When we see with our grown up eyes that this is it

Expecting to get what you want isn’t optimism, it’s immaturity. 



That’s one of the worst pains of growing up and becoming an adult. Learning to face reality. Making friends with what is. And not allowing yourself to be seduced by childish thoughts about that reality, simply because they’re more comforting. 



It reminds me of a compelling question from a book about interpersonal communication. 



Can you name the stress that brings you to your lowest level of maturity? 



Meaning, what kind of experience shrinks you into the adolescent version of yourself? What situation or interaction makes you want to pout about not getting your way, take your toys and go home? 



For me, it’s not being taken seriously. If you want to watch me melt into the most juvenile version of myself, all you have to do is not appreciate or even acknowledge the heart and soul that I have put into something. 



As a fundamentally thoughtful, earnest and enthusiastic person, that gets me every time. 



But the lesson adulthood keeps trying to teach me is, try not to react with your first impulse. Don’t indulge your petulance when you don’t get what you want. If you hear the sound of crickets, allow yourself to feel those shitty feelings of not being heard, but at the same time, don’t expect others to reciprocate your enthusiasm. It’s not their job. 



That’s merely one step in sculpting a vision of what a mature human being is like. Learning to face reality with maturity, instead of addicting yourself to the childish opiate of expectation. 



If we can master that skill, perhaps we will finally become the adults we have only pretended to be for so long. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS…

How do you respond to the stress that brings you to your lowest level of maturity?* * * *

Scott Ginsberg

That Guy with the Nametag

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

scott@hellomynameisscott.com

www.nametagscott.com

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Take your secret special separateness and run into the corner

As creative people, as thinkers and observers and reflectors and renderers of the world, it’s tempting to take an antisocial vantage point outside of society. 

Because doing so makes us feel heroic. And special. Like we’re somehow being responsible to our artistic gifts by separating ourselves from the herd. 

But there’s a very real difference between observing life, and being observant in a way that always keeps us just outside of living life. 

There’s a very fine line between healthy individuating, and becoming trapped in our own mythological status as outsiders. 

Take it from someone who always felt too eccentric and iconoclastic to be accepted, so he rejected and removed himself before anyone else got a chance to. 

Take it from someone who so feared becoming an outcast from the herd, that he cut the threads of connection before any real intimacy could be achieved. 

Take it from someone who prided himself on created art that guaranteed he would remain obscure, but then resented the world for not knowing who he was. 

It was a nauseating experience. Both for the artist and the people around him. Having to breathe the air of existential estrangement, ordained separateness, social deviance and extreme oppositionalism, blech. 

Humans weren’t meant to live that way. We’re social animals, not islands. We need connection, not nine billion sovereign nations. We need a more evolved and less adolescent approach to walking in this world. 

Maisel’s manifesto on the mental health revolution says it perfectly:

Brooding about your circumstances, stewing with your feelings, and standing alone and isolated, will only worsen your situation. You may have many powerful reasons for isolating. Feeling embarrassed, too angry to reach out, doubtful that anyone will understand you or care about you, scared that you’ll lose control and freedom if you share your truth with another person, and more. But still, isolating isn’t the answer. 

Do you see how you make yourself an outsider? Good. That’s the first step. 

And each step we take out of isolation, out of our old antisocial behaviors, is a major mental health achievement. 

Next time you’re tempted to take your secret special separateness and run into the corner to play by yourself, try extending your arm instead. 


LET ME ASK YA THIS…

How can you change your relationship to the world so you feel less estranged from 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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When love pulls back the velvet curtain

The most unexpected part of being in a committed relationship is, you’re forced to become fully acquainted with the most repulsive sides of yourself. 

Sure, everybody can hide for a while, doing their nice little song and dance for the first few months or even the first few years. 

But eventually, love pulls back the velvet curtain. And our relationship becomes this constant mirror, reflecting back to us all the things we’re afraid to confront about ourselves. 

Most which we didn’t even know existed. All of which are far deeper and darker than forgetting to put the cap back on the toothpaste. 

Like how territorial we are about our personal space because we grew up in a household without boundaries. Or how wasteful and distasteful we are in the kitchen because we come from money and had maid and never learned to clean up after ourselves. Or how petulant and childish we get when family members stay for the weekend. Or how job disappointments can make us feel disgusted with ourselves for an entire week. 

Maybe that’s why it’s called intimacy. It’s another way of saying, into me I see

True love has no hiding places. 

But isn’t that the point? Isn’t that the beauty of sharing your life with someone? The fact that your relationship becomes this sacred venue, this holy platform, through which both people can heal their respective crazy bullshit? 

It’s the bullet we never see shot when we first pull the commitment trigger. And it hurts when it bloodies the skin. 

But our lives are stronger because of it. 


LET ME ASK YA THIS…

Aren’t you grateful for the relationships that continue to uncover defects you never knew you had? 

* * * *

Scott Ginsberg

That Guy with the Nametag

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

scott@hellomynameisscott.com

www.nametagscott.com

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Make meaningful use of everything you are

A friend of mine who is a youth development consultant has this great question he asks the students:

How much of yourself, percentage wise, are you able to bring to this activity?

It’s a powerful filter for kids to use in any endeavor they pursue. Because it challenges them to search for places where they don’t have to keep their intellect on hold or their personality in check. 

Where their authentic voice can take flight and travel. Where they can carve out a special space in the world and operate at their highest point of contribution. 

It’s actually a very rare thing, both for kids and adults. Not everybody is fortunate enough to find venues where they can bring a hundred percent of themselves. In fact, it’s hard to believe it when somebody even asks you to be yourself. 

But it is possible. It does happen. The rare opportunity to make meaningful use of everything we are is out there for each of us to find. 

And when we do, we’re home. Every molecule in the universe will feel like it’s in its right place. 

How much of yourself, percentage wise, are you able to bring? 

Keep asking yourself this simple question. And trust that it will be enough to get the love you need.



LET ME ASK YA THIS…

Is there a ball and chain in the place where your mind’s wings should have grown?

* * * *

Scott Ginsberg

That Guy with the Nametag

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

scott@hellomynameisscott.com

www.nametagscott.com

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You get what your hand calls for

Each of us has, in one way or another, been programmed to deny our own desires. 

And if we have any intention of living authentic, integrated and fulfilling lives, we have to transform our relationship with our own needs. 

In four separate areas. Accepting, assessing, expressing and applauding. 

Each of which requires us to shift from one state of being to another. 

First, there’s accepting. 

Instead of shutting down and walling in our seething cauldron of resentment, we allow disappointment to guide us into a deeper understanding of what we need. Instead of anesthetizing ourselves away from our own hungers, we accept ourselves as people who have needs that deserve to be met. 

Second, there’s assessing. 

Instead of sacrificing own our sanity and health in the name of pleasing, we actually take the time to care for ourselves first. Instead of convincing ourselves that the only option is to acquiesce to people’s demands or be the bad guy, we take the necessary steps to become a more whole person. 

Third, there’s, expressing.

Instead of passively waiting for another person to make the first move, we take responsibility for meeting our own needs. Instead of being disconnected from our own desires, we risk revealing our real requirements to others. Instead of denying ourselves things that bring us joy, we confidently and courageously ask for that which serves our long term wellbeing. 

Finally, there’s applauding. 

Instead of hedging, apologizing and justifying along the journey, we own the process as life. Instead of feeling guilty about asking for and obtaining what we need, we actually enjoy it when it arrives. 

Remember, you get what your hand calls for. And the result of tasking responsibility for meeting your own needs is something you can find anywhere else. 

A wellspring of total body bliss. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS…

Are you allowing yourself the freedom to accept, assess and express what you need?
* * * *

Scott Ginsberg

That Guy with the Nametag

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

scott@hellomynameisscott.com

www.nametagscott.com

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Character is what happens when values become verbs

Each of us aspires make ourselves proud. 

And one of the central ways we accomplish that is by manifesting our values. By creating and living in a universe where our beliefs are successfully achieved. 

The hard part is scaling this concept organizationally. Because when you have hundreds or even thousands of employees, possibly scattered across multiple offices, cities and even countries, your values can’t simply be words on a wall. The mission has to be more than a statement. 

Character is what happens when values become verbs, and so, it has to evolve into a living framework. A structure within which people situate themselves and their actions, that allows them to classify things and good and bad and behave accordingly. 

Without putting that kind of system in place, you’re just winking in the dark. 

Buffer is a tech company that knows exactly who they are, what they do and why they do it. Their abbreviated encapsulation of their ten guiding principles is an inspiring manifesto in and of itself, but it’s only the beginning. 

One of their lead developers had an innovative idea. What if all of their team members could be reminded those values daily? Even hourly? 

That’s what inspired him to this slick web browser extension that replaces the standard new tab page with a rotating wallpaper of their company values. The images are inspirational, aspirational, and the words are mantras to live by. Each time you open a new tab, you are reminded who you are and what you believe. And you can’t help but smile and reflect and think about ways to improve yourself. 

The question is, do you know which values make your team feel fully alive when you honor them? 

Excellent. Now go do something with them. Find a way to keep them in front of people’s faces. 

Because the quality of feeling alive comes when we act on our values. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS…

How will you remind your team why they do what they do?

* * * *

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 tension between alienation and assimilation

It’s true that each of us must figure out how we’d like to enforce our limits. 

But the irony is, even boundaries need boundaries. Because if we get carried away building walls around ourselves, we end up in a janitor’s closet of our own making. 

If we stubbornly draw too many lines around our lives, before we know it, the rising tides of alienation will carry us straight out into the abyss. 

Wilde once said, everything in moderation, including moderation. 

This is exactly what he was talking about. The limits of our limits. 

And so, our challenge is erring on the side of someone who calmly states their needs and sets healthy boundaries; as opposed to someone who is a defensive, obstructionist, isolationist, pusher awayer of people. 

Because extremes in anything accomplish nothing. And it is our stubbornness that keeps us lonely.

But it’s different for each of us. If we truly want to live in a more connected world, we all have to get under a microscope and figure out what is keeping us small, isolated and hidden. 

Mellody’s brilliant book about identifying codependent thinking was instrumental in my growth around extreme boundaries. She wrote that the sad thing about walls is that although they give us solid protection, they do not allow for intimacy and leave us even lonelier. 

A nice reminder that we can use almost anything to alienate ourselves. And so, we must introduce balance so we don’t swing wildly from one extreme to another. We must not to let walls be the only means by which we connect with others. 

And we must remember that most people don’t bite. Unless we ask them to.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…

Are you cemented in your isolation and confirming your belief that others aren’t worth your time?* * * *

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 nameable and predictable problems of human living

Seligman, the pioneer of positive psychology, writes that our way of explaining events to ourselves determines how helpless we can become, or how energized we can become, when we encounter life’s everyday setbacks as well as its momentous defeats. 

It’s certainly the smart mindset to have. Believing that the narrative isn’t done to us, rather, it’s something we choose, this is an essential part of being resilient. 

The challenge, though, is that the story of our life is rarely as tidy and eloquent and theatrical as we’d like it to be. Consider a few of these universal conundrums. 

How do we know if the emptiness we feel is cause for clinical concern, or if it’s just a new phase of the spirit preparing itself? 

How do we know if we’re having an actual anxiety attack, or if it’s simply a painful whole being reaction to the nameable and predictable problems of human living? 

How do we know if the event happening to us is an abject failure, or something that is positively shifting our life into a whole new direction? 

How do we know if this experience is best thing that ever happened to is, or if it’s simply another part of our journey? 

How do we know if this problem really a crisis, or yet another one of the ongoing issues of ordinary misery that confronts all people? 

The short answer is, we don’t. Certainly not now. Probably not soon. And in fact, sometimes not ever. 

Even after we’ve looked back at our lives through the gauzy veil of bullshit we call hindsight, we still may not walk away with a clean story about what’s happening to us. 

And that’s okay. We can’t always expect to get full understanding from ourselves. 

The good news is, that doesn’t make us helpless, only human. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS…

Are you still berating yourself for not knowing everything?

* * * *

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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It’s going to be hard to accept my identity without that

Here’s the arc of my social experiment. 

It’s been nineteen years. Over six thousand days. And in the beginning of my adventure, wearing a nametag twenty four seven was just this quirky thing that I did. 

It was pure. There was nothing behind it. No reason or motivation or strategy or objective. 

But then, about two years into it, the nametag morphed into my business. And my brand. And my career. And my obsession. And my purpose and calling and addiction that consumed my whole life and was tied to my inner most sense of identity, for better or for worse. The nametag was everything to me. Without it, I was nothing. 

Which brings us to now. And strangely enough, it feels like I’m back where I started. Now the nametag is just this quirky thing I do. Just like in the beginning. 

The only difference is, now it’s worn from a place of joy. 

Not neediness. Or compulsion. Or dependency. Or desire for attention. Or an addiction to approval and applause. Or a need to fill some kind of existential hole of belonging. 

Just joy. 

The nametag is a part of me that used to be the heart of me. It’s something that identifies me, but no longer defines me. 

Maybe that’s what the journey of self is all about. 

Learning to live larger than our labels.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…

How will you loosen the hold of each identity so you don’t get completely lost in it?

* * * *

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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Respond peacefully no matter what answer you get

One way to work through our boundary issues is to invert the interaction. 



To consider our internal experience, both physiologically and emotionally, when other people set limits with us. 



For example, do we immediately become defensive or embarrassed when people tell us their boundaries? Or can we calmly let others draw lines in the sand without begrudging their integrity? 

Does something inside our stomach get put on alert when people are firm with us? Or are we inspired and honored when somebody loves us enough to teach us how to treat them? 



It all goes back to expectations. If we create a story inside our heads about what we think people owe us, then any boundary set with us will cause resentment. Our bodies will tighten. Our emotions will heighten. And the relationship will have unnecessary tension. 



But if we empty our mind of all the expectation, not intending to fix or save or change people, then we have ample space inside to respond peacefully, no matter what answer we get. 



That’s the thing about boundaries. Some people have a hard time saying the word no, and some people have a hard time hearing the word no. It’s a two way street. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS…

What happens inside your body when people set boundaries with you?

* * * *

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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