GrasshopperNotes.com - Thoughts for inspired living


February 13, 2018

Better Place

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Morgan @ 7:22 am

BridgeIf you’re a people helper – someone who helps people make transitions from one frame of mind to another – there is only one question you need to answer: Did you leave them in a better place than you found them?

It’s easy to make people feel bad, just dwell on their flaws and failings.

That’s not to say that you don’t get them to acknowledge their shortcomings. That’s healthy. But if your next step is not helping them build a bridge from where they currently are to where they want to be, you’ve left them in a bad place.

That’s why arguments often end so poorly. We get so focused on being right and winning rather than seeking a solution that we lose sight of the next step: to get to a better place.

This is different than the perfunctory, funeral refrain: “He’s in a better place.” This is about making transitions while they’re here.

I don’t know where I first heard it but I’ll never forget it: Bring only good cheer when visiting a hospital room. The person is already in a bad place; bringing anything else is dereliction of your mission: to leave them in a better place than you found them.

Think of someone you consider a dear friend. Notice their natural inclination to brighten your day. They may be totally straight with you about your situation but they’re always ready with a demeanor to help you transition from here to there.

Want to get to a better place? Help someone else get there. Your kindness will rub off on you and will become a brightening residue. Which reminds me of a favorite biblical phrase: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

All the best,

John



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February 6, 2018

Sensational

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Morgan @ 4:48 am

SuspiciousCame across a Grasshopper quote from about 10 years ago that’s timeless: “Sensations need no debate – they’re either OK or not OK.”

I wonder how often we stall a solution by debating the facts. Facts are needed fundamentals to build a case, but the jury is still out on their effectiveness alone.

Sensations show up in your body way before you ever consider a fact in your head. They instantly register in our body but we’ve been conditioned that we have to quibble about what the sensations mean.

“Do the right thing” is more than a Spike Lee movie or an old adage passed on by your great-grandparents. It’s a directive from your gut. We instantly sense right from wrong but get caught up in mitigating the situation by attempting to bend facts to fit our narrative. That’s senseless.

If you’ve ever been scammed (and who hasn’t), you understand the folly of ignoring your not OK feelings. They were always there but the logic goes like this: This person seems so nice (Think TV preachers) that I should ignore what I’m sensing.

Ignore your senses at your own peril. As I look back over the many times I’ve discounted mine, I recognize that all I was left with was an empty feeling.

Perhaps it’s time to recalibrate your internal geiger counter. That means to start giving credence to OK and not OK feelings. Pay more attention to them and the guarantee is this: You’ll feel sensational.

All the best,

John



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December 13, 2017

The Wave

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Morgan @ 2:20 am

WaveHave you ever experienced a wave? I’m not referencing the one in the ocean but, rather, a cultural phenomenon.

Reminds me of a story . . .

I used to be a radio broadcaster – a DJ. I moved to Kansas City for a radio job that looked quite promising. The station I worked for was a 50,000 Watt AM Powerhouse. I made more money than I ever had up to that point. Life was good.

What was going on below decks was the wave I was unaware of. I wasn’t alone. The wave was the tipping point of FM radio. Listeners went away in waves, almost overnight, from AM to FM and the station I worked for sank rapidly.

If we had been paying attention rather than pooh-poohing the upstart FMs, we would have left AM radio before it left us.

There is a wave going on in our country right now. It’s not a fad, nor is it something we can ignore. We do so at our own peril.

I don’t talk politics. It’s folly to do so. I talk more about patterns and change. The wave (change) that’s happening now is about women. More specifically, women, seemingly overnight, have found their collective voice and no one will be able to shout them down.

This women’s wave has been building for quite some time and most didn’t see it coming. And those most threatened by it continue to ignore the wave and pretend it’s a fancy that will pass. They will be swallowed up by its sheer force.

Wave goodbye to things the way they were. They will have their place in history but they will have no place in our current society.

We’ve entered a new era and those who ignore it will be ignored. It’s no wonder that “Wonder Woman” is one of the most successful movies of 2017.

To put a fine point on my point, I will leave you with lyrics from a Beach Boys Song I used to play on the radio: “Catch a wave and you’re sitting on top of the world.”

All the best,

John



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June 30, 2015

Thoughtful

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Morgan @ 5:50 am

ThoughtfulThe Grasshopper came up with this thoughtful observation: “Thoughtful is loving.”

It reminded me of my friend Jerry Stocking‘s definition of love: “Love is inclusion.”

I decided it was time for some quotation fusion.

How often have you said to someone, “That was so thoughtful of you”? It seems to me what you were really saying is, “That was so loving of you.”

You thought to include them and thereby show love with your gesture.

We may not immediately equate thoughtfulness with love but to me they’re one and the same. In most cases, we just can’t bring ourselves to say the stronger word (Love) and that’s sad.

Anytime you do something to let someone know you’re thinking of them, you’re really expressing your love. They were included in your thoughts so much so that you created an avenue of expression for that love.

Through our conditioning, it’s awkward in our society to say, “I love you” without it being misinterpreted as some romantic intention. That’s also sad.

You love more people than you think you do. It’s evidenced every time you express your thoughtfulness.

All the best,

John



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July 22, 2014

Selective Memory

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Morgan @ 9:35 am

One of life’s blessings is not being able to feel physical pain that happened in the past. We can certainly remember the incident but cannot recreate the pain. Anyone who has had a child or kidney stone can relate.

Too bad that’s not the case with emotional pain. It seems we can’t have selective memory when it comes to emotional hurt.

We can attempt to color the past a certain way to recreate an airbrushed history but both the incident and the pain are contained in the memory.

The Grasshopper had this to say on the topic: “Sensing what used to be is always bittersweet.”

There will be enough memories that pop in to our awareness on their own without having to go digging for them. When you purposely dig, you will unearth a pile of unresourceful emotion along with the pictures of sunshine and rainbows.

Living in the past is not possible, but feeling its pain is.

Referencing the past can be useful to add perspective, but past that, it’s often a drama class that keeps you stuck in the first act.

Go to any bar late on a Tuesday night and just listen to the patrons’ stories. The “used to be” and “missed opportunities” soliloquies dominate the narrative. Ask any hairdresser about the stories he or she hears. They punctuate the past.

What is the purpose? My experience is that people believe that if they tell their story just “one more time,” it will relieve the pain. That never works.

Resist the temptation to visit the past on purpose. It can bring you an unadulterated warm fuzzy from time to time, but, by and large, you will inflict more pain than you will experience pixie dust.

I am reminded of the observation of my late teacher, Dr. Dave Dobson who said, “You don’t have to go to the dump to remember what garbage smells like.”

The past is not a springboard forward. That leap can only happen in the present.

Where do you want to go? If you answer “back into the past,” that fairy tale will end with the wolf eating you for lunch, again.

All the best,

John

 

 

 



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April 4, 2014

Willpower

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

C409703 mI would like to pay tribute to willpower. It’s the greatest starter human kind has ever known. That ends my tribute.

Willpower may get you to start but it doesn’t have the stamina to get you to finish. Even if it did, your accomplishment would fall apart soon after. Just look at the success rate of Oprah’s diets over the past 30 years, or your own.

This isn’t about dieting; it’s about the ingredient necessary for any long-term change.

That ingredient is awareness.

Most of us are not aware even though awareness is in abundant supply. Awareness gets crowded out by thinking. When we are thinking, we are unaware. Thinking may lead us to willpower and that gets us to start. That’s a good thing. But when we stay in thinking mode, we miss out on the awareness required to finish.

Awareness is noticing and sensing without thinking. It’s separate and apart from thinking. Awareness can cause you to think new things, but thinking will not lead you to awareness. It will take you in the opposite direction.

Animals are aware. Take the elephants that head to higher ground when they sense (become aware) of a tsunami well before it’s picked up by the well thought out measuring instruments made by man.

Animals also don’t have willpower. You won’t see a dog just start to chase a rabbit. He’ll go until he can’t go anymore or comes back with bunny on his breath.

Becoming more aware will get you to finish more often.

One thing to become more aware of are your gut feelings. They arrive without thought. Feeling those sensation doesn’t require thinking. In fact, thinking waters down the raw sensation. We do back and forth assessments in our head about what the feeling means. That conversation may lead you to start something but if it continues, you’ll never finish. You’ll be caught up in thinking.

Awareness will lead you to more AH-HAs; thinking will make you more unaware.

Become more aware of your body and what it’s sensing. Begin to pay more attention to your “here and now” sensing apparatus know as your body. It dances circles around your thinking and will lead you to more “common sense” starts that don’t rely on willpower to finish.

All the best,

John



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March 13, 2014

Dependability

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Morgan @ 7:53 am

C575394 m“Dependability isn’t a judgement; it’s arithmetic,” so said The Grasshopper.

Imagine this conversation:

“Oh, he’s so unreliable, he just can’t be depended on.”

“Don’t be so judgmental. Remember the time he fixed our toaster?” (Do people still have toasters?)

The question that begs to be asked is: How many times did he come through based on the number of times he said he would deliver? That’s fact-based arithmetic. A statement, lacking this arithmetic, is an unfounded judgement.

One of the five signs I’ve noticed about immaturity is the lack of dependability.

You can calculate your own dependability – thus maturity; The math is very simple. How many times do you follow through on the things you say you will do?

If the first thing you noticed were the excuses you would offer for why you didn’t follow through, that does not add up to dependability.

If you find that your score is rather low on the dependability scale, the first step is to promise less. Channeling Dr. Phil, “Close your pie hole!”

Your rate of dependability immediately goes up when your amount of promises goes down. Stop telling people what you think they want to hear and stop advertising yourself as more than you are. Less is more when it comes to dependability. Use your own adding machine, not mine. Who do you consider more of an “adult” – a person who over-promises and under-delivers or a person who under-promises and over-delivers? It’s not even close.

Before you judge yourself as dependable or not, do the arithmetic. The higher your score, the higher people will hold you in their esteem.

Here’s the bumper sticker: To score higher, stop being a liar.

All the best,

John



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March 12, 2014

Compromise

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Morgan @ 7:41 am

C668682 mThe Grasshopper offered a perspective on compromise: “Real compromise is seeing how far we can walk together without violating our principles.”

Compromise, depending on its form, can make you want to wash or wish you never compromised in the first place.

Some folks have compromise categorized as a loss. They rarely see the gain that can come about by compromising.

The art of compromising requires a willingness to be the person on the other end of the bargaining table for a moment. Walk a mile in their “crocs,” so to speak.

Find out what it’s like to be them and feel what it’s like to want what they want. You’re just trying their position on for size. There’s nothing written in stone that says you have to keep it, but if you experience it, you just may have more appreciation for it. That may help you walk a little further down the path together.

Differences are well demarcated. Commonality is much more fuzzy, until it’s explored. What interests do you have in common? Learn about those and walk as far as you can together on that path. Reminds me of a story . . .

I learned a useful technique from Tony Robbins years ago that helps people stretch what they think is possible. You stand up and take your right arm and hold it out in front of you, parallel to the ground. Now point the index finger of that hand forward. Now you turn your body as far as you can to the right without moving your feet. Note the spot your finger is pointing to. Now return to your initial position and close your eyes. You are now to imagine turning much, much further than you initially went. Once you’ve done that imagination exercise, you are to perform the turning exercise again. I’ve done this exercise at seminars with hundreds of people taking part and they were all amazed by how much farther they went without hurting themselves.

You can walk a lot further with someone without hurting yourself. It takes willingness and imagination and it won’t leave you in a “compromising” position.

All the best,

John



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March 11, 2014

Be Happy When Happy Is Here

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Morgan @ 7:41 am

C626585 mThe Grasshopper was whistling a happy tune the other day when he said, “Be happy when happy is here.”

If you’ve been paying attention to your happiness, you know for sure that it comes and goes on its own timetable and is never a permanent resident.

Happy is a feeling and it’s wise to feel it when it pays a visit.

I, like you, have found that some people are happier than others. That means they have more happy moments. There is no one I’ve ever met that is always happy. Anyone who’s selling that is mixing up snake oil in their garage.

So what makes one person happier than another? I find they are more open to visits from happiness. It’s the same for people we deem “lucky.” They’re more open to the possibility of something happening.

You’ll never hear them say, “I’ll never be happy.” They also don’t use something as a condition for happiness as in, “I’ll be happy when such and such happens.” Happier people leave the door unlocked and allow happiness free entry when it drops by.

Not only are they more open to happiness, they celebrate it when it’s here.

We close ourselves off to happiness when we chase it and try and capture it in a jar. It’s like grasping at air. Happiness can’t be contained but it can be welcomed and celebrated. Those are the two mindsets that seem to cause happiness to come by more often and hang around for a second cup of coffee.

“Being happy when happy is here” is celebrating happiness – feeling it and enjoying it when it arrives. You can guarantee more arrivals by putting out the welcome mat – the willingness to be open to it, rather than setting up conditions for its visit.

When you are open to happiness, you recognize it more often and welcome it in. When happiness is conditional, you may not recognize it when it knocks on your door and ignore it like it’s someone attempting to sell you aluminum siding or their brand of religion.

It’s hard to come up with a better reminder than the one left for us by our 16th President: “Most folks are as happy as they make up their minds to be.”

Make up your mind to be willing to be happy when happy is here and you’ll be the person celebrating happiness more often than most.

All the best,

John



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March 7, 2014

Truth Inside A Lie

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Morgan @ 8:28 am

C671172 mThe Grasshopper gave me this conundrum: “A truth lies inside a lie and a lie lies inside a truth.” What does that mean?

I haven’t a clue, so let’s explore.

It seems that “truth” has to be defined as that which has no opposite and is whole, like the whole truth. A “lie” is defined as that which has infinite opposites and is fragmented.

So how do so many opposites lie inside that which has none and vice-versa?

Lies are fragments of the truth, meaning the truth can be represented by infinite pieces of fragmentation, each containing a representation of truth – sort of like a hologram.

But truth is not an amalgam of those pieces. Each piece is just a reflection of the whole, not actually a part of it.

So when you see yourself in a full-length mirror, you are not really seeing a part of you, only a reflection of you. What you are seeing is a lie, and depending on how many angles you view it from, you are seeing lots of lies.

The you you are seeing is a lie. The real you is whole. It’s the truth.

Your reflection is the lie inside the truth. The truth inside the lie is the wholeness the reflection seeks. Yes, that last line made my eyes glaze over too.

Each of our outer manifestations purports to be us. That’s a lie. We attempt to define our whole self by a collection of labels or behaviors (lies). “I am a (fill in a label)” is what we claim. “I am my (fill in a behavior}” is what we hold up as the truth.

Our whole self can never be defined by a label or fragmented piece of behavior. It’s like Lao Tzu said thousands of years ago, “The name which can be named is not the eternal name.”

Each time we claim to be anything other than the whole, we are lying, which, sadly, is most of the time.

What happens when we stop holding on to a shiny fragment and claiming it’s the whole? It’s then we find the truth inside the lie.

All the best,

John



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