Get a job where you don’t have to think

I have a friend who worked his way through nursing school washing store windows for nine bucks a pop. 

It wasn’t the most glamorous or lucrative or stimulating job, but it paid in cash, it gave him a good workout and, most importantly, allowed him to do something mindless for a few hours a day. 

Nursing, after all, is a deeply draining profession, both intellectually and emotionally. And so, washing windows allowed the part of his brain that controlled that function have free rein. It set him on automatic pilot. A sweet, liberating release from the bloody chaos of the clinical world. 

What a nourishing gift to give yourself. Especially if you’re engaged in a lengthy, challenging, dynamic and exhausting project. If you find yourself feeling like all the demands of the world have been placed on your thin and trembling shoulders, go do something where you don’t have to think. Work perpendicular to the task at hand with an activity or a task or an action that turns off the problem solving mechanism in your brain and just lets you be for a little while. 

Think of it as a field trip for your mind. A mental detour with no destination in sight. That way, when it’s time to reengage your creativity and intellect and emotions in the service of your meaning making efforts, you’ll feel rested, recalibrated, rejuvenated and ready to bite into the real work, once again. 

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What activity could you engage in to put your brain on automatic pilot? 
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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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A new phase of the spirit is preparing itself

According to an interview with a sleep expert and clinical professor of psychology at the most prestigious university in the country, between twenty and fifty per cent of people have had at least one academic anxiety dream in their lifetime. 

You know the one. It’s where you show up late to class for the final exam of and realize that you’re completely unprepared. 

I have this dream often. Typically when I’m anxious about some performance or project or in my waking life. And it always follows the same script. It’s the end of the semester and I have nothing to show for myself. No homework. No notes. Nothing. 

And so, I freeze. I feel helpless and overwhelmed. And just when I start scrambling my way back to conscientiousness, I wake up. Usually short of breath. At which point, I remind myself that it was all a dream and everything is going to be fine. 



What a way to start the day. 

What’s interesting, though, is that this dream can actually invert when you’ve recently completed a certain phase of development or growth in your life. I remember when I spent two days recording hours and hours of audio and video footage for my second music film. It was deeply fulfilling, creative and fun, but also exhausting and expensive and excessive. 

By the end of the weekend, I could barely function. But to my surprise and delight, the night we wrapped production, I had the opposite of an academic anxiety dream. 

This time, sitting at my desk, staring at the exam, I felt calm and relaxed and competent and confident and capable of using my skills to get the job done. I arrived early, I finished on time, and I enjoyed the process in between. My professor even pulled me aside after class to ask if I would consider being captain of his competitive problem solving team. 

No anxiety there. 

I snoozed my alarm four times just to go back under and see what happened next. 

The point is, not all exam dreams are frightening. Especially if your waking life is growing and moving forward and taking on new challenges. 



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What’s your most recurring dream?

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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!

They took up the cross I thought I was going to have to bear alone

Philippe’s compelling book on his creative process explains that to offer the most honest performance, he must be all alone. He must be prisoner of the fortress of his art. And so, he creates a giant wall around himself and, inside that wall, follows his honesty and intuition. 

I agree with his philosophy, but only eighty percent of the time. Because the other twenty requires collaboration. For years, I had it in my head that I must always work alone. 

But the reality is, it doesn’t make sense to be a singular unit. Brains need other brains. Trying to regulate by ourselves is like being trapped in a circle. We can’t survive alone, and even if we could, we wouldn’t want to. 

What I’m learning is, collaboration isn’t about compromise; it’s about ending up somewhere else. Somewhere different. Somewhere better. Somewhere we never could have gotten by ourselves. 

That’s my favorite part about executing creative projects with a team. Despite my control freak tendencies, despite my incurable individualism and despite my allergy to feedback, collaborating challenges me to expand the echo chamber of my own mind. 

It forces me to walk in alien worlds in order to see the project afresh. And it gifts me with the opportunity to see my own work through the eyes of another. 

That’s priceless perspective. And it doesn’t have to happen all day, every day. But anything less than twenty percent, and I don’t feel connected to the world in the way that I need to be to be the best version of myself. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS…

Whom are you asking to take up your cross with you?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 2016-2017.

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

A display of a lack of human regard

Respect doesn’t require extra time. 

Just intention and attention. And
that can be the different between a happy customer and an infuriated hater who
leaves a one star review online. 

Macinnis’s fascinating study about incivility found that customers are less likely to patronize a business that has
an employee who is perceived as rude. Something as simple as witnessing an
uncivil interaction can lead customers to negatively generalize about
employees, the organization, the brand and any future encounters with the
company. 

In fact, the study found that customers who experienced these moments
of incivility actually desired for revenge against the perpetrator. It’s called
deontic justice, which is a form of organizational fairness based on
what is the correct moral course of action for a company or an individual. 

For
example, after witnessing an uncivil interaction, say, between a floor manager
and a forgetful waitress, customers are more likely to spread negative word of
mouth about the restaurant and ultimately take their business elsewhere. 

Retail
businesses cannot overlook this reality. Because there’s always somebody
watching. 

And so, if we’re insensitive and disrespectful and rude to the people
we work with, that display of a lack of human regard will trickle down to the
bottom line. It doesn’t mean we have to love everyone we work with. Be we still have to respect them. Even when they screw up. 


Not acting how we feel doesn’t make us hypocrites, it makes us adults. 

Incivility, on the other hand, is the easy way out. 

Remember, each one of us is
accountable for our own happiness. Not just for the sake of our sanities, but
out of respect for the people we work with and work for everyday. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS…

How is your company mitigating against the detrimental effects of incivility?

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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 206: The Computer Scene from Willy Wonka

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 computer scene in Willy Wonka: 




Ideas evaporate unless they are massaged
into reality.
We can brainstorm ideas until we’re blue in the face. But
eventually, it comes time to stop creating and start judging. That’s what
separates the prolific innovator from the professional researcher. Their
ability to stop gathering data and think about what has been gathered. Their
capacity to shift neural gears in a hurry and click into a different zone at a
moment’s notice. Computers, unfortunately, cannot do this. They can’t tell you
where the next golden ticket can be found. Because what a computer does doesn’t
depend on how it’s built, but on the program fed into it. The good news,
however, is that human being can hone
this skill. It’s simply a matter of punctuation. Establishing a line of
demarcation. A microstructure that sets a boundary between gathering dating and
thinking about what’s been gathered. Recently I was writing my course
curriculum on being prolific. I reached the point where I had to transition
from conceptual, freestyle brainstorming to more technical, structured
outlining. And so, I used a centering sequence, which is a combination of deep
breathing and incantation. I recited specific language that supported my
intention to move in a certain direction, i.e., I am completely stopping, I
am ready to start judging.
I’ve used this tool multiple time each day for
many years, and I find it’s a way of making a full body announcement that I’m
entering into a different relationship with my mind. The ritual creates the
necessary space to find the organizing principle of an idea, which moves the idea
from word to flesh, from concept to reality.
How do you transition from creating mode to judging mode?



You have ruined my sense of reality. I just finished reading a novel about a husband who
kidnaps his wife for ransom. In the final chapter, there’s a powerful passage,
in which the woman comes to terms with her new reality. “It’s a big blow,
finding out a person isn’t who you thought they were, that the world isn’t the
way you thought it was. You’re living your life under certain assumptions, and
then you find out they’re all wrong. You thought you were walking on firm
ground, but you’re really walking through a swamp of shit.” I know that moment.
It’s sad and jarring you feel betrayed and you start to think you don’t
understand the world anymore. I’m reminded of when I quit my first job. I spent
an hour writing an earnest, thoughtful letter of resignation to my bosses,
thanking them for believing in me, even requesting a face to face meeting so I
could share my appreciation in person. Pretty professional, don’t you think?
The bosses ignored me for two weeks. Literally, not a word. No acknowledgement.
No exit interview. Just silence. Unbelievable. It really bothered me. I felt
empty and invisible. Not because I was expecting balloons and cake, but a simple
goodbye would have been enough. Jesus. Grant me that much. The point is, life
is full of disappointment. As much as we’d like to remove the teeth from the
cruel bite of reality, we can’t pretend that the world is different than it is.
But that shouldn’t keep us from doing our best to make sense of it all. Because
odds are, in the end, the majority of the tally marks will be in the win
column. Are you shielding yourself from
the sharp edges of reality?



Deep in the
throes of delusion.
Most artists and creators and inventors spend their days
alone in a room with nothing but their minds to rely on. In fact, most of them
will attest, you have to be a little
deluded to stay motivated. Because if you cannot delude yourself into thinking
your work is significant, you should probably find another career. And if you
don’t think what you’re creating is the greatest thing that ever was, if you
haven’t convinced yourself that your ideas are legitimately going to change
people’s lives forever, you’re finished. It’s grandiose, but it’s also part of
the job description. Nobody stands at foot of an unblazed trail without a few
mental abnormalities. A certain level of healthy narcissism and productive
arrogance are required to thrive. And so the question is, how do you know
when your inventory of deceptions is dangerously imprisoning your creative
potential, or when it’s actually buttressing your ideas for the better? Sadly,you don’t. Uncertainty is part and
parcel of the creative process. Every new idea is just another public bet with
your imagination. Consider history’s greatest innovators. Bell didn’t do market research before he invented the
telephone. Jobs didn’t hold focus groups before he changed the music industry
forever. Ford didn’t give his customers the faster horse that they asked for. And yet, each
of their creations changed everything. Because these innovators operated from received wisdom, not perceived expertise. They knew that nobody knows what nobody wants until
they actually see it. Proving, that all we can do as creators is trust our
instincts. We can have faith that with every new idea we have, with every new
project we execute, and with every new dimension we add to our being, our
powers of perspective and judgment and contextual understanding will deepen. And
we can hope that when our delusions take us too far, the people we love will
help bring us back to earth.How do you know when you’re being delusional, and when
everyone else is wrong and they just can’t see it yet?

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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!

Buddha is not your brand manager

Apatow receives widespread criticism for making comedies that are tool long. 

Viewers and critics alike argue that most of his films could be cut down by about thirty to forty minutes a piece. 

And yet, the director couldn’t care less about people’s opinions. Because he’s the writer, director and producer of his films, and he can do whatever he wants. He answers only to himself. In fact, he explained the reasoning behind the length of his films during a recent interview. Judd said:

My movies are a just version of creative hoarding. They’re so long because I can’t let anything go. 

That’s inspiring to me. Here’s an artist who’s honest about his emotional attachment to his work. A man who openly admits his unwillingness to discard what he’s created. 

It’s a reminder that there’s no attachment police that’s going to put us under arrest for clinging to something that’s important to us. We’re adults. We can do whatever we want. 

Buddha famously said that the root of suffering is attachment, but he’s not our brand manager. That’s canonical literature, not creative law. It’s a paragon of virtue beyond where any of us really live. 

Non attachment is a fine idea, but it’s also one of those ideas with a halo around it, something that is an undisputed good. 

Don’t let the world convince you that less is always more. Sometimes more is more. Cling to whatever you want. Pruning is for gardeners.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…

What’s your favorite strategy for trapping yourself into doing your own thinking?



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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!

Trap yourself into doing your own thinking

Thanks to the technological trappings in which our culture has dressed itself, we’ve officially stopped thinking. 

Because we’re too occupied with responding. 

With so many thousands of messages and signals and pings and notifications demanding our attention, it’s a wonder anything gets done at all. 

The sad part is, quality hasn’t risen commensurate with volume. Eighty percent of the information we respond to is completely unnecessary. And that’s being generous. Consider the number of emails you delete on a given day. 

However, we’re not completely zombified just yet. There’s still hope for the human brain. We just have to go out of our way to trap ourselves into doing our own thinking. 

I recently spent two full days sequestered in a windowless courtroom, waiting around to be selected for jury duty. And it could have been an sterile, meaningless experience. But instead, I treated it as an opportunity to form some thoughts. About topics I wouldn’t have normally considered. In an environment that I didn’t typically frequent. 

And it was fascinating. In fact, it was quite liberating. Because without mobile service or television screens or wifi access, there was nothing to respond to. And all I could do was think. Who knew such a simple act would become a designer crusade? 

That’s the culture we’ve crafted for ourselves. Toffler was right when he predicted that the future was rapidly articulating itself, much faster than our constitutions could handle. 

Perhaps it’s our job to make sure we’re doing more than just responding to stimuli. 

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What’s your favorite strategy for trapping yourself into doing your own thinking?
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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!

Nature’s broad theatre of business influence

Farmers know that all ground needs
occasional change and invigoration to becoming fertile. 

That’s why they
invented crop rotation. It balances soil fertility, avoids diseases, blocks
pests, increases organic matter content, decreases weed stress, keeps the farms
under continuous production and ultimately provides the land with fallow time
to enrich it with real rest. 

What’s interesting is when you look at the business
applications of this concept. Because in the new economy, the pendulum has
swung back to its hunter gatherer origins. 

Now we’re all farmers. We’re all diversified portfolio workers. We’re all
building careers on individual small holdings of land. We’re all collecting
lots of eggs in lots of baskets. 

Which means, crop rotation has never been more
important. And if we’re not willing to let the land go fallow from time to
time, we can become vulnerable to breakdown, burnout and in some cases,
bankruptcy. 

Musicians experience their own version of crop rotation. They transition
out of compositional mode and into performance mode, where the goal isn’t to
create new songs, but to master the songs they’ve already written. 

And that’s
challenging. Because sometimes when you’re on stage, all you can think about is
getting back into the studio. Or vice versa. 

The point is, you accept both
modalities. Not as contradictions, but opposites that need to be balanced
continually. 

You rotate the crops in service of the sustainability of the land.
You do what needs to be done to keep the farm under continuous production. 



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What’s your version of crop rotation? 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 2016-2017.

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

Contain the damage by planning for it in advance

The scary part about it anxiety is, sometimes you’re too overwhelmed to figure out what to do about the problem. 

Ask anyone who’s ever suffered a panic attack or an anxiety episode or a depressive spiral, reaching out for help when you’re despondent is like making a phone call when you’re vomiting. It just doesn’t seem physically or emotionally possible. 

The secret, then, is to plan for catastrophe in advance. To contain the damage by anticipating it when you’re in a calm, cool state. That way, you can execute when the pressure is on. Because you have already created a menu of things to do when a trigger approaches.

I had a friend in college with severe diabetes. And on the rare occasion when his blood sugar plummeted, he would race into his dorm room, open his left desk drawer, whip out an emergency juice box and chug it until his glucose level spiked. 

It was a sight to behold. Despite the overwhelming feelings that accompanied his hypoglycemia, he knew exactly how to handle the situation. Cody was a master at handling incoming catastrophe. He had no choice. Diabetes is serious business. 

But then again, so are anxiety and depression. Mental health is no joke. And so, whether the pain is biological, emotional, existential or psychological, it’s always helpful to have a contingency plan in place. A reservoir of different tools to help you manage the damage. A portable tool kit to allow you to respond to whatever feelings might arise. 

And the best part is, it can be customized to your specific needs. An effective contingency plan contains whatever strategies and remedies and techniques are healthy, meaningful and effective for your unique experience. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS…

How do you handle incoming catastrophe?

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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!

A failure of emotional regulation

I recently read a study about the impact of procrastination’s on the workplace. 

Ferrari’s research assessed over twenty thousand people and found that procrastination was statistically associated with lower salaries, lower well being, shorter durations of employment and a greater likelihood of being unemployed.

But what’s truly revelatory about the study is, researchers found that procrastination wasn’t merely a failure of professional execution, but a failure of emotional regulation. 

Turns out, the real reason people procrastinate is in attempt to avoid the anxiety or worry aroused by a difficult task. Instead of doing the work, we engage in activities aimed at repairing our mood, like taking a nap or eating a snack or checking our inbox or calculating our social media likes. 

Whatever it takes to get our shot of dopamine. 

But this pattern, which psychologists call giving in to feel good, actually makes procrastinators feel worse later, when they face the consequences of missing a deadline or making a hasty, last minute effort. 

And so, in those moments when we experience the urge to procrastinate, we might ask ourselves what feelings we’re trying not to feel. What emotions we’re trying to suppress. 

Because once we name them, we can claim them. And once we claim them, we can set them aside and activate a real and healthy mood boost, namely, one that comes from doing something we intend to do. From the pride of having lived up to our expectations for ourselves. From making meaning in accordance with our values. 

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For the list called, “99 Ways to Think Like an Entrepreneur, Even If You Aren’t One,” 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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