Ensnared in the grip of the unessential

Ethel’s book on the redefinition of power makes an important point about letting go. 



It’s a mark of security when we are so comfortable in our own skin that there is no nagging doubt about the road not taken, the opportunities missed and the shortness of the road remaining. 



Sounds like a peaceful place to be. 



The challenge is, how do normal people, who aren’t monks, attain that level of comfort? 



One answer is, hard work. We read the books, take the classes and do the practices to improve our ability to accept ourselves. Accepting that each moment of letting go is an act of mercy toward ourselves. And over time, we become skilled spotting the signs that letting go may be in order. 



The other answer is, wait a while. Because as we get older and begin creeping closer to the edge of the eternal black abyss, we no longer wish to become ensnared in the grip of the unessential. As we gain a greater sense of our own mortality, our dogged determination to stick with things solely out of our desire for consistency, our fear of failing ourselves and disappointing others, and our stubbornness to try and hold onto whatever we think will give us security, that all fades away. 



Because there is no security. There is only right now. And it could all be gone in an instant. Any of us at any time could slip away forever into unending darkness. 



And so, do we really want to spend our precious time dwelling on foolishness? Do we really need to stay seated in this movie theater for another eighty minutes while this train wreck piece of shit superhero movie continues to insult our intelligence? 



I remember something my mentor once said about his retirement. 



The problem is not how to have your cake and eat it too, the problem is that you are eventually going to die. 



It’s a morbid but meaningful reminder that time is a precious resource, and one that we have less and less of every day. 



And since pain is always a sign that we are holding onto something, it only makes sense to let go of as much as possible. 


LET ME ASK YA THIS…

What part of your past are you still holding onto with an angry bite?

* * * *

Scott Ginsberg

That Guy with the Nametag

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

scott@hellomynameisscott.com

www.nametagscott.com

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If you think you don’t have your own doubts, think harder

Out of the five thousand species of mammals on this planet, only humans have the luxury to doubt things in the universe. 

Isn’t that incredible? What an extraordinary gift we’ve been given. The ability to scrutinize ourselves and our societies and our surroundings. 

Because contrary to popular conditioning, doubt isn’t a snag, it’s a spark. Doubt is a starting point for deeper thinking. It’s an elixir that keeps us engaged in the decision making process. A staircase that takes us down to more interesting and meaningful places. Places that we might not have dared visit under more faithful conditions. 

Organizations could use a taste of this medicine. Because so few of them make it easy for people to express their concerns and reservations. Most employees are dissuaded from starting to look for secrets within the corporate walls.

I remember reading multiple news stories about banks that launched kill a stupid rule programs. As the story goes, anyone who spotted a rule that kept employees from delighting customers would get fifty bucks. 

That’s powerful. It not only celebrates doubt, but also creates a platform to communicate it. 

And so, whether you’re a billion dollar organization, or simply someone who wants to tap into their native human endowments, maybe you should try a little doubt. 

You never know where it will take you. 


LET ME ASK YA THIS…

How scary do you find doubting your own beliefs?

* * * *

Scott Ginsberg

That Guy with the Nametag

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

scott@hellomynameisscott.com

www.nametagscott.com

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Making worry our home vibration

Colbert tells an inspiring story about his late show mentor. 

The grizzled old producer told the new host to start taping two episodes on the last day of the workweek. And then, the way he executed that second show could become the way he did the show every night. Because at that point, he’d be so tired that he wouldn’t have time to worry about making the right choices. 

Every one of us must find a path to that point. The place inside where there is little room for worry. Where the tornado of choices isn’t raging and rocking. 

The problem is, that’s a hard place to get to. Because most of us have been taught to worry about the validity of our thoughts rather than to trust our intuition. And we shouldn’t. 

Most of us have been convinced that obsessing over what could have been a marginally better option is a worthwhile investment of energy. But it isn’t. 

Here’s the reality. 

Most things will work out over time whether we worry about them or not, and whether we feel bad about them or not. Worrying and obsessing and controlling, these are tricks we play on ourselves. 

They make us feel like we’re doing something to solve our problems, but we’re not. We’re creating conflict before any actually exists. We’re polluting the six precious inches between our ears. 

If we truly want to do great work in the world, we have to stop worrying about choosing the right path. 

Because there isn’t one. The right path is the one we choose. 


LET ME ASK YA THIS…

Is your mind creating the noise of worry because it hasn’t figure out a better technology yet?

* * * *

Scott Ginsberg

That Guy with the Nametag

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

scott@hellomynameisscott.com

www.nametagscott.com

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Popping our precious bubble of reality

Chodron’s book on compassionate living reminds us that the people we encounter everyday activate the karma that we haven’t worked out yet. 

They mirror us and give us the chance to befriend all of that ancient stuff that we carry around like a backpack full of granite boulders. 

It’s another one of the many risks of intimacy. People in our lives trigger our unresolved shit. Even complete strangers. 

We’re commuting to work on the train one morning, and with the passing glance of fellow passenger, we suddenly find ourselves needing to deal with some defect we never knew we had, or worse yet, some old habit or compulsion that we thought we had already eliminated. 

No wonder eye contact is an endangered species. 

People aren’t afraid of looking up from their phones, they’re afraid of looking into their own shadows. 

That’s what intimacy means. Into me I see. Through our closeness to someone, even during the briefest of moments, we are confronted by a new awareness of ourselves. 

But it’s actually a good thing. Maybe the best thing. Because all growth is interpersonal. We just can’t sit in a corner and perfect ourselves. Only through real encounters with others do we enter into the transcendental healing atmosphere. 

Here, then, are the questions:

How will we respond to people who have been sent to teach us about ourselves? 



What happens when the human mirror tells us that we’re not the fairest of them all? 



When life throws us into situations where we are forced to confront and acknowledge and develop our disowned selves, will we shut own or open up? 

It’s a choice worth making. Because there is still much mystery beneath the surface of our being. 

Might as well dive in. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS…

Are you ready to be filled with what life will teach you?

* * * *

Scott Ginsberg

That Guy with the Nametag

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

scott@hellomynameisscott.com

www.nametagscott.com

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How about we skip to the part where you’re useful?

After being shut down so many times, you just stop trying. 

You start feeling like a waste of space. Like you want to hammer a hole in the floor and fall right through it. And the inner monologue is:

Wow, if this is what it feels like to give my best, why would I continue? Why am I even here? 

It’s a really shitty feeling, struggling to believe that you have something to add. And there are only so many rejections a person can withstand until they take to the streets and start screaming. 

But apparently, this feeling is part of the human experience. At one point or another, we all labor in vain. We all grow dissatisfied with the exact use that the world makes of our ambitions and talents. 

And no matter how deeply we believe that we’re a welcome presence who’s creating value, sometimes we can’t help but feel about as useful as a cheese sandwich to a drowning ferret.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…

How about we skip to the part where you’re useful?* * * *

Scott Ginsberg

That Guy with the Nametag

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

scott@hellomynameisscott.com

www.nametagscott.com

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The why behind the what

The artist’s statement is equally as inspiring as the artist’s sculpture. 

This micro manifesto, this conscious declaration of creative intentions, this vital link of communication between the artist and the rest of the world, that’s what touches me. 

Not the thing, but the thinking behind it. 

Rozoff, for example, is a novelist who writes what he calls escapist literature. James says that his books aren’t the kind that help you ignore reality, but the kind that help you escape from the illusions and the mindsets that keep you imprisoned in a dull reality, a world limited by fear and devoid of magic. Escape artistry, he says, is the ability to rid ourselves of the artificial constraints we somehow become enmeshed in. 

In a world where it’s far too easy to become trapped in viewpoints that limit our possibilities and lose sight of just how magical life can be, to me, that’s just as meaningful as the book itself. 

The why behind the what, that’s the stuff inspiration is made of. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS…

Are you moved by the thing, or the thinking behind it?

* * * *

Scott Ginsberg

That Guy with the Nametag

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

scott@hellomynameisscott.com

www.nametagscott.com

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Giving up our identity to steal a worthier self

Each of us goes to great lengths to preserve what we consider to be our identity. 

It’s a control thing. We cling to our precious little personal brand that because it provides us some kind of certainty. 

But the funny thing about identity is, it’s not something that’s given, once and for all. There is no fixed point at which we can decisively say, I am that. 

Each one of us is a constantly unfolding process, not a fixed state. Each one of us is evolving toward an ever more perfect whole. 

Particularly when it comes to our professional lives. According to the bureau of labor statistics, the average worker currently holds ten different jobs before age forty, and this number is projected to grow. We seem to go through careers like we do cars or refrigerators. 

All the more reason not to cling to our identities too tightly. Because they’re just going to change in two years anyway. Work may not be the sole identifier of the self, but does give us a secure place in a portion of reality. 

Thinking back to the many reinventions of my career, thank god I gave myself permission to clear the slate to reexamine and redefine. Thank god I forced myself to cast my professional net wider than I might have liked. 

Because we now live in a furiously evolving career landscape, and there are more opportunities than ever before. 

And so, here’s my benediction. 

May you be brave enough to give up your identity to steal a worthier self. 

May you be curious to press on in search of what you could do and where you belong. 



LET ME ASK YA THIS…

What energy devours and swallows your identity? 

* * * *

Scott Ginsberg

That Guy with the Nametag

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

scott@hellomynameisscott.com

www.nametagscott.com

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Words that trigger an ancient script in my head

Business would be great if it weren’t for the customers. 

Not to mention the vendors, suppliers, employees, managers, contractors, interns, coworkers and every other maddening human being we come into contact with on a typical day. 

These people are so damned needy. Just go away and let me do my job. 

Unfortunately, we’re all in the people business. There’s no escaping it, only embracing it. 

And so, our job is learning to forgive people for being what they are. Because it’s not their fault. 

When somebody makes a snide remark during a staff meeting or sends us an email ripping apart our latest assignment, they’re not trying to get us fired, they’re simply acting out patterns set in motion by their childhoods. 

Our words must have triggered some ancient script inside their heads. 

Debotton’s essay on forgiveness reminds us that every irritating fault in another person has a long history behind it. Each person is shaped by troubles which we cannot see, but which we can know exist. And behind everything that’s wrong and infuriating about those we meet is a decisive trauma encountered before someone could cope with it properly. 

That’s why people are so goddamn maddening. They got to be this way without meaning to. 

And so, to forgive is to understand the origins of evil and and cruelty. To accept that every emotional response is reasonable and logical based on that person’s personal history. 



LET ME ASK YA THIS…

How would you treat people differently if you discovered they were fighting a battle that you knew nothing about?

* * * *

Scott Ginsberg

That Guy with the Nametag

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

scott@hellomynameisscott.com

www.nametagscott.com

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Agony, far more painful than yours

It’s an illusion to think we can avoid the line of fire. 

Agony cannot be inoculated against. No matter how many precautions we take, no matter how many islands of safety we seek, and no matter how lucky and blessed and abundant we feel, hurt comes for everybody. 

The hard part is growing our ability to extend compassion to all the uninvited visitors that inevitably enter. 

Here’s a scenario:

Imagine a lady on the bus accidentally steps on your toe with her stiletto heel while riding the bus. What do you do? 

Most of us would scream expletives and punch the back of the seat and stare down that old lizard for crushing our pinky. 

But how many of us would immediately put our arm around the woman’s shoulder and ask if her shoe is feeling okay? 

None of us. Nobody’s that compassionate. 

This is a highly improbable example, but it does challenge us to rethink our relationship to pain, and the people who cause it. 

Because when we’re hurting, the last thing on our minds is how the other person is feeling. 

But the irony is, sometimes the best way to reduce our pain is to get the hell out of the small, closed circle of the self and reach for the other. 


LET ME ASK YA THIS…

When was the last time you gave thanks for an unwelcome life obstacle?

* * * *

Scott Ginsberg

That Guy with the Nametag

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

scott@hellomynameisscott.com

www.nametagscott.com

It’s the world’s first, best and only product development and innovation gameshow!


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The greatest labor intensity reduction technique

Wooten’s book about the spiritual search for growth through music was transformative for me. Quite possibly the best twenty bucks spent on my artistic education. 

Here’s one passage that was especially striking. 

It’s always easier to build upon beauty than it is to pretend it is not there and try to create it from scratch. 

This insight is especially helpful when our project screeches to a stop because the task seems overwhelming. Because in those moments when feel like we can’t even conceptualize how we are going to muster the momentum to catapult ourselves out of this shit pile, we remember something. 

We rarely, if ever, have to start from scratch. Odds are, somebody somewhere has done something that we can build on. We just need to start. To choose. To take slow, small, solid steps that build forward momentum and launch a chain reaction whose impact is greater than what we can foresee at the moment the choice is made. 

Once we bust through the wall of resistance and set that process in motion, no project is ever as overwhelming as we initially think it is. 

There’s a perfect visual that a friend of mine once used. 



Fear is a mile wide, a mile high, and paper thin. It’s like a football team running out through the tunnel and into the stadium. 

Next time your troubles threaten to overwhelm you, make things easier on yourself. Nothing is as hard as it seems. Employ the greatest labor intensity reduction technique in the world by remembering that you never start with nothing. 

It will create a small but perceptible increase in your courage in the face of emotional distress.


LET ME ASK YA THIS…

What do you remind yourself of when you feel like running away from all your responsibilities?

* * * *

Scott Ginsberg

That Guy with the Nametag

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

scott@hellomynameisscott.com

www.nametagscott.com

It’s the world’s first, best and only product development and innovation gameshow!


Tune in and subscribe for a little execution in public.

Join our community of innovators, artists and entrepreneurs.

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