A List of Things Will Not Bring You Closer to Your Dreams

1. Accepting. Don’t accept anyone else’s version of the truth. Don’t accept payment in politeness. Don’t accept the verdict that you’re not enough. Don’t accept that everyone you encounter has your best interests at heart. Don’t accept that life is out to get you. What have you mindlessly accepted?

2. Allowing. Don’t allow others’ neuroses to color your perceptions. Don’t allow the genius to be drummed out of you. Don’t allow the innovation of others to intimidate and inhibit you. Don’t allow the situation to be responsible for how you feel. Don’t allow the world to superimpose its prefabricated definition of who you should be. Don’t allow yourself to exist in an inhibited condition. Are you making unprofitable allowances?

3. Expecting. Don’t expect success to come for three years. Don’t expect people to hand you a corn beef sandwich, wash your socks and unzip your fly for you. Don’t expect the universe to cut you any slack. Don’t expect the resistance to take it easy on you. Don’t expect discipline to be something you have rather than something you continually pursue. What are your catastrophic expectations?

4. Letting. Don’t let the pursuit for perfection stop you from trying. Don’t let things derail you. Don’t let anything pull you toward littleness. Don’t let your agenda collapse too easily. Don’t let your desires stay sobbing, awaiting your hand to take action upon them. Don’t let your mind sink into a state of passivity. Don’t let yourself become entangled in other people’s wars. Don’t let yourself choose what feels wrong just because you want clarity now. What will you gain from letting this happen?

5. Listening. Don’t listen to people who think they know what you need. Don’t listen to people whose imagination can’t encompass what it is that you’re trying to do. Don’t listen to people who put a damper on your natural versatility. Don’t listen to people who haven’t been right about shit in years. Don’t listen to people who criticize you no matter what you do. Don’t listen to people who seek to silence your conscience. Don’t listen to people what have a deluded view of their competence. How well do you minimize chaos by listening inwardly?

6. Talking. Don’t talk about what you plan to do when conditions are perfect. Don’t talk about what you hope to do when the planets are aligned. Don’t talk about what you’d love to do if you had the time. Don’t talk about how you’re going to finish your book as soon as things slow down at work. Don’t talk about how much you have changed and how great it will be if they take you back. Don’t talk about how the credit card company screwed you and their fault you’re in debt up to your ears. Don’t talk about how your life is one goddamn catastrophe after another. Don’t talk about how you’re going to update your website as soon as you get a free night. Are you giving people lip service or foot service?

7. Waiting. Don’t wait for permission. Don’t wait for instructions. Don’t wait for overwhelming evidence before you trust yourself. Don’t wait to be rewarded to do what you love. Don’t wait until you’re old enough. Don’t wait until you’re experienced enough. Don’t wait until you know what you’re doing. Don’t wait until you’re given the go ahead by people you don’t even like. Don’t wait until you’ve satisfied people’s lackluster expectations. What is waiting getting in the way of?

8. Wasting. Don’t waste energy protesting. Don’t waste power trying to impress someone you don’t even like. Don’t waste time on relationships you’ve outgrown. Don’t waste your brilliant mental effort on negativity. Don’t waste money on marketing materials that don’t influence customer decisions anyway. Don’t waste valuable hours of your day doing things that don’t make you any money and aren’t consistent with your #1 goal. How inefficient have you become?

9. Whining. Don’t whine about the cosmic injustice of the world. Don’t whine about how there are only so many hours in the day and that’s why you haven’t gotten around to making any art lately. Don’t whine about it’s not fair because you work just as hard as they do and you don’t have it. Don’t whine about how if you didn’t have three kids and a job that you hated, you could finally finish your book. Do you whine about the wind, hope the wind will stop or adjust your sails?

10. Wishing. Don’t wish for fewer problems. Don’t wish for more time. Don’t wish for easier tasks. Don’t wish for someone to come back into your life who doesn’t love and honor you. Don’t wish for a perfect life free of pain and heartache. Don’t wish that what’s currently driving your heart batshit never would have happened. Don’t wish that when you wake up tomorrow morning, everything will turn out perfect, shiny and new. Ten years from now, what will you wish you had spent more time doing today?

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
What is bringing you closer to your dreams?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
For the list called, “8 Ways to Out GIVE Your 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

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How to Matter

The human need to feel needed by (and valuable to) the world is about as deep as they come.

Here are some ideas to help you (and/or) your organization matter:

1. Make soaring unpreventable. The first time I heard Dave Matthews play the song he wrote for his wife called Loving Wings, I was brought to tears. The chorus goes: “I give to you my everything. You’ve given me these loving wings. And angels have all gathered round to hear me sing my love out loud.”

That’s your job: With your customers, your employees, your kids, your friends – to help them paint a picture of what they know they can achieve. In short: To give them wings. People don’t need Red Bull – they need you look them in the eye and say, “I believe in you.” How are you empowering people to become the person they were created to be?

2. Be fresh air. Unless you live in Tasmania (which, according to Weather.com, has the cleanest measured air on Earth) most of the oxygen surrounding us is stale, recycled and tastes like the Sunday morning redeye from Vegas. So, just imagine how much of an impact you could have on the environment around you if your ideas, words and actions brought even the slightest amount of freshness.

Are you saying the same thing as everyone else? Hope not. Because freshness doesn’t just matter – it makes money. However, as you tip toe along the lunatic fringe, remember what Jim Flowers says, “Carefully and deliberately consider the raves, rants, fashion, science, and art of the avant garde. Explore the world of ‘too much.’ There is a very, very fine line between goofy and prophetic.” Are your ideas stale?

3. Bring solid value. Not just talk. Not just shtick. The word “matter” comes from the Latin materia, which means, “substance.” And you owe it to the world to let it ooze out of you. If you were charged with the crime of adding value, would there be enough evidence to convict you?

4. You must teach. Teachers are heroes. And anyone can be one. The two questions are: What is the teaching you are called to do? And what’s your teaching style? Couple of choices. Through your beliefs would be good. Through your words would be great. Through your actions would be awesome. But through your personal being – now that would be positively devastating.

Not to mention remarkable, since 90% of the world teaches through the first three approaches. My best suggestion for doing so is to write, memorialize, revisit and embody the living document known as your Personal Constitution. Email me if you want to learn more. How many new students have you enrolled this week?

5. Pry your life out of the jaws of average. There’s pervasive pressure to embrace mediocrity. For the love of God, don’t give in. Wage a war against boringness. Violently refuse to become a follower of the common ways of the mediocre masses. Instead, joyfully and loudly occupy the margins.

As Seth Godin explained in an interview with Selling Power, “Mediocrity is for losers. The big win is when you refuse to settle for average and you say I’m going to give up 90% of the opportunities.” Are you vanilla?

6. Be a person of consequence. This reminds me of a gorgeous song by Jose Gonzalez called Cycling Trivialities: “Don’t know which way to turn, every trifle becoming big concerns. All this time you were chasing dreams, without knowing what you wanted them to mean.”

Do you know someone like that? A person with no apparent goals or dreams? I bet you do. And I bet they don’t matter. Ouch. Your challenge is to continually ask yourself this question: Are the ideas, issues and problems I’m dedicating my time to trivialities or substantialities?

7. Be of duty and destiny. You’ve been given a divine assignment. A mandate. A job to do. And your mission is to find the small corner of the universe that is yours to transform – touch it – and then set it free. It’s like Paulo Coelho said in The Alchemist: “Follow your personal legend and the world will conspire to help you attain it.” People who do that matter. Why are you?

8. Be a relevant, noticeable shaper. I recently read a 2006 article from Business 2.0 Magazine called, “50 People That Matter Right Now.” What I find telling, however, isn’t the people on the list – but the people who wrote the list. In a sidebar, the editors reported the following:

“The names presented here weren’t selected on the basis of fame, net worth, or the accomplishments of yesteryear. Instead, our goal was to identify people whose ideas, products, and business insights are changing the world we live in today. Those who are reshaping our future by inventing important new technologies, exploiting emerging opportunities, or throwing their weight around in ways that are sure to make everyone else take notice. In assembling this list, we emphasized one key question: What have you done for us lately? We also considered its important corollary: What will you do for us tomorrow?”

What are you shaping?

9. Success isn’t the end. I learned this lesson from Um Hong-Gil. By the time he was forty, Um was the first South Korean to reach the summit of all fourteen eight thousand meter peaks in the world. In March of 2010, I had the honor of sharing the stage with Um during last week’s MDRT Conference in Seoul.

“Success isn’t the end,” he said in front of four thousand people. Wow. Coming from a guy who lost dozens of climbing colleagues – not to mention three frostbitten toes – that message certainly struck a nerve. It reminds of what Seth Godin (also) mentioned in the aforementioned interview:

“Life is like skiing: The goal is not to get to the bottom of the hill, the goal is to have a lot of great runs before sunset.” When it comes to success, are you a repeat offender?

REMEMBER: Nobody said mattering would be easy.

That’s probably why not everybody does it. Like Tom Hanks said in A League of Their Own, “It’s supposed to be hard. If it wasn’t hard everybody would do it. It’s the hard that makes it great.”

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
Do you matter?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
For the list called, “For the list called, “7 Ways to Out Leverage Your Competition,” send an email to me, and you win the list for free!

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

Never the same speech twice.
Always about approachability.

Watch The Nametag Guy in action here!

How to be a Human Being

Your humanity is not a liability.

Being a robot, however, might lose your company money.

Today we’re going to talk about being a human being.

Which, after extensive research, is something I’ve discovered can be surprisingly difficult for many people – myself included.

Einstein once said, “Our task must be to free ourselves from the prison of self-delusion by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.”

Well, that sounds easy. Thanks a lot, Big Al.

Perhaps these suggestions will help:

1. Resist compartmentalizing people. Especially into convenient little personality boxes or oversimplified categories. Personality tests and “type” assessments frustrate me. Sure, it’s helpful in office situations and team projects. As long as you’re not reducing a human being named Randy to a label named ENFJ.

People want to be called by their name – not their score. People want to be treated as human beings – not statistics, not acronyms and not categories. Of course, this all depends on what you see when you see people. Do you see people as individuals to be cared for and enjoyed or objects to be manipulated and controlled?

2. Love your limits, liabilities, trespasses and shadows. Assess, take ownership of, and exert your vulnerabilities. You’ll find that endorsing your own weakness establishes your acceptance of the imperfect humanness of others. What’s more, when you let previously disregarded aspects of yourself come to the surface and acknowledge and embrace all aspects of who you are – people relax.

Plus, you give them permission to reciprocate. For example: I have no sense of direction, I used to litter constantly, I recently had six cavities filled, I’m useless when it comes to details, and I couldn’t change a tire if Al Qaeda was jamming an oozy against my temple. Just a few of my liabilities. How willing are you to share yours?

3. Crying demonstrates alignment. Bodies are barometers. And emotion is the final arbiter of truth. If tears are flowing, so is honesty. Lesson learned: Turning on the water works isn’t a crime. (Unless you’re trying to cry your way out of a speedy ticket, in which case, I hate you.)

Look, don’t hold the tears back. More importantly, never, EVER apologize for starting to cry. That’s what most people do instinctively: They say they’re sorry.

For what? Being honest? Being open? Being a human? Dude, it’s cool. Let it out, brother. All we’re going to do is respect you more. Unless you start dribbling snot on people. Then we have a sanitary problem. When was the last time you cried in the presence of other people?

4. Respond to the human need first. “Front desk – may I help you?” “Help! There’s an aggressive cobra in my bathtub!” “I’m sorry sir, but our hotel policy is not to negotiate with reptiles. Have a nice day.”

Ouch. Wrong need. Lesson learned: Before policies, before protocols, before anything, isolate the universal human need – in this case, death – and use that as your baseline point of response. Everything else can wait. Cobras are serious. Are you treating the problem or the person?

5. Understand, sympathize and empathize for the complexities of the human condition. Your humanity is marked (not) by your elevation above people, but your identification with them. Now, that doesn’t mean you pretend to be one of them. That actually works in reverse.

People can smell contrived connection like a wet dog. Instead, to express sympathy and empathy through the following formula: “Kathy, I have no idea what it takes to (x). What I DO know is how it feels to (y).” Are you trying to hard to relate to people?

6. If you see people bleeding, don’t pretend they aren’t really hurting. Like the homeless veteran with the cardboard sign: You don’t have to give him your life savings – but at least acknowledge the guy. I’m reminded of a 2005 article from Law Enforcement News called, “Approaching Invisible People.”

“You know who they are. They are the homeless wandering the alleyways mumbling. They are the preachers on the street corners declaring they are Jesus Christ. They are the ‘invisible’ people the public ignores, but as law enforcement officers you must see them. You are their guardians. You are their protectors. And being able to talk to the invisible man means being able to communicate with every man.”

Lesson learned: Practice a little namaste. The spirit in me honors the spirit in you. That doesn’t mean you have to save everybody. That doesn’t mean you have to bandage the blood of all who hurt. But don’t pretend they’re not there. They know you see them. And you know that they know you see them. How many people did you go out of your way to ignore last week?

7. Instead of answering questions, answer unspoken needs. My mentor was great at this. Whenever you’d ask a question, he’d start his response by saying, “Scott, I think what you’re really asking about is (x) – is that fair?” Naturally, he was spot-on every time.

Because he could listen to what I was trying to communicate – but was unable or afraid to articulate. That’s the unspoken need. And as you listen to the people who are important to you, I challenge you to keep your third ear open for the message communicated – not just the words spoken.

The cool part is: When you practice noticing what people are afraid of revealing, you’ll quickly learn what it is they long for. But only if you penetrate the mask, get beneath the surface of people’s lives and take a swim in their sea of unspoken emotional needs. How can you give people permission to share what they’re afraid of revealing?

8. See people beyond their emotional baggage and into their hearts. I once wrote a love song to a girl with whom I was incurably smitten that said, “I want to learn what your flaws are just so I can tell you that I love you anyway … I want to learn what all your little quirks are just so I can say I don’t care.”

Lesson learned: Love is a package deal. Everybody’s got baggage. The question is whether or not you’re human enough to let the people you love carry their bags onto your plane and fly with you anyway. Do you love people along with all the baggage they check?

In conclusion, we turn to Alan Weber, cofounding editor of FastCompany and author of Rules of Thumb:

“We’re drawn to people who know who they are, who are comfortable in their own skins. Their sense of themselves makes it easier for us to know and trust them. It cuts down on the wasted energy and head games that too often accompany people in power who are at war with themselves – and take it out on us.”

REMEMBER: Your humanity isn’t a liability.

Just for today, trying being a human being.

You might like it.

If not, I’m sure the robots would love to have you.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
What makes you human?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
For the list called, “For the list called, “37 Personal Leadership Questions Guaranteed to Shake Your Soul,” send an email to me, and you win the list for free!

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

Never the same speech twice.
Always about approachability.

Watch The Nametag Guy in action here!

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