Moments of Conception 176: The Yoga Scene in Forgetting Sara Marshall

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 yoga scene in Forgetting Sara Marshall:


Buried under layers of defensiveness.
What bothers me is when people come through the door
fists and hearts first, armed to the teeth with an arsenal of excuses, ready to
shoot down every opportunity that comes their way. At the yoga studio where I
work, new students drop in every day with stars in their eyes, claiming that
they really do want to try it, but
it’s just that they have sciatica and they don’t like the heat and it’s really
expensive and their asthma might flare up and it’s such a big time commitment
and work is crazy right now and if only they could convince their husband to
come with them, then maybe they would
commit to thinking about possibly considering the slim chance of potentially
never going. Drives me crazy. Not to be insensitive about people’s life
situations, but if they really wanted to do it, they would have done it by now.
That’s how motivation works. There’s no preheat setting. You either do
something, or you do not. But the liberating part is, I’m no longer in the
business of convincing people. It’s not my job to overcome people’s objections
about why they can’t do things. Because the minute you say yes to someone,
suddenly, you just inherited all their problems. It’s a boundary thing. If you
don’t set them for yourself, other people will set them for you. Who is currently violating your boundaries?



Treat yourself as you wish to be treated. The problem with working alone is, there’s nobody around to
beat you up, so you end up beating yourself up. Being way to hard on yourself. Even telling yourself things that you
would never allow somebody else say to you. It’s tricky. Because on one hand,
you need to be tough on yourself for the sake of motivation and accountability
and productivity. Nobody else is going to hold your feet to the fire. On the other hand, you don’t want criticize your
work to the point that you scare yourself out of creating it. You want to love yourself. Yoga is actually the
perfect arena to practice this balance. Because every time you execute a
posture, you reckon with reality. You align yourself with things that will
never lie to you, like gravity and biology. And some days, you can barely lift
your knee to your chest, feeling like an inflexible failure. But other days,
you can twist your legs into a pretzel like a olympic competitor. And you feel like
a champion. Either way, you always love yourself. You treat yourself as you
wish to be treated. And you confront yourself without condemning what you see.
Because you’re just going to be back on the mat tomorrow, doing the work again.
No need to beat yourself up when you make a mistake. Life will do that for you.
How do you try to get
beyond your judgmental attitudes



The power of reverse providence. Learning to live with uncertainty is part of becoming
a complete artist. That’s all creativity is anyway, one neverending act of
trust. And no matter how successful you get, it never goes away. Kind of like
that dream I always have. The one where I’m trying to do something
incredibly simple, like cross the street or drive to the store or get to my
next class on time, and the entire world stands in my way. It’s this sick form
of reverse providence, where the
world seems to be orchestrating the ideal conditions to prevent me from
reaching my goal, creating a web of incidents and meetings and material assistance
whose sole purpose in life is hold me back. I hate this dream. It makes me feel
helpless and incompetent. And every time it recurs, I wake up short of breath
and frustrated. But what’s strange is when the dream manifests in real life.
Like when I wake up refreshed and energized and ready to take on the world and
the stupid internet doesn’t work and I have to walk down the street to a coffee
shop but then their internet doesn’t work and it feels like I’m trapped in my
own time loop nightmare. God damn it. I suppose, however, that this is one of
those moments where I have to own the process as life. Where I have to accept
the fact that waiting in line to get into the stadium is just as important as
the game itself. Life is the line. There’s nowhere to get to. This is it. This is as good as it gets. There’s no
future. All we have is right now. Are you
still hoping for a certainty or clarity that is simply never going to exist?

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What did you learn from this movie clip?

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

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Taking your freedom for granted

Not everybody can pursue the thing that brings them great joy. Not everybody has found an outlet for their talents to flourish fully. And not everybody will be lucky enough to have occupational activities that are a natural extension of their personality and abilities. 

Truth is, most people in the world are burning off the soles of their shoes just trying to carve out a life they can tolerate. They would give anything to do the things they’re fired up to contribute, to find a home for all of their talents, to make meaningful use of everything they are. 

But if everybody did what they liked, the world wouldn’t work. If everybody quit their jobs and followed their dreams and made a life out of their passion, the toilets would never get cleaned. 

And so, if you’re one of the fortunate few blessed with the freedom to create a life by design, never lose sight of gratitude and humility and perspective and compassion. No need to remind everybody you meet how perfect your life is. Just keep your mouth shut and get back to work. 

Because the moment you start getting complacent and taking your freedom for granted, it doesn’t just make you an asshole, it makes you vulnerable to that freedom being taken away.

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What makes you lucky to be here right now?

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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.

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Mastering the art of not going away

With
every dream comes a compendium of discouragements and delays and distractions
and depressions and derailments and disappointments. 



And in the moment, it
feels
like you’re
constantly taking it in the teeth. But the good news is, if you stay in the
game long enough, your rewards will far outweigh your frustrations. 



For now,
learn to take those things in stride. Calmly accept setbacks as the normal
course of events. Set long range goals to help you transcend the immediate
situation, set short term goals to help you gain a sense of efficacy through
incremental achievement, but live each day as if it was only a matter of time. 



Because this is a long arc game. And the winners aren’t necessarily the ones
with the most talent, but the ones who refuse to go away. So just keep getting better, and everything else
will take care of itself. 



Baumeister’s happiness research actually proved that the best prescription for happiness was a slow
crescendo of successes, allowing yourself to savor each increment of
achievement or improvement in circumstance. Because even if everyone wants to
get to the top, he said, if you really want to enjoy it, you should take the
stairway rather than the elevator. 



That’s the secret. Get good at not going
away. See if you can outlast most of the people you hit the starting blocks
with. And when the end result doesn’t turn out exactly the way you planned,
just remember, b
etter
to fall short of realizing your dreams than never to have dreamed at all.

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Are you willing to be an incrementalist?

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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.

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Love the things that are part of the territory

Just as you want to honor the flow when it comes, you also want to respect the drought when it arrives. Because despite your best efforts to take action, sometimes you experience a surge of sudden disinterest. 

Maybe it’s because of time or geography or inner state or outer turmoil, but whatever the root cause, one thing’s for sure. You feel drained and exhausted and maybe even depressed. 

God damn it. This venture is going nowhere. I’m tired of trying to make stew out of a soup bone, you think. 

And that’s okay. If you know how to frame for yourself what you are experiencing, the resistance can’t take you down. If you know how to cope with the inevitable meaning crises of existence, you don’t have to put your creative life on hold. 

Miyagi once said that the best way to block a punch was to not be there. The same principle applies here. Next time you feel the energy draining away, accept that the well has run dry. Recognize that your current task is unlikely to generate the experience of meaning. And then remember that you can weather these times by turning your energies elsewhere. 

That’s the benefit of polyamorous creation, or, pursuing relationships with multiple creative projects simultaneously. When you approach your work in this way, you insure yourself against the inevitable surges of disinterest. After all, reliance on a single source of meaning leaves you vulnerable to threats and losses. 

And so, get in the habit of always having at least one meaningful creative project in front of you. Practice redistributing your energies on a moment’s notice. That way, you’ll be able to work despite mood, context or motivation. 

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Scott Ginsberg

That Guy with the Nametag

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

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www.nametagscott.com

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

Now booking for 2015-2016.

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We are defined by what we decline

Abundance comes from the economy of effort. 

Always asking yourself, what corners are worth cutting? What steps in the process are redundant, expensive, labor intensive and time consuming that you could remove without anybody noticing or caring? 

I owe my life to those questions. 

Take book publishing, for example. If I know that it’s going to cost me two extra weeks, a thousand extra dollars and significant additional stress to complete a third round of editing for a book that doesn’t need to be fifteen percent better, I’ll just skip that step of the process. Because perfection isn’t that important to me. I don’t have time for trivialities that adversely affect the quantity of my output. I’d rather ship the project now and move onto the next one instead of killing myself over a minor cosmetic change nobody is going to notice anyway. 

That’s the economy of effort. It’s not about what you do, it’s about what you don’t do. Which may not mean much in isolation, but when you add up all the little no’s at the end of the year, you realize that you’ve saved yourself a heap of time, money and stress. 

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Can you get the same results from other tasks that you already perform?

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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 175: The Plastics Scene from The Graduate

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 plastics scene in The Graduate:




What do you want to do with your life? There are a dozen problems with this question. First, it’s
focused on wanting, not needing. And life doesn’t always give us luxury to
prioritize in that order. Second, this question is purely focused on the
future, as opposed to right now. And we forget that this very moment is life
too. In fact, it’s all we have. But if we’re so busy trying to figure out what
to do with our life, we’ll forget to actually live it. Third, this question is
a moving target. People evolve. The world in which we live evolves. And so, we
remake ourselves as we grow and as the world changes. We give ourselves the
freedom to change as we discover, reinventing ourselves many times in an
interesting life, ultimately letting these multiple reinventions mold our life into
book of stories worth telling. Fourth,
this question is outdated. Our generation is seeing the slow death of
traditional career paths. People are keeping their professional lives in
permanent beta. We’re adapting and evolving and pivoting and changing
directions. And like a human startup, we’re evaluating new opportunities as
they present themselves, taking into consideration our ever growing set of
intellectual and experiential assets. Are
you tying yourself to one concept as being your legacy for your entire life?



What do you want to do with your life? Another problem with this question is, it’s inhuman. Because
although people have the impulse to satisfy their basic need for unity, order
and completeness; and although our rational capacities crave a certain amount
of story and dramatic structure to make sense of life, the reality is, tidy
narratives tend to be misleading. Life is confusing and nonlinear and nobody
gets exactly what they thought they were going to get. That’s why this question
is so burdensome. Deciding what we want is the most important work we will ever
do. And so, we keep grilling each other, pressuring people to articulate their
human purpose into a perfectly compartmentalized little package. And life isn’t
like that. This isn’t a twenty two minute sitcom. And so, we can’t allow our
biological craving for resolution to stand in the way allowing life to actually
happen. Humanity comes first. And here’s the other thing. This question
misrepresents focus. Turns out, it’s not about hammering one nail, all of our
lives, it’s about hammering lot of nails, one way, all our lives. In fact, most
people need multiple life purposes. And so, instead of killing ourselves trying
to find the meaning of life, we’re creatively making life’s many meanings. It
may not be easy, inventing our own life’s meaning, but it’s still allowed. What gives purpose driven human uniqueness
to your existence?



What do you want to do with your life? Ultimately, this question is a moot point. As my
mentor once told me, life isn’t a question to be answered, it’s a project to be
lived. There’s no deadline. There’s no wrap party. There’s no gold medal
waiting for at the finish line. Our number one job as humans isn’t playing to
win, it’s playing to keep the game going. When I graduated from college, I had
no idea what I wanted to do with my life. In fact, I rarely gave that idea a
second thought. When I was in my twenties, on the other hand, I thought I knew
exactly what I wanted to do with my life. And that wasallI thought about. But now that I’m in my thirties, I’m back to
not knowing again. The only difference is, this time, I’m giving that idea a
second, third, fourth and fifth thought. Because what the hell do I know? Binary
constructs likealwaysandneverno longer exist in my vocabulary. Anything
can happen. Anything can be a meaning opportunity. That’s my answer. That’s what
I want to do with my life. That’s the organizing principle of my daily
existence. I want to make meaning in accordance with my deepest values.For your life to be perfect, what would have
to change?

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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. 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.

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When you get in the zone, don’t second guess it

Waits once explained that in his songwriting process, his only goal was to get what comes and keep it alive. It’s like carrying water in your hands, he said, I want to keep it all but sometimes by the time you get to the studio you have nothing. 

That’s nature of inspiration. Ideas are like an ocean under a fickle moon. And so, when you get into the zone, don’t second guess it. When neurons are going off like fireworks, follow that energy and mine that vein as long as you possibly can. 

If that means being a few minutes late to dinner, so be it. If that means staying up unusually late to capitalize on the creative impulse, so bet it. If that means establishing a code word that alerts people when you’re in the creative rapids, so be it. 

There’s fantastic book about the power of unintentional music. Arye reminds us that when inspiration comes, our challenge is to open up to it, to believe it is a divine spark expressing itself through us. No matter what bubbles up, we need to learn to love and appreciate it. No matter how strange it may seem or how much it seems to go against what we had intended to say or create, we should honor it by at least hearing it out, by finding out what it has to say. 

When you get into the zone, don’t second guess it. Don’t try to change nature, follow it. Align yourself with the flow of process. Love whatever is happening to you, stay with it and trust that it will lead you to where you ultimately want to go. 

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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!

I’m so glad that this is enough for me

You don’t have to do everything perfect. You don’t have to do everything right. In fact, you don’t even have to do everything. 



That’s one of life’s great surprises. Finding the level of enough you’re comfortable with. It’s actually quite liberating. That calm feeling of sufficiency and contentment, that euphoric state of acceptance and okayness, nobody can take that away from you. 



And, it doesn’t mean you’re absolved of your duties and ambitions and dreams. If there are things you still want to do, by all means, you should do them. But something very real shifts in your posture and energy and attitude when you understand what enough looks like for you. 



When I was in my twenties, traveling around the world to perform my one man show, I did between forty and sixty gigs a year. The work was fun and rewarding and profitable, but after a decade, it started to become exhausting on my body, my brain and my relationships. 



So I just doubled my fee. 



And to my delight, that new price point eliminated low value opportunities, attracted higher caliber clients, reduced my travel schedule, compressed my workload, boosted my average sale price, freed up my production schedule, plummeted my stress level and allowed me to create a home life I could be proud of. All of which increased overall experience of happiness. 



Wow. Charge double, work half. Who knew it was that simple? 



And yet, the real work isn’t the act of quoting a higher fee, the real work is trusting that you’ll be able to look yourself in the mirror every day and say to yourself, I’m so glad that this is enough for me.

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Do you remember who you were before the world told you who you needed to be?LET ME SUGGEST THIS…

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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!

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