GrasshopperNotes.com - Thoughts for inspired living


November 15, 2018

Revolve or Evolve?

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 8:50 am

Revolving doorsThis probably never happened to you but I’ve made the same stupid mistake more than once.

It’s like I was trapped in a revolving door with no exit.

The only remedy for me was to evolve. That meant recognizing I was in a circular loop.

Did you ever notice that most of your thinking is circular? To use the modern day vernacular, you “circle back” to that which didn’t work the last time.

I think we all can learn a lesson from Thomas Edison. Yes, he made lots of mistakes but not the same ones. He had the presence of mind to recognize what didn’t work and mapped out another route. That’s evolving.

One of our greatest but least used assets is our ability to notice. Noticing is the key to keep the door from revolving around the same real estate.

Notice what you’re thinking while you’re thinking it and you interrupt the revolving thought loop. It’s this interruption at the time of crime that puts you on the pathway to change.

You can be a prisoner of your thoughts and experience the recidivism that goes along with that or you can notice and be set free.

Let me circle back to the title of this post: Revolve or Evolve? One takes you for a spin; the other drives you where you want to go.

All the best,

John



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November 9, 2018

Iconoclasts in Isolation

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 8:51 am

IsolationI’ve lived most of my adult life as an iconoclast. The downside of that approach is isolation. That means when you question or expose someone’s sacred cow, you are shunned by many.

This is not a rant that it shouldn’t be that way. It just is.

I can attest that when you travel a lonesome road, there aren’t many welcoming Inns on your journey.

If you’re being contrary on purpose, that’s not iconoclasm, that’s just being a dick.

If your iconoclasm is authentic, you will have a plethora of facts to back you up. If you’re just a blowhard, your positions will be blown away by the lightest of winds.

Iconoclasts don’t have a union. in fact, most of them are independent operators, not joiners. Some would consider them lonely, and some are. Others are so comfortable in their own skin that being on their own is a freedom that few people will ever enjoy. I’m reminded of what The Grasshopper offered many moons ago: “Alone is a fact; lonely is a state of mind.”

I readily agree with the English poet John Donne that “No man is an island.” Other people are essential to our growth and existence, but rarely the ones who worship glossy facades and fake gods. Sad to report that I find they are the overwhelming majority, which leaves iconoclasts in small company.

If you bury your iconoclasm, you are part of the walking dead. It needs to be expressed or it will eat you from the inside out.

Speak up if it’s from the heart and has legs to stand on. Not doing so will leave you alone with your thoughts which keeps you isolated from your creativity.

Just a recommendation to my non-iconoclastic friends. Going along to get along is truly a lonely existence.

All the best,

John



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November 8, 2018

Why Do We Lie?

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 6:07 am

LiarThe short answer is to protect us. You may ask, “from what?” The answer: from the consequences of our actions.

If you willy-nilly open your car door and ding another car, what is one of your very first reactions? You may comment to yourself how stupid you are for not looking or you may blame the other person for parking too close. But it’s the next reaction that has us seek to escape the consequences. That conditioned reaction is to quickly look around to see if anyone saw us.

If you drive away after deducing that no one witnessed your act, you deny you are responsible, which is a lie.

When you see someone lie as easily as they breathe, you know they have something to hide. They are not willing to pay the consequences for their behavior.

One of the 5 signs of immaturity I have written about is the failure to take responsibility. The inveterate liar refuses to account for their actions. That not only makes them immature, it makes them unreliable – not someone you can count on.

If you want to be treated as an adult, stop lying and start accounting. If you continue to deny, your life is a lie, and no one can protect you from the weight of your fate.

All the best,

John



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October 29, 2018

Seize The Day?

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Morgan @ 6:26 am

BulldozerI’ve come to the opinion that “Seize The Day” is so “yesterday.”

The concept has always been wrapped in the cloak of control and anyone who is paying attention knows that control is an illusion.

I’m a list maker. Listing, for me, makes goals that are on my mind both visible and actionable. That means I can see what I want and plan a course of action.

Need I remind you of the quote from poet Robert Burns, “The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.”

Once you’ve made your plan of action, it’s wise to adhere to the sports axiom: Let the game come to you. Instead, we often charge ahead and bulldoze whatever is in our way and call it “Seizing the day.”

Little do we realize that by using that manufactured energy we also destroy the building blocks we need to make our plan a reality.

Seizing the day will lead to a seizure. It’s a directive without a direction – A bumper sticker that doesn’t stick.

Reminds me of a story . . .

Many moons ago, I worked with this bartender in a disco. He danced behind the bar to the beat of the music and had a flamboyant style of mixing and serving drinks. There was a lot of show and a lot of visible action but people were delayed in getting their beverages. This backlog caused him to be fired because the plan was to serve all the patrons on time. Instead he seized on the opportunity to show his stuff.

Seizing the day has so much yang energy attached to it. It has the delivery rate of a runaway beer truck.

Certainly have a plan for your day but attempting to grab it by the horns means you’re likely to wind up covered with a lot of bullshit.

Perhaps you’ll get curious about exchanging the ancient Latin phrase “Carpe diem” for a mantra that successful sports teams use: Have a flexible game plan!

All the best,

John



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October 26, 2018

Everyone Is Someone’s Nemesis

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Morgan @ 4:51 am

GossipSeems no matter how “good” you are, there is going to be an opposing viewpoint.

My sense is that Mother Teresa had her detractors, also Mr. Rogers.

What propels this animus? I don’t know for sure but I have a guess.

I don’t think it has anything to do with the accused; It’s more about the accuser.

The words “lazy” and “uninformed” pop up for me.

Just look at some of the things your Facebook friends and family members repost. Did they ever take a moment to check the accuracy of their reiteration? It’s not that hard.

Here are two examples from both sides of the political aisle:

Sarah Palin claimed in an interview that Jesus Christ celebrated Easter during his time on Earth.

All the Congressional Democrats voted against a 2.8 percent Social Security cost of living allowance.

It’s easy for me to appreciate that some people don’t like other people, but to pass on egregious, defamatory claims about them without checking not only shows your bias; it shows how easily you are led.

Before you click the “Send” button, make sure what you are saying is buttoned up, otherwise you appear as a butthead.

Allow me to end this observation with the following quote from Socrates: “Strong minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, weak minds discuss people.”

All the best,

John



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October 24, 2018

Dream A Little Dream Of Me

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Morgan @ 3:24 am

Bad dreamWhat person or situation shows up in your dreams more often than any other?

I’m not only referring to a recurring dream, but also a dream that contains that person or situation in a variety of settings.

There are people in this world who are much better dream interpreters than me. But, by and large, we are all guessing about what the specific content of any one dream means.

What is not a guess is what’s going on behind the scenes.

This person or situation that keeps showing up is something that has not been resolved by you. You may have consciously blotted it out, but unconsciously it is indelible until it’s, as the British say, “all sorted.”

It doesn’t matter if the person is dead or alive or the situation is long gone. If they or it keep appearing, it’s time to do a mental clearing.

There is a song by The Beatles called “A Day In The Life.” There is a long instrumental portion at the end of the song that is musically begging for a resolution. It’s sensed by all who listen to it whether they have a tin ear or not. After this long period of musical tension, there is one resounding chord at the end that lasts 24 seconds. It’s sort of like a deep breath that has been exhaled.

That’s what we need to do with the person or thing in our recurring dreams – Resolve.

I don’t have a one-size-fits-all answer but I do have a question that’s highly likely to spark a resolution. That question is: “I wonder what I could do or say now that will resolve what happened back then?” Then just go about your day and give the part of you that knows the answer some space to work on a solution.

You may have to ask this question multiple times over multiple days to start getting results, but the procedure is always the same: Do your asking and then turn the question over to a part of you that knows the answer. You don’t have to continually think about what the answer is. Just ask the question and then go about your business.

Here’s the most interesting part of this procedure: The answer may come to you in a dream.

You can continue to push your situation away, but that will only have it come back another day. If you want it to resolve, ask your question and witness your situation evolve.

All the best,

John



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October 23, 2018

Breaking Down Fear

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Morgan @ 9:12 am

FearFear, when you break it down to its basics, is a feeling. Nothing more.

It’s not a great feeling, but just a feeling nevertheless.

Fear is a warning sign that something is threatening you or troubling you. If it’s a threat, do everything you can to get out of harm’s way. If it’s troubling you, it is in your best interest to acknowledge and address the underlying cause.

But the biggest antidote to fear is to actually feel it, not fear it.

How many of us invite that feeling in for tea? It’s a way to get the tempest out of the teapot.

Sitting with the sensation we label as fear and actually feeling it in our body, rather than combating it in our mind, is the way through fear. You can spend a lifetime attempting to go around fear but you can go through it much quicker.

Feeling the sensation fully without mental commentary is how we transmute fear and find out what’s on the other side.

It seems like a conundrum but what we really fear is the feeling itself. So the most direct route to “unfeeling” fear is to metabolize it, by feeling it.

I’m not suggesting you make fear your friend, just an acquaintance – one you can break bread with once in a while so you can break its hold on you.

All the best,

John



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October 4, 2018

Here, There

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Morgan @ 9:01 am

0ne concept 2Did you ever notice the high rate of suicide by long-term drug and alcohol abusers?

According to Psychology Today, “Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S. Depression and other mood disorders are the number-one risk factor for suicide, but alcohol and drug abuse – even without depression – are a close second. In fact, research has shown that the strongest predictor of suicide is alcoholism, not a psychiatric diagnosis. People with substance use disorders are about six times more likely to commit suicide than the general population.”

Going beyond the statistics and zeroing in on the causative factors of abuse, I find the following dynamic at work: Alcohol and drug abusers would rather not be “here” (present to their current reality). Their substances take them “there” (away from here).

“There” can change locations after long bouts of abuse. That new location is too often death by their own hand.

Abstinence is certainly a solution but it may not change not wanting to be here. “Here” is the only place you can actually be. “There” is a fictitious place like “Wonderland” was for Alice.

We all, to some degree, have been conditioned to escape “here.” Just about any ad that targets your dissatisfaction is offering “there” as a solution. They just reinforce our conditioning.

One solution is to notice your reaction to “here” and interrupt it by choosing a different response. This is not a one-time fix. It takes consistent application of noticing and interrupting and choosing a new response to our old habit of seeking escape.

You will never escape your thoughts, but you can respond to them differently. It takes some “real time” noticing, interrupting and choosing. With practice, noticing your state of mind will deliver some space between your thoughts. That space is where a new, productive response can take hold and grow into a new mindset – one that makes “here” a much more livable place.

I’m putting the finishing touches on a book I’ve written about this change process. it’s called: INTER RUPTION: The Magic Key To Lasting Change.

My best guess is a November release date. As we used to say in radio, “Stay Tuned.”

All the best,

John



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September 18, 2018

Let’s Pretend

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Morgan @ 4:16 am

Screenshot 2018 09 18 05 04 42One of the most useful phrases I’ve learned is “Let’s pretend.” It is a magical way to engage your or another’s imagination.

It’s very practical when you’re in negotiations. Here’s a real world example. Years ago, I was shopping for a teak outdoor table and chairs set. I went to a vendor who had an assortment of them on display. They all had a marked price.

It was mid-July and I asked the owner of the business if the item I was interested in would be going on sale and how much would it be selling for? He said, “in September at the end of the season and the savings would be 30 percent.” I noticed that I was his only customer at the time. I said, “I’m really interested in buying this set today. Let’s pretend it’s September now and you sell it to me at the reduced price.”

He looked a bit stunned but I could see the wheels turning. He said, “I can’t go the full thirty but I can give you a 20 percent discount.” I bought the set at 20% off.

Here’s another way I use the phrase “Let’s pretend.” When someone I’m helping is stuck in a mindset and I offer them a solution, they may say, “I just can’t do that.” I respond with, “Let’s pretend you could.” The phrase mentally transports them from where they are now to where they want to be and presents more options. “Let’s pretend” is a catalyst to move towards possibility.

Lets pretend that you have a part of you that knows what’s in your best interest. By the way, you won’t be pretending. Ask that part of you on a daily basis to “protect and direct” you in whatever you do. Make it a brief meditation – a daily prayer if you will.

I’m not sure this works, but let’s pretend it does. How valuable would it be to have it in your kit and caboodle?

Need more choices? Let’s pretend they’re available to you. My experience is this presumption will present more options than Door #1 or Door #2.

All the best,

John



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August 30, 2018

Think/Feel

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

Devil or angelThe Grasshopper has been quite active lately. Here’s one of his latest musings:
“What I think is right and what I feel is right may be two different things.”

It reads like pure logic at first, but logic often has nothing to do with feelings.

Here’s a telltale sign that you’re out of touch with your feelings: You are having an argument in your head about the right way to go.

When you notice that internal conflict, it’s time to check another source – Your body. Your body receives OK or not OK signals before thoughts pop into your mind. It’s like my teacher Dr. Dave Dobson said, “Words are the caboose on the choo-choo of life.” That means the feeling always comes first.

Feelings are our first responders. They’re first on the scene.

Many are so caught up in their mind that they forget they have a body – one that delivers sensations immediately. There is no argument within the body. It registers a feeling of OK or not OK right away.

How many times have you dismissed a “gut reaction” and paid the price? The phrase most often used after the fact is, “I knew that was going to happen.” By that time, your horse is in somebody else’s barn.

The recommendation for all of us is: Check with your body more often. The aforementioned Dave Dobson taught something he called “Other Than Conscious Communication.” One of the tenants of OTCC is this: When you are getting conflicting information between your body and your mind, go with your body.

In order to do that, you have to know you have a body. That means to pay more attention to the sensations that show up within you. They are not willy-nilly; they have a purpose: to alert you that something is OK or not OK.

Confused? Check with your body. It will let your mind know there is a reason to pay attention to the knot in your stomach.

All the best,

John



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