GrasshopperNotes.com - Thoughts for inspired living


August 7, 2018

Venn Diagrams

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

Venn2I didn’t learn about Venn Diagrams until high school. For whatever reason, they fascinated me then and continue to do so.

The thing I find most intriguing about them is the “melting pot” in the middle where divergent things come together.

To me, that section represents what we have in common. It’s actually very little if we look at it from the angle of being a special club that divides us.

I now switch subjects to Greek syllogisms. They are comprised of 2 assumptions (whether valid or not) that come to a 3rd conclusion.

All Americans have blood.

All Americans have red blood.

Therefore All Americans are red blooded.

You can come to an absurd conclusion if you wind up in the middle section of a Venn Diagram with corrupted data vs. factual information.

So, based on faulty information, you may not really belong in the middle but on the fringe. People on the fringe don’t have much in common with the universe of sampled people.

The following type of “fun house mirror” logic is spewed every day to prop up our fringe opinions and represent them as facts.

Radio host Bob Blowhard is a Bigot.

Joe Public is a family man and applauds and supports Bob’s positions.

Family men are not bigots.

What do we really have in common? That’s worth exploring because it will be the glue that unites us. Passing off our opinions as facts divides us.

I’m reminded of the story of the drunk leaning on a lamppost. Is he using it to support his impaired position or is it shining a light on his condition?

I guess my message is to inspect your opinions before you pass them on as facts.

I’m a parent and a grandparent and one of the most divisive things I can do is pass on my prejudice. It’s productive for me to either inspect my opinions in the light of day or just shut up.

All the best,

John



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August 1, 2018

The Invitation

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Morgan @ 4:55 am

SubmarineLife offers us a standing invitation every day. Most of us ignore the invitation.

What invitation does life offer every hour, every day? – The invitation to go deeper.

Based on my experience, I find that most of us argue for our surface limitations which puts up a barrier to reaching our depth.

Many people begin to notice the invitation when reality delivers a blow. I refer to that moment as “a dark night of the soul.” This is an optimum time to discover who you are past all your surface descriptions.

This is a time to spend time with yourself and avoid the diversions you’ve entertained in the past. It’s scary for some to spend time with themselves. Their mind goes into high gear defending the way they are, even though that way is not working.

If you avoid going deeper, you’ll go back to the limited options your conditioning consistently delivered.

Did you ever wonder why many people gravitate to the same type of people who were problematic to them in the past? When you stay on the surface, your options are limited and as I heard many years ago, “If you always do what you always did, you’ll always get what you always got.”

If you’re going through a dark period, it’s highly recommended to R.S.V.P. to life’s invitation.

Going deeper is going deeper than your thoughts.

The vehicle you use to go deeper is irrelevant. It can be prayer, meditation, reflection, mindfulness or something else. Any of those methods will transport you to enter the depths of you.

I invite you to get curious about going deeper. It’s a life changing experience.

All the best,

John



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July 23, 2018

Go Get Em’

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Morgan @ 5:03 am

Job FairHere’s a question the Grasshopper asked over the weekend: “Are you a go-getter or a come-find-me?”

I’ve been both. One’s harder than the other and one is more comfortable than the other.

I’m sure you know which is which.

People are paying a premium for higher education these days. The mindset of many graduates goes along these lines: I’ve studied hard for 4 years and have a higher than average GPA. I should be in high demand.” The raw reality is, at that point, no matter what your degree is in, you are a salesman. You have to sell someone on you.

That’s true in job prospecting, dating, politics and too many other things to mention. Reminds me of a story . . .

I was pitching a communication program to a law firm back in the 80s. The owner of the firm had 26 attorneys working for him. Before I laid out a program for him I asked, “What would you like your people to learn?”

His answer was immediate and LOUD. “I want them to know they’re salesmen. All of them think they’re Perry Mason and that business is going to come walking through the door.” I then switched gears and sold him a sales seminar.

We are all salesmen. We are always pitching something to someone. It can be as simple as persuading someone to go to the restaurant you want to go to.

If you play the come-find-me game, you’ll find that you’re actually playing hide-and-go-seek with a really good hiding spot.

The odds of someone finding you are south of slim.

This is more than a pep talk; it’s a reminder of reality. You may have the best mouse trap ever built but if you don’t put some cheese out there, the only thing you’ll snare is more people telling you to go to the job fair.

I wish it was the way it isn’t, but that hope just keeps us on the couch and our pocketbook saying, “ouch!”

All the best,

John



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July 17, 2018

Soon Revisited

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

NewImageThis is one of my favorite blog posts from 6 years ago. I ran across it today and wanted to give it another play.

The end of soon will not happen soon enough for me.

This is a mini-rant.

I detest the word “Soon.” It is the fluffiest word in the dictionary and I’m just as guilty of using it as anyone else.

When is soon? It could be a few seconds to a lifetime depending on who’s using it.

I would rather endure a monsoon than soon.

I got a sales call disguised as a service call last week. The person reportedly wanted to thank me for my business of a recent purchase and then went on to pitch me on another of their products. I inquired when the product I had ordered would be arriving. She replied, “Soon.”

I responded with a question: “When specifically is soon?” She then said, “Oh, that’s not my department; I don’t really know.” I said, “You know enough to lie to me to say, ‘Soon’” and then I politely ended the call.

“Soon” is often a parent word. We use it as shorthand for “Shut up.”

When someone offers you “Soon,” they are giving you a handful of air. If you accept “Soon,” you will be disappointed because your timeframe of soon will not match theirs.

It’s always useful to get clarification of “Soon.” My personal favorite is, “How soon will that happen?” If they come back with “Oh, soon,” you know you are dealing with a person who doesn’t know.

Just for fun, notice how many times you hear the word “Soon” today and know that the person using it has nothing to say.

Rant over!

All the best,

John



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July 3, 2018

Staying Put

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Morgan @ 5:09 pm

stubbornmule.jpgIt’s close to being the national pastime: Staying Stuck. The Grasshopper chimed in on this observation saying, “Arguing for your conditioning is arguing for your limitations; neither will move you forward.”

Our conditioning cannot be denied nor can it be dismissed as a causative factor on how we act. We act in accordance with our conditioning . . . until we notice.

There is an appetite for defending our conditioning. Look no further than religion. Most people have the same religion as their parents. The question that’s rarely asked is: “Did they ask your permission?” In most cases, you got your religious beliefs through conditioning by your early caregivers. Then you may argue vociferously that you have the one true religion.

Your conditioning will have you assert what has become my least favorite phrase: “That’s the way I am.” When you hear that phrase, you are in the presence of someone who’s stuck. They may claim they want to evolve but can’t because they are so invested in defending their limitations.

When someone calls you on your shit, the conditioned response is twofold:

1. Get angry

2. Get defensive

Getting angry is understandable. No one likes to hear about their shortcomings, even if it’s warranted to point them out. Getting defensive is the more destructive of the two. It’s the glue that keeps us stuck.

Here comes one of my favorite words again: “Noticing.”

When we notice our conditioning, we then have a choice. We may choose to remain the same or we may choose to move forward. If you don’t notice, you have no choice; you’re a prisoner of your conditioning.

It may seem obvious but the best way to avoid moving forward is to stay stuck.

Here’s a challenge that takes some courage: Notice your conditioned beliefs and offer yourself a choice – to stay put or move forward.

All the best,

John



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June 15, 2018

The Downside of Ownership

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Morgan @ 9:34 am

MonkeyThe Grasshopper let this slip out the other day: “I once owned it; I’ve since outgrown it.”

What mindsets do you own that just don’t cut it any more? Too many to count in my case.

What are you holding on to that’s dragging you down? (Think of attempting to tread water while holding on to an anchor).

I’m reminded of how native Africans captured monkeys. They would put peanuts inside a hollowed out coconut shell. On one side of the shell was a knotted rope with the knot on the inside of the shell. The other side had a larger hole where the monkey could reach in and grab the peanuts. The problem was when they closed their hand around the peanuts, they couldn’t withdraw it from the shell. The natives would just pull on the rope and bring the monkey towards them and capture them. At any time, the monkey could have released their grip and let go of the peanut and freed themselves. Most didn’t and left no heirs.

“Changing” a mindset is usually temporary. Think about dieting. The diet eventually has an end and in almost every case the person gains back the weight. They attempted to change their behavior rather than outgrow it.

I remember asking a divorced woman at a seminar if she would ever consider going back with her ex. Her answer was an emphatic “No!” I attempted to sweeten the pot. I asked if she would consider it if he won a major Powerball jackpot. Her answer was just as emphatic – “No!”

She outgrew her husband. Once you outgrow something you won’t go back to it. Think about the “stylish” clothes you wore in high school. Most people wouldn’t be caught dead in those togs today, even on Halloween.

Outgrowing is the realization that something doesn’t fit or isn’t working anymore.

It’s acting on that realization that will take you out of that mindset and grow into one that works for you now.

Take inventory of your beliefs and have the courage to notice which ones are no longer working. It’s at that moment that you’ll begin to outgrow the old way and grow into a new way.

All the best,

John



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May 30, 2018

Discomfort

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Morgan @ 5:41 am

Magic lanternRecently, I decided to close a chapter in my life. It was painful and it was time.

There are too many reasons to list why this was the appropriate juncture, but suffice it to say I grew weary – weary of trying to pierce peoples’ illusions.

The biggest obstacle I came up against is the mindset that someone is going to do something for you with no effort on your part. Straight up, no one can go to the bathroom for you and there is never a free lunch.

When you get a massage, you lie there and the therapist does all the work. The only thing you need to do is turn over half way. Reaching goals, self–improvement and outgrowing habits take work on your part. The problem is that a majority doesn’t believe that.

I follow a photographer online who is extremely talented and obese, and gets bigger by the day. He enthusiastically touts that he works out but his videos show no evidence of any effect. My guess is he thinks his workout is all he has to do. No, that’s not true. He’ll also have to work at outgrowing old eating and drinking habits and rid himself of magical thinking as well.

Magical thinking is hocus-pocus. Magic bullets, like magic wands, don’t exist. If they did, I would own my own private island.

People in the Self-Improvement business offer you a program to follow. You’ll never guess that 95% of the people don’t follow it. They figure that they paid their money and now all they have to do is sit back and reap the benefits. That’s a fantasy.

If you go to a wealth building seminar or an AA meeting or a seminar on how to flip houses, you have to do the steps they outline. It’s my experience that people attending a seminar, too often, think attending is enough. If you attended a geometry class but didn’t do the homework, the only circumference of a circle you’ll find is the hole you put your head up.

Our culture has evolved to “No pain, No pain.” The amount of justifications for not doing the necessary work is endless. If it’s the least bit uncomfortable, we bail.

I call this phenomenon the “World War II Water Down Theory.” I’m the child of a World War II veteran. I didn’t have it as rough as my parents. They shielded me from pain they experienced. I’m the father of children. I did the same shielding for them. They didn’t have it as rough as my wife and I did. They now have children and these young ones certainly have it a lot less tough than their parents, grandparents and great grandparents.

NOTE: Being uncomfortable is a sign that you’re learning something new. It’s not second nature yet and it won’t be if you don’t complete the steps and follow through.

For me, it simply comes down to this: Life has its discomforts and the only way out is through. Or as my hypnosis teacher said, “The ripe fruit is out on the skinny branches.” It takes some risk (discomfort) to reap rewards.

I don’t mind telling you that I’m uncomfortable writing this, so I’ll be curious as to what this malaise will teach me.

All the best,

John



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May 22, 2018

Relevance

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Morgan @ 5:06 am

You matterWhere does our relevance come from – inside or out?

That’s a question that popped into my mind this morning.

It seems to me that outside relevance is manufactured and inside relevance is innate.

One always was and the other has an end date.

Let’s pretend that you derive your relevance from being up-to-date on all things “today.” That’s irrelevant when compared to inside relevance.

Inside relevance needs no constant study; the lesson is already built in.

If you live and breathe, you have inborn relevance. It’s just a matter of discovering yours.

You only have to discover it once, whereas outside relevance has to be worked on for a lifetime just to keep up.

You matter! It needs no outside validation.

Just like you don’t get confidence from others, you don’t get your relevance from what other people think of you.

If you continually seek validation from the outside, you are trapped in a self-made cultural divide.

Reflect on your relevance. I believe you’ll find that it resides in your body, not in your mind.

All the best,

John



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May 17, 2018

A Love of My Own

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Morgan @ 5:53 am

SnoopyThe lyrics of an old song popped into my head this morning: “A LOVE OF MY OWN.”

I look at the mountain

I look at the sun

I look at everything
Mother Nature has done

Then I wanna know

Why can’t I find a love of my own

It got me musing about love. I heartily buy into Jerry Stocking‘s definition of love, that being “inclusion.” I believe that to be “global love.” The message being, the more I include others, the more love I experience.

It seems to me that “A Love of My Own” is a subset of “global love.” It equates to my little corner of the world.

It looks like the pilgrimage to global love has to pass through our local neighborhood and have some success there before being able to get to the mountaintop of inclusion.

If you can’t get a handle on local love, it follows that global love will always be a concept rather than a reality.

A love of my own may be a romantic love or the love of something that brings the joy of love to your doorstep.

I believe we all yearn for a love of our own. Owning that experience is a stepping stone to move past our borders and head for the hills of inclusion.

All the best,

John



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April 26, 2018

If I Were You

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Morgan @ 7:42 am

Counsel“Are you giving a speech you aren’t hearing?” That was a question that came out of the blue the other day. It was cause for reflection.

I think the easiest job in the world is where someone pays you to give them your opinion. I don’t know about you but, in the past, I’ve offered mine without being payed.

Quite often my prescription was spot on but not one I was taking myself. You may want to boil it down to “walk your talk” but it goes down deeper than that.

Based on my personal experience, I don’t think people truly hear what they are saying. It’s pure rote and they don’t give their advice a second thought, and certainly no thought as to how it applies to them.

Years ago, I had a revelation. I heard a relative of mine say, “I don’t start fights but if someone else does, I finish them.” His words struck me like a body slam. They were offensive to me. I wondered why I had such an adverse reaction to those words and then it hit me. I have used that exact same phrase and never heard its impact until someone else said it.

Offering advice you’re not following is being tone deaf to your own shortcomings. Sometimes I think that hypocrites don’t recognize they’re being hypocritical. They’re like an obese person referring to someone else as “fat.”

I guess the message here is to pay more attention to your own counsel. That way, you have a better chance of being heard.

All the best,

John



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