The Art of the Shove

My favorite scene in Good Will Hunting is the following conversation between Matt Damon and Ben Affleck:

“You know what the best part of my day is? The ten seconds before I knock on your door. Because I let myself think I might get there, and you’d be gone. I’d knock on the door and you wouldn’t be there. You just left.”

“But instead, you’re sitting on a winning lottery ticket and you’re too afraid to cash it in. And that’s just stupid. Because I’d do anything to have what you got. So would any of these guys. And it’d be an insult to us if you were still here in twenty years.”

That’s called a shove.

And it’s what you do for the people who matter to you.

Here’s why:To shove is to applaud someone’s risk.
To shove is to elevate someone’s hope.
To shove is to disrupt someone’s inertia.
To shove is to provoke someone’s decision.

Who have you shoved this week?

To shove is to give someone a permission slip.
To shove is to kindle someone’s awesomeness.
To shove is to pour gasoline on someone’s fire.
To shove is to deliver someone’s encouragement.
To shove is to petition someone to take the plunge.

Who shoved you?

To shove is to dare someone to commit with both feet.
To shove is to help someone fall in love with himself.
To shove is to show someone what he can’t see for himself.
To shove is to challenge someone to start playing for keeps.
To shove is to throw someone over the other side of the wall.

Who do you know that needs to be shoved?

To shove is to disturb someone into taking action on what matters.
To shove is to remove what robs so they can embrace what excites.
To shove is to adamantly refuse to let someone stay where they are.
To shove is to call someone on the carpet when mediocrity descends.
To shove is to petition someone to bring her dreams to center stage.
To shove is to believe in someone more than she believes in herself.

Who is just waiting to be shoved by you?

THE POINT IS: To shove people is to love people.

And someone who matters to you needs one.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
Who will you shove this week?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
For a list called, “153 Quotations to Inspire Your Success,” 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

“I usually refuse to pay for mentoring. But after Scott’s first brain rental session, the fact that I had paid something to be working with him left my mind – as far as I was concerned, the value of that (and subsequent) exchange of wisdom and knowledge, far outweighed any payment.”

–Gilly Johnson The Australian Mentoring Center

Rent Scott’s Brain today!

The Fleetwood Mac Guide to Going Your Own Way

“Remember to wear your dark suit!”

That was the advice my roommate gave me two hours before the career fair.

Unfortunately, I didn’t own one. Or any suit, for that matter. So I did what any smart college senior would have done: Drove to Goodwill and bought one for seven dollars.

Later that day, with a stack of resumes in my hand, I headed toward the auditorium.

And as I walked across the threshold, amidst a sea of stale, corporate exhibits, piles of free notepads and hundreds of fellow students hopping from booth to booth trying to prove themselves to people they didn’t even like, one question entered my mind:

“What the hell am I doing here?”So I went home and finished my book.

Nine months later, I published it. And nine years later, I published twelve more.

Fleetwood Mac was right: When you open up, everything’s waiting for you.

That’s the beauty of going your own way. And if you’re even teetering with the idea of doing so, you might want to consider a few of these ideas first:

1. Accept the uncertainty of the journey. Personally, I love not knowing. It inspires the hell out of me. In fact, I think intelligence can be impediment. Because if you think about it: If you knew what you know now, you probably never would have started.

Instead, try this mantra: “Don’t be stopped by not knowing how.” That’s what I live my life by. After all, life is boring when you know all the answers. And sometimes what you know limits what you can imagine. In my experience going my own way, you have to leave room for the unexpected. To attend to life wherever it moves. And to get lost regularly and excitedly.

Otherwise you end up giving up on the moment before the miracle shows up.

Look: Hugging uncertainty is an act that entails commitment of the heart. And it will take all of you. But without it, your addiction to knowing how will make the journey a lot rockier.

Remember: Uncertainty is an exhilarating dance. Take its hand and spin it for the world to see. Have you accepted fear as an inevitable part of the equation?

2. Grow smaller ears. A few thousand years ago, stoic philosopher Epictetus wrote, “If you go your own way, prepare for reactions.” He was right: Whatever you commit to, there will always people waiting for you to fail.

Maybe because they envy your path.
Maybe because they feel disenfranchised by your success.
Maybe because they see you living your truth and it pisses them off because they’re not living their own.

But the reality is: If people can’t respect you for going your own way, their respect isn’t worth having in the first place.

Take Hugh Macleod’s suggestion: Ignore everybody.

Don’t be oppressed by those who try to silence your individuality. Don’t be destroyed in response to someone’s invitation to stop living. And don’t be limited by the thoughts that other have set in motion for you.

Give up your obsessive need for approval from anyone other than yourself. Learn to believe in the availability of your own answers. Do you have the courage to follow your inner guide even if you look like an idiot and risk alienating those who don’t understand?

3. Find adequate moral support. The hardest part about going your own way is going it alone. Sure, it’s great for productivity – but where’s the fun in celebrating your victories when nobody’s around to watch you blow out the candles?

I’m all for doing the work to please yourself – but I’m also tired of being lonely.

And that’s where your support system comes in handy: You need people who will be whatever gets you through. People who will gladly sit with you in companionable silence. And people who will enthusiastically carry you to the other side of the wall.

The secret is: You can’t force it. When the loneliness creeps in like a mist, sporadically calling everyone you know to compensate for the anxiety is like eating a huge bag of Twizzlers, then crashing three hours later.

My suggestion: Instead of digging your well when you’re thirsty, set up your life up in a way that the water is always flowing. And like a human oasis, it will be there when you need it. Then, just remember to live your life as a thank you in perpetuity to the people who reside there. Because if you forget who helped you on the way up, it’s going to be a lonely fall on the way down. Who’s got your back?

4. Calculate your own currency. Every endeavor needs cash to thrive. Even charities. Make no mistake: Non-profit is a tax code, not a goal. However, while profit is a healthy form of applause, money isn’t the only thing that matters. Your challenge is to figure out what your currency is.

Here’s a counterintuitive way of doing so: Honestly admit what has never been part of the equation for you.

As an author, for example, people frequently ask me how many books I’ve sold. And I have no idea. Nor do I care. Number of copies sold isn’t currency that’s important to me. The cool part is, by owning that, I’ve learned what is important to me: Contribution, legacy and reader engagement. And I have a boatload of that.

Decide what you want via the process of elimination. It’s less threatening and intimidating. Otherwise you’ll be so focused on making money that you’ll forget to make a difference. What’s your personal definition of wealth?

5. Getting stopped in your tracks helps you own the path. If you think taking the first step is hard, wait until you encounter your first obstacle. Yikes. Resistance will knock you on your ass so hard your teeth will hurt. Then again, just imagine the resilience you’re developing. We should all be so lucky.

Besides, as long as you view your obstacles as inconvenient – not insurmountable – you’ll make it out alive. As my friend Rusty reminds me, “Attitude is the only difference between an ordeal and an experience.”

The key is to stop battling the resistance and start befriending it. Identify what lesson life is trying to teach you by asking the following question, “How can I use this situation as an opportunity to learn something about myself and change for the better?”

Remember: If there’s no resistance, you’re doing something wrong. Accept the obstacles as part of the path and answer the invitation to evolve. Are you willing to greet the resistance with a welcoming heart?

6. Put yourself in the way of success. Opportunity never stops knocking – you just stop listening. Or, you do hear the knocks, but because opportunity comes disguised as hints, whispers, clues, mistakes and discomforts, you choose to ignore them. If you want to turn embers of possibility into blazes of reality, you’ve got to take the initiative path.

In the book Poke the Box, Seth Godin calls this instigation capital, or the desire to move forward combined with the ability and guts to say yes.

“Many people and organizations have money, networking abilities, smarts, tools and a great reputation. But the key ingredient they are lacking to make it successful is the ability to move forward. And the market responds to the power that comes with this kind of capital.”

My suggestion: Stop waiting for permission. Stop waiting until you’re ready. And stop waiting until you know what you’re doing. Say yes to everything. Keep the field of activity open. Possibility hinges on the lever of proactivity. Are you lingering on the balcony instead of dancing on the floor?

HERE’S THE REALITY: Going your own way can feel like digging your way to hell with a plastic fork.

But it sure beats going to the career fair.

Instead of one-size fits all, try my-size fits me.

Everything’s waiting for you.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
Have you learned to fall in love with your own set of blueprints?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
For a list called, “153 Quotations to Inspire Your Success,” 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

“I usually refuse to pay for mentoring. But after Scott’s first brain rental session, the fact that I had paid something to be working with him left my mind – as far as I was concerned, the value of that (and subsequent) exchange of wisdom and knowledge, far outweighed any payment.”

–Gilly Johnson The Australian Mentoring Center

Rent Scott’s Brain today!

5 Ways to Weather Ridicule

Oscar Wilde was right.

Ridicule is the tribute paid to the genius by the mediocrities.

It comes with the territory of sticking yourself out there.

THE SECRET IS: How do you weather that ridicule before it knocks the life out of you?

Try these ideas:1. Take a bite out of reality. Choosing not to believe in the devil won’t protect you from him. Take it from a guy who’s been mocked pretty much every day of his life for the past decade: Ridicule is rite of passage. It comes with the territory of being successful. And it should be attended to with love, gratitude and respect. Here’s how:

First, consider it an honor to be criticized.
Second, you’re nobody until somebody hates you.
Third, anything worth doing is worth being attacked for.
Fourth, if your dream isn’t being attacked, it isn’t big enough.
Fifth, if everybody loves your work, you’re doing something wrong.
Sixth, if nobody hates your work, you’re not being honest enough.

Once you wrap your head around those realities – and once you make peace with the war against your success – it’s amazing how free you become.

Remember: The more successful you become, the more torpedoes will be shot at you. But being attacked is a sign that you are important enough to be a target. Will you accept the bullets as the price of winning?

2. Seek acceptance, not approval. It doesn’t matter if people like your work. What matters is if they label it as being real. The rest is just gravity. My suggestion: Screw meeting worldly approval. Stop acquiescing to the status quo. Creating a career of approval creates a diminished existence, which creates work destined for mediocrity and doomed to disappoint.

And you know the people I’m talking about: They just sort of stare at you with these judging eyes and crossed arms, as if to say, “What are you going to do about the fact that I don’t like it?”

Answer: Nothing. You’re going to get on with your life and get back to your work. Because life’s too short to let your art live in a desk drawer, too valuable to have lunch with idiots who downsize your dreams, and too precocious surround yourself with people who aren’t open to your energy.

Keep your distance from those who would dampen your ardor, and keep away from those who would discard the highest vision of yourself. Whose voice are you done listening to?

3. Brace yourself for the waves of antagonism. When people meet me and discover I’ve written a dozen books, their gut reaction is to say, “Yeah, but what are you, like, thirty? What did you write twelve books about? How much could you have possibly learned in your meager existence on this planet?”

And even if they don’t say that – I know it’s what they’re thinking. And over time, my response has evolved from, “Wait, why aren’t you more impressed with me?” to:

“You know, there is nothing I could say that would make me good enough in your eyes. So I don’t need to defend my books, and I don’t need to defend my brain. If you don’t want them, don’t buy them.”

And although I rarely take the time or energy to go through that whole thing, sometimes it’s necessary. Sometimes you just have to stare people straight in the eye and say, “Guess what? I don’t have to react to you.” It all depends how much self-control you’re willing to exert.

It’s like staring at plate of cookies after you’ve given up sugar and realizing that they no longer have power over you. Goddamn it’s liberating. Who was the last person you gave your power away to?

4. Consider the source. Let’s be clear: Feedback, at the right time, from the right people – in the right amount – is priceless. That’s the best way to grow, get better and learn who the heck you are.

But if you’re constantly getting rottisserized by people who don’t matter, it’s time to move on. As Walt Whitman wrote in Leaves of Grass, “Dismiss what insults your own soul and your very flesh shall be a great poem.”

When people dismiss your art as craft, hobby and decoration, learn to tell people you respect their opinion of your work – and then get on with your life. Otherwise the nonstop barrage of unhelpful feedback will slaughter your finest artistic impulses.

Remember: People who attack your work are terrified of attending to their own misery. Never let anybody keep you small, scared and dreamless. Will you risk rejection by exploring new artistic worlds or court acceptance by following already explored paths?

5. People will try to push boulders into your path. In nature, those who leave their flock and go their own way get eaten. In the art world, it’s not much different: People are usually unkind to the new. As I read in Art & Fear, “Historically, the world has always offered more support to work it already understands.”

No wonder originality is such a pain in the ass.

But, that doesn’t mean quit. That means instead of waiting for the rest of the world to tell you your work is okay, tap into your sense of interior stability. Instead, follow the path of your heart. Curb your dependency on externals for equilibrium and draw strength from places you love.

Forget about what people will think of you once they see your work. Better to risk executing what matters than to be a victim of resistance. Whose opinion are you willing to ignore?

REMEMBER: Weathering ridicule comes with the territory of sticking yourself out there.

But as much as it stings, think of it this way: Being ridiculed means being noticed.

That’s the other thing Oscar Wilde was right about.

The only thing worse than being talked about – is not being talked about.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
Who hates you?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
For the list called, “153 Quotations to Inspire Your Success,” 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.
Now booking for 2011-2012!

Watch The Nametag Guy in action here!

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