Wake up and receive the love that’s waiting

Saturday morning, a man receives a knock at this door. 

He answers and sees a jehovah’s witness smiling and holding a bible. 

“Hello, sir, do you mind if I come inside to talk for a bit?” 

To his surprise, the homeowner says yes and invites him in. A few minutes later, the man comes into the living room with some coffee and a bagel, sits down on the couch and says: 

“So, what did you want to talk to me about?”

And the jehovah’s witness responds:

“I don’t know, I never made it this far.”

The reason I love this joke so much is, it’s not about religion, it’s about rejection. It’s about how we can become so habituated to hearing no, that we don’t even know how to react to a yes. 

Because we’ve forgotten what it feels like to be accepted. It’s a foreign concept. 

And so, when it actually happens, we’re paralyzed with disbelief. 

Excuse me, but I must have misheard. I could have sworn you just said yes to me. 

It’s like when you’re a kid and you start repeating the same word over and over until it turns into gibberish. 

Thurber first pointed this out in his autobiography

I began to indulge in the wildest fancies as I lay there in the dark, such as that there was no such town, and even that there was no such state. I fell to repeating the word new jersey over and over again, until it became idiotic and meaningless. 

If you have ever lain awake at night and repeated one word over and over, thousands and millions and hundreds of thousands of millions of times, you know the disturbing mental state you can get into. 

There’s actually a scientific term for this moment. Semantic saturation is a psychological phenomenon in which repetition causes a word or phrase to temporarily lose meaning for the listener, who then perceives the speech as repeated meaningless sounds. 

Rejection works the same way. The avalanche of no scrambles our brain. 

And so, when we finally realize, wait a minute, these people aren’t just being nice, they actually like and trust and believe in me, we almost have to pinch ourselves to wake up and receive the love that’s waiting for us. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS…   

What word have you insulated your heart against hearing?

* * * *

Scott Ginsberg

That Guy with the Nametag

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

scott@hellomynameisscott.com

www.nametagscott.com


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They took the fork right out of my plastic

Belonging is the opposite of thinking that wherever you are, you would be better off somewhere else. 

And if you’re lucky enough to experience it, it’s one of the most joyous and liberating feeling in the repertoire of human emotion. 

Take it from somebody who struggled with belonging his whole life. 

Somebody who always felt like an alien staring into the window of the party. Somebody who wondered if there were any people in the world like him. 

In fact, every time I tried to join a new community of people, there was always a restless moment where I would be just waiting for somebody to ask me why I was acting weird. 

Until one day, there wasn’t. Nobody seemed to take issue with my little quirks. Because I finally found places that embraced the weirdness I had to offer. And I suddenly realized:

Oh wow, these people actually see me. Pinch me, slap me and throw cold water on my face. This is home. 

When you have felt so alone for so long, that sense of belonging feels like a warm hug. 

Brogan said it best in book about the geeks inheriting the earth:

Fitting in often means shaving off your unique edges, hiding and masking what defines you, discarding any behaviors or appearances or images that prompt others to question you or push away from you. Belonging, though, is about finding that place where you finally let out a deep breath you had no idea you were holding and feeling with great certainty that the people around you understand you. 

Proving, that home isn’t where we live, it’s where we’re understood. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS…   

How did you find the community that took the fork right out of your plastic?


* * * *

Scott Ginsberg

That Guy with the Nametag

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

scott@hellomynameisscott.com

www.nametagscott.com


Listen to the world’s only product development and innovation gameshow!


Subscribe today. Join out community of innovators, artists and entrepreneurs.  


Together we can solve real problems, brainstorm ridiculous inventions and build robust marketing strategies to help those ideas improve the world.


Your skeletons have been dancing behind you since day one

Cameron’s school of thought, which has been fundamental in my own development as an artist, promotes the idea that writing writes things

She says that as we move our hands across the canvas of our lives, we paint more vividly the brush strokes of our experience. Our transitions become more consciously wrought. And writing becomes transformative, alchemical, empowering and enlightening. 

Writing writes things. 

Through this mantra, I discovered creating to be a healing and spiritual act that opens up a safe space for me to construct my own paradigms and examine my own world views and explain my own life to myself. 

And now, I can write my way out of anything. 

That’s one hell of a superpower. 

However, not everyone embraces this concept. The paradox of creativity is, it’s not only a form of restoration, but also confrontation. 

That’s why blank canvases paralyze millions of people every single day. Deep down, the fear is, if we write about something, and god forbid, publish it for all the world to see, that means we can’t be angry at it anymore. Or sad about it. Or upset with it. 

After all, we did sit down to process and exorcise our feelings around it, which means there’s no more room for skeletons. 

No wonder creative blocks are so prevalent. Because most people don’t really want to abolish the thing that’s giving them trouble. 

That would mean they’d have to actually take responsibility. 



LET ME ASK YA THIS…   

What lies are your excuses guarding?

* * * *

Scott Ginsberg

That Guy with the Nametag

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

scott@hellomynameisscott.com

www.nametagscott.com


Listen to the world’s only product development and innovation gameshow!


Subscribe today. Join out community of innovators, artists and entrepreneurs.  


Together we can solve real problems, brainstorm ridiculous inventions and build robust marketing strategies to help those ideas improve the world.


Quieting the monster inside your head

Parkinson’s law, which states that work expands to fill the time available for its completion, creates an interesting predicament for artists. 

Because most of us work alone. And so, if we have a problem, we have all of the time in the world to obsess over it. There simply aren’t enough structures and constraints to keep our minds occupied. 

Whereas people working a more traditional career path, complete with bosses and employees and offices and performance reviews, can’t afford to spend their entire morning walking a hole in the carpet, mentally tormenting themselves about what a worthless piece of shit they are. 

There’s too much work to be done. 

Which isn’t to say we should stay busy all the time, avoiding difficult emotions and the exhausting work of regulating them, hoping time will magically heal our pain. 

But if we don’t have enough things to bite into, our own chewing can’t drown out our mind’s chatter. If we have nowhere to be and all of the time to get there, the freedom works against us. And if we don’t have an arsenal of activities to quiet our mental monsters, we’ll become exhausted from fighting back all the worse case scenarios inside our head. 

That’s one of the reasons yoga has been so transformative for me. Because I spend all day living inside my head. It’s in the job description. 

But when I walk into the yoga studio for those critical ninety minutes, all I can do is focus on my breathing and pay exquisite attention to my body. It’s too hot and too crowded and too intense to drift off to exile inside our head. And by the time class is over, every problem I walked into the room with has been washed away like a face drawn in the sand. 

The point is, every artist runs the risk of having too much freedom. Too much time to reflect and obsess and disappear down the rabbit hole of their own mythology. 

And so, next time the familiar clouds start to gather above your head, give that energy something else to do. Give it a project. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS…   

What will you do when you get tired of beating your head against a brick wall?

* * * *

Scott Ginsberg

That Guy with the Nametag

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

scott@hellomynameisscott.com

www.nametagscott.com


Listen to the world’s only product development and innovation gameshow!


Subscribe today. Join out community of innovators, artists and entrepreneurs.  


Together we can solve real problems, brainstorm ridiculous inventions and build robust marketing strategies to help those ideas improve the world.


In a dark time, the eye begins to see

In the field of ocular physiology, there’s a concept called adaptation, which is the ability of the eye to adjust to various levels of darkness and light. 

It’s a complicated process that involves body parts like pupils and rods and cones and photopigments. 

Let’s focus on one particular element of the vision process. 



The fact that our eyes adapt to bright light over a period of five minutes, but total dark adaptation takes many hours. 

Isn’t that interesting? It’s just the way the human body works. Nature is smarter than us, and it has its own tempo and flow of which we are only a small part. 

And so, no matter how many articles we read about hacking our night vision by wearing sunglasses, eating blueberry jam, exercising the retinas, sleeping with eye patches, avoiding direct exposure and popping zinc tablets, the smartest thing we can do is let our eyes adjust to the darkness naturally. 

Acclimation through simply relaxing in perfect darkness for twenty or thirty minutes. And trusting that our eyes will soon open to more radiant visions of life. 

This concept of adaptation also has implications far beyond that of the human nervous system. There’s also the challenge of adjusting to the darkness from an emotional standpoint. 

Because people have a tendency to try and taste the light before their time has come. Before they’ve mined the darkness for all the gifts it contains. 

Moore’s influential book on finding our way through life’s ordeals puts it best. 

If you give all your efforts to getting rid of your dark night, you may not learn its lessons or go through the important changes it can make for you

The goal, then, isn’t to panic and start scrambling our way back to the light, but to develop a spirit of adventure that allows us to feel at home in the darkness. 

Knowing that the things we uncover in that dark place might change us forever. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS…   

How much beauty might you be missing out on by trying to accelerate your night vision?

* * * *

Scott Ginsberg

That Guy with the Nametag

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

scott@hellomynameisscott.com

www.nametagscott.com


Listen to the world’s only product development and innovation gameshow!


Subscribe today. Join out community of innovators, artists and entrepreneurs.  


Together we can solve real problems, brainstorm ridiculous inventions and build robust marketing strategies to help those ideas improve the world.


The beauty of being second banana

I heard a fascinating interview between a comedian and his manager. 

Both agreed that although every artist wants his name in the title of the show, having top billing was a dangerous move. 

Because it means you’re the single point of success and failure for the project. After all, you’re the star of the show, which means you have to carry the plot like an albatross from scene to scene. And that’s a ton of pressure. 

On the other hand, being second banana on a sitcom, that’s the good life. Because all you have to do you walk into the scene, deliver punchline after punchline, and then exit stage left. 

It’s the same difference between running your own business and working for somebody else. 

When you’re the sole proprietor, you have no choice but to do everything. It comes with the job description. Which might sound thrilling at first, especially if you’re an anal retentive perfectionist control freak who demands to do everything his own way, but after ten or fifteen years of that, it gets exhausting and unsustainable. 

Having to be responsible for operations and finance and customer service and sales and marketing and management, holy smokes, that’s a lot of hats to wear. 

It’s like my entrepreneur turned corporate employee friend once said:

Now I work full time, but when I ran my own business, I worked all the time.

I’m reminded of brilliant satire article about the pros and cons of freelance employment. One of the items on the list was that freelancers are able to set their own work/searching for work balance. 

That perfectly sums up the entrepreneurial lifestyle. There is no downtime. Every day you’re fighting for your life, because everyday might be your last. 

But hey, at least you get to have your name in the title of the show, right? 

What an ego trap. In a world where millions of people are quitting their comfy day jobs to start their own risky businesses and become their own bosses, being second banana never sounded so good. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS…   

How sustainable can your one man show really be?

* * * *

Scott Ginsberg

That Guy with the Nametag

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

scott@hellomynameisscott.com

www.nametagscott.com


Listen to the world’s only product development and innovation gameshow!


Subscribe today. Join out community of innovators, artists and entrepreneurs.  


Together we can solve real problems, brainstorm ridiculous inventions and build robust marketing strategies to help those ideas improve the world.


How did customers survive all these years without this?

Wikipedia editors experience something
called a solution looking for a problem. 

According to various contributors, this phenomenon occurs when an inexperienced
writer submits a proposal that doesn’t address any issue in particular. Even if
that person’s writingisstylistically accurate, it’s only proposed for the sake of change and doesn’t offer
any practical advantages. 

And so, that article gets deleted. Nothing personal,
it’s just business. 

It’s an efficient, practical and democratic system for
editing ideas. One that investors could learn a lot from. After all, we live in
a world where some entrepreneur farts an idea, and he instantly gets five
million dollars. 

Of course, nothing of value is created, but piles of money are
made anyway. And within eighteen months, that product is never heard from
again. 

Because it was merely a solution looking for a problem. 

When I invent
new products for my innovation gameshow Steal Scott’s Ideas,
I always look for problems that satisfy several criteria.



They must be real,
expensive, urgent and pervasive. 

Real, meaning not just some bullshit problem
that only exists inside my myopic little head.

Expensive, meaning something
that’s costing people and organizations a statistically significant amount of
time, money and resources. 

Urgent, meaning our failure to solve this problem
would have immediate consequences. 

Pervasive, meaning there is a substantial
tribe of people who suffer from this problem and are disconnected from each
other as a result. 

Without such constraints, solutions are likely to cause more
problems than they solve. 

Next time you sit down to solve the world’s
problems, ask yourself this. 

How did our potential customers survive all these
years without this product? 

Because if your new ideas requires developmental
costs without any tangible benefit, it’s not an innovation, it’s a solution
looking for a problem.


LET ME ASK YA THIS…   

What hammer are you using to turn everything you see into a nail?
* * * *

Scott Ginsberg

That Guy with the Nametag

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

scott@hellomynameisscott.com

www.nametagscott.com


Listen to the world’s only product development and innovation gameshow!



Subscribe today. Join out community of innovators, artists and entrepreneurs.  



Together we can solve real problems, brainstorm ridiculous inventions and build robust marketing strategies to help those ideas improve the world.

Steal Scott’s Ideas, Episode 101: Holy Water For Orphans || Natalie, Katie, Brittany

What if we delivered holy water to orphans? 

What if we could create spontaneous dance parties? 

What if magicians entertained customers while waiting in line? 

What if we offered pancakes to homeless people who did jumping jacks?

In this episode of Steal Scott’s Ideas, Natalie, Katie and Brittany gather in Brooklyn for some execution in public.

# # #

Execution Lesson 101:A sign that letting go may be in order

I have an illustrator friend who uses wallpaper lining paper for her sketches.

Not only because it’s cheap, but also because it’s abundant. The stuff costs twenty bucks for a thirty foot roll of paper.

And so, drawing on it encourages a freer approach to creating. There’s so much of it, she won’t get precious about the work.

This mindset is essential for developing a healthy relationship with one’s creative process. Mature detachment. Respectful surrender. Compassionate impermanence. Expecting it all to disappear, and having enough faith in ourselves to build it all again.

Tibetan monks create sand mandalas for this very reason. It’s a highly intricate and ritualized process that takes several people, dozens of hours and millions of grains of sand. But the final product, as gorgeous as it appears, is destroyed shortly after its completion. The monks say a few prayers, sweep up every last grain of sand, give away handfuls to those who participate in the closing ceremony, and then dump the rest of the sand into the nearest living stream to be swept into the ocean to bless the whole world. Mandalas symbolize the ephemerality of life and the world.

The lesson is, there’s nothing wrong with falling in love with our ideas. But if we cling to our creative gifts too tightly, we run the risk of receiving the rope burns of attachment.

And so, whatever project you’re currently working on, learn not be so precious about it. Your idea is not a fragile vase that’s going to shatter.

Apple’s iconic founder said it best in his commencement address.

Avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
Which of your ideas are you afraid to let go of?

* * * *

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.

Let your eyes be blinded by the veil of specialness

Since the early eighties, parents, teachers, advertisers and television personalities have assured children that they were special.

That they’re not like the others. And that the gifts they posses are unique and value and someday, somewhere, somebody is finally going to recognize just how amazing they really are, tap them on the shoulder and promptly reward them with the opportunity of a lifetime. 

This message was pounded into my head from an early age. And I’m grateful for it, as it cemented the foundational belief that my talent was valuable to the world. 

Educational research has actually proven through numerous studies that teacher expectation enhances performance from children and creates a higher likelihood to graduate from college. 

But here’s the problem. The pressure we now put on ourselves to be special and great is higher than ever. We beat ourselves up for not standing out and getting noticed. And as a result, we isolate ourselves by feeling unique in our pain. 

Spezzano’s masterful book about healing and transforming our relationships addresses this issue beautifully. He writes:

All our forms of separating ourselves from others come from wanting to be special in some way. Our loneliness is actually coming from the desire to prove we are unique. Because we would rather be special than make contact with others. 

And so, feeling special doesn’t serve us as much as we think it does. Often times, it only keeps us alienated from all that is here. I’ve tried being special my whole life, and only in my thirties have I finally realized the danger of this need. 

Because when I bring too much outsider energy to the world, perpetually walking around like a stranger in a strange land, building isolating ideational bubbles around myself, I know that carelessly cut threads of connection. 

Because I’d rather be a unique little snowflake floating against backdrop of the night sky, searching for tongue to land on, apposed to quietly and humbly melting into the mass of the mountain. 

One day, though, I will open my heart to my own humanity. I will acknowledge that my loneliness comes out of the need to be different. I will accept that being spectacular doesn’t guarantee my safety in this world. 

And I will give up my choice for loneliness and make contact with those around me. 


LET ME ASK YA THIS…   

Are you willing to let go of your veil of specialness that keeps creating pain for you?

* * * *

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.

Building your life around not waiting for the miracle

Macintosh users all dread the same moment. 

It’s the spinning rainbow pinwheel of death. 

If you’re not familiar with this icon, it’s a variation of the mouse pointer arrow that is used in the mac operating system to indicate that an application is busy. 

It’s utterly infuriating. The entire system freezes up. Whatever you’re working on locks down. And you feel helpless because all you can do is sit there and stare at the screen and feel your face slowly start to boil. 

That’s why thousands of blogs, articles, message boards and online tutorials have been created around this very glitch. Experts tell users to open their activity monitors, run diagnostics, check disk utility, execute their clean up program, call tech support if need be, restart the computer, or, better yet, throw the laptop out the window. 

But ask any user who’s faced the spinning rainbow pinwheel of death before, and they’ll all tell you the same thing. 

There’s nothing you can do. You just have to wait it out as the computer takes its sweet ass time unfreezing.

But irony is, that very experience is ninety percent of life. Standing around, waiting for the miracle to happen, we spend most of our time in that space. 

Pleading to the heavens above, oh please god, more than anything, I just want this moment to be over. 

But the cosmic joke is on us. Because there is no miracle. That moment is all there is. 

And once we learn not to fight it, but to accept it and love it and even prefer it, then all of the sudden, reality isn’t so damn stressful. 



LET ME ASK YA THIS…   

Do you realize that your happiness or suffering is dependent on how you relate to the present moment?

* * * *

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.

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