Then you beat yourself up and forget all about gentleness

Making music in a professional recording studio setting can bring up a host of unexpected concerns, problems and anxieties. 

Having recorded ten records of my own in a variety of different facilities around the country, I can attest that laying down tracks is no easy task. 

Because the pressure is really on. Studio time is not only expensive, but finite. The meter is always running. Artists only have so many hours to finish the songs, and they only have so much energy with which to do so. 

Plus, unlike the unique imperfectness of performing live, studio recording comes with the implied goal of precision and excellence. And that adds additional anxiety to the process. 

Personally, my struggle has always been not beating myself up between takes. Especially when it’s late at night at everybody wants to go home and there’s that one stupid riff after the bridge that keeps tripping me up. It makes me want to smash my head into the fretboard until there’s a bloody, pulpy mess on the studio floor. 

Phil, my longtime recording engineer, once took me aside during a particularly long recording session and gave me the following advice:



I have been producing records longer than you have been alive, and here’s what I learned. Beating yourself up is tempting, but it also details momentum and misdirects valuable creative energy. When you flub a note or miss a beat or sing off key, just stay with the song. We’ll keep rolling tape, you take a deep breath, and then start again. Trust the notes to be there for you, and you’ll get the song right. 

Phil taught me that we can’t beat ourselves up for being human. Even if we are paying by the hour, we still should relax into the moment and not be so hard on ourselves. 

Are you bound and determined to make things as hard on yourself as possible? 

Then it may be time to free yourself from the clutches of unnecessary distress. 


LET ME ASK YA THIS…

Where do you have a hard time forgiving yourself? * * * *

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


Blending into the woodwork of the room

The goal of a good photographer is to be invisible. 

To document what is taking place, accurately capture the mood and the emotion of the moment, and most importantly, to not change what is taking place. 

Souza, the legendary presidential photographer who took millions of pictures of two different commanders in chief, calls this approach leaving a small footprint. Meaning, he always used the quietist and most unobtrusive equipment, moved around his subjects gingerly, basically blending into the woodwork of the room. 

Every photographer faces this dilemma of being invisible. Their job, after all, is to capture subjects in their natural state. If they are too conspicuous, the shot won’t be authentic. 

Quantum physicists named this phenomenon the observer effect, which states that that human beings modify their actions in response to their awareness of being observed. That’s how subatomic particles roll. They exist in an indeterminate state until they are observed. 

And so, this analogy points to the issue of influence. That each leader, camera in hand or not, always has a responsibility to the energy of the moment. 

In some situations, their role is to hang in the background and try not to change what is taking place. To let the space breathe and let feelings and moments emerge without our interference. 

But in other situations, their role is quite the opposite. Sensitive to the fundamental human need to be seen, they give people the gift of psychological visibility. 

They remind people, with the lens of their eyes, that their life will not go unnoticed and unwitnessed. 

Not on their watch. 



LET ME ASK YA THIS…

How do you feel when somebody makes you feel invisible?

* * * *

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


Error is not the obstacle, it is the path itself

Chambers once preached that the reason people fail is because they are ignorant of the way they are made. 

Which is certainly true, but it’s not the only reason. 

People also fail because they are insistent on being the way they are, even when it doesn’t work. They may say that they want to change. And they may even take small measures to do so. But it’s mostly a performance. It’s a defense against a difficult truth about themselves they’d rather not entertain. 

Think about it, why burn calories doing the hard work of changing when we can simply reach into our briefcase of bullshit and eloquently justify staying the way we are? 

Schulz, in her humbling book of adventures in the margin of error, reminds readers that although to err is human, most of us go through our lives assuming, and sometimes insisting, that we are right about nearly everything, from the origins of the universe to how to correctly load the dishwasher. 

But error, she says, is not the obstacle in the path toward truth, it is the path itself. Whereas being right rarely teaches us who we really are. 

And so, instead of pointing fingers and grilling each other, as if to say, what is your major malfunction numb nuts, let us wonder aloud with each other from a place of compassion and curiosity. 

Is it possible that this is something we can and should change? What if the way we were was something that could be changed for the good of all, ourselves included? 

Remember, all change is interpersonal. It’s driven by the interactions between people, rather than by people themselves. 

And it all starts with ability to accommodate ourselves to wrongness. 

Instead of struggling in vain to make the world stay the way it was. 



LET ME ASK YA THIS…

Are you actively ignoring change and hoping it will go away before it gets to 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


Honest about coming to terms with the cost of change

Everybody is annoying. 



We all have certain
habits and traits that cause friction in our lives. We all have facets of our
character that frustrate some people and charm others. And we all have a
workable set of excuses to defend and protect those very behaviors. 



Take it
from a guy with a black belt in the ancient art of stubborn persistence. This
is when we decide that our flaws are simply not severe enough to warrant a
wholesale change. 



This is who we are, damn it, it’s a package moment,
and if people don’t like it, they can go to hell. 
Has anybody seen my
authenticity award? 

The question is, as my favorite executivecoachasks her clients, what happens when the
things that were always heroic about our behavior start to prevent us from
working effectively? What happens when our method reaches its point of
diminishing returns, and refusing to accept change costs more than changing
itself? 

Each of us have a responsibility to be on the lookout for this moment. 

The sign we are always searching for is, okay, this isn’t working for us
anymore

It reminds me of my thirtieth birthday. Or as my older brother
affectionately called it, upgrading to the three point zero version of myself. 

That transition not only ushered in a new decade of my life, but also a new
disposition with which to navigate it. Leaving behind my twenties meant letting
go of a whole host of behaviors and habits that were no longer serving me. 

What
got me here won’t get me there.

That particular birthday
felt empowering, scary, exhilarating, but also sad. Because it was a death. As
all change is. 

Are you ready to push past the gravitational pull of what isn’t
working? Are you willing to consider the possibility that you have made the
wrong investment? 

If so, then it’s time to come to terms with the true cost of
change. 

Because as any economist will tell you, inflation is a bitch. The
longer you wait, the more painful it will be. 


LET ME ASK YA THIS…

What if the cost of being wrong was cheaper than the cost of doing nothing?

* * * *

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


You are not going to coerce me into hating you

Every time we want to resent the success of another, there’s always somebody to remind us not to hate the player, hate the game. 

But in reality, when was the last time hating something accomplished anything? 

This empty, frivolous meme is not a sustainable career strategy and it’s not meaningful advice. It’s just a license for cruelty. Towards self and others. 

Look, we live in an unfair world where there is no universal justice system and success does not have a line. It sucks. And it can be infuriating and discouraging. 

But harboring contempt for the system will not bring us any closer to our dreams. Doing everything we can to destroy and discredit the game is not a smart use of our time and talent. 

My favorite horror novelist depicts this human struggle in his chilling book about subliminal advertising:



If the competition legally uses it, what choice does even the most morally uplifted company really have? Everyone has to stay competitive. There are no individual villains. The whole system is the villain. 

If we are still pissed that our dreams have not come true yet, that’s fine. But let us channel that energy into meaningful activities that help move our story forward. Because no matter how strong the gravitational pull of cynicism is, the world is not going to coerce us into hating it. 

Our job is to reduce the quantity of fear and loathing and suffering in the world. 

First inwardly, then outwardly. 


LET ME ASK YA THIS…

Are you playing the game better, or playing the game differently?

* * * *

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


May your body glow in red and yellow hues

A few years ago, a team of biomedical engineers conducted a study that mapped out human emotions on people’s bodies using different colors on something called somatotopic maps. 

Scientists concluded that this experience of what they called embodiment, that is, unraveling subjective bodily sensations, could play a critical role in people’s emotional processing. 

For example, anger and anxiety presented as fiery orange, located in the head and chest; whereas depression and sadness presented as icy blue, located in the arms, legs and pelvis. Fascinating. 

What color are you feeling right now? 

But for those of us without access to topographical somatotopic maps and brain science laboratories, we can still learn from this experiment. Because the concept challenges us to express our feelings through, and connect our emotions to the body. 

After all, they are not separate entities. Everything is integrated. And it’s useful to view our experiences through that lens. 

Here are some imaginative meditations that have been useful to me in this regard. 

The eyes of faith are blinded right now, but maybe no mistakes are being made. 

The muscle of hope is at rest right now, but maybe my great good is being brought to bear in the background. 

The lungs of confidence are congested right now, but maybe they are quietly expanding in flexibility and strength. 

The blood flow of inspiration is dammed right now, but maybe the reservoir is refilling beneath the surface. 

Remember, your body never lies to you. Listen loudly. 


LET ME ASK YA THIS…

What if the body you think is betraying you is actually calling out a warning that will take you years to understand?

* * * *

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


Kick doubt in the ass and live to tell the tale

Our teachers and parents never properly prepared us for the restless experience of doubting ourselves. 

Apparently, we’re all big strong tough guys. 

Because instead of learning how to navigate and accommodate the occasional crisis of faith that comes with the territory of being alive, we were trained to double down on our devotion, kick doubt’s ass right out of our minds and crack on until we succeeded or died trying. No retreat, no surrender, and never back down. 

This attitude might be helpful, but it’s not exactly human. And it might be hopeful, but it’s not necessarily healing. 

Cameron writes in her book about sparking creativity that we should not pick up our first doubt, as it starts a chain reaction of further doubts. 

But let’s be real here. Sometimes we can find a perverse satisfaction in continuing to indulge in doubt. Sometimes, as we are burdened by ricocheting doubts, it can actually liberate us to think:



You know, in this world, where darkness intrudes all over, we can’t be paranoid enough. Maybe everybody is right and our vision is completely delusional and it’s time to reconsider our method. 

This feeling of doubt, like all feelings, is a weather pattern. It has a beginning, a middle and an end. And so, we may as well feel it. Our emotional health isn’t helped by denial. 

Particularly if doubt is an emotional color that we don’t often paint with, why not remain in the presence of it until the feeling has run its course? That act alone is heroic enough to make ourselves feel proud and cement our resolve in the long run. 

Besides, leaning into our doubt will gives us insight and perspective on what the dark side of hope actually tastes like. Which isn’t a bad thing to know. 

And so, if you find yourself on the blunt and depressing end of rejection, if you are entering into your existential dark night of doubt, perhaps kicking that feeling in the ass and living to tell the tale is not the best logline of your hero’s journey. 

Don’t let anybody put unrealistic expectations on what you should and should not feel. 

Each us contains the antidote to our own episodes of doubt. It’s called time. 


LET ME ASK YA THIS…

Does your faith have a pulse?

* * * *

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


Cowering inside our own small circle of worry

My favorite definition of the word perspective is:

The faculty of seeing all the relevant data in a meaningful relationship. 

Consider the following archetypes of how that might play out. 

The job seeker who must cope with multiple rejections on a daily basis. Instead of cowering inside his own small circle of worry each time he hears no, he chooses to view the bigger picture. He documents the many other victories he accomplishes each day, large or small, trusting that they will build momentum and keep moving his story forward. 

Take the injured athlete who must sit on the sidelines of practices and games for six weeks. As opposed to solely focusing on the disappointing aspects of her temporary physical condition, she balances the scales to create the most holistic depiction of her experience. Because regardless of her new injury, she is still part of a great team who values her presence and benefits from her strategic thinking and emotional encouragement. 

Or consider a location independent freelancing couple who has little or no guarantee of sustaining their joint creative enterprise from overseas. Rather than holding a clouded, unrealistic and negatively biased picture of their circumstances, they consider any failure against the broader context of their exciting and liberated lifestyle. 

That is the key to perspective. 

Seeing all the relevant data in a meaningful relationship between us and our circumstances, and realizing that despite our frustration and sadness, it’s probably not as bad as our anxiety tells us it is. 


LET ME ASK YA THIS…

Why is it that you believe our entire life depends on this one thing? 

* * * *

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


Steal Scott’s Ideas: 366 Daily Meditations On Playing The Game Of Creativity

Ever since childhood, I’ve always loved reading historical books about the bright ideas that changed the world and the inspirational people who brought them to life. 

There’s something magical about studying the history of famous inventions, mistakes that turned into big businesses, and everyday items had surprisingly haphazard beginnings. 

But we can’t consume our way to innovation. The only way to ratchet up our species is to create. 

And so, many years ago I started keeping an innovation log. An ongoing database of ideas for products, services, inventions, businesses, organizations and other types of media. Mostly as a writing exercise, but also because I love solving the creative problem, not just studying it. 

Productive daydreaming is a worthwhile muscle to build. Fleshing out new ideas that could potentially improve humanity and save money and deliver joy to people who need it most, this process is energizing to me. It makes me feel useful. It challenges me to create value in the world, even if my absurd ideas don’t change it. 

Now, one of the insights I’ve uncovered along this creative process is, behind every moment of unhappiness, anxiety, loneliness, frustration, anger, inconvenience and confusion, is a new innovation waiting to be born. 

That’s my favorite part of the process. Scouring message boards and product reviews and customer complaints and my own life experience to find those moments. Those insider signals. Those tiny details that trigger a whole world, act as shorthand for a shared culture and capture where certain people have landed. 

Anyway, over time, that innovation log turned into a series of blog posts, which evolved into a series of corporate workshops, which inspired me to develop some parody commercial spots, which birthed the idea for my product development and innovation gameshow and card game, all of which became the source material for this book

Hope you enjoy winning playing the game of creativity as much as I do. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS…

Who’s stealing your ideas?

* * * *

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

Fickle fortune will find another friend soon

Consider the following passage from the bestselling novel about the smartest dog in the world:

Lem grew up with the conviction that any success he achieved was merely a precarious toehold on the cliff of life, that he was always in danger of being blown off that cliff by the winds of adversity. 

Does any part of that ring true for you? 

Certainly does for me. Success, after all, is a complicated beast. Because for the longest time, we are waiting for it to be delivered to our door like a pizza. Trapped in the ego vortex of what we expect and what we think we deserve, we expect miracles to happen according to our personal timetable. 

But then, when lady fortune comes to us with both hands full, we somehow don’t trust her.



This must be some kind of mistake. Better to protect against feeling bad by not feeling too good. Right around the corner is something that is going to be the end of everything. Better to assume that fickle fortune will find another friend soon, and be steel ourselves against that abandonment, we tell ourselves. 

The antidote to this endless circle jerk of rumination is appreciation. 

Accepting the impermanence of everything, but also feeling gratitude for our own good fortune in the moment. 

Tolerating the ebbs and flows of life, but also allowing ourselves to trust the eternal availability of joy. 

Honoring the failures as sure signs of growth, but also knowing that good flows to us from many unexpected directions. 

Doesn’t that sound smarter than commiserating with paranoid people looking for things to be paranoid about? 

Besides, even if fortune does give us a temporary boost, it is still we ourselves who must climb the cliffs of life. 



LET ME ASK YA THIS…

Are you afraid to enjoy your success because you know it will end? 

* * * *

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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