Directing your attention in a more conscious manner

I refuse to read a book without a pen in my hand. 



For several reasons. 



First, because that’s the way my brain works. Reading and writing are one in the same. I don’t differentiate between the two. Each are crucial activities on the same spectrum of creative thinking. You inhale, you exhale. You consume, you create. 



Secondly, because if you don’t write it down, it never happened. Innovation is a function of documentation. And since my livelihood is determined by the quantity and quality of my thoughts, I can’t afford to let any ideas, good or bad, to escape my grasp. 



Finally, I read with a pen because reading is a daily practice of directing attention in a conscious manner. It’s a meditation. A frame for thinking about information. Without the pen, I’m just daydreaming. 



Debono’s book on framing attention makes a fascinating point about this very issue. He suggests that instead of waiting for attention to be pulled towards something unusual, we can set out frameworks for directing it. Like reading with a pen, for example. It’s not so much that the note taking that is valuable, he says, but knowing that you will have to note something makes you read the book much more carefully and with greater attention to what might be of interest. 



That’s how human perception works. It’s basic cognitive bias. Expectation determines outcome. We see what we are prepared to see. The question is, where else in your life are you reading without a pen? Which other activities might benefit from directing your attention in a more conscious manner? 



I recently sustained a minor groin strain. Nothing that required official medical attention, just my own personal attention during physical activities. It’s uncomfortable at times, but the advantage is, having an injury forces me to practice yoga and perform music and walk through the world with more focused attention on that particular part of my body. 



And that keeps me present, makes me feel alive and challenges me to engage other muscles I might otherwise ignore. 

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Where are you still reading without a pen?

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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 2016-2017.

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Letting go of what you think you deserve

A friend of mine loves to remind
people, you were born here, and you didn’t deserve any of it. 

It’s a powerful
realization for any human being to make. But once you accept that the universe
does not owe you your heart’s desire, something very real happens inside of a
you. 

You develop a case of the humbles. You discover that if there’s something
you want, you have to prove yourself worthy of the dream for which you ask.
Because nobody is going to hand it to you. 

I’m reminded of a crucial scene in
the best sports movie of all time. Maguire tells his client:
 
I’ll tell you why
you don’t have your five million. You play for the money. You play with your
head, not your heart. When you get on the field, it’s all about what you didn’t
get. Who’s to blame. Who’s got the contract you didn’t get. That is not what
inspires people. Shut up. Play the game from your heart. Then I’ll show you the
kwan.
 

A few days later, the wide receiver scores a game winning touchdown,
dances for the wildly cheering crowd, hugs his agent in front of the other
athletes, cries on live television and then, magically, secures an eleven
million dollar contract. 

What made the tables turn? What changed inside of the
player? He rooted out any sense of entitlement. He let go of what he though he
deserved. He replaced resentment with responsibility. 

And so, if you want to
engage the same mindset, here’s how. Instead of worrying about what you think
you deserve, concentrate on being thankful for what you already have and doing
what is necessary to earn what you want. 

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Are you still operating out of the assumption that you’re owed something?

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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 2016-2017.

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

This country could use a little less motivation

Personal development is a ten billion dollar a year industry. 

Between infomercials, motivational speakers, coaching, training seminars, audio programs, books and other media, there’s no shortage of resources to help people become more empowered and motivated. 

And it makes sense, considering the number of studies proving that empowered employees are seen as more innovative, upward influencing and inspirational. 

The irony is, power isn’t always the killer app. In fact, sometimes motivation can work against us. Because although our instinct is to lead and dominate and wow everyone in the room, there’s value in learning how to contract our power and personality. How to step back, staple our tongues to the roofs of our mouth and create a space for other people to fill up. 

I recently attended a writing meetup, and the group got onto the topic of curation versus creation, a topic that notoriously makes my blood boil. Within thirty seconds of the discussion, I started to feel my skin flushing and my fingertips tingling. I so badly wanted to cure the group of their misguided ways and shake some sense into the person speaking, until I remembered a few things. 

I just met these people. This is my first time here. Being right isn’t that important. And although speaking up would make me twenty percent more powerful, it would make the group fifty percent less optimistic. Bite your tongue, superman. 

And slowly, like a foot cramp in the middle of yoga class, the discomfort subsided. My pulse returned to normal. And the words of my favorite comedian filled my head. Carlin famously said:

Motivation is bullshit. If you ask me, this country could use a little less motivation. The people who are motivated are the ones who are causing all the trouble. Stock swindlers, serial killers, child molesters, religious fanatics, these people are highly motivated, highly motivated. Show me some lazy punk who’s lying around all day watching game shows and stroking himself, and I’ll show you someone who’s not causing any trouble. 

Next time you’re in a group meeting, practice contracting your power and personality. Try reeling it in a bit. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS…

Does immediately sharing your perspective result in other people longer wanting to argue for a different path?

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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 2016-2017.

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

Moments of Conception 196: The Regret Scene from Good Will Hunting

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.

Based on my books in The Prolific 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 regret scene from Good Will Hunting:





Decisiveness is
the antidote to regret.
I’ve done plenty of
things for the wrong reasons. For the money, for the resume, for the attention,
for the approval, for the applause, for the story, for the achievements, and of
course, for the need to prove myself. But looking back, the experiences I’m most
proud of, the projects that were the most rewarding and the investments that
yielded the greatest dividends, were the things I did because I didn’t want to
regret not doing them. Because I didn’t want to die wondering.That’s enough for me. And I understand
that somepeople get grossed out by
ambition. Butthere’s
no shame in going for it. There’s nothing uncool about caring.Everything I’ve gone for has given me something. It’s the
alternative to going for it, the downside of not trying, the naked terror of
regret, that really scares me. Having to live with the question, I wonder if I
could I have done that, is whatputs
enough of a roar in my ears to keep trying new things. Sean’s story is perhaps
the most romantic moment of the entire movie. Who needs baseball when you have
true love? Even if it made no sense to give away his ticket for the biggest
game in the team’s history just to have a drink with a woman he’d never met,
what calls out is the state of the heart. And if we don’t heed that call, we’ll
never get the chance to discover what’s waiting on the other side.Cohenonce saidthat the heart is a complex shish kebab
in everybody’s breast and nobody can tame or discipline it. Sean was making the
same point. It’s not our job to explain the heart. It’s our job to listen to
it.What could you do to force yourself
to you listen to yourself?



You believe in
me, and I trust your judgment.
When people start questioning their
own value and beating themselves up for not being useful to the world, the best
gift we can give them is encouragement. And not just inspiring them to become
more of what they are, but empowering them to become more of what they never
thought they could be. Anytime we help another human being believe that
something bigger is possible for them, that’s magic. And those people never forget.
I have a close friend who’s always been a beacon of encouragement for me.. And
I’ll never forget the text message he sent me on the biggest night of my life.
It was the rehearsal dinner for my wedding. I was scheduled to perform two
original songs in front of two hundred of my closest friends and family. And I
was terrified. It’s one thing to busk for strangers, but the sheer
vulnerability of performing my own songs in front of everyone I love, yikes.
But I powered through. I sang my heart out. And the crowd went nuts. More
importantly, my best friend sent me a private message that said, essentially,where the hell did that come from? I had no
idea you that in you. Why are you not playing music in public more often?
That was enough for me. That was the encouragement I needed to come out of
music hibernation and give my musical gifts a more prominent place in my life.
I even made a concert documentary about it. The point is, if you’re lucky
enough to have someone go out of their way to tap you on the shoulder and say,
hey, you should do something with this; if you’re fortunate enough to have
someone stand beside you as you stare into the abyss and whisper into your ear,
come on man, just keep going, don’t keep it a secret. Never be bashful about
making your believer aware of their impact.Who
are your beacons of encouragement?



Anchor meaning
onto every experience.
Frankl had it all wrong. There is no search for meaning.
Meaning is made, not found. Anything can be a meaning making opportunity
because anything can provoke the psychological experience of meaning, as I
learned from my favorite existentialist. It’s simply a matter of intention.
Thoughtfulness. Cognitive positioning. Going out of your way to frame your
experiences as meaningful. Creating a sense of eventufulness in everything you
do. That’s what makes regret an impossibility. This daily practice is my
literally my religion. The word religion, after all, derives from the word
meaningto link back.Therefore, my
religion is the one thing in my life that all the other things in my life link
back to. And so, my meaning making mission is the primary organizing principle
of my life. It’s even fleshed out on a physical list that I keep in front of me
at all times. This a helpful framework that reminds me how I’ve established a
level of order for everything that’s meaningful to me. That way, anytime I’m
feeling angry or empty or said, instead monitoring my mood, I make my meaning.
It’s as simple as picking a line item from the list. Because I know that how I
construe meaning dictates how I will live my life. As my mentor advised, we
need to embrace the idea of meaning as a renewable resource and, as a
consequence of that, look forward to each new day as an opportunity to make
meaning. Not to search for it. Not to seek it out. To create it.What might become available when you shift
from seeking meaning to making it?


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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 2016-2017.

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

Activating greater emergence in your life

A popular personal development exercise is to draw a pie chart that divides your life into six or eight or ten equal categories, assign yourself a rating on how fulfilled you are in each area, then keep a journal of your daily progress and ultimately approach enlightenment and balance. 

I’ve done those exercises many times, and I believe they’re useful tools for reflection and awareness and growth. 

But mostly on paper. Because despite our basic human need for unity and order and completeness, real life can’t be compartmentalized into a set of tidy little categories. No matter how much power and control we think we have by imposing clearly defined parameters on daily existence, life is just not that simple. 

Instead, we learn not to fight it. We step into the vulnerability of breaking down barriers. And what we discover is, by allowing the overlap of all life aspects, there is an increase in opportunity flow. The combination of unrelated relationships and passions and endeavors and activities start to intermingle and create something new and exciting that never would have existed on its on. 

Physicists call this phenomenon emergence, in which disparate things come alive when their elements are integrated into one another. It’s deeply liberating, not to mention, relaxing and satisfying. It makes life feel whole. Complete. Integrated. And when once we give ourselves permission to allow every part of our lives to become intertwined, we realize that we’re actually experiencing life instead of trying to manage it. 

Here’s an example from my own experience. I’ve been writing songs for more than twenty years. It’s one of the most meaningful creative endeavors in my life. But music was always something I saved for myself. It was an escape. A way to hide from the world. Besides, the material was way too personal. Too bloody. To precious to be subjected to the cruel ear of the world. 

And so, I committed to keeping my music to myself. Until one day, my wife encouraged me to finally make my songs available for public consumption. She said it was out of music hibernation, once and for all. 

To my delight, that decision sent out ripples into every area of my life. I made new friends and reconnected with old friends and diversified my business and added new value to clients and created additional income streams and expanded my repertoire of meaning making activities. 

All because I stopped compartmentalizing my life and started actually living it. 

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How might you activate greater emergence in your life?

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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 2016-2017.

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

Assuring your concentration doesn’t become erratic

I was walking down one of the busiest
streets in one of the busiest cities in the world, when I saw man juggling. Not
on the corner, but in motion. He was walking, briskly, jamming out on his
headphones, while keeping three balls in the air, for seven straight blocks. 

I
watched him the entire time, and no matter how many pedestrians, vehicles,
pigeons, delivery guys, police officers, bike messengers, hot dog vendors and
wide eyed tourists that he passed, the balls never dropped. 

It was a thing of
beauty. But also a powerful reminder. Because when you practice with
distractions, you learn to fight for your life. You train yourself to deal with
less than perfect conditions. And you insure yourself against the external
forces that aim to deter you from your high performance path. 

Animal owners are
taught to do the same. Training manuals explain that early exposure to a wide
variety of stimuli will result in a steady dog that is better able to deal with
aural, visual and olfactory distractions. They even suggest turning on the
television and scattering food on the floor and leaving smelly socks in the
corner to assure that your dog becomes more consistent and reliable. 

It’s no
different for humans. If we are to enhance our level of concentration and
focus, we must intentionally try to disrupt ourselves. 

I learned thisbuskingin the park.
Each week when I preform, my music is met with a barrage of distractions, from
car horns to ambulance sirens to security trucks to barking dogs to punk ass
kids to screaming babies to urinating hobos. 

Initially, it was quite frustrating
and jarring. But after the first few months of playing, I began to embrace it.
Because I trusted that the distractions were making me a stronger performer. They
were assuring that my concentration didn’t become erratic when it mattered most. 

And so, whatever type of performer you are, find a way to mentally and
physically prepare for unusual events. Periodically incorporate distractions into
your preparation rituals and learn how to quickly and quietly cope with them. 

You
might set multiple alarms on your phone to go off during rehearsal. You might have
friend to sit the room and try to throw you off your game. You might play heavy
metal music in the background while you recite your lines. You might cover your
floor with toys and props to practice embracing physical obstacles. 

Whatever
technique you employ, the goal is to be able to find the inner focus that
exists regardless of the external environment. That’s where true showmanship is
born. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS…

How could you become so accustomed to stress, distractions, and pressure, that they no longer phase you?

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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 2016-2017.

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

Practice being kind to yourself in small, concrete ways

It’s human nature to be self critical. 

Doing so taps into the threat defense system. Every time we attack ourselves, the fight or flight response triggers the release of stress hormones, the very chemicals that evolved to help our species survive. 

To paraphrase the great playwright, above all things, criticize thyself. 

But although it’s a useful arrow in our motivational quiver, there comes a point where chastising ourselves works in reverse. It actually begins to sabotage our own happiness. 

The more time I spend with fellow artists, the more I’m reminded just how mean and dismissive and critical and judgmental we can be of ourselves. It’s like a superpower. In fact, if people talked to others the way they talked to themselves, nobody would have any friends. 

And yet, we assume that’s what we need to succeed. We believe that if we just beat ourselves up enough, we’ll actually change for the better. But it’s not. Hating ourselves does not make us interesting. And there is no proof that self induced hardship brings us closer to what we want. 

One of the things I’ve been practicing is being kind to myself in small, concrete ways. I allow myself to have a budget for that which delights me. I give myself permission to wake up on a workday without an alarm. I reward myself for a job well done with a delicious treat. 

Each of these micro acts of compassion makes me feel safe, supported, secure and satisfied. They’re not expensive or time consuming or guilt inducing. They’re just kind. 

Remember, loving yourself is not an indulgence. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS…

Are you putting yourself at the top of your own list?

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For a copy of the list called, “11 Things to Stop Wasting Your Time On,” send an email to me, and you win the list for free!

* * * *

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 2016-2017.

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

That’s not creating, that’s hiding

Inspiration is critical to the creative process, but it’s not a replacement for it. 

I recently met a woman who admitted she spent all her spare time watching documentaries about famous people being creative, hoping to get inspired by their tales of taking action. 

Which was an intelligent strategy for stoking the artistic fire, but unfortunately, that’s where the work ended. She never took initiative to launch anything herself. Meanwhile, she rationalized her time spent with the excuse that she was getting motivated. 

Yet another example of procrastination in disguise. Peripheral activities that serve our thinking needs, but are really just dodges we use to avoid doing any real work. When the reality is, relying on the osmosis of other people’s desire won’t get our art made any faster. That’s like reading about pushups and expecting to get stronger. 

Psychologists call this phenomenon substitution, whereby we do something that feels real in our mind, which convinces us that it’s real in the world. Like the aspiring artist who makes grandiose pronouncements about his creative goals, just so other people acknowledge his efforts and trick him into believing he’s actually done the work to accomplish them. 

That’s not creating, that’s hiding. 

If we want to get on with the real work of making real art in the real world, we need to create something from whole cloth. Something that’s ours. Something that shows people how we see life. Otherwise we’re just sitting around, getting inspired all day. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS…

Do you need to watch another documentary, or go do something that’s worth making a documentary about?

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For a copy of the list called, “11 Ways to Out Market the Competition,” send an email to me, and you win the list for free!

* * * *

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 2016-2017.

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

The pause that refreshes

Frankl once said that between stimulus and response, there is a space, and in that space is our power to choose our response, and in our response lies our growth and our freedom. 

In the emotional intelligence canon, psychologists refer to this as response flexibility, which is the ability to think twice, to pause before responding, leading to reflective functions instead of reflexive ones. 

And so, rather than reacting immediately as you normally would, you pause for a moment and choose how to respond. You put a temporal space between input and action, restrain your impulses long enough to consider various options for response. 

Anytime I catch myself regressing back to negative, scarcity based, shortsighted thinking about money and earning and income, I remember that I have the freedom not to worry. And that a little education might show me that there is no need to panic. 

And so, instead of spiraling into panic mode, canceling various monthly subscriptions and cashing in my change drawer and selling old clothes and vowing never to go out to dinner again, I start by reciting a few mantras. 

I am earning a good living from my art. I am ready for the money that is waiting for me. I always have plenty of money to do the things I want to do. 

Next, I review the critical snapshots of my business, including accounts receivable, travel schedule, client load, lead pipeline, professional network, project calendar, bank balances and other positive reinforcements of success. 

Then, I lock into money making mode and start strategizing about potential income streams, new markets to exploit, upcoming creative opportunities and other avenues for to creating value in the world. 

This sequence of activities floods my system with positive brain chemicals, enables feelings of gratitude and abundance and prosperity, and ultimately reminds me that the world is not going to end. 

Proving, that the willingness to educate ourselves regarding our options can bring us to a state of calm. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS…

What is the pause that refreshes you?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…

For a copy of the list called, “11 Ways to Out Market the Competition,” send an email to me, and you win the list for free!

* * * *

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 2016-2017.

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

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