GrasshopperNotes.com - Thoughts for inspired living


December 12, 2019

Letter To Santa

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Morgan @ 9:49 am

Screenshot 2019 12 12 09 43 49Dear Santa,

It’s been a year since I’ve written. Hope you, Mrs. Claus, and the elves are enjoying the holiday season.

As always, I know you won’t be able to bring me everything on my list, but every effort will be appreciated.

These are the things I want the most:

🎄 Congress people who ask questions rather than pontificate during congressional hearings.

🎄 Bombas socks. They’re my favorite.

🎄 Less Christmas songs from artists I’ve never heard of.

🎄 No more vampire movies or ones with car chase scenes. Hasn’t that been done, Santa?

🎄 Proper use of the reflexive pronoun “Myself,” especially by athletes.

🎄 And finally, Santa, is it possible for me to never meet anyone who likes “Flo” in the Progressive Insurance commercials?

Thank you for all your consideration. I know there are some big “asks” in my letter this year and I perfectly understand if you can’t fill them.

Thank you and Merry Christmas,

(LJ) Little Johnny

P.S. Do you think you’ll be set up for texts by next Christmas?



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December 2, 2019

How To Stay Unhappy

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Morgan @ 9:10 am

Christopher ryan cFDgleArETA unsplashAs we come upon the happy holiday season, we can easily glue ourselves to unhappiness. Here’s how: Justify your unhappiness.

There is no better way to stay unhappy than to list a stocking-full of reasons why you are that way.

Here’s a Christmas tip: Don’t put justifications in your letter to Santa. It’s a surefire way to get him to divert his sleigh from your chimney or doorway.

The removal of one word from your vocabulary will take your justifications down to a bare minimum: “Because.”

The minute you say I’m unhappy because . . . you are stickier than a dog slobbered candy cane.

“Because” is the gateway to justifications, and justifications will keep whatever is being justified in place.

So the formula for keeping the holidays unhappy is to defend your unhappiness.

I love the way Eckhart Tolle acknowledges unhappiness. He recommends saying the following to yourself: “I have unhappiness within me.” That gives the unhappy feeling the recognition it seeks. Once you recognize and just sit with the feeling, you begin the process of unjustified healing.

Why should you leave your justifications off your list? When you do, you weaken their glue and help prevent a “Christmas of Blue.”

All the best,

John



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November 12, 2019

The Release

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Morgan @ 8:05 pm

Mitch lensink Ismnr6WSHCU unsplashIt seems so “obvie” to say you have to release your grip in order to let something go.

Our grip is often so unconscious that we don’t realize that an invisible force is actually gripping us.

Something has a hold on us that keeps us holding on.

The release begins with a request. It’s sort of like a parole hearing. You have to ask the parole board to let you go.

You don’t have to know what’s gripping you. There is a part of you that knows. You just have to ask.

I learned that a well-formed request takes this form:

“I request that you do X by time Y.” For example: “I request that you release your grip on me right now.”

You may have to make the request multiple times over multiple days. And just like with repeated exercise, you will feel a difference. The grip will lessen with each request and the walls that seemed ever present in the past won’t confine you.

You are making the request to the part of you that has you in its grasp. It’s an unconscious pattern of behavior. What you may not realize is that patterns are purposeful. They served a purpose when they were formed. You may have consciously outgrown the need for that pattern of behavior, but the subconscious pattern will run forever unless you request a release.

Consider this scenario. A spouse dies in the prime of their life. Their surviving mate is left to move on without them. After a time, they meet someone new and start dating and begin a relationship. Something holds them back from committing to this new partnership. What is the pattern that prevents this twosome from moving forward? It may be that the surviving spouse may have never released their grip on his or her deceased partner and that pattern has a death grip on them.

“The Release” is yours for the asking. The key is to request and request often.

All the best,

John



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October 31, 2019

Arguing

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Morgan @ 5:36 am

Sarah kilian vf0lyNg41lk unsplashI heard a commentator offer a profound observation the other night and his message is universally applicable: “The only reason to make a bad argument is because you don’t have a good one.”

It got me to thinking what we argue for most: our limitations! That’s a bad argument – one that doesn’t have a forward strategy, only a defense for staying stuck.

What are we defending that’s indefensible? It’s easy to find out. Just examine any argument you make without evidence and you’ll find your limitation.

The biggest defensive and most limiting argument I’ve ever heard is this: “That’s just the way I am.” Talk about stuck. That’s truly the worst argument you can make.

A more accurate recognition is, “That’s the way I’ve been conditioned.” That observation opens the door to reconditioning vs. the mired in the muck argument that keeps you stuck.

Bad arguments not only make you look foolish but also keep you fooling yourself.

It’s worthwhile to reflect on an argument you are making that isn’t working. Continuing to make that argument only increases your limitations.

A “mirror moment” worth our reflection is this: Ask yourself, “What am I never-ending defending that continually leads to unhappy endings?”

Your answer to that question will produce a much better thing to argue for.

All the best,

John



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October 22, 2019

Your Heart’s Desire

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Morgan @ 8:03 am

Snoopy Heart s DesireI wrote about one of my favorite songs recently: WHEN YOU WISH UPON A STAR.

I first heard it as a child when watching the movie Pinocchio.”

Two lines from the song impressed me deeply:

1. “If your heart is in your dream, no request is too extreme.”

2. “When you wish upon a star, makes no difference who you are, anything your heart desires will come to you.”

It wasn’t until much later in life that I discovered the magic behind these lyrics.

As a child, I thought they were about “wishing.” And like any child, I had my fair share of wishes that didn’t come true. (I’m specifically remembering one about a pony).

That led to a lot of disappointment, to the point that I gave up on wishing altogether.

It dawned on me that wishing is just talking to yourself – something that has never resulted in making a dream come true.

In order to achieve your heart’s desire, you have to get past the talking stage. That means you have to take your dream to heart, which is a fancy way of saying that you already have the internal resources (heart) to get what you want. You just have to get your mental critic out of the way for your heart to have its say.

All creativity comes from this quiet place of the heart. The more often you get there, the less often you’ll be a puppet to your thinking.

We’ve been conditioned to think that only certain, fortunate people get to achieve their dreams. The song preaches from a different hymn book: “Makes no difference who you are.”

If I could change one phrase in the lyrics, I would change the words “come to you” to “come through you.”

Your dream isn’t out there somewhere; its raw materials are already in you, ready to be assembled in the quiet recesses of your heart.

If you continue wishing, your nose will continue to grow. You already have your heart’s desire. You just have to get quiet more often to make it so.

All the best,

John



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October 10, 2019

Let’s Argue

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Morgan @ 7:56 am

Cloudvisual co uk DCtwjzQ9uVE unsplashWant to start an argument? Use comparatives or superlatives!

“Better” or “Best” is a good place to start. “My idea is better.” “Inky Octopus has the best calamari in the city.”

Notice that comparatives and superlatives bring up instant counter-arguments.

Who’s the greatest quarterback of all time? “Of course, it’s Tom Brady.” Notice that if you live outside of New England, you may have a different player you want to make an argument for.

To avoid counterproductive arguments, use verifiable language. “Tom Brady has won 6 Super Bowls. No other quarterback in the history of the NFL has done that.”

Use softeners when using comparatives. “There may be a better way to go.”

It’s always productive and less argumentative to put the accent on the information rather than the opinion. This is especially apt when using the words “right” and “wrong.” If you have the right way, notice the only option you have given anyone with a different opinion is to be wrong. No one wants to be wrong.

Putting the accent on the information sounds like this: “According to the Office of Management and Budget, that information is not accurate.” Notice you didn’t say the person was wrong; you just stated the information was inaccurate. It’s much softer on the psyche and leads to a discussion rather than an argument.

I’ll admit there are people, when faced with irrefutable facts, will continue to argue. That’s why they invented the word “moron.” Move on from that person or you will witness never-ending moving of goalposts.

Some people like to argue. If that’s you, continue using comparatives and superlatives and right and wrong and you’ll find someone to spar with all day long.

All the best,

John



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October 7, 2019

Never Ending Beginnings

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Morgan @ 6:49 am

John torcasio GwSG508AYPQ unsplashThe Grasshopper popped in the other day with this phrase: “Never ending beginnings.”

I got curious about what he meant. The following is what I came away with. We begin each day with a clean slate – with an opportunity to start over – to go back to that famous piece of real estate: Square One.

We can be like the movie “Groundhog Day” and have each day repeat itself, or we can start anew.

Starting over is often looked upon as failure when, in fact, it’s the solid foundation for stepping-stones to something new.

When we fail at something, the conditioned tendency is to get caught up in the “what I should have done” drama, rather than focusing on what to do NOW!

Even if you’re not a football fan, you can appreciate this scenario: There are 20 seconds left in the game – 20 seconds left to win or lose it. The quarterback calls for a pass play in the huddle and tells the player who catches the pass to get out of bounds to stop the clock, giving the team ample field position and time to attempt a winning field goal. The player catches the pass but chooses to run forward instead of stepping out of bounds. He gets tackled and the clock continues to run. The quarterback in his frustration runs over to the player with the remaining 10 seconds and chews him out for not stepping out of bounds. The clock runs out and they lose.

What would have happened if the quarterback reset and ran another play? He would have another chance of winning instead of “whining out the clock.”

We get an opportunity to begin again every moment of every day. It reduces our chances for failure and gives us the wisdom to call another play.

All the best,

John



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September 18, 2019

Somewhere Else

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Morgan @ 7:01 am

I witnessed this Roman arkhipov wEFvY8mi1zc unsplashphenomenon yesterday at the post office: Somewhere Else!

Standing in line, I noticed the patrons behind me shifting and silently “hurrum-phing.” I interpreted their behavior as wanting to be somewhere other than where they were: waiting in line.

I recognized the pattern because I have executed it so many times myself – wanting to be somewhere other than where I am. There is an unsettled feeling that goes along with that mindset.

I could almost read their thoughts: “I only have a half hour for lunch and I’m spending it here.” “I’ve got 15 other things to do.” “Can’t they have more people at the counter?” We’ve all been there, but not really there.

The next time you find yourself waiting in line, notice your thoughts, then take a deep breath and exhale slowly and recognize exactly where you are. Notice the things around you: the people, their clothing, the surroundings, the temperature, the feeling in your feet, the conversations people are having. In short, experience where you are.

It will get you out of your head. Your head is the only part of you that’s somewhere else. Your body is standing in line and you’re ignoring that experience.

Notice I didn’t say you have to like standing in line; just experience it with your senses rather than yak about it in your head. It will ground you where you are and you’ll avoid the being “somewhere else” dread.

All the best,

John



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September 2, 2019

Regrets

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Morgan @ 10:41 am

Matthew henry kq3MXXDGeOM unsplashThe Grasshopper said something obvious this morning: “Regrets indicate you are looking backwards.”

We all have regrets, but keeping the focus on them for too long has them morph into drama – which is the number one killer of moving forward.

Drama puts Gorilla Glue® on forward movement. That’s because we’re focused on the past vs. the present, and the present is where all movement happens.

I think it would be productive to sing along with Frank Sinatra for a couple of bars: “Regrets, I’ve had a few, but then again too few to mention.”

Imagine if you will two people sitting around talking ad nauseam about all their loses. That’s a conversation I want to run away from. If there is something to be learned by reviewing a loss, I’m all for it, but if it’s just a trip down Bad Memory Lane, I think that’s insane.

I once heard Jerry Stocking say, “Judge quickly.” I took that to mean that we all judge, so do it and get it over with. Because if you hang with a judgement too long, it too turns into drama. So, “Regret quickly.” Let it have its say and then get on with your day.

I think a lot of people believe if they don’t regret, they’ll forget. Quoting one of my dearly departed teachers, “You don’t need to go to the dump to remember what garbage smells like.”

The only regret I currently have is not knowing how to end this blog post. So, Happy Labor Day!

All the best,

John



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August 28, 2019

Just the Highlights

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Morgan @ 12:48 pm

Aaron burden Hzi7U2SZ2GE unsplashI wrote a book last summer and when people asked me what it was about, I really didn’t have a ready made answer. The name of the book is INTER RUPTION The Magic Key To Lasting Change.

I was having trouble coming up with a concise answer. In the spirit of full disclosure, I used to underline the entire page of a book I was reading with a highlighter, not just certain passages. Everything seemed important to me. But when you do that in a verbal explanation, you will witness peoples’ eyes glass over.

So, today when I was swimming, a shorter answer came to me: The book is about interrupting the noise to make room for the quiet.

That’s certainly shorter but probably more cryptic than the title.

Attempting a further explanation, it is the noise in your mind that prevents creativity from coming in. When you stop and notice the noise, you interrupt it, and for that brief period of quiet, you enjoy mental peace – the environment that spawns creativity.

The answers to all of our questions that can’t be Googled come from this quiet place.

The more often you engage in the habit of noticing and interrupting the noise, the more often you will experience the creative magic of a quiet mind.

The last time I checked, Amazon had a couple of copies of my book left but it’s also available on Kindle.

You don’t need to buy the book to learn how to make lasting change. You can do it by noticing your thinking. That interruption leads to the short answer that you seek.

All the best,

John



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