Give yourself an apparatus of emotional accountability

The problem with a diary is, it’s private. 

Which means we can hide. Even if our words are raw and honest and bloody and real, with a diary, the risk and vulnerability and intimacy associated with sharing our truth with the world have all been eliminated from the equation. 

It’s just more winking in the dark. 

Not to minimize the importance of privacy and the value of keeping a diary. Studies have been done, books have been written and lectures have been given about the creative, therapeutic and cognitive affects of keeping a private record of one’s thoughts. 

I wrote in journals for decades and found the practice to be comforting, liberating and enlightening. 

But nothing beats bearing your soul in public. The daily practice of naming your shit, claiming your shit, letting the world into your closet, leaving yourself nowhere to hide and living life unguarded, that’s the stuff of true liberation. 

If you’re in public, making predictions, noticing things, revealing your deepest fears, admitting your mistakes, pining for truth and processing your emotions, your life gets better. Period. 

Because you’ve painted yourself into an honest corner. You’ve given yourself an apparatus of emotional accountability. 

It’s terrifying, but that’s the whole point. If what you’re about to say and sharing does not make you anxious, you are not building intimacy. 

My mentor used to tell me, before publishing anything, always ask yourself:

What risk do we run in presenting this material? 

Hurting people’s feelings? 

Being seen as imperfect and human? 

Alienating and polarizing readers? 

Disqualifying myself from future job opportunities? 

Becoming an outcast from the herd? 

Tarnishing my precious little reputation as an expert who has all the answers? 

Demonstrating the world that happiness isn’t always easy for me? 

Watching all of my cherished friends and family members abandon me because right here, right now, it has suddenly occurred to them that I’m an unlovable creep who deserves nothing? 

What do you risk in presenting this material? It’s not a writing mantra, it’s a life mantra. 

Just bear it. The thing that makes loving you impossible is the thing that wants to live. 



LET ME ASK YA THIS…  

How could you build an apparatus of emotional accountability?

* * * *

Scott Ginsberg

That Guy with the Nametag

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

scott@hellomynameisscott.com

www.nametagscott.com

Buy my latest devotional! 


A Year in Hot Yoga: 365 Daily Meditations for On and Off the Mat


Now available wherever books are sold.

Namaste.

The grip of scarcity squeezed my heart

I have an entrepreneur friend whose business operates at a snail’s pace. 

Each of her projects take several months concept, several more months to incubate, and in many cases, several years to execute. 

Which isn’t abnormal for a small business owner, it’s simply the polar opposite of my own creative personality. 

Personally, my approach is to aim for volume, not accuracy. To ship things impatiently, imperfectly and prolifically until I fall asleep or develop carpel tunnel syndrome. 

In an effort to further remind myself that not everybody is just like me, I wondered why her work traveled at the speed of molasses. Because I suspected there were excuses undergirding my friend’s blanket justification of procrastination. There always are. 

Procrastination is the symptom, not the problem. 

What happened next surprised me. She said:



I under resource myself to relate to the world as scarce. 

What a fascinating revelation. Imagine how many of us entrepreneurs allow our projects to stall and drag because we’ve contracted ourselves into a state of scarcity. 

It’s the classic fallacy of playing small. Evaluating our work too narrowly. Eschewing growth out of integrity for our humble origins. Publicizing our sacrifices to impress others with how little we need. And depreciating and downplaying our gifts, talents and dreams for the fear of making too much of a ruckus. 

Which isn’t to suggest scaling is a panacea. But choosing to be less helps nobody. Operating form a place of scarcity, the deep belief that no matter how much we do and have, it’s still not enough, helps nobody. 

True satisfaction is the feeling that there’s a fullness in our lives rather than emptiness. 

Let’s turn off our modesty filters, just for today, instead of getting tangled in our own false humility. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS…  

Do you abundantly believe that you have enough, even in the wilderness of an uncertain future?

* * * *

Scott Ginsberg

That Guy with the Nametag

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

scott@hellomynameisscott.com

www.nametagscott.com

Buy my latest devotional! 


A Year in Hot Yoga: 365 Daily Meditations for On and Off the Mat


Now available wherever books are sold.

Namaste.

The race to win turns all of us into losers

Kohn’s definitivecritiqueof competition gave language to a deep belief I’ve held my entire life, but could never clearly articulate. 

He argues that we have a competitive code in our chromosomes. The frantic scramble for position, prestige, profit and power is hardwired into us. Our biological roots tell us that life is fundamentally a competition, and we must construe our world in win or lose terms. 

As such, we’ve crafted a society that trains people to treat coworkers as adversaries. To triumph over others and regard them as obstacles to our own success. 

Resistance to competition is otherwise viewed as suspicious an unamerican. 

In fact, there is no corner of our lives that is too trivial or too important to be exempted from the compulsion to rank ourselves against one another, he writes. There’s no place for sentiment, it’s a matter of survival. We crave the sweet but ignoble satisfaction that we are better than someone else. 

But the irony, of course, is that it’s just a coping mechanism. A clever form of self soothing. Because while competing, we overcome the fundamental doubts about our capabilities. 

While competing, we stave off the persistent, pronounced sense that we are fundamentally no good. While competing, we taste perfection, assert our freedom and triumph over death, experiencing a form of existential affirmation.

Consider the office mate who treats people as invisible, as long as she gets what she wants. She looks at others every day as if to say

You are my rival, you are an it to me, an object, something I use for my own ends. 

But her desperate struggle of treating approval as a scarce commodity and turning love into a kind of trophy that must obtain at the expense of someone else ruins it for everybody. 

The race to win turns all of us into losers. 

I don’t actually have a point here. It’s just relieving to know that life doesn’t have to be an endless succession of contests. 

That daily existence doesn’t have to be structured upon the need to be better than. 

Kohn’s research reassured me that competition need never enter the picture in order for our skills to be mastered and displayed, and for our goals to be set and met. 

Thank god. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS…  

Are you fueled by the competitive edge, or the compassionate one?

* * * *

Scott Ginsberg

That Guy with the Nametag

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

scott@hellomynameisscott.com

www.nametagscott.com

Buy my latest devotional! 


A Year in Hot Yoga: 365 Daily Meditations for On and Off the Mat


Now available wherever books are sold.

Namaste.

Believe that your struggle is valid

The worst thing you can do is tell yourself that your pain is not important. 

That your struggle is not valid. 

Come, now. Have some respect for your own suffering. Give weight to what happened to you. And if at all possible, find safe places to share it. Find ways to use your pain in a way that benefits other people. 

Because the other destructive lie we tell ourselves is that we have nowhere to turn. 

And it’s simply not true. No path in life is entirely free of suffering. Regardless of how big or small or traumatic or innocuous our pain might feel to us, we have to believe that our struggle is valid. We have to remember that there are hundreds if not thousands of other people in the world who have experienced the exact same thing as us. 

People who have a parallel language to something we are already feeling. 

Gilbert put it best in her book about the joy and struggle of the creative process.

Pain renders our life narrow and thin and isolated. Our suffering takes this whole thrilling gigantic universe and shrinks it down to the size of our own unhappy head. 

That’s what the struggle does to us. We become so alienated that we forget we’re not alone. 

And so, we owe it to ourselves and to the people in our lives to go out of our way to honor the part of ourselves that is not satisfied with a life of estrangement and isolation. 

Thinking back to every support group, mastermind meeting or discussion meetup I’ve attended, the takeaway was always the same. 

Sometimes all we need is an ounce of not alone. 



LET ME ASK YA THIS…  

What networking of human healing is your anchor during painful times?

* * * *

Scott Ginsberg

That Guy with the Nametag

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

scott@hellomynameisscott.com

www.nametagscott.com

Buy my latest devotional! 


A Year in Hot Yoga: 365 Daily Meditations for On and Off the Mat


Now available wherever books are sold.

Namaste.

People don’t need advice, they need accountability

Failure to execute is rarely due to a lack of internal knowledge, but a lack of external pressure. 

Most people know exactly what they need to do. They just need another human being to create a greater sense of expectation around doing it. 

And so, next time you notice a friend, coworker or employee struggling to finish their project, try this. 

Instead of rushing in as the lord of answers to impart another empty motivational slogan like just do it, simply ask that person to email you a sample by the end of the week. 

That way, you’re not charging into their suffering with certainty and answers, you’re appealing to the fundamental human desire to not let someone down. You’re putting them on the hook. You’re putting yourself on the hook. 

Which isn’t guaranteed to provoke anyone into action, but at the very least, it radiates a spirit of care and attention. Even if it doesn’t necessarily require you to intervene. 

Block’s inspiring book on creating a strong and connected communities reminds us that advice is a surrender of sovereignty. In giving into this request, he writes, we affirm people’s belief that they don’t have the capacity to create the world from their own resources. We support their escape from their own freedom. 

That’s our interpersonal mandate. 

People don’t need advice, they need accountability. 

Stop trying to drop knowledge and start trying to increase pressure. 



LET ME ASK YA THIS…  

What happened to the last person you gave advice to?

* * * *

Scott Ginsberg

That Guy with the Nametag

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

scott@hellomynameisscott.com

www.nametagscott.com

Buy my latest devotional! 


A Year in Hot Yoga: 365 Daily Meditations for On and Off the Mat


Now available wherever books are sold.

Namaste.

The only thing that needs fixing is our own filter

Toxic people don’t go away, won’t make exceptions, refuse to accept help, never learn their lessons, rarely modify their behavior, never take responsibility and seldom realize they’re doing anything wrong. 

They are the constants in the equation of human interaction. 

Which is an infuriating feature of reality, but the sooner we accept that we can’t change or fix people, we can only change and fix our responses to them, the freer we ultimately become. 

Let’s say there’s a toxic coworker at your office whose insufferable cynicism and spitefulness makes you want to punch a hole through your computer screen. 

Instead of secretly poisoning his morning coffee with cleaning fluid, stop and ask yourself a few questions. 

What is it about my personality that might be drawing me into this kind of relationship? What boundary did I fail to set? And what might I need to modify about my own style of relating to people to respond to this better? 

Because the only thing that’s worth fixing is our own filter. It’s not our job to teach people lessons, it’s our job to learn ours. 

I’m reminded of an interview with a trauma psychologist who said that the human body doesn’t respond to other people’s words, it responds to our history. And so, the emotional trigger that the toxic person is pulling probably has nothing to do with the present moment. 

Let’s you grew up with a neighborhood bully who made fun of you relentlessly. His words made you feel deeply insecure about almost every part of yourself, both physically and emotionally. 

Fast forward to twenty years later, and you end up working for a boss who reminded of that very bully. And so, every time he playfully but painfully prodded your deepest personal flaws in front of your coworkers, you instantly felt twelve years old. 

But instead of writing a strongly worded letter, or passive aggressively trying to get back at him through death by a million cuts, you accept it was your own filter that needed fixing, your own unresolved issues that still had work to be done. 

Perhaps that’s the beauty of toxic people. They invite us to take a closer look at ourselves. 

Because all healing journeys require us to uncover our past for each step forward we take. 

We have to stop being angry at the little parts of ourselves that we haven’t made peace with yet.



LET ME ASK YA THIS…  

Are you still walking around the world with an untreated condition?

* * * *

Scott Ginsberg

That Guy with the Nametag

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

scott@hellomynameisscott.com

www.nametagscott.com

Buy my latest devotional! 


A Year in Hot Yoga: 365 Daily Meditations for On and Off the Mat


Now available wherever books are sold.

Namaste.

Crafting a life that matches your vision of principled living

There’s a significant difference
between being controlling and being in control of the quality of your life. 

One
is the obsessive need to exercise control over yourself and others and take
command of every situation. 

The other is the empowered efficacy of crafting a
life that matches your vision of principled living. 

One is an attempt to
dictate how everything is done around you through micromanaging perfectionism. 

The other is taking charge of our environment, aiming yourself in the direction
of your own creation and being smart about your relationship to meaning. 

I’m
reminded of a popular study on
temptation. Hoffman’s research showed that the people with the best
relationship with control were the ones who used their willpower less often. 

Instead of fending off one urge after another, he found, these people set up
their lives to minimize temptations. They play offense, not defense, using
their willpower in advance so that they avoid crises, conserve their energy and
outsource as much self control as they can. 

What a relief. Because ever since I
was young, I always thought there was something wrong with me. That my desire
to control the quality of my life and my characteristic unwillingness to
compromise was some kind of condition to be embarrassed about or medicated for. 

But it’s not. Look, life is chaotic and complicated. And so, I’m going to do
whatever I have to do to manage anxiety, set healthy boundaries, protect my
time, organize my daily existence and find vehicles through which I can exert
some measure of comfort over the course of my own lives. 

Otherwise I’m merely
floating through it, driven by the currents of the gods. No thanks. 



LET ME ASK YA THIS…  

Are you a control freak, or are you simply in control of the quality of your life?

* * * *

Scott Ginsberg

That Guy with the Nametag

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

scott@hellomynameisscott.com

www.nametagscott.com

Buy my latest devotional! 


A Year in Hot Yoga: 365 Daily Meditations for On and Off the Mat


Now available wherever books are sold.

Namaste.

Put the power where it should be

Most of us have the capacity to be kind and compassionate toward others, but when it comes to looking in the mirror, we’re much less forgiving. 

That relationship is far to antagonistic. 

Extending unconditional love for all the parts of ourselves is a terrifying prospect. 

I was attending a lecture series at my local coworking space when this very topic came up. The man next to me said:

We’re all addicted to our brokenness, to the story that we need to heal the parts of ourselves that are incomplete. And that’s why so few of us can get through the day without going on about what shit bags we are

His words were a wakeup call for me. They inspired me to get serious about putting an end to my ineffective and unhealthy responses. 

Whenever an undercurrent of resentment threatens to hold me in bondage and rob me of peace and joy, blotting out any pleasure I might have had, I know to recite the following mantra:



I love the part of you that… 

I love the part of you that’s flabby. I love the part of you that’s clumsy. I love the part of you that forgets your keys and has to ring the old lady on the third floor to schlep all the way down the stairs and let you into your own apartment. 

Seven simple words. 

I love the part of you that. 

It’s an elegant tool for extending unconditional positive regard to all the parts of myself. 

And so, if you’re doing something that creates guilt, it’s time to reevaluate your standards. 

Put the power where you should be. Before shame starts spilling out the side of your sneakers, learn to catch yourself when you’re falling. 



LET ME ASK YA THIS…  

Are you still angry at that little part of yourself that you haven’t made peace with?* * * *

Scott Ginsberg

That Guy with the Nametag

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

scott@hellomynameisscott.com

www.nametagscott.com

Buy my latest devotional! 


A Year in Hot Yoga: 365 Daily Meditations for On and Off the Mat


Now available wherever books are sold.

Namaste.

We don’t know we’re feeling something until we stop feeling it

Buffet’s most quotable piece of investment advice is, you don’t know who’s naked until the tide goes out. 

Meaning, in a recession, the weak will weed themselves out. The down economy will force companies to decide if their product is a necessity and test whether or not they deserve to be in business. 

That same insight applies to our inner lives as well. 

Because in many cases, we don’t know that we’re feeling something until we stop feeling it. Until the emotional tide goes out. It’s the law of contrast. 

Like the drunk who admits to his sponsor, I didn’t know I was an alcoholic until I stopped drinking. 

The challenge is, how do we give the fish a sense of the water? How do we come to terms with our emotional reality when we’re still in the thick of it? 

Connection, that’s how. Through an interpersonal account with another person. Because in that kind of transcendental healing atmosphere, we can’t hide and get lost and fool people. One on one, being naked and seen and known just for who we are, not worried about anything except this connection we have right now, that’s true safety. That’s the doorway to emotional truth. 

Without that encounter with intimate other, it’s almost impossible to get out of the water and into the light. 

When I think back to the many slumps and ruts and low points of my life, the ones that lasted the longest were the ones in which I remained isolated in my pain. 

Only when I reached out my hand and stepped into the vulnerability of being seen in my struggle did the real healing being. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS…  

Do you have a person you can refuel with to help you generate the emotional wherewithal to get out of your own way?
* * * *

Scott Ginsberg

That Guy with the Nametag

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

scott@hellomynameisscott.com

www.nametagscott.com

Buy my latest devotional! 


A Year in Hot Yoga: 365 Daily Meditations for On and Off the Mat


Now available wherever books are sold.

Namaste.

Smash down the mysterious doors of the impossible

Few skills are more underrated than knowing how to approach an overwhelming task. 

It’s one of those universal human experiences that each of us confronts at numerous points in our lives. 

But the good news is, even though the undertaking in front of us can feel like building a brick wall to infinity, that doesn’t make it impossible. Difficult and scary and overpowering and dreadful, but not impossible. 

Since starting my own publishing company college, I’ve had dozens of projects and jobs and experiences that initially appeared impossible to me. In many situations, I couldn’t shake the overwhelming malaise that had engulfed me. 

But over time, my relationship to impossibility began to evolve. I realized that anything is impossible until we do it once. That if we assume something hard is impossible, we won’t even begin trying to achieve it. 

And so, whenever projects threatened to overwhelm my coping mechanisms, I executed an impossibility subroutine. A ritual to help ramp up my energy and snap myself into appropriate state of mind to approach the task. 

Not unlike a computer program, this sequence of instructions came packaged as a unit, which I could use in moments where a particular task needed to be performed. 

Here’s a case study. 

One of my clients tasked me with solving an overwhelmingly complex marketing problem for their new product, which was baby food. Not exactly my area of expertise. But thanks to my impossibility subroutine, I was able to unpack this challenge smoothly. 

The first step was to turn on my customized playlist. Because I know which songs are guaranteed to relax and inspire and energize me. These tunes served as associative triggers that echoed the habits of action and allowed me to lock into my creative zone. 

The next step was to organize my blank canvases, both digitally and physically. From software programs to dry erase boards to oversized sketchbooks, these tools liberated my imagination and gave me permission to think visually and holistically. 

The last step was building a simple spreadsheet to manage my project’s many tasks, resources, questions and timelines. This document satisfied my sense of order and helped quell the obsessive compulsive and controlling instincts from welling up inside of me. 

Within a few hours, the problem shifted from impossible to merely difficult. I thought to myself, I got this. Because I knew exactly what it took for me to focus. I knew exactly what my brain needed to feel like in order to attack this challenge. 

I’m reminded of the words of my favorite performance artist. Philippe says:



Focus is what allows you to reach beyond your normal abilities and cloaks your frequent intrusions into the domain of the impossible. But you have to have a lifelong complicity with concentration, he says. Otherwise the world cannot pour in freely. 

Remember that, and you’ll come away from your next project thinking nothing is impossible. 



LET ME ASK YA THIS…  

What steps comprise your impossibility subroutine? * * * *

Scott Ginsberg

That Guy with the Nametag

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

scott@hellomynameisscott.com

www.nametagscott.com

Check out my new book: 


A Year in Hot Yoga: 365 Daily Meditations for On and Off the Mat


Now available wherever books are sold.

Namaste.

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