11 Contrarian Comments that Will Make You Squirm in Your Seat and Probably Hate Me

1. Don’t go where the money is – going where the money is going. Think Gretzky: He always skated where the puck was going. 1,016 goals later, the entire world calls him – and ONLY him – The Great One. This is not coincidence. Just strategy. Anticipatory thinking. It’s predicting the future. Are you thinking ten years out?

2. Faith doesn’t move mountains – faith IS the mountain. In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus says, “Ye of little faith. I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”

I imagine you’ve heard that passage before, so, here’s my interpretation: Faith moves mountains because when you stop believing that you are separate from the mountain, you become the mountain. Then all you have to do is move yourself. Unfortunately, nothing in the world harder to move. Dang it. If you had complete faith in the universe and in your future, what would you do?

3. Give a man a fish and you’ll feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and he’ll never email you again with another pointless, time wasting, boundary-violating, bloodsucking question that you don’t have the time or patience to answer for free. It’s all about putting a stake in the ground.

I addressed this issue extensively in How to Stand By Your Value and Sidestep Bloodsuckers – While Still Remaining Approachable. Read it. Live it. Do you let people PICK your brain or RENT your brain?

4. Give people an inch and they’ll take mile; but CHARGE people for an inch and they’ll accomplish a mile. Speaking of boundaries. I used to allow people to “pick my brain.” For free. For hours at a time. For years. And what I began to notice was, after every session, people walked away excited, inspired and grateful for the time spent together. But then I never saw or heard from then again.

Why? Because they didn’t pay me. And when people don’t pay me, they don’t hear me. Lesson learned: There is a direction correlation between financial investment and probability of execution. Charge enough so people believe the value IN, listen TO and take action UPON what you tell them. What’s your two-hour consulting fee?

5. Haste only makes waste if you believe in waste. Which I don’t. The way I see it, nothing is ever wasted. Ever. Especially if you learn to ask questions like, “What good could come of this?” “What am I supposed to be learning here?” and “Now that I have this, what else does this make possible?”

Therefore, haste is tasty. As Alicia Keys once said, “In the age of love, nothing is wasted.” How would your life be different if you never viewed anything as being wasted?

6. Have your cake; eat it too, AND save a piece for breakfast tomorrow. People who tell you that you can’t have your cake and eat it too are operating from a scarcity mentality. Or they’re diabetic. On the other hand, when you assume a baseline posture of abundance, bad economies don’t threaten you.

As The Tao of Abundance taught me, “The world you see is a reflection of the condition of your mind.” How would you career change if you learned to approach cake differently?

7. He who dies with the most JOYS wins. Toys are for elves. When your time on The Great Mud Ball expires, it’s going to sound more like Ben Harper’s “Excuse Me Mister,” which reminds us, “When you’re rattling on heaven’s gate, by then it’s too late. Because when you get there they don’t ask you what you saved, all they want to know, Mister, is what you gave.” What specific types of joy have you brought to others in the past 48 hours?

8. He who fails to plan plans to PREVAIL. Think about it: If you don’t know where you’re going – nobody can stop you. If you have a plan, however, you might actually HIT it. Yikes. What if you planed less this year?

9. It looks like it’s gonna be one of those days. Really? Then maybe you should have your vision checked. Newsflash: It’s NOT going to be one of those days. Not if you don’t want it to. Not if you shift your attitude. Not if take responsibility for your choices, thoughts and responses.

Unfortunately, few people think that way. Most of us embrace victimhood and blame our bad days on some external force beyond our control. And then we have a bad day. Because we made the choice to have a bad day. My suggestion is to heed Pablo Neruda’s advice: You are the result of yourself.

Remember: It’s not the weather. It’s not the traffic. It’s not your annoying coworker who chews gum like a cow. It’s you. It’s ALWAYS you. Are you have a bad day or do you have a bad attitude?

10. It’s not about being the life of the party – it’s about bringing other people TO life AT the party. Your goal is to help people fall in love with you by first helping them fall in love with themselves. Here’s a rapid-fire list of ways to do so:

One simple word: Listen. Two simple words: Take notes. Three simple words: I appreciate you. Four simple words: I believe in you. Five simple words: Refer back to your notes. Six simple words: Quote people’s wisdom back to them. Seven simple words: Tell people to write their wisdom down. Eight simple words: Breathe into people a reflection of their awesomeness.

Remember: When people are in love with themselves, they will love whoever made them feel that way. And people do anything for the people they love. How do you leave people?

11. Life ISN’T a bowl of cherries. Life is the bowl. Or maybe it’s the spoon. No, wait. Maybe it’s the dinner table. Better yet, maybe life is refrigerator that keeps the cherries fresh. Or perhaps life is the delivery truck from the Maraschino Farm.

Who knows? The point is: Life isn’t something you haphazardly label with some simplistic, fifth-grade metaphor. Life is always something else. What is it for you?

Are you squirming yet?

Leave a comment on this blog with your list of things that don’t exist, why they don’t exist, and what exists in their place.

Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Coach, Entrepreneur

Never the same speech twice.
Always about approachability.

Watch The Nametag Guy in action here!

13 (more) Things That Don’t Really Exist, No Matter How Many Lies You’ve Been Conditioned to Believe

Last time you read a list of things that don’t (really) exist, why they don’t exist, and what exists in their place.

Today, I have more: Thirteen additional items that don’t (really) exist.

Read them at your own peril…

1. “Must see” doesn’t exist. That’s just fancy, coma-inducing marketing language for, “Please addict yourself to our crappy programming so our advertisers don’t come to their senses and stop wasting their money on a dead medium like television.”

Here’s the naked truth: You’re not their little target anymore. You are in charge of how much attention you choose to give. How much money did you make last month by watching television?

2. “Off the record” doesn’t exist. Everything matters, everybody’s watching and everything’s a performance. You’re on the record, all the time, whether you like or not. I sure hope your integrity is tact.

Or else you’ll end up like one of those moronic athletes who chooses to throw away his entire reputation and legacy on one night’s stupidity. Or, in Tiger Woods’ case, thirteen nights. But who’s counting? Would you want to become known for what you’re about to do?

3. Overnight successes don’t exist. Instead, you work your ass off for about twenty years when nobody notices, nobody cares and nobody remembers. And then one day you take a deep breath, look in the mirror and say, “It’s about time.” How patient are you willing to be?

4. Quick fixes don’t exist. I guarantee: When you get your fix, you will not be fixed. You will want more very soon. That’s the nature of addiction.

That’s why the quick fix industry makes so much money: Never-ending repeat business is guaranteed because of infinitely unsatisfied customers. I wonder what would happen if you made the decision to be satisfied right now. What are you currently addicted to?

5. Recession-Proof doesn’t exist. Everyone is affected by a recession. Everyone. Maybe not financially. But we all feel it. Physically, emotionally and spiritually. Don’t be so arrogant as to assume the recession wants nothing to do with you.

I got news for you: The recession doesn’t care if you sell an inelastic, “recession-proof” product. It’s still coming after you. And if you leave your guard down, it’s going to deliver the death stroke when you least expect. How are you preparing for the devastation?

6. Shortcuts don’t exist. Shortcuts cause stress, rarely succeed and often backfire. They never go unpunished. They are a refuge for slackers and a lazy man’s panacea. Ultimately, shortcuts don’t lead anywhere but the Exit Door. Longcuts, on the other hand, lead to the finish line.

So, here’s my suggestion: Learn the chords. Take the long cut. Work your face off. Develop bottomless patience. You will win, win BIG, and win alone. How much money is impatience costing you?

7. Stupid questions don’t exist. As the great philosopher Homer Simpson once said, “There are no stupid questions – only stupid people.” In this case, the stupid people who don’t ask questions.

“That the problem with our educational system,” complained George Carlin, “kids shouldn’t be taught to read, they should be taught to question what they read.” What questions are you afraid to ask?

8. The Real World doesn’t exist. As John Mayer sang in the song No Such Thing, “I wanna run through the halls of my high school and scream at the top of my lungs, ‘There’s no such thing as The Real World – it’s just a lie you’ve got to rise above.’” What lies are you afraid to call people out on?

9. Time doesn’t exist. If you don’t compartmentalize your life, you, become the SOURCE of time. And that’s when you realize that you always have heaps of time to do anything and everything you’ve ever wanted. Also, it depends on how you define your activities.

For example, people complain they don’t have time to meditate. But if you learn to approach every experience as a meditation, you’re never (not) meditating. I think if people sat down and actually mapped out their energy investments, they’d be astonished at how out of whack their priorities were. How would your daily life be different if you accepted yourself as the source of time?

10. Warm calls don’t exist. Stop kidding yourself. If the prospect doesn’t know you and isn’t expecting you, it’s cold. Even if she DOES know you and IS expecting you, if she’s not your friend, it’s cold.

People buy people first. Grasp this distinction and you will make more sales. When was the last time you were excited to answer a phone call from a caller ID you didn’t recognize?

11. Waste doesn’t exist. Everything is valuable. Everything is a contribution. Everything is productive to something. Everyone you encounter is your mentor. Think this way and you’ll never feel wasteful again. What’s your recycling plan?

12. Work/Life Balance doesn’t exist. Balance is for ballerinas. You need to focus on alignment. That means gathering all the components of your life and asking them to join hands in a circle around your cherished values, singing and dancing and rejoicing for eternity.

Once that’s accomplished, an occasional break in the balance isn’t won’t be able to hurt you. As long as you maintain a well-diversified portfolio of happiness, you’ll be fine. What is out of alignment?

13. Writer’s Block doesn’t exist. Writing is an extension of thinking. You don’t have Writer’s Block; you have Thinker’s Block. Stop blaming your lack of creativity and productivity on some evil, external force of resistance over which you have zero control.

It’s you. It’s always you. When was the last time you took time to just think?

REMEMBER: No matter how many lies you’ve been conditioned to believe, certain things don’t (really) exist.

Perhaps you should make a list of your own.

What’s on your list of things that don’t exist?

Leave a comment on this blog with your list of things that don’t exist, why they don’t exist, and what exists in their place.

Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Coach, Entrepreneur

Never the same speech twice.
Always about approachability.

Watch The Nametag Guy in action here!

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