problems. 

If you see yourself artfully creating constant distraction to prevent you from taking action on your dreams, take a deep breath, and reinvest that momentum into meaningful tasks and activities guaranteed to move the story forward. 

The point is, imagination as at your beck and call, standing by for its creative directive. Don’t put it work on something negative. 

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What happens to your life when you stop creating?

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Scott Ginsberg

That Guy with the Nametag

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

scott@hellomynameisscott.com

www.nametagscott.com

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

Now booking for 2015-2016.

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

A Review of Seth Godin’s Inspiring New Audiobook, “Leap First”

Godin’s new audiobook isn’t an audiobook at all, it’s an audio only live recording, recorded during a weeklong seminar in his office. It’s organized into short essays, and it’s exactly the kind of resource I needed to kick first quarter into high gear.



Although I took pages and pages of great notes, one theme in particular resonated with me:

“We’re fooling ourselves into thinking we need really nice tools to make art. But we don’t need tools, we need to care.” –Seth Godin, Leap First

I’m a big believer in creating systems to do the heavy lifting for you. Spending as little energy as possible to get things done. It’s called the economy of effort, and when managed intelligently, can make or break the success of any endeavor. Because choices are not your friend. Anything you can do to reduce the burden of deciding is a good thing. 

However, there is a point of diminishing returns. When people start making gods out of their tools, many systems can actually consume more time than they save. 

I have a writer friend who obsessively uses every scheduling app, messaging widget, productivity system, project management portal, note taking software, mind mapping tool and collaboration application known to man. And I’m thrilled that she loves technology, but she literally hasn’t written anything in seven years. 

Because she’s trapped in the vortex of her own systems. Too busy reminding the world how busy she is. That’s not being a writer, that’s being a professional time saver. 

The point is, before you commit to a new system, consider asking yourself, are you really being more productive, or just using clever dodges to avoid doing the real work? Are you really being more efficient, or just inventing things to outsource to preserve the illusion of productivity? And are you really being more useful, or just buying toys to maintain your identity and sooth yourself? 

Perhaps you’re overcomplicating things. Perhaps complexity feels like progress. Perhaps a simple index card would suffice.

You don’t need a better app, you need a smarter routine. Beware of he who makes gods out of his tools.

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Are you still fooling yourself into thinking you need really nice tools to make art?

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Godin’s new audiobook is worth your time and money. Download it now.

* * * *

Scott Ginsberg

That Guy with the Nametag

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

scott@hellomynameisscott.com

www.nametagscott.com

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

Now booking for 2015-2016.

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

Download Your Free Copy of Nametagscott’s Newest Book, “Prolific: The Art & Science of Collecting, Creating and Communicating Your Ideas,” No Strings Attached

How do you stay inspired when your job is to inspire others? 

When your work demands a consistent volume of idea creation, originality of voice is difficult to sustain over time. 

But what if you could create a unique inspiration pool that nobody else could replicate? What if you could build a system of rituals, practices and environments so new ideas flow as a natural consequence of your life? What if you could leverage identity and technology to establish a unique creative voice and a robust body of work? 

You would be become prolific. 

My new book will teach you exactly that. Imagine The Artist’s Way meets Getting Things Done meets Behind the Music. That’s the best way to describe the book you’re about to read. 

My goal is that this informative, engaging and inspiring program changes the way you think about the way you think. It’s more than just a collection of exercises; it’s a rubric for operable behaviors at all stages and levels of the creative process. 

Here’s what will you learn in this book: 

*How to eliminate creative blocks for life with daily routines, rituals, postures and disciplines.

*How to create rigor around your intellectual property and knowledge management with and infrastructure and machinery to help kick things out. 

*How to build a personalized content management system for capturing, cataloguing and communicating your thoughts and feelings. 

*How to more fully flesh out your thoughts and messages for maximum impact. 

*How to strategically publish and position your body of work as a crafter of compelling content. 

*How to rewrite your creative vocabulary with a new lexicon of working. 

It’s the art and science of collecting, creating and communicating your ideas. 

This is BOOK ONE of The Prolific Series, of which there are three more books in the works. Stay tuned.

For now, buy the book on Amazon, or download the entire thing, right now, for free, no strings.

Thanks!

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How would your life look differently if you became prolific?

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Go buy this book. Right here. Enjoy!

* * * *

Scott Ginsberg

That Guy with the Nametag

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

scott@hellomynameisscott.com

www.nametagscott.com

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

Now booking for 2015-2016.

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

Turning a seed into a forest

As I outlined in my book, writing is the basis of all wealth. 

But when I say that, I mean it literally. Because as a writer, publisher, performer and strategist, words are my currency. Sentences are the foundation of everything I do. 

Consider the following value chain.

Sentences create my inventory of ideas. That body of ideas leads to new patterns, insights and perspective. Which helps me to accumulate new intellectual capital. Which leads to breakthroughs in my thinking and action. Which inspires me to create new intellectual property. Which enables my work to penetrate new market segments. Which expands and strengthens and extends my brand. Which affords me new income and opportunity streams. Which becomes the fuel for the type of life I want to live. 


The end. 

Writing is the basis of all wealth. 

That’s the sole reason I invest thousands of hours every year building my mental library, one sentence at a time. Because to me, every sentence is a seed that might become a forest. I’ve seen it happen a dozen times. A single idea moving its way through that value chain has literally earned me thousands and thousands of dollars. 

And so, every time I come across a new one that inspires me, I don’t just capture it, I treat it like a precious commodity. Like an archaeologist who just stumbled across a new species of butterfly that has the potential to elevate the field of entomology forever. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS…

What is the basis of all your wealth?

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For a copy of the list called, “8 Ways to Out Give Your Competition,” send an email to me, and you win the list for free!

* * * *

Scott Ginsberg

That Guy with the Nametag

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

scott@hellomynameisscott.com

www.nametagscott.com

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

Now booking for 2015-2016.

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

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