GrasshopperNotes.com - Thoughts for inspired living


March 21, 2017

Low Passion Alert

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 3:01 am

TonerThe Grasshopper asked this question a few moons ago: “Is Your Toner Running Low?”

Anyone who’s operated a copy machine can attest to being there when the toner cartridge was low. Their prints were not as sharp and defined as they were with the proper amount of toner.

Is the toner in your life in low supply? I know mine has been at times. I call it the “nobody loves me” mode. My passion (toner) is at a low ebb and nothing seems to be in crisp, clear focus. Life is hard to read.

Even things that have brought me joy in the past fade in passion when my toner runs low. Low passion is a warning sign that you’re about to run out of toner. And if that happens, life just fades away.

It’s valuable to notice when you’re at a low point. It’s the noticing that gives you the opportunity to do something about it. Not noticing makes it seem like a self-fulfilling prophecy that you have a date with destiny.

Let’s take a look at my low point warning: “Nobody loves me.” That is my red flag to start to take notice of all the examples to the contrary. Even if I can’t seem to find any, I’m still left with the option of “I love me.”

When you find a counter-example to your assertion, it opens the door to possibility. When the possibility door is open, creativity is not too far behind. Creativity is passion by another name.

Passion resurfaces when possibilities are explored.

If you’ve slipped into the gray area of life where passion seems absent, take the time to consider possibilities. “What if?” questions are a great start. Start to explore possibilities even if they seem remotely possible. Think of the Norman Vincent Peale quote: “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.”

If you notice your passion is running low, the remedy is to explore possibilities. When you consider what’s possible, the engine of creativity is engaged. When that happens, a clear print is not far behind.

All the best,

John



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March 9, 2017

Magical Thinking

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 4:46 am

MagicHere’s a “Blast from the Past” from The Grasshopper:

“Leave Magical Thinking At The Children’s Birthday Party.”

Magical thinking is the brand of pap that suggests all you have to do is “Conceive it and Believe it” to make it happen.
Seems no one got the abacus out and did the arithmetic on the rate of failure that belief system delivers.

I have no quarrel with conceiving and believing. They are great catalysts to start the ball rolling. The problem I have with “magical thinkers” is that’s all they think they have to do. Action is absent from their “abracadabra” ideas.

There are many who believe if you say it often enough or believe it fervently enough that will make it happen. The harsh reality is that’s never enough. I’m reminded of an old blonde joke . . .

God Loves Blondes

A blonde finds herself in serious trouble.
Her business has gone bust and she’s in dire financial straits.
She’s desperate so she decides to ask God for help.
She begins to pray . . . “God, please help me. I’ve lost my business and if I don’t get some money, I’m going to lose my house as well. Please let me win the lottery.”

Lottery night comes, and somebody else wins.

She again prays . . .”God, please let me win the lottery! I’ve lost my business, my house and I’m going to lose my car as well.”

Lottery night comes and she still has no luck.

Once again, she prays . . . “My God, why have you forsaken me? I’ve lost my business, my house, and my car. My children are starving.

I don’t often ask You for help, and I’ve always been a good servant to You. PLEASE let me win the lottery just this one time so I can get my life back in order.”

Suddenly there is a blinding flash of light as the heavens open.

The blonde is overwhelmed by the Voice of God, Himself . . .
“Sweetheart, work with Me on this…. Buy a ticket.”

Magical Thinking is not gender specific nor isolated to a specific culture. It’s a worldwide epidemic and there is only one cure – Action!

Conceive and believe ‘till your heart’s content but don’t expect any results until you put your magic wand away and go out there and seize the day. That’s the magic formula for making hay.

All the best,

John



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March 8, 2017

Breathless

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 1:42 am

Out of breathDuring a recent hospital visit I had time to reflect on some past Grasshopper Notes. This one hopped out at me:

“You’ll Run Out Of Breath Before You Run Out Of Excuses.”

Have you ever noticed that excuses are never ending? The antithesis of personal culpability comes in the form of an excuse, the constant issuance of which will leave you breathless.

Need validation? Ask just about any high school student who’s failing a subject the reason why. You will get a never-ending bevy of responses like: “ALL the kids are failing” to “The teacher doesn’t like me” and everything in between.

The biggest and most lame excuse we offer is, “I tried.” I remember my hypnosis teacher Dr. Dave Dobson asking us to “try” and pick up a pen from the table. He was quick to go “Yoda” on us and point out that we were either picking it up or we weren’t.

“Try,” according to Dave, was a word we learned in toilet training. When we didn’t make it to the bathroom for whatever the reason, we found out very quickly that exclaiming, “I tried” absolved us of any responsibility. We carried that learning forward and became excuse-making machines.

The difficulty is that excuses are like bad checks; they can’t be cashed. We keep writing them but there is no capital to back them up.

I find the ultimate catchall excuse to be: “That’s just the way I am.” When we can’t justify our actions, we encompass every known excuse into this empty, six-word declaration. You know you’ve run into a world-class excuser when you hear this phrase.

Excuses will always delay our progress. If you are offering a steady stream of them, your forward progress will be dammed up and you’ll be held in place by your own excuses. There’s no excuse for that.

A life of justifying is a life of lying. When you start to retire your excuses one-by-one, you begin to breathe easier and the dam begins to break apart without any huffing and puffing on your part.

If you just found an excuse for why you can’t begin this retiring process, plan on staying where you are until you run out of breath.

All the best,

John



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March 7, 2017

Escape the Past

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 1:19 am

The pastI was going over some past writings and came across this: a timely reminder we can all use.

“The Escape Hatch From Your Life’s Story Is Presence” – Grasshopper

What is presence and how does it help you escape?
Presence is noticing what’s going on right now. Your story is about what has happened or what could happen. By being present to only what’s here now, you escape the past masquerading as the present, and eliminate the shade being thrown your way by an imagined future.

Presence can easily be discovered by just stopping and noticing your breathing. It was going on before you stopped to notice, but now it’s in your awareness and you are present to it.

When you are present to something, you are laser focused on something. If you’re focused on something in your present, your past and future, and your life story go out of focus. Presence is your escape hatch from a fable that’s defining your life.

You can become present to anything in your environment – sights, sounds, sensations. It just takes a conscious act of focus.

When focused, you become present to your present – which has no resemblance to the life story you’ve been living and telling.

The more often you become present to what’s actually going on, the more distance you create between you and your story.

Presence presents possibilities that the blinders of stories keep you from seeing.

If you’re looking for a gift to move you forward, treat yourself to some presence in the present.

All the best,

John



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February 28, 2017

Pipe Dreams

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 4:47 am

In the cloudsA friend of mine posted this the other day: “Surround yourself with people who support your dream.”

My initial, unspoken addendum was this: “And with people brave enough to tell you your dream is a pipe dream.”

We all have dreams. The trick is to take appropriate action to give them a chance to come true.

I’m pollyanna enough that I still “wish upon a star.” I don’t mistake that ritual with the necessity of taking action to realize a dream.

There has to be something of substance in the pipeline besides a wing and a prayer, otherwise you only have a handful of air.

I think dreaming is a valuable and useful asset. Dreaming is fun. Dreams can get us past what we think is impossible, but they are not a standalone tool of change.

Dreams and action are a powerful partnership.

What couch potato do you know who’s not a dreamer? You’ll see more lime seeds in your lifetime than you’ll see these folks take action.

There’s an old expression about a person having both feet in the clouds. It pejoratively suggests that nothing will come from that practice. For me, there’s nothing wrong with having one foot in the clouds and one foot on the ground. it strikes me as a productive balance.

Final thought: If you’re not taking consistent action towards your dream, sorry to report, it’s only a pipe dream.

All the best,

John



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February 22, 2017

Truth to Power

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 1:45 am

HornetThere is a new media buzzphrase that has me reacting as though I’ve been stung by a wasp: “Truth to Power.”

My 1st reaction when I hear the term is “Buzz off!”

First of all, the people who use it wouldn’t recognize truth if it stung them in the ass.

Real truth has no opposite. What most people offer as the truth is “their truth.” That’s better known as an opinion. When someone offers opinion as truth, my internal beehive stops making honey and I want to send out the air force with stinger missiles.

To calm myself down, I automatically translate the phrase “Truth to Power” to “Facts to Power.” When someone is speaking “Facts to Power,” it removes opinion from the information being delivered.

I’m defining facts as does my dictionary: “A thing that is indisputably the case.”

Side note: There is nothing alternate about a fact. “The gun fired” is a fact that’s verifiable and undeniable and has no opposite.

“Your truth” only works for someone who is immune to the facts. I request that we all label our opinions as opinions and let the facts stand on their own. Then we will be more powerful and “truthful” worker bees rather than a hive of jive.

All the best,

John



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February 16, 2017

Polluted Environment

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 6:30 am

EnvironmentThe Grasshopper must sense Spring is in the wings because he was full of new insights yesterday, including this one:

“You are a product of your environment . . . until you notice.”

What specifically should we notice? The fact that most of our attitudes and beliefs are not ours to begin with, and that we are on automatic pilot.

We are stimulus-reaction machines until we notice that most of our reactions are inherited. We’ve been conditioned without our permission and think our reactions are our ideas. For the most part, they’re not.

Reminds me of a story . . . I know a man whose grandfather died many years before he was born. One of his parents often told an unflattering story about his grandfather. The story about the grandfather is one this fellow tells to this day. Here’s the point: it’s not his story. It’s one he inherited but prejudiciously tells it as though it’s his.

That’s being a product of your environment. We all are . . . until we notice.

Many of the things that are passed on to us are quite beneficial, others not so much. The question we want to ask ourselves more often is: “Is this attitude or belief working for me?”

If your answer is “No,” it’s time to take notice. First, notice that your idea is not really yours and then get curious about what other belief or attitude would work. Then work towards taking ownership of it. Then it will be your idea, your belief, your home-grown attitude.

We will consistently and robotically generate behaviors and display our world view in accordance with our beliefs, most of which aren’t really ours. The key to being your own person with your own ideas is to start noticing what’s not yours and what’s not working.

It’s easier to outgrow a belief that’s not working when we notice it’s not ours.

All the best,

John



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February 15, 2017

$$$ Envy

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 12:46 am

EnvyI’ve come across it too many times in my life not to consider it a widespread phenomenon – Money Envy.

Perhaps you are one of the people who disparage people of means. I know I used to be. Then I adopted a new attitude years ago when I heard someone say, “Don’t envy, emulate.”

Money Envy is a conditioned attitude that takes many forms and they all seem to have one thing in common – diminishment of the person with money.

“Oh yeah, I could look fit too if I had the money to hire a personal chef.” May I remind you that Oprah had a personal chef. We all know she has money and we all know she’s been obese better than 90% of her adult life. The assertion would be wrong on both counts when considering Oprah’s wealth and results.

The limiting belief seems to be that people with money don’t have problems and it’s a result of them having money. One thought that occurred to me recently is that rich people just have more expensive problems.

It’s my experience that this mindset of Money Envy will keep you from having money. I’ve noticed that people with this attitude are forever struggling with finances.

Putting down people who have $$$ won’t lift you to their level; it will only keep you stuck on the financial rung of the ladder you’re on.

Emulating people of “means” means that you find out what their attitude about money is and adopt that attitude.

My observation about that attitude is this: Most of the wealthy people I’ve known have a greater respect for money than their struggling counterparts. Just look at the ever-present stories of lottery winners, singers, actors and sports figures who blow through their fortune and wind up back where they were. They didn’t respect money; they just wasted it.

Rich people don’t waste money.

This isn’t a money making course. There are plenty of them out there to follow if you choose. This is a reminder to pay some mind to your attitude about money and the people who have it. Just a slight adjustment in your angle of view will open your mind to more $$$ options for you.

Final thought: When you emulate, you adopt a new approach and a new vocabulary. You then start rhyming with a more abundant attitude. Notice that envy doesn’t rhyme with anything.

All the best,

John



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February 13, 2017

Invisible Signals

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 6:15 am

Emperor Has No ClothesWe are sending out invisible signals all the time to anyone and everyone. The term used in the game of poker gives us more insight. That term is “Tells.”

We are telling all who are willing to pay attention what we think is known only to us.

Tells can be seen, heard and felt and, to a lesser degree, tasted and smelled.

Everyone is telling. It’s up to us to pay closer attention to gain some awareness as to what’s below the surface.

Remember: We are telling as well. People can glean that which we believe is unseen with a bit of attention.

Dr. Dave Dobson taught something called “Other Than Conscious Communication.” It wasn’t as airy as the title may imply. It was a practical set of observations that demonstrated that we all communicate on two planes: conscious & other than conscious. When we say one thing but our “tells” communicate something else, we are being incongruent in our communication. When we encounter that red flag of incongruity, it’s a signal for us to pay more attention.

The simplest application is the “yes or no” response. Some people when saying “yes” are shaking their head “no.” If we only pay attention to what they say, we can easily be led astray.

I’m particularly attuned to auditory incongruity. I can hear it at a thousand paces whether in person or over the phone. Others are tuned into visual cues, and some just get a “feeling.”

Here’s a bit of wisdom from Dr. Dave: “When you are given two signals, conscious and other than conscious, pay more attention to the one that’s outside the person’s awareness. It will get you closer to what they’re really communicating.”

This isn’t intended to be a lesson on how to tell someone is telling; it’s more of an invitation to pay more attention when interacting with another. Your increased attention will make the invisible visible, and you will get to see more of the heavily clad emperor.

All the best,

John



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February 3, 2017

Entitled?

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 2:14 am

EntitledHere’s a “Flashback Friday” Golden Oldie from The Grasshopper:

“Expectation vs. Entitlement”

It occurred to me recently that expectation and entitlement are intertwined but with a huge difference.

Entitlement contains expectation but expectation doesn’t necessarily contain entitlement.

An entitled person expects a certain level of whatever they think they’re entitled to without having to do anything to get it.

A person expecting something is expecting something in return for an action they’ve taken.

Expectation has some quid pro quo (something for something) attached to it whereas entitlement epitomizes something for nothing.

“I expect respect” is something both an expectant and entitled person may utter but one has done something to earn it; the other is looking for a handout.

How do you tell if you’re entitled? It’s pretty simple. If you expect something for “just being you,” the only thing you’re entitled to, and will receive, is a long wait.

A person with a realistic expectation has done something besides “being them” that’s worth consideration.

Ask any therapist how many times they’ve heard the sibling story – “My mother loved my brother/sister more.” When the therapist digs a bit deeper, they often find their aggrieved client owns the title of entitlement in their family.

Here’s the hard reality: We’re entitled to nothing. The push-pull universe doesn’t respond to entitlement because it’s not a real thing. It’s something we made up.

The sooner we make up our mind to leave entitlement in our past, the sooner we can expect to see some return on our actions.

All the best,

John



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