The social consequence of principled living

Do your thing. Find your unique voice. Question the consensus reality. Navigate your own unconventional pathway. Rebel against the mindless, mainstream conventionality. 

These are the modern messages of empowerment that we’re sold on a daily basis. 

But what nobody warns us about is the expense of the moral horizon we choose to inhabit. 

They don’t tell us that crafting a life that matches our vision of principled living comes with real social consequences. There’s no memo about the isolation that comes with making any alternate choice. 

And so, it’s not surprise that any time we choose to reject attitudes and choices that most people treat as gospel, we end up feeling scared and scorned and alone. It’s no surprise that any time we take an alternative to the track laid down by the dominant value system, we feel like we’re letting people down. It’s no surprise that when we set our own standards and inherit nothing and standing at the end of no tradition, people will feel threatened. 

The social pressure is relentless. So much so that it can deflect us from pursuing our most important intentions. 

And that’s why we have to stick together. Even if it’s just one person who understands the burden of our unborrowed vision, that communion can carry us a long way this world. 

With their support, we can courageously forget what we’ve been taught to repeat and think with our own brains. 


LET ME ASK YA THIS…

Do you trust your own willingness to be true to yourself?

* * * *

Scott Ginsberg

That Guy with the Nametag

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

scott@hellomynameisscott.com

www.nametagscott.com

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Shut up and do it, even if you think you’re incapable

We’re all guilty of not having a broad enough vision of what we are capable of. 

And that’s okay. It’s not necessarily our fault. Grasping the full range of our capabilities is hard. There are so many layers of juicy, dripping potential have been buried and obscured by any number of forces outside our control. 

And so, what we need is a crucible. A refining fire. A vessel in which our potential is heated to high temperatures and stretched beyond its known boundaries. A fortifying experience that becomes a new baseline for our everyday abilities going forward. 

Patchett’s advice to young artists is quite applicable here. She suggests that we set our sights on something that we aren’t quite capable of doing, doing something that is uncomfortably beyond what we think we can manage. 

As if to say to ourselves, shut up and do it, even if you think you’re incapable

And in the process, we will learn to trust that our potential for greater things will grow in proportion. That was precisely my mindset when transitioning from the entrepreneur world into the agency world; and then from the agency world into the startup world. 

Frustrated with only satisfying a narrow band of my total capabilities, my mission was full integration. My intention was to channel all of my gifts to make a measurable difference for people other than just myself. 

In short, seeing what my talent was really made of. Not to prove anything, but to express everything. 

When was the last time you were that challenged? And not just challenged in a way that made you look like the smartest person in the room, but really, truly, humbly called upon to raise your game in a way that you didn’t know you were capable of? 

That’s your crucible. And if you’re willing to plunge headlong into it, what’s waiting inside is nothing short of miraculous. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS…

What might you be capable if you drew from a full well?

* * * *

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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Nobody should go to a meeting without an opinion

As children, we learned to align our feelings with those around us. 

We learned to change our opinion to go along with others and not feel different. 

And that’s okay. It’s a survival tactic. We did what we had to do. And it worked. 

But as we get older and gain a more mature understanding of relationships and communication, chronic agreeableness is a skill we must unlearn. 

Otherwise people pleasing will get the best of us. Otherwise our opinions will be supplied to us. And we will start organizing our lives in ways to make sure the people around us are always happy and feeling warmly toward us. 

Doesn’t that sound exhausting? 

It’s like my client once warned me:



You’re so easy to work with that you’re difficult to work with.



Turns out my client service style was accommodation to the point of annoyance. Crap. Duly noted. 

And so, from my own journey of taking more chances with my opinions, here’s an exercise that you might try to gauge your ability in this area. 

Think back to yesterday. Think of all the things you saw that weren’t okay with you. Think of all the people you so badly wanted to call bullshit on. Then ask two questions. 

1. Did those experiences make you feel anything in your body? 

2. And did you take advantage of the opportunity to put your opinion forward? 

For most of us, the answers are yes and no, respectively. Because any time our values are ignored, challenged or violated, our body speaks to us. It uses somatic symptoms to get our attention, as if to say:

Hold on, let’s talk about what’s happening here, because this is not okay. 

The hard part is heeding that voice and exposing our opinions. Especially if a chorus of agreement sweeps around the table, and keeping quiet means keeping the peace. Better to stand mute, we assume, avoid conflict and prevent the risk of somebody pointing out that we were wrong. 

Of course, this is the opposite of what we should do. What we should do is remind ourselves:

You are a valid, valuable person, and there is no need to justify yourself or validate your opinions. 

Because the last thing we want is to be so easy to work with that we’re difficult to work with. 


LET ME ASK YA THIS…

Do you refuse to go along with the group’s plans when your values are being ignored?

* * * *

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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Collecting injustices like beads on a string

They’re everywhere. 

People who let others take advantage of them so they can resent it afterward. 

People who have their grudge list memorized and camera ready to share with any audience who will listen. 

People who use negative terminology to describe neutral or even positive events.

People who get high on telling others how badly they have been treated. People who brag about being chipped and weathered away by hard times. 

Call them martyrs, misery addicts, self saboteurs or victims. Just please don’t call them heroes. Supporting people’s martyrdom only hurts them further. And these people don’t need another thing to complain about. What they need is to witness someone who grasps the full impact of being wholly responsible for themselves. 

And so, go ahead, rage against injustice, but also observe what that rage might be doing to your system. And your relationships. And your mental health. Because if you’re wasting precious time wringing your hands over circumstances gone awry, trying to understand the wrongness of it all, then that’s not justice, that’s obsession. 

Listen, you will always have plenty to be offended about. But there’s a fine line between nobility and narcissism. And in a world where many people’s unpaid second job is flooding their minds with outrage porn, patting themselves on the back for being offended, and congratulating each other on how upset they are, that line has never been finer. 

Next time you’re tempted to indulge in your own feelings of injustice, ask yourself what the end game is. Being the best at competitive suffering is a false victory.


LET ME ASK YA THIS…

Are you using your suffering to grow, or to attract more attention?

* * * *

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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If people hate you, you’re probably taking care of yourself

The interesting thing about expressing joy and ambition and vulnerability and earnestness is, it intimidates some people. 

It grosses them out. It triggers resentment. There’s just a certain population of the world that doesn’t want to hear about our happiness and enlightenment. 

It’s like we’re holding a massive candle to their face, just so their darkness looked more pitch black in comparison. 

Which we’re not, of course. It’s all just a projection. People are seeing in us what is not operating well within them. 

It reminds me of a motivating soliloquy from the only book on architecture in my library. Roark’s mentor reveals to him:

There’s one thing about you that people are afraid of. It’s not just the kind of work you do. You love your work. God help you, you love it. And that’s the curse. It’s the brand on your forehead for all of them to see. You love it, and they know it, and they know they have you. The people in the street, the substance of them is hatred for any man who loves his work. And you’re opening yourself up for each and every one of them. 

My experience with wearing a nametag every day for nineteen years has taught me this lesson many times over. Turns out, certain people are quite bothered by my sticker. It annoys and offends and even enrages them. 

You wouldn’t believe it, but complete strangers will march right up to me and rip the nametag off my shirt. It’s strangest thing. Who knew that all it took was some innocent little issue like a nametag to bring people’s simmering resentments to the surface? 

But that’s the price we pay in this world when we do anything from a place of joy and earnestness and hopefulness. It’s seen as threatening because it’s indictment of people’s cynicism. 

The key is not to take it personally. 

Because if people hate you, you’re probably taking care of yourself. 


LET ME ASK YA THIS…

What’s your favorite defense mechanism against the perceived perils of kindness?

* * * *

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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Each day is another chance to live according to our values

There’s nothing wrong with feeling energized by the simple act of consciously moving toward our goal. 

We just have to make sure that our goals are actually goals. 

Not strategies we inherited from someone else. Not dreams borrowed from other people because they seem attractive and we think they’re going to make us whole. 

That’s the reality we fail to realize. Our goals aren’t really goals, they’re strategies. Stops along the way. Roads that point to the same destination. 

Writing our first novel isn’t a goal. Visiting all seven continents isn’t a goal. Opening a food truck isn’t a goal. Finding true love isn’t a goal. 



Fulfillment is the only goal. Everything else is an intermediary. 



The real question is, what is our definition of fulfillment? Because if we figure that out, how we get there doesn’t really matter. 



Personally, fulfillment comes from my ability to answer yes to any of the following questions. 



Are you in a position to organize your life around your highest aspirations? 



Are you living in a universe where your values are successfully achieved? 



Are you using all of your skills to make a difference in every area of your life? 



Is meaning making the primary organizing principle of your life? 



Are you making yourself proud by manifesting your values? 



Are you doing right for you based on your chosen integrity? 



If so, then consider me fulfilled. 



That’s why we’re here. To build the self around transcendent goals. 



Everything else is just a strategy. 



LET ME ASK YA THIS…

Are you reigning in the kingdom of mundane fulfillments?

* * * *

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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Allowing the moment to seize you

Each of us is obliged to carve our own path. 

It’s one of the great freedoms of being a conscious human being. 

And the good news is, we don’t have to put undue pressure on ourselves to do so. There’s no contest or time clock or scoreboard for the person who finds, walks and masters the best path. There are as many paths as there are people to walk them. 

And there’s nothing wrong with our path because there’s nothing wrong, period.

In fact, we can work from the inside out. We can let the experience find us. 

As an example, instead of obsessing and ruminating over finding the right path, what if we started by simply finding what was true about ourselves, and then turned that into our path? 

Perhaps that would allow us drop through to our most authentic expression of self. 

Or what if, instead of asking ourselves if our personality was suited for the path we were taking, we treated each of our skills and gifts as bricks that built the path nobody else in the world could walk but us? Perhaps that would help is realize that there is no error in our path. 

It’s enough. 

What’s more, just because we’ve begun down a particular path doesn’t mean we’re committed to it forever. People change. Paths change. 

And so, if the thing that terrifies us the most is proof that we’re alive and on the right path, here’s a bit of consolation. 

The path is right because it’s the one we take. 


LET ME ASK YA THIS…

Are you still organizing your life around trying to fix what is wrong 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!


Tune in and subscribe for a little execution in public.

Join our community of innovators, artists and entrepreneurs.

We don’t need the whole world on the first day

We wake up with aspirations of grandeur. Thinking we can come right out of the gate and blast past our edge. 

Which is a commendable mindset. But we have to be honest with our own limits. We have to ask if we’re merely impressing ourselves with a temporary surge of ambition. We have to wonder if we’re unwilling to accept the sometimes slow process of change. 

Recovery programs teach addicts to look for small, slow changes rather than big, dramatic ones. To seek satisfaction through the measurable progress through small victories. 

It’s a lesson all of us need to learn. How to pull back on the reins of our ambition. How to trust the grace of a patient universe. And how to gently open the door to change. 

Here are a few mantras that have been useful for me:

We don’t have to fight all of our battles today. 



We don’t have to tackle all our problems at once. 



We don’t have to understand everything immediately. 



We don’t have to fire all our weapons simultaneously. 



We don’t have to change everything in our lives right now.



We don’t need to get it perfect on our first attempt. 

It’s humbling and time consuming and requires more patience than we’re used to. 

But then again, we’re here to express, not impress. 


LET ME ASK YA THIS…

Are you creating real, sustainable change, or building a monument to a rare burst of enthusiasm?

* * * *

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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Joy is waiting to be welcomed back home.

It’s the small thrills that remind us who we are. 

Those mundane, quiet, undramatic everyday experiences that are gently woven into our days, these are the moments we remember forever. These are the joys that create the inner smile of peace and rebalance us above the precipice of meaninglessness. 

Without them, we’re just piles of dust and bone. 

Consider this hilariously pathetic article from the world’s best satire magazine about the man who brings lunch from home to cut down on small joys:

Speaking with reporters while opening ziploc baggies of pretzel twists and baby carrots, local man said that making your own lunch each day is a great way to reduce your simple pleasures throughout the week. It’s already made a huge difference for me, said the middle aged insurance underwriter said as he unwrapped a plain turkey sandwich from aluminum foil that he had woken up fifteen minutes early this morning to prepare. He used to go out for lunch with coworkers and actually enjoy himself every day, but now he just sits at my desk and eats something he packed from home. It’s quick, easy, and has cut his weekly sense of gratification by at least half. The man went on to say that he is considering canceling his cable service as well, which would save him ninety hours of genuine relaxation time a month. 

This article invites several existential questions. 

What small joys do you regret eliminating from your life? 

What treat, that will not only reward you but also improve you, are you ashamed of acquiring? 

What pleasures and delights are you still not allowing yourself to have? 

What compulsive restrictions are leaving you twenty percent healthier but fifty percent unhappier? 

What affordable luxury that would give you five minutes of happiness are you too proud and too frugal and too guilty pursue? 

In other words, when did you decide that you didn’t deserve to feel good? 

Listen. Listen loudly. At any point during any day, we can pause and remember that we have a place to come home to. It’s a small price to pay for health and sanity. 

But these moments are so small and soft and subtle, they’re easy to miss. And forget about. And get lazy with. And take for granted. And sadly, we can never go back to claim the joy we missed yesterday. 

And so, the goal is not only to see the big picture, but also to notice, experience, enjoy, share and give thanks for the little ones. 

That’s the irony. If we’re not able to do these small things for ourselves, and if we’re not allowing enthusiasm for life’s smaller offerings, then we’re actually missing the picture entirely.


LET ME ASK YA THIS…

Do you have a handy list of existentially nourishing activities and tasks that are guaranteed to provide you with the experience of meaning and joy?

* * * *

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.

With questions in my head spinning like plates on sticks

Many of us have mission statements, but we should really have mission questions. 

Because good questions work on us, we don’t work on them. Each one is a small experiment. A mirror into which we can see what’s possible for us. And if we learn to love questions themselves as if they were locked rooms, there’s no telling what me might discover inside. 

Several years ago, my company launched a search engine, indexed with five thousand questions from my personal database. It’s crude and simple, but it’s also a helpful resource for writing, reflecting, conducting meetings and even facilitating team brainstorms. 

What’s interesting is how the questions naturally clump together. Almost like galaxies. The questions are related, like members an extended family of ideas around a general topic, gradually forming into a whole. 

One example I recently discovered was a collection of questions centered around misinterpreting past performance. They challenge us to rethink our experiences through the lenses of maturity and perspective and distance. 

And so, reflect back on a past relationship or job experience or period of your life, and see which of these questions resonate with you. 

  • Were you smart, or just lucky? 
  • Were you innovative, or merely opportunistic? 
  • Did you fix something, or simply change the problem? 
  • Were you really growing, or merely rearranging your prejudices? 
  • Was there true joy in the act, or was it just anesthesia? 
  • Were you standing up for your integrity, or just full of pride? 
  • Were you making a serious change, or just going through a phase? 

They’re certainly not the most comfortable questions to answer. But that’s point. The confrontation with self might create an episode of unusual mental clarity. 

And once you taste that understanding, you will become much more aware of when things are not clear in the future. 


LET ME ASK YA THIS…

When everything is gliding along fine, do you still question things? 
* * * *

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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