Murdering the spirit of right action

Many of us come from a family tradition where people are taught to do inner work. Where the journey into the infinite depths of our own interior is always viewed as a meaningful activity. 

As a result, we often take for granted just how much reflection we really do. Not everybody has the time or temperament, and so it’s something worth being grateful for. 

But although the mind is a safe haven from the whirling chaos and madness of the rest of the world, certain times are better suited for action than contemplation. And if we spend too much time disappearing inside our own heads, we’ll murder the spirit of right action. 

That’s why keeping a victory log is such an essential daily practice. Because each time we make an entry, we’re always surprised and excited at the amount of satisfaction that comes. Each little step forward toward our goal is an inexpensive jolt of bliss, not unlike a hit of dopamine or serotonin. 

It’s the hard, exhilarating pleasure of action, and it’s an omnipotent cure for existential crises.

The secret, though, is circling back to reflection after the action is finished. Being willing learn and grow from whatever new truths our actions may reveal to us. That’s what enables our growth to catapult upwards. 

Cook’s pioneering research on spiral formations helped people first visualize this concept in the early nineteenth century. The spiral, he postulated, was fundamental to the structure of all living things. And the beauty is that was always growing, yet never covering the same ground, not merely an explanation of the past, but also a prophecy of the future; and while it defined and illuminated what had already happened, it also lead constantly to new discoveries. 

And so, it’s a balance. 

Action plus contemplation becomes the pathway to personal virtue. 



LET ME ASK YA THIS… 

Are you taking steps toward your goal, but also taking time to reflect upon the journey?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 2017-2018.

Email to inquire about fees and availability. Watch clips of 


The Nametag Guy in action here!


Protecting and strengthening your vision

I have a friend who designs aerial sequences for a traveling musical. 

She tells me that most of the cast’s highflying stunts are executed in the dark. 

And so, the stage performers are masters of adaptation, which is a term ocular physiologists use for the ability of the human eye to adjust to various levels of darkness and light. 

In fact, a critical part of their preparation includes daily routines of eye exercises to help protect and strengthen their vision. 

After all, vision is a muscle just like anything else. 

According to my friend, though, a cast member can only train their eyes so much. Good aerialists hit their marks because of superior vision, but also because of serious trust. 

That’s the other big muscle at work. 

Because when a cast member is soaring through the air, twenty feet above the stage, they not only must trust themselves, but also their fellow actors, their equipment, their audience, their crew, and of course, the universe. 

It’s the vision of the heart. Trust means engaging your intangible muscles to see what you need to see, even in the dark. 

Every profession has its own version of it. Young writers, for example, rarely get blocked because of their undersized talent, but because of their unripe temperament. 

The creative process requires a level of trust that they’re not used to holding. And they haven’t put in enough hours at the page to be able to surrender to the process. 

That’s the key distinction between somebody who’s been writing for five years and somebody who’s been writing for fifteen years. The veteran trusts her ability to sit down and respond to something. She trusts the totality of her own experience. She trusts that the words will be there when she needs them. She trusts that the forest of the imagination will provide. And she trusts that the person she already is will be enough to create what she wants. 

That’s the vision of the heart. And whether you’re on stage or at the page, it’s guaranteed to help you fly. 

But remember, it’s a muscle that can only be honed through daily practice. Through a dogged commitment to seek what is fresh, spontaneous and interesting in the same place you looked for it yesterday. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS… 

Do you believe trust is a muscle worth strengthening?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS… 

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 2017-2018.

Email to inquire about fees and availability. Watch clips of 


The Nametag Guy in action here!


One of the defining features of the human condition

Each of us has fundamental set of beliefs that are so ingrained in our society and culture and tribal history, that we hardly know they exist, much less examine the validity of them. 



And so, the moment an outsider questions something that we have already put away in our drawers, the whole house shakes. 



It’s part of the human survival mechanism. We reflexively press the delete button on anything that bumps up against our beliefs. Any evidence to the contrary is shunned as traitorous. Because the standing order of the species is:



Keep the spirits happy, keep the tribe’s nest warm and show allegiance to the clan



It’s just easier and safer and more comforting to stay full of crushing certainty. After all, if a person can just believe something, they don’t have to think for themselves. Who has the time to do that kind of work? 



Debono’s research on lateral thinking challenges this kind of rock logic. He suggests that a belief system is a way of perceiving the world that prevents us from testing the validity of that belief. And that absolutes, truth and certainty in our thinking habits are dangerous. 



Instead, he says, our goal is to be promiscuous in our pursuit of ideas. To remain open to the complete possibility of what might be. 



A helpful exercise for strengthening this muscle is to get together with a group of people and honestly ask each other the following question. 



What did you believe five years ago that now makes you wonder, what was I thinking? 



People’s answers will floor you. Including your own. Because we all outgrow some of our beliefs. We all place our faith in ideas that fail us. And we all hang onto opinions that are too convenient to be killed. 



This spiritual imperfection is one of the defining features of the human condition. 



But scrambling around with a hammer, trying to turn everything we find into a nail, that deflects us from accepting our humanity. Only when we stay open to the complete possibility of what might be, do we become what we really are. 



Peikoff, the legendary professor of philosophy, said it best:



Like every living thing, including in their own way the lilies of the field, a human being, if he is to gain his ends, must toil and spin. 



LET ME ASK YA THIS… 

What belief have you held on to that has out lived it usefulness in your life? 

LET ME SUGGEST THIS… 

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 2017-2018.

Email to inquire about fees and availability. Watch clips of 


The Nametag Guy in action here!


Immunity from astonishment for the rest of their lives

Before I moved to the second the largest city in the world, a friend who grew up here gave me a piece of advice that I’ll never forget.



When you live in this town, people will feed you with things that will make you feel bigger than you really are. Don’t let the skyscrapers fool you. 



Interestingly enough, I never found that to be true. In fact, I found the opposite to be true. 



Because when you first arrive in a city that’s perpetually cold, fast, rude and all knowing, it always feels like you came late to the banquet and were served up crumbs. Like your name is no more than a misprint. And no matter how hard you try to shed your cloak of invisibility, feeling genuinely seen is an exercise in futility. 



It’s nothing personal, it’s simply the nature of big city life. People don’t ignore you because they don’t care, they ignore you because they’ve seen everything. They’ve already heard and experienced things that have given them immunity from astonishment for the rest of their lives. 



Besides, they’re too busy getting ahead to care about you anyway. 



This social reality can be crippling to the ego. I’m reminded of a fascinating book about the history of status anxiety. Alain’s research suggests that the human ego can be pictured as a leaking balloon, forever requiring the helium of external love to remain inflame, and it’s ever vulnerable to the smallest pinpricks of neglect. 



That’s why we are lifted by the attentions of others and sunk by their disregard. To feel that we are taken notice of is among the most ardent desires of human nature. 



But the good news about feeling invisible is, it forces you to build an internal locus of worthiness. It makes you indifferent to what goes on in the minds of other people.



Because they’re not paying attention to you anyway.



Sweet, glorious liberation. Now you can spend less time looking over your shoulder and more time finding opportunities to do your best work. 



Sure beats feeling like a piece of riffraff on the tide of history destined to be washed away into a whirlpool of meaninglessness. 



LET ME ASK YA THIS… 

Whose opinion are you giving too loud a voice? 


LET ME SUGGEST THIS… 

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 2017-2018.

Email to inquire about fees and availability. Watch clips of 


The Nametag Guy in action here!


Taking in whole eyefuls and earfuls of words

Rand wasn’t only a brilliant writer, but a brilliant reader. 



She believed that every new idea we read should represent the beginning, not the end, of a thought process. And that if the ideas sound good, we should give them not merely a nod of approval, but hours of assiduous mental work. 



Proving, that writing and reading aren’t mutually exclusive activities. They’re part of the same creative continuum. 



The secret is redefining and expanding our notion of what reading is. Because it’s an activity that’s no longer limited to books. 



I think of it as inhaling inspiration. Refilling the reservoir. Mingling more intimately with our thoughts. Taking in whole eyefuls and earfuls of words and language and ideas, trapping our minds into doing their own thinking and slowly becoming aware of certain things we feel. 



That’s why I’m constantly scouring and learning and reading and annotating from any number of newspapers, blogs, publications, books, articles, songs, art pieces, podcasts, eavesdroppings, random conversations, street art, advertisements, pieces of garbage and other sources of inspiration. 



Not only because the process physically gives me an allergy of joy, but also because inhaling is critical to my success as a creator. 



Only when I treat everything as fair game, when I approach every shred of interesting grist as worthy of going into the mill, does my ability to creatively exhale reach its highest potential.



LET ME ASK YA THIS… 

Are you inhaling as much, if not more, than you are exhaling? 
LET ME SUGGEST THIS… 

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 2017-2018.

Email to inquire about fees and availability. Watch clips of 


The Nametag Guy in action here!


Our failures cease to weigh upon us so heavily

Failure is a beautiful thing. It’s what makes life a story. 



And if we’re willing to embrace it as a learning opportunity rather than treating it as a source of shame, success will not be far behind. 



But let’s not fetishize it. Let’s not dwell on our failures and beat ourselves up and become prisoners of our own mythologies. Because at some point, we have to let the past die so the future can take care of itself. 



Otherwise it will carve a neural pathway in our brains that reinforces inaction. 



I have an actor friend whose manager gives him the same piece of advice after every unsuccessful audition. 



Remember the past the way you need to. Erase all of your memories except for the great things that worked, and use those victories to build confidence and momentum for what’s next. 



It’s not selective attention, it’s strategic intention. Cognitive reframing. Telling yourself the story you need to hear to overcome rejection. 



And if you’re worried that doing so would mean not being completely truthful with yourself, wake up. Honesty isn’t always the best policy. 



As my favorite film director said: 



Human beings need their illusions to survive. They’re much happier when they let some lies into their lives.



Without the willingness to remember the past the way they need to, their failures will only weigh upon them that much more heavily. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS… 

Are you tell a small lie in order to achieve the bigger truth? 
LET ME SUGGEST THIS… 

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 2017-2018.

Email to inquire about fees and availability. Watch clips of 


The Nametag Guy in action here!


Trying to find the right words for things

What do you say when you don’t know what to say? 



Nothing. You say nothing. Because there’s nothing you can say. When somebody you love is bursting at the seams with pain and sadness and confusion and disappointment, there are no healing words to pave them like an avalanche of light. 



The best thing you can do is create a world of action. 



I have a friend who went through a messy breakup several years ago. Thankfully, her sister was the divine constant during the process. She was the faithful force who kept life stable and meaningful when things got a little too overwhelming. She was the safe haven from the whirling chaos and madness of the rest of the world. 



But when I asked my friend what made her sister so helpful, she summarized it as follows:

Don’t ask me how I’m doing, just do things that remind me of who I am. Take me to a cheesy movie. Invite me to go jogging in the park. Pick me up after work and let’s eat dinner at that hole in the wall burger joint we love. Because while everything around me is a reflection of how I’m a complete failure, the last thing I need is another accountability partner to call me once a week to check in and ask questions and give me advice and say that they know exactly how I feel. 



That’s creating a world of action. Standing as a compassionate witness to people’s pain. 



Next time somebody you love has their finger firmly pressed on the misery button, stop trying to find the right words for things. 



Instead, simply do things that remind them of who they are. 



LET ME ASK YA THIS… 

How will you support people when language fails you? 
LET ME SUGGEST THIS… 

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 2017-2018.

Email to inquire about fees and availability. Watch clips of 


The Nametag Guy in action here!


Sometimes you’re too bright for your own good

I read an intriguing news story about the diamond of the century. 



It was the largest stone found in the past hundred years, and the second largest stone found in history. 



But according to gemologists, the diamond was too big to value. Weighing in at over a thousand carats, the stone was so large that it didn’t fit into conventional scanners used to evaluate a stone’s potential worth. 



And so, the appraisers were stumped. They couldn’t make a final estimate of the gem’s incredible worth. What a terrible waste. 



But then again, what a curious lesson about the paradox of marketplace value. How sometimes we’re too bright for our own good. Sometimes we’re so huge and impressive and unique and multi faceted, that we become overwhelming to the people most likely to hire us. 



It’s so frustrating. We spend all this time and money and attention trying to make ourselves appear bigger than we really are, but it works against us. 



We become victims of our own greatness. And we deprive the world of our finest work. 



The challenge, then, in putting our gifts on display to generate marketplace interest, is to make their value approachable. Appraisable. 



Big enough to matter but small enough to win. 



LET ME ASK YA THIS… 

Are you too bright for your own good? LET ME SUGGEST THIS… 

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 2017-2018.

Email to inquire about fees and availability. Watch clips of 


The Nametag Guy in action here!


Peculiarity has its rewards, but also its costs

We live in a world that fetishizes
interestingness. 



The story we’re sold by the experts is, if we can just make
ourselves and our work different and quirky and weird and unique enough,
eventually, people will take notice and reward us with an avalanche of money,
sex and happiness. 



Which, in some cases might be true. But most of the time,
being interesting doesn’t guarantee anyone will be interested in you. In fact,
it can work in reverse. 



Ask any hiring manager in the world. The more
interesting a potential job candidate is, the more complicated they are. And
the more complicated they are, the more of a hassle they are for their future
boss. 



That’s why they never get hired. 



Noticed, sure. Talked about, maybe. But
hired, unlikely. 



Because nobody knows what to do with them. They represent
extra work. 



My resume, for example, is literally a work of art. I hired a
talented designer to visually render the full firepower of my professional
arsenal on a single page, in a way that would earn the attention of hiring managers,
educating them about how my unique skillset would create value for their
organization. 



That beautiful piece of paper got pushed to top of a lot of
piles. Hiring managers frequently said it was one of the most interesting resumes
they seen in years. 



But that’s often where the conversation ended. And we all
know why. 



Just because you’re interesting doesn’t mean they’re interested. 



Just
because you’re a freak doesn’t mean the circus can’t start without you.

Interesting people might get in the door, but only useful people who make
others feel safe, stay in the room. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS… 

How could you package your interesting gifts in plain wrapping so they don’t turn off the people you’re presenting them to?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS… 

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 2017-2018.

Email to inquire about fees and availability. Watch clips of 


The Nametag Guy in action here!


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