GrasshopperNotes.com - Thoughts for inspired living


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 16, 2019

The Focus of HAVE

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Morgan @ 7:45 am

Patrick untersee gujUSnIY63g unsplashI don’t know about you but I‘ve spent a lot of my life focusing on what’s missing in my life. I don’t think I’m alone. Let’s call it “The Focus of HAVE NOT.”

I haven’t found that to be a productive strategy for attaining what’s “missing.”

Truth be told, there’s nothing missing; it’s just not in view. That view is occluded by the mental real estate taken up by “Have Not.”

A more realistic focus is zeroing in on what you have. That’s fact based, not fancy. I’m not a biblical scholar but I do believe the parable of the loaves and fishes illustrates this strategy. The 5 loaves and 2 small fish were said to have fed 5000. By focusing on what was in hand, the supply multiplied.

My experience is that when you focus on what you have, your mental noise decreases, your vision increases, and more options appear. That’s “The Focus of HAVE.”

More choices lead to more possibilities.

I could have made this all up, so prove it to yourself that “The Focus of HAVE” is more than a “fish story.”

Focusing on what’s not there leads to despair. Focusing on what’s here makes your vision more clear.

Final thought: HAVE AT IT!

All the best,

John



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May 30, 2019

Collective Moron

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Morgan @ 3:55 am

Cartoon 1300661 1280Ask anyone in radio or TV broadcasting who they think their audience is and they will answer with some form of “unwashed.”

The general managers of these stations want to believe that their audience is made up of successful stockbrokers and other affluent people. This narrative helps them to sell ads.

But ask any copywriter worth their ink the average grade level they write for. The best selling copy is targeted to the grade school level.

Politicians know their voters fall into the same low grade category. That’s why attack ads work and sophisticated ones are just a waste of money.

Radio and TV talk show audiences are pandered to by their hosts. They tell them what they want to hear. They know their general audience is not upscale or informed. So they can treat them like the morons the hosts believe they are.

The general population is not informed on issues because the only issue that means something to them is day to day survival. And when they want to know who’s to blame for their lot in life, their “friend” on the radio, TV, or social media, will tell them who the enemy is and it’s accepted without question.

Aaron Sorkin writes incredible political screenplays but they’re not targeted to the average voter. They’re for the already informed. The dialogue is too “snappy” and not relatable to the general populace. To reach them, you have to reach down.

It sounds snobby to quote Winston Churchill, but he goes right to the heart of the matter when he says, “The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.”

The message here is this: The people you watch, listen to, and read believe you fall into the category of “Collective Moron.” I’m not making this up. Ask any one of them privately who they think their general audience is and their disdain will astound you.

And if you don’t feel you fall into that low grade category, ask yourself the last time you reposted something scathing on social media that you didn’t vet, and you’ll know why they consider you all wet.

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 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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August 28, 2018

Light My Fire

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Morgan @ 7:28 am

GardeningThe Grasshopper showed his green thumb yesterday when he opined, “You can take all the gardening classes you want, but until you plant something, nothing will grow.”

It reminded me of one of my favorite ancient Chinese sayings: “Talk doesn’t cook rice.”

We learned about action verbs in our early school days, but it seems we all could use a booster shot when it comes to actually taking action.

Inertia is not patience. One lacks action; the other is waiting for our action to take root.

How do we light a fire when there is no kindling wood? I think imagination is the answer. Either imagine what would happen if you don’t take action or what would happen if you do.

You will either be spurred to action to avoid the downside or drawn to the upside by activating your ability to imagine.

People either move towards something or move away from something. You can find your preference by engaging your imagination and envisioning both options. The one that feels right for you is the strategy to use to take action.

Moving towards or moving away, which strategy will get you to take action today?

All the best,

John



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