Better to shake hands with the devil we know

Some people refuse to go along with anything they don’t believe in. 

They are constitutionally unwilling to compromise, and will not negotiate their moral integrity under any circumstance. 

This is a noble and admirable trait. These people should one hundred percent be congratulated on having, meeting and holding their own high standards. 

But this also does not mean compromise is an unforgivable flaw of character. 

Quite the opposite, in fact. Compromise can be a credible pathway to fulfillment. 

Maisel explains in his book about the religion of creativity that we will naturally feel uncomfortable as we work out our own brand of compromise. But compromise is necessary, and we are challenged to make peace with our decisions and integrate the compromise into the web of our being. 

Because in the long run, it’s better to shake hands with the devil than be a martyr for some idea of purity. 

My position on this issue has evolved significantly over the years. 

In my teens and twenties, I was the person who took pride in having unbreakable integrity and unbendable personal ethics, regardless of how it affected the people around me. Anytime my familiar sense of self was compromised or threatened, the battle for moral consistency would commence. 

However, what occurred to me into my thirties was, sometimes being too virtuous can be counterproductive. Sometimes when we stick to our guns, we shoot ourselves in the foot, and then splatter bloody chunks of flesh all over other people’s shoes. 

Point being, just because someone is willing to get on board even if their beliefs are not completely in sync, it doesn’t make them hypocritical, inauthentic or even wrong. 

Just human. 

Look, we all work out our own brand of compromise eventually. 

The question is how we choose to integrate it. 


LET ME ASK YA THIS…

Do you accept that even the most idealized creatures turn out to be merely human and therefore flawed? 

* * * *

Scott Ginsberg

That Guy with the Nametag

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

scott@hellomynameisscott.com

www.nametagscott.com

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Digging our existential well before we’re thirsty

Every day we need to do things as ways to feel good, even if we don’t feel bad. 

It’s like having an existential insurance policy. 

Instead of waiting until we are sad and lonely and in need, we get out in front of the hopelessness and nip it in the bud. We continuously contribute to our personal savings account of meaning. Trusting that the funds will be available whenever we need to make a withdrawal, but also knowing that they will not evaporate if we choose not to. 

Hindu mystics call this process digging our well before we are thirsty. But it’s more than just a spiritual platitude. It’s a daily practice for routinizing our existential savings. 

Each morning, for example, we make choices to do things during the day that are guaranteed to provide us with good feelings. Even if we don’t necessarily feel bad right now, or plan on feeling bad later. Because that’s not the point. 

Existential insurance is about making meaning, not monitoring moods. It’s a decision, not a discovery. A daily practice like anything else. 

And so, sitting around trying to gauge how happy or sad or lonely we are, is not a prudent use of our time. Going for a walk in the park because we know that it will help us feel energized and connected to nature, is. 

Waiting until despair darkens our doorstep and grabs hold of our hearts, only to then drown our sorrows in whippets, is not a healthy strategy. Calling up five friends we have not spoken to in months and sharing our feelings, is. 

Grab a shovel. Sink your hands into the hard earth. Let the rains fall as they will. 

And trust the process of digging your well to quench your thirst



LET ME ASK YA THIS…

Are you doing things as ways to feel good, even if you don’t feel bad?



* * * *

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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Entering into a different relationship with meaning

Life does not have to be a heart wrenching struggle to discover some tiny fragment of meaning. 

Even if we feel helplessly trapped within the bleak prison of shattered dreams and blasted hopes, working soul crushing, mind numbing jobs devoid of any upward mobility, there is still a way to lift things up so that they rise to a place of significance. 

Remember, meaning is a decision, not a discovery. 

Each day is a negotiation where we make choices about feeling fulfilled with the experiences we have. 

In the same way that my meditation instructor says, we are only a few breaths away from a calmer physiology, we are only a few choices away from making meaning. 

For example, if we make it all the way to a third round job interview with an amazing company, but ultimately get rejected, that is not empirical proof that we are an unemployable miscarriage of a human. 

It’s a reminder that because something happened, it means that it’s possible. And where there is one, there is a ton. 

Framing our story in such a way, feeling good about the experiences we are having, these are decisions. They are ways of lifting up the work so that it rises to a place of meaningfulness. 

And that gives us more motivational energy to bounce back and pursue the next opportunity. 

Proving, that wherever we are headed, each of us can choose whether we will go willingly, or whether we will be painfully dragged. 



LET ME ASK YA THIS…

How could you do things as a way to feel good, even if you don’t feel bad?



* * * *

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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Join our community of innovators, artists and entrepreneurs


Tension continues to build when you avoid making choices

All of our cumbersome ideas about what we require to start, all of our postponements and excuses for our lack of creative discipline, and all of our waiting around until we have things tidily wrapped and packaged to finish, these are just a few of the obstacles that we set up for ourselves. 

It’s another classic case of complexity being attractive because it feels like progress. 

But the irony is, all this complexity is building tension and consuming energy. Artfully creating an endless stream of distractions that prevent us from realizing just how pointless it all really is. 

Hell, if we put half the energy of our protests into doing the actual work, companies would start contracting us to deliver seminars on productivity. 

When will we ever learn that the thing sapping us of the energy and motivation we need to do something about our problem is within? 

It’s akin to the classic horror movie scenario

A babysitter is home alone. She receives a creepy phone call asking if she has checked the kids. She calls the police. They trace it and they tell her, the calls are coming from inside the house. Cue the scary music and bloodcurdling scream. 

This is an impeccable metaphor for the human condition. Because so many of us believe that we are safe inside our homes, when we’re actually locked in the building with the psycho who’s been making threatening calls the whole time. 

Except in real life, instead of a guy with a hockey mask and a rusty machete, it’s actually our ego. Convincing us all our bullshit complexity and politicking and maneuvering and planning and justifying is a positive use of our energy. 

But it’s not. Just when we think we finally have everything we want and we are ready to move forward with our commitment, our ego steps in and says, oh really? 

The call is coming from inside the house. 

Don’t pick up the phone. Don’t even go near it. 

Unplug it, smash it against the wall and chuck the pieces in trash. 


LET ME ASK YA THIS…

Who still has a landline anyway? 

* * * *

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


When the light in your eyes fade away and dies

Adulting is a new word that means carrying out the duties and responsibilities of fully developed individuals, such as filing taxes, going to work, paying bills, doing household chores and eating vegetables. 

Naturally, there is an entire generation of young people who view adulting as exhausting, annoying and dreadful. 

And they’re not wrong. Growing up is hard work. 

Mayer sings it best in his confronting pop song:

Honesty, won’t someone stop this train?
Scared of getting older, and I’m only good at being young
So I play the numbers game,
To find a way to say that life has just begun. 

But being an adult has its advantages. And not the ones we read about in glossy magazines, but the ones we learn when once we reach a certain age. 

Here are a few of my personal favorites. 

As adults, we can choose a path that meets our grownup needs. 

As adults, there are no official or unofficial requirement for a fulfilled life. 

As adults, there is no settling, only maturing and evolving. 

As adults, we have the choice of developing our own idea of god. 

As adults, we don’t need to explain and justify ourselves to other adults. 

As adults, we don’t have to do something just because somebody expects us to. 

As adults, we can hold two conflicting emotions at the same time. 

As adults, we can feel secure enough to be humble. 

As adults, we can communicate about the reality of our situation and try to make it work. 

This list goes on and on. And with each new item we add, it only gets more liberating. 

Not to mention, it helps us forget about the reality that we are just another meaningless blip on the cosmic timeline and soon the light in our eyes will fade away and die be forgotten forever. 


LET ME ASK YA THIS…

What do you love most about adulting? 

* * * *

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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A verbal description of a discrete piece of reality

My therapist friend has a mantra that he uses with clients: 

If it takes more than four words, then it’s probably not a feeling. 

In fact, just because we use the word feel in a sentence does not necessarily mean that we are communicating our emotions effectively. 

For example, when we whine to a coworker about how we feel that our boss is being an unfair asshole, that is not a feeling. Definitely a thought, a judgment, an opinion, an observation, an accusation and an adjective, but not a feeling. 

It’s simply a verbal description of a discrete piece of reality. 

Saying that we feel scared is a feeling. Saying that we are disgusted is a feeling. Saying that we have become angry is a feeling. See the difference? 

This distinction is something I used to practice in a men’s group. Part of our standing leadership challenge was to speak our microscopic truth in real time. To guide each other towards our true emotions, rather than getting caught up in story. Our goal was not to make each other feel better, rather, to help each other get better at feeling. 

That way, out in the world when we catch ourselves drifting into story, we can recenter ourselves by returning to feelings. 

Four words or less. 

Instead of saying that we feel life is a grotesque, meaningless charade, we simply say we feel hopeless. 

Instead of remarking that our job at the bank is a constant and crushing sense unbearable suffering, we say that we feel sad. 

And so on. 

This is how we participate fully in our own experiences. 

We become clear, concise and objective witnesses to the topography of our emotions. 



LET ME ASK YA THIS…

Do you rely on your own feelings as a valuable source of information?

* * * *

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


Passion follows you, not the other way around

Conventional business wisdom tells us that our sweet spot is found at the intersection of three key elements. 

Passion, talent, and opportunity. 

All we have to do is answer three simple questions. 

1. What are you deeply in love with? 

2. What are you genetically encoded for? 

3. What makes economic sense in the marketplace? 

Or, to paraphrase the famous theologian, the place where our deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet. 

In my experience, however, not all three of these elements are created equally. Each gives you a different kind of leverage than the other. 

Say you have an innate talent for acting. Getting into character and doing voices and emoting in a compelling way in front of an audience is something you’re so good at, you make look easy. 

But it’s not your passion, merely a talent. 

Sure, acting is an enjoyable activity for you, and you’d be delighted to perform when the spirit moves. Just not for eight hours a day. Acting isn’t how you’d want to earn your livelihood. It’d be exhausting and unsustainable as a career for you. Even if there was a line of customers around the block willing to pay good money for your show. 

In that scenario, you can see the limited leverage of things like talent and opportunity. 

Both are important to have, but they’re not the most critical. 

Passion, on the other hand, is. 

My friend once told me, look, if you’re fired up about doing something, then that means working on it will make you happier. Which means the quality of the work will be higher, and your positive energy will infect team members and customers. Don’t worry, we’ll find a way to use it. Your passion will give us the leverage to channel that energy into a direction that meets our business goals. 

That advice my friend gave me validated one of my favorite contrarian theories:

Passion follows you, not the other way around. 

Turns out, passion is agnostic to things like location, platform, audience or company. Passion can set up shop anywhere it needs to, making itself at home wherever you go. It’s like a universal power adapter with twin voltage converters that can channel electricity in whatever outlet is available. 

Which path you take isn’t that important. It’s what you carry with you that matters.

You make a decision and commit yourself to a new project or a job or an endeavor. And once you start moving, you find various ways to embed your passion into the pavement that leads the way, giving yourself and everyone around you a smooth road on which to travel. 

People mistakenly think passion is a place we get to, but it’s quite the opposite. It’s a place we come from. 

Think about the friend or coworker of yours whose passion is undeniable. They’re someone who knows exactly what gets them fired up, and how to use that in the service of their goals. Odds are, that person can walk into a room where not a single person believes them, besides them. But they have so much belief of their own, that they’re unstoppable. 

That sense of inevitability of success can only come from deep, consistent expression of passion. 

If you know that you’re playing your game, and you’re playing it in the way that only you can play it, you will play it better than anyone else in the world. 

Focus on building everything around that uniqueness of who you are, and that will give you enough leverage to help the economic opportunities fall into place. 


LET ME ASK YA THIS…

Are you following your passion, or letting it follow 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

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