How to Blow People Away with Your Commitment

Every speech I give is two speeches:

(1) The speech my audience thinks they’re getting when they walk in the door, and (2) the speech my audience realizes they got when they walk out the door.

The first speech changes each gig.
Depends on the audience, depends on the venue and depends on the needs of the client.

The second speech rarely changes.
It’s almost always about commitment, consistency and stick-to-itiveness.

Because that’s what my message is ultimately about.

It’s not about sticking a nametag on your chest; it’s about tattooing your commitment to your chest and wearing it proudly, every day.

How do you communicate to the world that you’re fully committed?

Here’s a list of strategies to blow people away with your commitment:1. Take the longcut. Commitment is a constitutional core value. And the capacity to sustain it over a long period of time is not something you’ll learn from a book. Or a weekend seminar. Or a membership website. Or even this blog.

It’s cultivated by surrounding yourself with people who are commitment personified, listening to the music of their lives – then replaying that music over and over until you know every word, every note and every beat by heart.

Then, over time, allowing that music to profoundly penetrate you – down to the core – and making a conscious decision (not a choice, but a decision) that commitment is something you’re going to commit to.

And, that commitment is something that matters to you. Otherwise you’re not committed – you’re just interested. And your efforts to blow people away will be filled with nothing but hot air. Like my friend Kristi writes in Grounded Optimism, “The fastest and most habit-forming route is to make something more meaningful to you.”

Remember: Commitment isn’t something you can game. It takes time. It takes work. And it takes the deepest parts of you. How are you laying a foundation that builds commitment?

2. Don’t make choices without mirroring decisions. My friend Judson lectures to college students about change and choice. During a recent freshman orientation program, he talked about the difference between choices and decisions. Apparently they’re not the same thing.

Finally, after a two-week long, in-depth conversation, Judson inspired me clarify the distinction: The word “decision” comes from the Latin decisio, or “agreement.” Which means it’s a function of values. Which means you gave it serious thought. Which means it’s part your core.

The word “choice” comes from the German kausjan, or “test.” Which means it’s a function of context. Which means you give it minimal thought. Which means it’s an extension of your core.

For example: I made the decision long ago that I would remain in full control of my faculties. As a result, when I’m presented with the choice to do something that violates that decision – like drinking alcohol, for example – self-control is a walk in the park.

Therefore: Decisions are about precedent; choices are about preference. Decisions are made by you; choices are presented to you. Decisions are directions from the heart; choices are selections from the head. And decisions are agreements with yourself; choices are tests of those agreements.

The cool part is: Once you understand this distinction, you’ll begin to make both decisions and choices wisely. And people will be blown away by your commitment. What are you deciding?

3. Be known as someone who owns. Not like, a condo. I’m talking about owning your truth. Living your name. And remaining unwilling to edit yourself to appease the insecurities of others.

That’s what really blows people away: When you communicate to the world that you are fully committed to the person you’ve become. And in this case, to “own it” means to display, embrace it and enjoy it. It also means to participate in the creation of it, to take responsibility for it and to make all the decisions about it.

Even when doing so makes you uncomfortable and/or alienates people. Small price to pay for committing with both feet. Besides, better to be hated for the person you are than loved for the person you’re not. What are you known for owning?

4. Commitment is a coronary condition. I don’t know about you, but my heart is a nuclear reactor. And when I feel its inner alarm reverberating through my bones, not a force in this world can keep me down.

That’s the secret to committing: To stay in tune with your heart. That way, you’ll know when it’s time to press forward. “With great haste and without a moment’s hesitation,” like Goethe suggested.

And while you probably don’t want to recklessly surge forward at top speed, you do want to execute fast enough to scare away the insufficiently committed chumps watching from the sidelines. After all, few things are more powerful than a person ignited entirely by her own instinct.

Come on. Be heartstrong. Say it with your chest. What will be the domain of actions in which you engage?

5. Establish enduring sources of vitality. If you want to blow people away with your commitment, you need to go looking for oxygen. A wellspring of support that energizes and nourishes you.

For example, I practice yoga four days a week. I play music and sing every day of the week. And when I travel, I’m lucky enough to have a girlfriend that fuels me from afar.

What are your sources of vitality? What breathes life into you? After all, vitality comes from the Latin vita, or, life. And when the air gets thin, you’ll need those sources to help you (and your commitments make it out alive).

After all, it’s kind of hard to blow people away with a collapsed lung. At least that’s what my thoracic surgeon told me after he removed my chest tube that one time. What contains the energy you need to catapult you out of this commitment rut?

6. Sustain a deliberate commitment practice. Before he sailed the ocean blue, Columbus had to make a fifteen-year long sales pitch to Ferdinand & Isabella. Can you imagine being that patient? That persistent? There’s a man on a mission of cosmic significance.

If that’s not commitment, I don’t know what is. And if you want to mirror that same level of commitment for the people who matter most, try this: Activate a firm sequence of consistent, similar actions.

Do this, and your life will become a constant demonstration.
Do this, and your commitment will be perceived as unquestionable.

Remember: Consistency isn’t an accident. Sometimes the easiest way to blow people away is to refuse to go away. Will you be the last man to abandon the hill?

7. Be a public spokesperson for your values. The single most powerful personal development exercise I’ve ever done is to write my own Personal Constitution. This is a list of non-negotiable values and decision-making mechanisms. I carry it in my wallet wherever I go.

And while I don’t show it to that many people, simply by virtue of carrying it on my person helps me become a public spokesperson for what matters to me. To write one for yourself, keep a few things in mind:

First, the word “constitution” derives from the Latin constitutio, or, “ordinance.” However, it’s a living document. Which means it’s amenable. And as you grow and develop personally and professionally, various elements of your constitution reserve the right to modify.

Secondly, your constitution is the composition and condition of your character. An established arrangement of your fundamental values governing your behavior. The aggregate of personal characteristics comprising your foundation.

The challenge is sitting down and sorting everything out. But if you’re willing to reflect on yourself (and have a confrontation with yourself) you’ll have no doubt in your mind what you’re committed to and why.

Remember: Commitment requires a clear and rigorous definition. How will you make sure people are clear on what you say you care about?

FINAL WARNING: There’s a difference between unquestionable commitment and petty vindictiveness.

If you plan to blow people away, make sure you’re doing so for the right reasons.

Otherwise the wind is going to bounce back twice as strong.

ULTIMATELY: Those who are committed aren’t just commended – they’re compensated.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
Are you ready to commit with both feet?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
For the list called, “62 Pieces of Advice Busy Executives Need to Know, but Don’t Have Time to Learn on Their Own,” send an email to me, and I’ll send you the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Entrepreneur, Mentor
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

Who’s quoting YOU?

Check out Scott’s Online Quotation Database for a bite-sized education on branding success!

www.stuffscottsaid.com.

Has Your Brand Picked a Lane Yet?

A brand without focus is destined to be forgotten.

Try to make everybody happy, and you lose.
Try to make everybody like you, and you lose.
Try to make everybody want you, and you lose.

Success, therefore, is a process of elimination.

It’s learning what your brand can live without.

MY SUGGESTION: Stop your driving your brand all over the interstate.

You’ll either get pulled over, cause an accident or piss off the other drivers. Plus, it’ll take forever to get to your destination. And if you’ve got three screaming kids in backseat, you’ll want to get there as soon as possible.INSTEAD: Remember what you learned on day one of geometry class.

The shortest distance between two points is a straight line.

This is a mathematical truth.

AND SO: If the shortest distance between two points is a straight line, doesn’t it make sense – that when you’re cruising down the branding expressway – to just pick a lane and stay there?

Well, if you want your brand to arrive first it does.

THE CHALLENGE IS: How do you know which lane to pick?

That’s easy. Just fire up the only true GPS in the world – your heart. And consider asking yourself, your company and your brand these questions to figure out which lane to pick:

1. Will this choice add to my life force or rob me of my energy?

2. Does this choice add wood to my internal fire or sprinkle water on it?

3. Will this choice propel me toward an inspiring future or will it keep me stuck in the past?

4. Will this choice bring me long-term fulfillment or will it bring me short-term gratification?

5. If I make this choice, what will I be saying no to?

FINAL CAVEAT: While picking a lane leads to branding freedom, staying in that lane forever leads to branding failure.

Look. People change lanes all the time. And there’s nothing wrong with that. The secret is to stay in your lane for as long as your brand can handle it. Then, when the time comes, move into another one.

Who knows? Maybe for you, it’s time to flip on your turn signal.

Or, perhaps it’s time to set the cruise control to eighty, crank up some Van Halen and drive your brand into the sunset.

Just pick a lane.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
Is your brand focused or forgotten?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
For the list called, “25 Questions to Uncover Your Best,” send an email to me, and you win the list for free!

Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Entrepreneur, Mentor
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

Never the same speech twice.
Always about approachability.

Watch The Nametag Guy in action here!

8 Ways to Break the Mold Without Breaking the Budget

So, apparently, there’s a mold.

I was not aware of this.

I just assumed everyone thought for themselves.

Guess not.

According to a recent scientific study that I conducted yesterday by asking four of my friends, most people are other people. What’s more, further research proves that most people have no problem letting the world think for them.

Which, I guess I understand. It’s easier, faster, safer, cheaper and requires significantly less work.

THE ONLY PROBLEM IS: When you fail to question the constitution of the walls that enclose you, you insulate yourself from growth, learning and expansion.

If that scares you (which it should) consider this list of eight ways to break the mold without bruising your budget: (Photo credit from artist James Simon.)1. Be an obstructionist. Nothing illegal, Tex. Just the willingness to raise your hand and say, “Wait a sec – that’s not right.” This is the baseline posture where all mold breaking begins. When you let the world know that you’re not content to be a cog. When you refuse to the let the illusion play.

Instead, as an obstructionist, you stand up when everyone else stands mute. Then, inflamed with ardent desire, you verbalize your frustration and raise a howl of protest. That’s the only way anything will ever get broken around here. E.E. Cummings was right:

“To be nobody but yourself in a world that’s doing its best to make you somebody else, is to fight the hardest battle you are ever going to fight.”

Remember: Breaking the mold means breaking the silence. Make your voice heard by the people who matter. Have you raised your hand today?

2. Swim against the tide of what’s expected. When I assumed the presidency of my local association, my first mold-breaking order of business was to excise as much fat from our process as possible.

From removing redundant board procedures to axing inactive members that never attended meeting to deleting stupid expenses that drained organizational resources, the goal was to become lean and nimble. That way we could evolve as a chapter, as opposed to living a continued existence as an irrelevant integer.

The cool part was, all we had to do was stop, tilt our heads to the left and ask, “Why do we have to do it that way?” And most of the time, there was rarely an answer other than, “to satisfy the conventions of people who don’t matter.”

That’s how we broke the mold. That’s how we resurrected our chapter. And you have a similar choice in your own life, whether it’s organizational or personal: Will you yield gracefully to necessity or kneel obediently to mediocrity?

3. Exercise proactivity in environments designed to mitigate it. Some people will try to force you comply with their preferences; often times without rational justification or without respectful permission.

When this happens, the smartest thing you can do is to speak with a clear, sharp and committed voice. Let people know that you’ll be thinking for yourself, thank you very much. And that if they try to pull that stunt again, you’re gone.

Instead, declare yourself a victor with your own voice. Otherwise you’re nothing but a copy machine.

Remember: Your true colors are very bright. Do not let people dull them. Within each of us there is a spirit ready to respond to the world. That’s weapon that wasn’t meant to be holstered. Are you willing to stand up for what you believe at the cost of alienating people who don’t matter?

4. Create a juxtaposition that creates a reaction. While sitting outside of a local coffee shop yesterday, I watched two canvassers struggle to engage passerbys. During their break, I approached them and asked, “Have you guys ever thought about buying hot chocolate and handing out drinks to people instead of annoying them?”

The two girls laughed. I guess they thought I was kidding.

“Seriously, that would work,” I explained more passionately than necessary. “Think about it: It’s cold, it’s rainy and nobody wants to talk to you. But by unexpectedly offering hot chocolate, you’d break the pattern of predictability. And by delivering value first, you’d earn conversational permission. Ultimately, you’d engage people in a non-threatening way instead of verbally spamming them with unwanted noise about your cause.”

They stared at me like I was a homeless meth addict convinced he was Jesus.

I shrugged and walked away. Guess breaking the mold isn’t part of the Greenpeace Outreach Training Program. Sucks for the whales. What type of reaction are you creating through juxtaposition?

5. Assertively choose (not) to take action. As much as I advocate execution, sometimes the best way to break the mold is to do nothing while the rest of the world scrambles in fear. I’ve actually tried this before, and the results are stunning. Silence truly is eloquent testimony. And the world almost always pays attention, too.

Try this: Next time chaos erupts, choose not to mindlessly follow the masses with the standard-issue fight or flight response. Instead, try the third option. The one nobody tells you about:

Freeze.

Become the calmest person in the room. The strength of your stillness will shatter the mold into a million pieces. Remember: Courage comes from the paths you choose not to pursue. What action can you avoid this week?

6. Pick the box that says, “Other.” The world will try to put you in a box. And by “the world,” I mean: Parents. Friends. Customers. Coworkers. Colleagues. Competitors. Bosses. Strangers. The media. Organizations you belong to.

For example, in my professional association, there is a form all new members fill out to indicate the topic on which they give presentations. There’s only about two-dozen options. And unfortunately, no boxes for “approachability,” “execution” or “making a name for yourself.”

Which is precisely why I picked the box that says, “other.” Because I don’t need their box. And neither do you. In fact, the moment you realize that you don’t need people’s box is the moment you are set free. That’s when you look up from laptop and think, “Wait: There’s a mold?” Which box will you pick?

7. You can’t go through life in a straight line. Personally, I was never in the mold to begin with. Hell, I didn’t even know there was a mold. I don’t know about you, but I am under the highest obligations to defy conventional attitudes. It’s who I am. It’s who I’ve always been. And it’s probably who I’ll always be.

What can I say? I was born to be a delightful disturbance. And admittedly, my emotional predisposition for non-conformity has gotten me into some trouble over the years.

Fortunately, nothing serious. Nothing that hurt anybody. Nothing I wouldn’t update on my Facebook status. And nothing I’ll be ashamed to tell my grandchildren about. But I still chose to make waves, stilled rocked the boat and still shook people out of their petty preoccupations. Because in my experience, that’s the only way anything gets upgraded. Do you refuse to be satisfied with looking just once?

8. Refuse to live a life of zero distinction. George Carlin said it best, “Schools are indoctrination centers where kids are sent to be stripped of their individuality and turned into obedient soul dead conformist members of the American consumer culture.”

Lesson learned: If you want to break the mold, try breaking away from poisonous orbits. And not just schools. But whatever force, organization or corporate monolith attempts to crush your spirit – be conscious of their power. Be careful whom you listen to.

And remember that there’s no point in being scared of the system. That’s nothing but a waste of energy. Instead, as the voice inside you grows more urgent, channel your ambition into an organized campaign of disquiet.

Take what’s inside, push it out in an unrestrained manner and bring truth to power. That’s how you become an artist, says Nietzsche, who believed that art raises its hand where creeds relax. Is yours ready to flail in the air?

REMEMBER: Breaking the mold isn’t (just) about being different.

It’s about doing your own thinking.
It’s about crushing the confines of convention.
It’s about being the exception to as many rules as possible.
It’s about becoming the person you were before the world made you into what it wanted you to be.

Do that, and you won’t just break the mold – you’ll shatter it.

Then again, you could always do what I do and say, “What mold?”

After all, the best way to break the mold to remember that it doesn’t exist.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
What are you breaking?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
For the list called, “15 Ways to Out Learn Your Competitors,” send an email to me, and you win the list for free!

Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Entrepreneur, Mentor
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

Never the same speech twice.
Always about approachability.

Watch The Nametag Guy in action here!

8 Ways to Walk Your Truth in a World of Fiction

Occasionally, people will walk up to me and rip off my nametag.

This used to upset me.

I thought it was rude, invasive and disrespectful.

But after a few years, I got over it. Plus I got over myself. And I realized that people were just having fun. No need to cause a scene.

Besides, I have twenty pre-written nametags in my wallet at all times.

Not to mention a tattoo on my chest.

LESSON LEARNED: People can rip off your tag, but they can never steal your truth.

What about you? Are you prepared to walk your truth in a world of (mostly) fiction?

Here’s a collection of practices to you stay unquestionably committed to yourself:1. Committing to yourself is not a selfish act. That’s the first realization that needs to settle in: That you deserve to walk your truth. That you’re worth it to be honest to. It’s not selfish.

In fact, it’s the exact opposite. After all, you can’t commit to others if you haven’t first committed to yourself. Don’t worry: You’ll still have time to support the people who matter.

And yes, there will be plenty of times when your job – as a leader, as a parent, as a professional – demands that you take a back seat to others. Cool. Good call.

Just remember: The longer you go without putting your own name on your list, the harder it will be (and the guiltier you will feel) when you eventually try to take time for yourself. Think of it as a form of tithing.

As Myrtle Barringer wrote in her widely popular article, Putting Yourself First Without the Baggage of Guilt:

“Having the time to nourish and take care of ourselves has a tendency to take a back seat to all the other responsibilities we juggle. We naturally want to serve and be available to those we love. However, it often leaves us drained, tired and sometimes sick when we don’t stop to recharge our own battery.”

Who knows? Maybe walking your truth is as simple as taking a walk by yourself. How high are you on your own list?

2. Stay away from editors. Unless you’re a professional writer, delete all editors from your life. You know the people I’m talking about:

The ones who constantly correct everything you do. The ones who relentlessly require you to adjust who you are to accommodate their selfish needs. The ones who incessantly ensure that you’re molded into their idealized version of a person.

Yeah. Those people. I call them editors. And if you’re not careful, they will yank you off the path of your truth and lead you down a dangerous cul-de-sac of dishonesty.

That’s why I love my family: After thirty years, they’ve never asked me to edit myself.

They know I’m crazy. They know I’m different. And they know that certain parts of who I am will never change. And they’re okay with that. Because they’re all the exact same way. Normality isn’t exactly a common branch in the Ginsberg family tree.

And likewise, I would never ask them to edit themselves either. That’s how we roll at my house. Are you surrounding yourself with people who don’t ask you to edit yourself?

3. Win the battle over terminal certainty. In a recent article in Oprah Magazine, Mike Robbins writes:

“When we focus on winning or being right, we no longer can access the deepest places within our heart, which is where our real truth comes from. When we let go of our attachment to the outcome of a conversation, what the other person thinks and our erroneous obsession with always having to be right, we give ourselves the opportunity to get real.”

Lesson learned: Be right less. Kick your addiction to terminal certainty. Develop a healthy predisposition to compromise by becoming flexible enough to bend when needed, but without compromising your foundation.

You’ll be walking your truth in no time. Are you focusing on being right or being real?

4. Attract others with equal commitment. There’s a reason that the world perks up and notices when you walk your truth: Because honesty is so rare, it’s become remarkable.

I’m reminded of Brett Dennen’s song, Because You Are a Woman: “The self sin and struggle crowd the sidewalk, parading pose with phones and paper cups. But you walk like truth to a world of fiction.”

This lyric inspired my official definition of honesty: “Honoring the truth, your truth and other people’s truth, while standing on the edge of yourself to salute others without the desire to change, fix or improve them.”

The cool part is, once you employ this philosophy in your daily life, other committed people don’t just notice you – they join you. And this is a good thing. Their unique commitment will both inspire and challenge your own, keeping your accountable to walking your truth when the world expects fiction. How committed are the five people you eat lunch with the most?

5. Behave as the most truthful representation of who you are. The big challenge of walking your truth is that nobody knows it better than you. Which means the only person who can truly tell when you’ve accidentally taken a detour, is you. Better learn how to kick your own ass.

A helpful question to ask yourself throughout your day is, “If I were me, what would I do?”

Yes, it sounds silly. And yes, most people will probably never, ever ask themselves this question. Too confrontational. But in my experience, with this kind of casual dissociation, you stand on the outside looking in. You take an objective stance on your own actions and thus, keep yourself accountable to yourself.

Even if all you do is raise a smidgen of awareness, you win. What question will you ask to stay on the path of self-honesty?

6. Play the music – don’t just show people the notes. Superficiality is bankruptcy. If you want to walk your truth, stay away from “superfluous exertions,” as Seneca wrote in Letters to a Stoic. Such endeavors do nothing but set your commitment back another thousand years.

Instead, find the unique song you were made to sing. And in the distinctive voice you were given to sing it with, belt that baby out with all your might.

If you do that on a daily basis in a respectful, remarkable and real way, the people won’t just take notice – they’ll take a number. And if you’re lucky, their wallets will open faster than a cheerleader on prom night. What is the music of your truth?

7. Exercise enhances honesty. In a 2006 article in Yoga Journal, editor Andrea Kowalski wrote:

“If you often feel that you need to censor yourself in conversation, you may be compromising your fifth chakra, the throat chakra. The gateway between the head and the heart, this energy center includes the neck, the shoulders, the mouth, and the thyroid and parathyroid glands. If the throat is in balance, you will feel comfortable speaking your truth to all people, in any situation.”

Now, whether or not you subscribe to the principles of yoga or Hinduism, there’s still a valuable lesson to be learned: You can’t walk your truth if you don’t work your body.

Doesn’t mean you need to start training for a marathon. But daily exercise accomplishes more than just conditioning your carcass – it’s also training your truth. Especially when you feel sore afterward.

That’s the best part: You feel alive, you feel strong and you know your body is talking to you. And your body will always tell you the truth. How many workouts did you get in last week?

8. Establish a practice. Emerson once said, “It is easy in the world to live after the world’s opinion; it is easy in solitude to live after our own; but the great man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude.”

My suggestion is to practice with distractions. To learn to remain calm in the midst of chaos. By doing so in smaller situations, you develop a deeper ability to walk your truth through the larger storm on the horizon.

For example, yoga class has been a blessing for me in this respect. I’ve become a master at practicing with distractions. Because in any given class, I’ll be confronted with parking lot car alarms, smelly people dripping their sweat on my matt, and of course, beautiful women – wearing almost nothing – bending at the waist directly in front of me.

Nice try, ladies. But I took my contacts out in the locker room, thank you very much.

If you can stay committed to your core during that distraction, you can pretty much do anything. What practice arena will train you to walk your truth when the road gets rocky?

REMEMBER: The primary battle is always within.

After all, if you don’t walk your truth in a world of mostly fiction, you don’t really own your life.

I challenge you to commit to yourself unquestionably. Who knows? Maybe one day somebody will try to rip your nametag off too.

And if they do, just give me a call.

I think I might have a few extra.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
When you walk your truth, what kind of footprints do you leave?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
For the list called, “17 Ways to Out Create the Competition,” send an email to me, and I’ll send you the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Entrepreneur, Mentor
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

Who’s quoting YOU?

Check out Scott’s Online Quotation Database for a bite-sized education on branding success!

www.stuffscottsaid.com.

How to Confront Yourself Without Condemning Yourself, Part 2

As if you weren’t already assailed with enough negativity, criticism and confrontation from outside sources, I am now going to ask you to start confronting yourself.

Ugh. Who wants to do that? People hate confronting themselves.

They’re afraid that they’ll hate what they see.
They’re scared that they’ll have to take responsibility.
They’re terrified that they’ll have to make some changes.

Nah. It’s much easier to turn my eyes outward. I’ll just stick with that, you think.

BUT HERE’S THE SECRET: This isn’t about narcissistic self-obsession.

It’s about confident self-acceptance.
It’s about cementing self-connection.
It’s about conscious self-exploration.
It’s about continuous self-improvement.

As long as you’re wiling to attend to yourself coolly, courageously and compassionately; and as long as you’re willing to do some inner work, self-confrontation is one of the smartest, healthiest practices you could ever embed into your daily life.

Whether you’re an individual – or an organization – here’s a list of six more ways (read the first six here!) to confront yourself without condemning yourself:1. Understand the distinction. My friend Jeremy recently told me, “Confrontation is taking stock without judgment; condemnation is judging and finding the whole inventory useless. And it’s difficult to separate those things out when conducting self-analysis. Judging and justifying are much easier.”

That’s a key distinction. The word “confront” comes from the Latin confrontare, which means; “to stand in front of,” while the word “condemn” comes from the Latin condemnare, which means, “to blame.” I wonder what approach you take.

“When I have started on this process,” Jeremy continued, “I think I can actually hear a voice that sounds like a cop from Law and Order saying, ‘Nothing to see here, folks.’ I think that’s pride (or too much Law and Order).”

As you can see, there’s a fine line between checking yourself out and checking yourself off. Make sure you know the distinction. Which one are you doing to yourself?

2. Book blank time. I don’t care how stressed out you are. What I want to know is how you occupy your stillness when the world works overtime to make you tremble.

Ah, stillness. The great untapped reservoir of self-knowledge. If you truly want to become a master of self-confrontation without self-condemnation, practice meeting yourself in empty moments. Physically book time in your schedule for nothing.

Don’t worry. The world won’t fall apart without you. Remind yourself that there are no emergencies let the silence swallow you whole for five minutes. Even if no great revelations arrive initially, practicing regular intervals of silence will eventually get addictive.

Before you know it, you’ll be setting aside juicy chunks of your busy week to quiet down and confront yourself. How much blank time do you have booked for next week?

3. Reduce your speed. Some people stay so busy all the time because they know that if they stop – event for a moment – they might actually have to confront their problems and realize how mediocre their lives really are.

And the irony is, if they would actually take the time to pause and breathe, they’d come to face to face with their own suckiness and discover how to convert those liabilities into a legacy that matters.

To reduce your speed, consider asking yourself the following question throughout the day:

“Why are you rushing?”

Odds are, you won’t be able to come up with a legitimate answer. Especially if you’re like me: The kind of person who constantly tries to impress himself with how quickly he can make it to the post office and back.

Five minutes my ass. Watch this! Take that, Old Lady I Almost Hit That Probably Was Going to Die Next Week Anyway.

That’s the advantage of reducing your speed: You finally get a chance catch up with yourself. Lust like the old friend you haven’t seen since last November, it’s amazing what you realize you’ve been missing. And to think: All you had to do was slow the hell down. Who knew?

4. Be willing to meet yourself and not turn away. “Look at yourself in the mirror non-judgmentally. As a reflection and nothing else.” That’s what Erin, my yoga instructor, constantly reminds the class. That we need to learn to be open to all we are.

Now, if you’re not a yogi, I understand. My best suggestion for laying your world bear is to meet yourself at the page, for at least fifteen minutes a day.

Take out your pen and bleed all over the page. Saddle up to the keyboard and start pounding. Bust out your boss’s flip chart if you have to. Whatever writing style works for you.

And don’t feed me that whole, “But I’m not a writer,” excuse. Everyone is a writer. Writing is an extension of thinking. If you’re not a writer then you’re not a thinker. And if you’re not a thinker, you shouldn’t even be reading this.

Writing is the great clarifier and the great confronter. Everything you ever wanted to know about yourself can be learned through writing. But only if you do it honestly. Only if you use blood, not ink. Do you see yourself as you are or as you want to be?

5. Ritualize your confrontation. Ritual, in the words of Joseph Campbell, introduces you to the meaning of what’s going on. It properly puts your mind in touch with what you’re really doing.

What’s more, by ritualizing self-confrontation, you create a cushion of compassion for the devastating blows to land. Because let’s face it:

People don’t confront themselves because it’s scary.
People don’t confront themselves because it’s a gateway drug to change.
People don’t confront themselves because it’s ten thousand times harder than slogging along in mediocrity.

That’s why ritualizing self-confrontation is so essential: Because the circumferencelessness of human potential is terrifying. And needs to be attended to with a certain amount of namaste. “The spirit in me honors the spirit in you.”

For example, here’s my daily ritual:

Wake up early. Listen to one song from my custom playlist. Shower. Dress. Pour a cup of herbal tea. Sit down at my computer. Open a blank document. Puke out three-pages of stream of consciousness free writing. Recite my incantation. Go to work.

That’s how I compel myself to confront myself. And the reason is, without some kind ritual, your ego tells your body to clock out early. “Don’t worry, you can skip the self-confrontation just this once.”

But as we all know, it’s never just once. It’s like a Lays potato chip: Your ego can never eat just one. And that’s when you start to forget who you are. Remember: Rituals prevent you from saying, “Why the hell am I doing this?” What are yours?

6. Don’t disregard discoveries that are unjellable with your beliefs. I don’t care what you have faith in. What I want to know is if you’re willing to admit the truth of something you don’t have the courage to believe.

That’s the great commission of anyone who walks down the self-confrontational path: To attend to whatever experience surfaces with a posture of deep democracy. Knowing that everything matters equally. And to reassess any maladaptive assumptions that might be holding you back.

Because the reality is: Somewhere down the self-confrontational line, you’re going to learn something about yourself that’s inconsistent with the way you (thought) you saw yourself.

And that’s when you have a choice: Do I pretend that I didn’t just see that, or should I call bullshit on myself?

Remember: Self-confrontation is, if anything, a form of finding yourself. The cool part is: The more you practice finding yourself by yourself, the less you lose yourself with others.

As Brian Wilson said, “The more you sweat in peace, the less you bleed in war.” Not a bad trade-off. Are you pretending (not) to see what’s too difficult to confront?

LOOK, MAN: I know self-confrontation is like pulling teeth – your own teeth. And without Novocain, either.

But if you can’t be honest with yourself, what else is there?

We turn to Joseph Campbell’s book, Reflections on the Art of Living, in which he wrote:

“Where you stumble, there lies your treasure. The very cave you are afraid to enter turns out to be the source of what you are looking for.”

Go meet yourself.
Attend to your truth coolly, courageously and compassionately.
Even if you don’t like what you see.

You’ll thank you.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
How do you confront yourself?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
For the list called, “11 Ways to Become Brilliant By Next Thursday,” send an email to me, and you win the list for free!

Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Entrepreneur, Mentor
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

Never the same speech twice.
Always about approachability.

Watch The Nametag Guy in action here!

How to Confront Yourself Without Condemning Yourself, Part 1

As if you weren’t already assailed with enough negativity, criticism and confrontation from outside sources, I am now going to ask you to start confronting yourself.

Ugh. Who wants to do that? People hate confronting themselves.

They’re afraid that they’ll hate what they see.
They’re scared that they’ll have to take responsibility.
They’re terrified that they’ll have to make some changes.

Nah. It’s much easier to turn my eyes outward. I’ll just stick with that, you think.

BUT HERE’S THE SECRET: This isn’t about narcissistic self-obsession.

It’s about confident self-acceptance.
It’s about cementing self-connection.
It’s about conscious self-exploration.
It’s about continuous self-improvement.

As long as you’re wiling to attend to yourself coolly, courageously and compassionately; and as long as you’re willing to do some inner work, self-confrontation is one of the smartest, healthiest practices you could ever embed into your daily life.

Whether you’re an individual – or an organization – here’s a list of six ways (read the next six here!) to confront yourself without condemning yourself:1. Clear the air. I write early. Very early. Sometimes clocking in between three and five in the morning. And the motivation behind this insanity is simple: At that time of day, the world isn’t awake yet.

Which means it’s very quiet. Which means there’s nothing for me to do but listen to the sound of my truth. And that’s when the best material comes spilling out: When your pen is drenched in blood.

That’s all creativity is anyway – active listening. And you don’t have to be a writer to practice this form of self-confrontation. The secret is to clear the air. To create a space where the mental and psychic acoustics are bright, clean and sharp.

Even if you’re not in the mood to listen to yourself. Especially if you’re not in the mood to listen to yourself. That’s probably when you need it most. As long as you promise not to beat yourself up when you hear something you don’t like. How can you eliminate the clatter and invite the clarity?

2. Align with things that will never lie to you. The hardest part about hot yoga isn’t the heat. Or the humidity. Or the fact that you spend ninety minutes in a sweaty room surrounded by half-naked strangers twisting their bodies into positions that would make Cirque du Soleil blush.

The real challenge is the self-confrontation. Did I mention there were mirrors everywhere? And that you have to stare at yourself, in silence, the whole time?

Ugh. Talk about things that will never lie to you. Those mirrors can be brutal. In fact, many first-time students (even some veterans!) can’t hold their gaze for more than a few seconds.

Which makes sense. It takes courage to willingly meet yourself over and over again. And the thought of having to confront your (physical) truth – consistently and objectively for such long periods of time – is one of the reasons many people never come back.

Personally, that’s exactly why I come back. Four days a week. Every week. I crave it like a stoner craves White Castle. Because it’s a chance to align with that which will never lie to me (my body) and force myself to come face to face with my truth.

Even if I’m feeling like a worthless piece of crap. What’s the longest period of time you’ve spent staring at yourself in the mirror?

3. Confront the number. Here’s the smartest weight management strategy I’ve ever practiced: Get on the scale. Every week. Same time. Write down my weight on a chart on the wall. Then look at that number every day.

Lost twelve pounds and kept it off.

Now, here’s what’s fascinating: Depending on how well I ate during the week, I might be excited, terrified or indifferent about confronting the number come Sunday morning.

But I always confront it. No matter what. Without judgment. Without evaluation. Without appraisal. What’s more, sometimes during the week I’ll catch myself mid-bite or mid-meal thinking:

“Damn it. I know I’m going to have to weigh myself in three days. Better pass on that twelfth piece of key lime pie.”

That’s the cool thing about self-confrontation: Even the mere anticipation of confronting your numerical truth can modify choices and behaviors in the meantime.

I wonder what quantitative metrics you could install to your weekly regiment to accomplish the same. Maybe accountability partner phone calls? Written records of activity level? Public charts of progress? How will you confront the number?

4. Use visual reminders. People love to ask me if I wear a nametag to remember who I am. And as facetious as their playful remark usually is, it finally occurred to me a few years ago:

Wait a minute. That’s exactly why I wear a nametag.

Because it’s easy to forget who you are. Sometimes you get so wrapped in who you think you are, who other people think you are, or who you want other people to think you are – that you overlook your own truth.

That’s the benefit of regular self-confrontation: To assist you in getting (and staying) over yourself. To remind you how you roll. And while you don’t need to wear a nametag to do so, you might consider using something tangible as a visual cue to induce ongoing self-confrontation.

As Oriah wrote in The Dance, “Self-acceptance is a practice, a willingness to slowly expand your ability to see yourself as you are and simply be with what you see.” How could you paint yourself into a confrontational corner?

5. Face your monster. You have demons and skeletons just like everyone else. But you also have your main monster. You know the one.

It’s that big, hairy, seven-eyed, ten-legged creepizoid thing hibernating in the deepest recesses of your heart, nagging and biting and scraping and drooling, whose sole purpose of existence is to prevent you from becoming great.

Yes. That one. And like a schoolyard bully, your monster’s power source comes from your fear of him. Which means that, without fear, he can’t touch you.

Which means the first step is to confront him and say, “You don’t scare me anymore.” The cool part is, once you take that first courageous confrontational step, you cripple 80% of your monster’s strength.

Which means that the second (and final) step is to simply take your index finger, poke him in the chest and watch him tumble to the ground like the punk ass he really is. What’s your monster?

6. Turn the tables. “What isn’t part of ourselves doesn’t disturb us,” says Herman Hessee, author of the cult-classic Siddhartha. “And if you hate a person, you hate something in him that is part of yourself.”

Here’s a helpful practice for doing so: Next time you observe someone acting in a manner you don’t approve of, just flip it.

Instead of instantly judging, “Wow, check out this guy at the table next to me. What a putz!” You might think to yourself, “Whom in my life do I treat this way?”

Or, next time something terrible happens to you, ask yourself:

*What is it in me that might be causing this situation?
*What did I do, innately, that attracted this into my life?
*What have I done to contribute to this discomfort I’m now feeling?

Learn to face yourself head on. Then, whatever your truth wants to serve up at that particular moment, accept it without complaint. How can you use your current experience as a mirror?

LOOK, MAN: I know self-confrontation is like pulling teeth – your own teeth. And without Novocain, either.

But if you can’t be honest with yourself, what else is there?

We turn to Joseph Campbell’s book, Reflections on the Art of Living, in which he wrote:

“Where you stumble, there lies your treasure. The very cave you are afraid to enter turns out to be the source of what you are looking for.”

Go meet yourself.
Attend to your truth coolly, courageously and compassionately.
Even if you don’t like what you see.

You’ll thank you.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
How do you confront yourself?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
For the list called, “11 Ways to Become Brilliant By Next Thursday,” send an email to me, and you win the list for free!

Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Entrepreneur, Mentor
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

Never the same speech twice.
Always about approachability.

Watch The Nametag Guy in action here!

What It Feels Like to be an Impostor and to Overcome It Like a Champ

There must be some kind of mistake.

I can’t believe this is my job.
I can’t believe I’m getting paid for this.
I can’t believe I haven’t been found out yet.
I can’t believe nobody has exposed me as inadequate.
I can’t believe people haven’t caught on to how clueless I (really) am.
I can’t believe I’ve deceived the world into believing that I know what I’m doing.

I’m a fraud.

A complete impostor.

This is clearly a coup, and I just know that at any second, I’m going to slip up and blow my cover.

Then, it’s only a matter of time before the world spots my shortcomings, wises up and boots me out.

Ever had that conversation with yourself?
That guilty feeling that you’re getting away with something?

It’s called The Impostor Syndrome.

And it’s a psychological phenomenon in which people are unable to internalize their accomplishments. Pioneered by clinical psychologists Clance and Imes in 1978, the term was coined in the publication Psychotherapy Theory, Research and Practice.

Now, although The Impostor Syndrome isn’t an officially recognized as a psychological disorder, you can ask any entrepreneur, consultant, artist or writer in the world – they’ve been there.

I know I have. According a 2008 article in Science Careers, regardless of what level of success people may have achieved – and regardless of external proof of their competence – they remain convinced internally that they don’t deserve the success they’ve achieved and are actually frauds.

Yep. Been there too.

BUT HERE’S THE GOOD NEWS: If you feel like an impostor, you’re probably doing something right.

It means you’re risking.
It means you’re stretching.
It means you’re successful.

It also means that you’re not so arrogant as to assume that you’ve got it all figured out.

Feeling like a fraud is, in many ways, a right of passage. It comes with the entrepreneurial territory. And thankfully, it’s an effective form of self-pressure to help you get over – and stay over – yourself.

Unfortunately, nobody tells you this when you start your business.

Sure, you hear about the long hours. And that you won’t make any money in the beginning. And that you’ll have to make sacrifices and leave old friends behind.

But nobody warns you that you’re going to mentally torture yourself eight times a day.

Nobody tells you what it feels like to sit in an office across the table from the Marketing Director a million-dollar company who’s about to entrust his entire budget to a some scrappy entrepreneur who’s really just waiting for the camera crew to pop out from behind the wall and say, “You’ve been punked!”

Not exactly something they teach at Harvard Business School.

Next time you find yourself feeling like a fraud, consider these ideas to help bring you back to reality.

1. An occasional undercurrent of self-doubt is healthy. While some people maintain more self-efficacy than others, everyone has their doubts. And this is a good thing

Doubt protects you. Doubt is a warning system. Doubt keeps you humble. Doubt inspires you to become better. Doubt motivates you to achieve great things. Doubt gives you permission to explore alternatives. Doubt helps you keep checks and balances on yourself. And doubt forces you to examine what you think and why you think it.

Be careful not to underrate it. Think of it as useful timidity. Accept it as a symbol of success and leverage it to your advantage. What are you questioning?

2. You’re not alone. “Sometimes I wake up before going off to a shoot, and I think, I can’t do this; I’m a fraud. They’re going to fire me. I’m fat. I’m ugly.” Those are the words of Academy Award Winner, Kate Winslet.

And that’s just one example. Odds are, every entrepreneurial colleague you have has been there before, is currently there, or will be there soon. Whom do you know that also feels like an impostor?

3. Territory, not hierarchy. Resist the desire to constantly judge your success against the achievements of others. This is a hierarchical approach that creates an endless, destructive loop of not good enoughness.

Approaching your work territorially, however, is what Steven Pressfield recommends in my favorite book, The War of Art. “Territorial creatives understand that the sustenance comes from the act itself, not from the impression it makes on others.” Which way do you work?

4. Stop deflecting praise. Next time someone congratulates you on your success, try receiving it gracefully. Don’t deflect and justify positive feedback with nonchalant, false-humility driven comments like, “I really lucked out,” “The planets must have been aligned,” or “You just have to sleep the with the right people.”

Simply say, “Thank you.” That’s it. Two words. I know – it’s unbelievably hard. If you really have to, you might try my standard line: “Thank you. I was really happy with the way that one turned out.” How well do you receive?

5. Audit your process. Write a step-by-step guide on something you take for granted.

“If there’s a process you take for granted that you don’t often see other companies writing about, break it down into a step-by-step guide,” says Amy Harrison of Copywriting That Counts.“What seems normal to you might just elevate you to expert status in someone else’s eyes.”

Which of your “duh!” moments will become other people’s “omg!” moments?

6. Spy on yourself. When was the last time you took an honest glance at what you’ve accomplished in your career? Answer: Too long ago.

Try this: Accumulate massive evidence. Chronologically depict your achievements in a Career Trajectory Map Illustrate how far you’ve come since the beginning. Next, step outside of yourself and view your achievements objectively.

Then, ask these questions: Could an imposter (really) have accomplished all this? If you met you for the first time – and saw this map – what would you think of you?

This exercise builds healthy amounts of self-confidence without overrating your abilities. I just did this myself and it rocked my self-doubting world back into order. Are you willing to confront your success?

ULTIMATELY: You can’t keep trying to eradicate feelings of inadequacy.

They’re not going to go away. In fact, the more successful you become, the more those feelings will creep in.

Fortunately, feeling like a fraud is one of the best indicators of your legitimacy.

Just know: There is no courage without the presence of fear. Fear is the prerequisite of bravery and bravery is the precursor to power.

It’s not some kind of mistake.

You really are successful. You deserve this.

In fact, if you don’t feel like an imposter (at least) some of the time, you’re probably not stretching enough.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
Will you be found out?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
For the list called, “26 Ways to Out Brand the Competition,” send an email to me, and I’ll send you the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Entrepreneur, Mentor
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

Who’s quoting YOU?

Check out Scott’s Online Quotation Database for a bite-sized education on branding success!

www.stuffscottsaid.com.

6 Ways to be an Exponent of Your Industry

What do Richard Pryor, Whoopi Goldberg, Lorne Michaels, Lily Tomlin, George Carlin, Bill Cosby and Tina Fey all have in common?

Two things.

FIRST: Each of these individuals was presented with the inaugural Mark Twain Prize for American Humor.

In 1998, The Kennedy Center organized this “Celebration of Humor” and established the Mark Twain Prize to recognize those who create humor from their uniquely American experiences.

Cool.SECOND: Each of the individuals who won this award was nominated because they were considered to be “among world’s greatest exponents of humor.”

The Kennedy Center, as the nation’s center for the performing arts, recognizes and presents all disciplines of the performing arts including opera, jazz, theater, ballet and dance, as well as symphony and all kinds of smaller musical ensembles performing every imaginable kind of music.

Very cool.

LESSON LEARNED: Don’t be a product of your industry – be the exponent of it.

Here’s how:

1. An exponent is someone who expounds. Explaining is for tour guides. Your goal is to reveal all the gory details. To interpret. To democratize.

Which means you can’t just be smart – you need to be an intellectual. A mental omnivore. And it is incumbent upon you to generate your own Personal Philosophy, Theory of the Universe and School of Thought.

Otherwise you’re nothing but a ditto of the professionals who have come before you – and a measly asterisk of the professionals who come after you. How do you break it down for people?

2. An exponent is someone who advocates. Whatever industry, arena or field you represent, champion it to the world. Like it was your own child.

Infect people with your enthusiasm. Gush the way you would after coming home from your first date. Passionately and publicly profess that what you and your contemporaries do, matters.

And remind people that the purpose you serve is necessary to the world. As Sir William Martin Conway explained in his 1915 book, The Crowd in Peace and War, “Exponents are those who instinctively voice the collective cry of the crowd.” What are you an evangelist for?

3. An exponent is someone who raises the bar. Expect better results. Demand an upgrade in quality. Wage a war again mediocrity. Speak your mind in ways other shrink from.

And, hold yourself and your colleagues accountable for work that matters, work that evokes, work that invites criticism and work that challenges the status quo. Are you willing to lead the campaign to reject all that is average, boring and unremarkable?

4. An exponent is someone who transforms. Find out what isn’t working anymore – then burn it. Find out what doesn’t matter anymore – then delete it. Find out who isn’t contributing anymore – then sever them. And find out what rules don’t apply anymore – then change them.

Now, if you think this sounds simplistic, you’re right: It is. But that doesn’t make it easy. Truth is: Exponential transforming is so change-oriented; you’re going to have to get comfortable being uncomfortable.

Otherwise, no upgrades will be made. What are you no longer being governed by?

5. An exponent is someone who makes history. With every idea you have, ask yourself, “Has this ever been done before?” Odds are, it has.

Which means your challenge is to ask another question: “What slight modification, combination, juxtaposition or unique spin could I put on this to make it the first of its kind?”

Another approach is to think, “What current successful ideas could I combine to create an entirely new animal that nobody’s ever seen before?” Do this, and you won’t just make money – you’ll make history. Are you going for the sales books or the record books?

6. An exponent is someone who embodies the consummate example. Create a profile of what you believe to be – and what the industry, as a whole believes to be – the characteristics of an ideal professional.

Now, this is not to suggest a one-size-fits-all, cookie-cutter formula into which we all evolve. Rather, it’s a collection of unshakable character components we might all aspire to embody. For whom are you a role model?

ULTIMATELY: It boils down to the legacy you want to leave behind.

Take George Carlin, for example. He won the Mark Twain Award one year after his death on June 22, 2008. History records him as one of the heroes of American stand-up comedy. More importantly, his official obituary writes the following:

“Taking his place in a lineage that includes Richard Pryor, Lenny Bruce and Bill Hicks, Carlin was an outspoken exponent of explosive material.”

What about you? How will you be remembered?

The choice is yours.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
Are you a product of your industry, or an exponent of it?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
For the list called, “13 Things Losers Do,” send an email to me, and you win the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Entrepreneur, Mentor
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

The world’s FIRST two-in-one, flip-flop book!

Buy Scott’s comprehensive marketing guidebook on Amazon.com and learn how to GET noticed, GET remembered and GET business!

approachability, approachable, creativity blocks, how to be an artist, nametagscott, nametagTV, pillar of curiosity, rent scott’s brain, scott ginsberg

11 Ways to Discipline Yourself Without Destroying Yourself

Forget about luck.
Forget about talent.
Forget about creativity.
Forget about intelligence.

Discipline is all that counts.

Discipline is the great differentiator.
Discipline is the unsung hero of success.
Discipline is the bridge between ambition and achievement.

But.

Discipline doesn’t mean disrespecting yourself.
Discipline doesn’t mean adding more stress to your day.
Discipline doesn’t mean over-regimenting every minute of your life.

The secret is disciplining yourself without destroying yourself.

Here’s how:1. Get the faucet flowing. Here’s how I start every day of my life: Wake up early. Shower. Clock in. Sit down at my computer. Open a blank document. Puke out three-pages of stream of consciousness free writing. Recite my incantation. Get to work.

That’s how I get the creative faucets flowing. That’s how I fuel my discipline. And the advantage to writing morning pages is, according to Artist’s Way pioneer, Julia Cameron:

“It’s a time out. A ritual of reflection. A morning meditation. Your first check-in of the day. And your gripe session for working out grudges.”

Your challenge is to create a similar ritual to help get the faucet flowing. What you’ll discover is that discipline significantly easier if you have a trigger to activate the process. What’s yours?

2. Start small. Discipline is a gradual process. You can’t jump into the deep end on day one. Otherwise your lungs will fill with water before you learn how to swim.

My suggestion is to tackle small challenges that are close your limit – but not past. This stretches your capacity and rewards you with small victories to bolster your confidence.

For example, when I wrote my first book in 2001, I disciplined myself to write for fifteen minutes a day. That’s it. A mere 1/1000th of my day.

Nine years later, I now write between four and seven hours a day. Sometimes more. All because I started small and patiently grew it big. Are you willing to make gradual progress with your discipline?

3. Enter the cycle. If you want to discipline yourself to do something you’re not especially fond of – working out every morning, for example – consider this cycle.

First you hate it, mainly because you suck at. But then you start doing it for while. Which means you get better at it. And then you like it more. Which means you want to do it more. And then you do start to do it more. Then you get better at it. Then you like it more.

And then the cycle repeats itself. Forever.

The best part is, your discipline grows stronger with every revolution. What are you willing to wait to get good at?

4. Trust the process. Whatever you’re currently disciplining yourself to do, there comes a point where you have to affirm:

“Look, I might not like doing this right now. But I have great faith. I honor and trust the process. And I know it’s going to pay dividends. And sure, I might not know what those dividends are yet. Or when they’re going to surface. But when they do, I’ll know that the wait was well worth it.”

It’s a kind of like giving birth: “You can’t fight the contractions – you just have to trust the process.”

At least, that’s what I’m assuming. I’ve never actually given birth. Although I did used to work at Applebee’s, where I was once forced to clean up the remains of a customer whose water broke at the table. Swear to God.

Anyway, when you do this, you allow your primal self to do what it needs to do and lead you in the right direction. Learn to surrender to the process. Let it have its way with you. Are you willing to let process take over?

5. Lower the threat level. Discipline breeds discipline. Just ask any high school basketball coach: Students who play on a team tend to achieve higher academic scores than those who don’t. Why? Because their discipline multiplies.

For example, practicing free throws in the afternoon makes it easier to practice calculus equations later that evening. After all, their minds are already conditioned for consistency – all they have to do is change gears.

I’m not suggesting you pick up basketball as a means to accomplishing your professional goals. Instead, consider disciplining yourself elsewhere first – preferably in a smaller, less threatening venues where the consistency and stick-to-itiveness requirements are lower – you make it easier for yourself to win.

It’s kind of a side door approach, but it works. Personally, I used my nametag to lower the threat level. I first began disciplining myself to wear it every day ten years ago. Over time, it helped paved the way for more difficult daily disciplines like writing, meditation and exercise.

But only because I started small first. What awaits you in the refining fire of discipline?

6. Dare to be a beginner. “Never too late, never too old, never too bad and never too sick to do this yoga and start from scratch again.” That’s the mantra of yoga legend, Bikram Choudhury.

Interestingly, the word “discipline” comes from the Latin discipulus, which means, “student.” This suggests a few things.

First: Declare your incompetence. Admit what you know you don’t know.

Second: Learn to love mistakes. After all, a mistake ceases to become a mistake the moment you learn from it.

Third: Try not to be too hard on yourself. Let go of the self-criticisms that make discipline a big bite to swallow.

Fourth: Be patient. Every great chess player was once a beginner.

Remember: If the road to victory were smooth, everyone would already be there. Are you prepared to zero out your board?

7. Ritualize your process. First of all, turning something into ritual prevents you from saying, “Why the hell am I doing this?” Secondly, whether you say a prayer, light some candles or lock yourself in your Trans-Am and blast Whitesnake at full volume, rituals excite you about the discipline process. They create a sacred space for you to think about what you’re about to do.

Thirdly, although rituals only last for a few seconds – or a few minutes – the simple act of ritualizing your process turns into a discipline victory itself.

Finally, rituals, when practiced regularly over time, become the invoking force. Even if you don’t look forward to the act itself – you always look forward to the ritual. How do you ritualize your discipline?

8. Evolve behaviors into non-negotiatiables. The best way to discipline yourself to do something is to make it a non-negotiable. A non-thought. Here’s how the timeline goes:

First you never do it.
Then you sometimes do it.
Then it starts to become a habit.
Then it becomes something you’re disciplined to.
And eventually, after months (sometimes years!) of work, it morphs into a non-negotiable.

And that’s when you’re golden. That’s when you’re unstoppable. Because you no longer think about – it’s just something you do. And if you don’t, your whole day goes to hell.

That’s the point: To achieve self-sustaining momentum and make yourself positively addicted to do the process. How could you set yourself up so you never have to discipline yourself again?

9. Desire is irrelevant. Of course you don’t want to go to the gym. But you will anyway. Because you know your body will thank you tomorrow. And of course you don’t want to come in an hour earlier. But you will anyway. Because you know the people who matter will notice.

Easier said than done. Unfortunately, delayed gratification isn’t exactly your strong suit. Especially in a society that gives you everything you want in six seconds.

The challenge is making sure your lack of desire to do something is outweighed by the benefit of doing it. My suggestion: Use visual reinforcements to keep that ratio in check. Surround yourself with pictures, images and other reminders of the positive outcome of your discipline.

This will help inspire a vision of the future and, most likely, annoy your spouse to no end. Good. Maybe this will inspire him to drag his lazy carcass to gym too. Have you learned to love what’s good for you?

10. Make a public commitment. My friend Andy once said, “The best way finish your next book is to sell a thousand copies of it first.”

This paints you into an accountable corner. You wouldn’t want to let your readers down, would you? Second, by building a deadline into your schedule, you put healthy pressure on yourself to execute. You wouldn’t want to let yourself down, would you?

Finally, by illuminating the light at the end of the tunnel, you discipline yourself to work backwards. This prevents misallocation of energy. Ultimately, when you add these three attributes together – then multiply them with the coefficient of public declaration, you’ll have no choice by to discipline yourself.

Otherwise you risk pissing off the people who count – including you. To whom are you communicating your commitment?

11. Fuel your discipline with a firm why. People always have time for what’s important to them. Or, if they don’t have the time, they make the time.

As such, the best way to discipline yourself to do something is to take full ownership of – and visually remind yourself of – your reason for doing it. Otherwise your motivation drops off the face of the earth like Brian Dunkleman.

For example, on the wall above my desk is an email I received years ago from one of my readers:

“Dear Scott. My name is Rose. I’m seventy years old. And for the past few years, I’ve been having a very difficult time moving my bowels. Fortunately, since I started reading your blog each morning, I am now regular. Apparently, daily, hysterical laughter is exactly what I needed to get things going. Thanks!”

That’s right – I change lives. And I look at this letter every day. Because it reinforces why I do what I do: To help old ladies poop.

That’s your challenge: To firm up your why. Because when you do, it’s a million times easier to slog through something if you’ve convinced yourself that that something matters. Have you aligned energy with priority?

REMEMBER: Discipline doesn’t just make the man – it makes the man money.

Start today.

Even if you start small.
Even if you start slowly.
Even if you start scared.

You can still discipline yourself without destroying yourself.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
What awaits you in the refining fire of discipline?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
For the list called, “17 Ways to Out Create the Competition,” send an email to me, and I’ll send you the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Entrepreneur, Mentor
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

Who’s quoting YOU?

Check out Scott’s Online Quotation Database for a bite-sized education on branding success!

www.stuffscottsaid.com.

Win a Copy of The Nametag Guy’s New Book!

The purpose of this book is to sell you on my theory of the universe.

Which is:

The only thing in life you have control over is yourself.

And that you can’t make anything happen – but you can (greatly) increase the probability of that thing happening … by making yourself more “-able.”

(The title of the book is pronounced as “a bull,” just like the cute little cartoon.)

In short, this book will make you more:

Advanceable. Addictable. Bookable. Brandable. Breakable. Buyable. Buzzable. Callbackable. Checkbookable. Discoverable. Engageable. Googleable. Invokable. Meetable. Nameable. Needable. Non-nextable. Openable. Pursuable. Referable. Requestable. Retweetable. Revisitable. Sellable. Show-Up-Able. Sought-after-able. Spreadable. Successable. Superiorable. Trustable. Unbullshittable. Unequalable. Yessable.

HERE’S WHERE YOU COME IN: If you would like to win a free copy of this book, here’s your challenge…

1. Create your own “-able” word. What’s your theory of the universe? What’s your secret for increasing the probability of success? Name it with a word that ends in the suffix “-able.” Note: Please do not use any of the ones listed above, as they have already been written about, and can be found in the book.

2. Write a blog post explaining your “-able” word. In no more than one thousand words, explain what your word means – and why it can help others increase the probability of success.

3. Spread the word. On your blog post, include the link to -ABLE’s Amazon page, the link to Scott’s blog and an image of the book’s cover. Feel free to copy the image from Amazon.

4. Send an email to scott@hellomynameisscott.com. Introduce yourself, send me the link to your blog post and give me your address. I will send you a copy of the book!

Cool?

– – –

GUIDELINES:

*Submissions will be accepted until 11:59pm on September 15, 2010.
*As the editor, I reserve the right to modify or reject any content as I see fit.
*Only the first fifty people who submit will be considered for the promotion.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
Are you -able?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
For the list called, “62 Pieces of Advice Busy Executives Need to Know, but Don’t Have Time to Learn on Their Own,” send an email to me, and I’ll send you the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Entrepreneur, Mentor
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

Who’s quoting YOU?

Check out Scott’s Online Quotation Database for a bite-sized education on branding success!

www.stuffscottsaid.com.

Sign up for daily updates
Connect

Subscribe

Daily updates straight to your inbox.

Copyright ©2020 HELLO, my name is Blog!