The Art of Unfairness

It’s hard to love people who betray you.
It’s hard to love people who disrespect you.
It’s hard to love people who appear perfect.
It’s hard to love people who try your patience.
It’s hard to love people who tear at your hearts.

That’s not fair.

It’s hard to love people who cause you suffering.
It’s hard to love people who never say thank you.
It’s hard to love people who openly criticize you.
It’s hard to love people who repel you emotionally.

That’s not fair.

It’s hard to love people who treat you with contempt.
It’s hard to love people who don’t know how to receive.
It’s hard to love people who always take and never give.
It’s hard to love people who live in a state of ugliness.

That’s not fair.

BUT THAT’S THE THING: Love isn’t supposed to be fair.

If it was, it wouldn’t be love – it would be strategy.

Silly rabbit. Fairness is for kids.

THE WAY LOVE WORKS IS: It finds the people who don’t deserve it – then offers itself to them freely and fully when they least expect it.

If you want to master the art of unfairness, consider these practices:1. Don’t give – pour. Love is a respiratory requirement. And when you breathe out the love people need, they gasp with joy. Next time you see an opportunity to keep quiet, tell the truth. Especially when there’s no reason to be honest. Lavish and heap and overwhelm people with it. How strong is your honesty asset?

2. Don’t imply – express. Love is the great eraser. And it reminds you that every minor incident is not a supertragedy. Next time someone reflexively apologizes to you for a minor inconvenience, immediately respond by saying, “I forgive you.” What types of people are you afraid to give the benefit of the doubt?

3. Don’t fight – bow. Love is the best comeback. The more successful you become, the more torpedoes will be shot at you. And that’s not fair either. Next time someone rips your art to shreds, say this: “I respect your opinion of my work.” Are you willing to idle your motor even when you feel like grinding your gears?

3. Don’t thank – gush. Love is a brand that is built by hand. Next time you’re debating how to show people how essential they are, write a love letter in the form of something else. Give it away freely and without expectation. And the more handmade, the better. What unsolicited token of love could you give today?

4. Don’t hoard – spray. Love doesn’t discriminate. It should be shared with the people who cannot love you back. No matter how unfair that is. Next time you encounter a tormentor; love them with a constant heart. Even you know for sure that they’re wrong. Are you willing to fall in love with things most people are turned off by?

5. Don’t extract – overflow. Bring forth your heart in every action. Instead of trying to dilute the distaste, just pour in more love. Next time you start a new relationship or partnership with someone, say this: “I want to learn all your little quirks, just so I can say I love you anyway.” Are you demanding that the people who love you change their essential nature so you feel more comfortable?

6. Don’t contract – affirm. When you do what you love, the hatred will follow. That’s not fair either. Next time someone lashes out at you because they know they’re not doing what they love, say this: “I’m so glad you shared that with me. Feedback like yours inspires the hell out of me.” How are you laying a foundation of affirmation with people who are hard to thank?

7. Don’t shine – reflect. If you want people to fall in love with you, help them fall in love with themselves first. Next time you want someone to adore their own reflection, give them a front row seat to their own brilliance. Do you love yourself enough to get out of the way so other people can articulate their fabulousness?

8. Don’t withhold – express. The best way to change the world is to love it first. Next time you want to transform the spirit of people you’re with, love them until they ask you why. Be indiscriminate and promiscuous. Break yourself open and pour yourself out. Are you willing to love something to death to bring it to life?

9. Don’t whine – expand. You can’t keep your door locked. Love means caring when it’s inconvenient. No matter how unfair it feels. Next time you encounter someone most people view as a nuisance, love at a time when opening seems impossible. Are you willing to accept that you don’t need anyone to love you back?

10. Don’t evade – mend. There’s nothing that won’t reveal itself if you love it enough. Next time you get a chance to answer the call to love, stop long enough for your heart to open. And believe that there’s nothing love can’t heal. Have you committed to accepting love from everyone and everything?

11. Don’t suppress – broadcast. What we love shapes us. And your life is measured by how you love. Next time you leave the house, love like it’s a rare jewel that costs everything, but give it away freely like it’s nothing. Are you famous for the people who love you and the way that you love them?

12. Don’t isolate – breathe. Love means showing up when you’re scared. And then leaving room for the other person to decide. That’s not fair. Next time you find yourself on a bended knee, look love in the eye, succumb to its softness and take joy in the moment. Are you caught up in your relationship or just dwelling in your love?

13. Don’t conceal – expose. Love changes the architecture of the heart. And it’s a response to your greatest values found in another person. Next time someone calls you crazy for wearing your heart on your sleeve, say this: “I can’t help it – love does this to me.” Will your love help you discover yourself in others?

14. Don’t require – offer. Love meets a closed heart with kindness. That’s definitely not fair. Next time your ego attempts to turn love into a scorecard, try this: Focus on being a more loving person without worrying about what you’re getting in return. Are you afraid to extend your heart to people who disagree with you?

REMEMBER: If you only love people when it’s fair, you haven’t learned anything.

Maybe it’s time to stop being so darn fair with your heart.

How unfair are you willing to be?

For the list called, “38 Ways to Make Customers Gasp,” send an email to me, and you win the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Publisher, Artist, Mentor

Never the same speech twice.

Now booking for 2011-2012!

Watch The Nametag Guy in action here!

How to Squash Complacency

Relationships work when you work at them.

With your clients, partners and employees.
With your friends, family and significant others.

THAT’S THE SECRET: You can’t get lazy with the people who matter most.

Otherwise your relationships grow stale.

Here’s a collection of ideas to help you squash complacency:1. Never get lazy with your audience. Complacency is the merit badge you get for winning a marathon in your comfort zone. About ten years ago, U2 learned this lesson the hard way. Their album, Pop, sold fewer copies than any other record in their catalogue. As a result, the group made a public declaration:

“Our band is reapplying for the job of the best band in the world.”

But this wasn’t bravado or a publicity stunt – it was pure conviction. They sincerely wanted to squash the complacency they’d built around themselves.

So they worked their tails off. And a year later, their tenth record, All That You Can’t Leave Behind, sold over thirty five million copies and won seven Grammies. All because they rooted out any sense of entitlement and got back to work.

Of course, those guys can afford the setback – you can’t. Your challenge is to take action quicker then they did. After all, by the time you realize you’re trapped in the grasp of complacency – it’s already too late. You’re simply too close to yourself. Are you standing on whale fishing for minnows?

2. Stay hungry. The word complacent derives from the Latin complacentia, which means, “satisfied.” Which means the opposite of complacency isn’t happiness – it’s hunger. That is, being proactive in the way you honor, recognize and thank the people whose relationships are essential to your existence. If you want to create an emotional connection that deepens over time, consider these ideas:

First, treat gratitude as ongoing process. A calendar of consistent thankful action. Not just a trying chore or an isolated event. Second, give meaningful rewards that recognize outstanding contributions to your organization. Make gratitude palpable and recurrent by giving gifts people remember and keep forever.

Third, give compliments that matter. Show people that they’re not just important, but essential. After all, people love to hear how great they are, but they long to hear how great you’ve become because of who they are.

Remember: Success never comes unassisted. Live your life as a thank you in perpetuity to the people who matter most, and they’ll always remain by your side. Are you trying to satisfy today’s hunger with yesterday’s meal?

3. Constantly reeducate your market. Good brands evolve, upgrade and mature – but great brands actively share the highlights of that process with their customers. Otherwise people will have a limited understanding of the value you deliver. And it will become increasingly hard for them to be your advocates. Your challenge is to remind people of three things.

First, what you do: That is, your current positioning to the marketplace. Second, what you’re doing: That is, your current projects and clients in the marketplace. Third, what you’ve done: That is, your past work and successes thereof. This spectrum eliminates the question of, “Should we hire these guys?” and focuses on the solution, “How should we use these guys?” And that’s a position of diversity and resourcefulness that makes you more buyable and more revisitable.

Remember: Just because someone did business with you five years ago doesn’t mean they know who, what, where and why you are today. How many different ways can people say yes to you?

4. Deeper mindfulness plus deliberate effort. In any relationship, there’s a natural complacency that people gravitate toward. After a certain period of time, you just get comfortable with your rhythms. You let yourself go. And you figure it’s just easier to order pizza and watch a movie instead of taking the time to cook dinner and have a real conversation about something that matters.

The problem is, each of those micro moments of complacency add up. And before you know it, your relationship has degraded into a predictable, undersexed stalemate that fails to give itself the attention and care it so desperately needs.

I understand the chase can’t last forever. But that doesn’t give you permission to undercut each others’ relational ambition. The good new is, you can still be a force in people’s lives without forcing yourself in people’s lives. As my parents like to remind me,

“The secret to a long, healthy marriage is to never get lazy with each other.”

Try this: Next time you say to yourself, “I don’t want to bother her with this minor issue,” share it anyway. It’s an Share for no reason other than to remind people that they’re worth sharing to. Be being radically honest when most people would say nothing, you create an act of caring in a moment of inconvenience. Do you bother to bother?

5. Use every available tool to nurture your relationships. The advantage of technology is that it provides you with multiple points of contact. It allows you to meet people where they are and tune into their preferred frequency, instead of forcing them to conform to your communication style.

For example: Some people prefer phone calls, some prefer email. Some prefer face-to-face meetings; some prefer text and instant messaging. And some people prefer Facebook, while others prefer Twitter.

Fine. Whatever it takes. Use everything. You’re in a position where you can respond to the idiosyncratic needs of each person efficiently and expeditiously. My suggestion is twofold:

First, keep tabs on which medium people prefer. That way you can always reach them the way they want to be reached. Second, let people know ho you preferred to be reached. That way you remain accessible without violating your own boundaries.

Ultimately, and as long as you stay organized, stay updated and stay connected, you’ll be able to nurture your relationships through a variety of tools. And the risk of complacency will drop dramatically. What systems can you put in place to make sure everyone feels heard?

REMEMBER: Every relationship has a contract.

Whether it’s online or offline, personal or professional, engaged to marry or hired to help, relationships work when you work at them.

Don’t get lazy with each other.

We’re all we’ve got.

How will you squash complacency?

For the list called, “38 Ways to Make Customers Gasp,” send an email to me, and you win the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Publisher, Artist, Mentor

Never the same speech twice.

Now booking for 2011-2012!

Watch The Nametag Guy in action here!

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