GrasshopperNotes.com - Thoughts for inspired living


February 20, 2019

Making Time

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 11:01 am

Interruption phoneWondering if someone has your back? Here’s one signpost that they do: Making time when they don’t have time.

Have you ever dropped everything to listen to another’s concerns even though you were knee-deep in something that was important to you? That’s making time.

Sometimes it’s just not possible to make time. If you’re a veterinarian in the middle of surgery on a wharf rat, it’s understandable.

But if all your activities take on the air of importance – too important to be interrupted – you tacitly communicate the lack of importance that person has to you.

Here’s a telltale sign of a person who can’t make time. You begin to communicate something deeply concerning to you and the other person launches into a personal experience they’ve had that’s much worse than yours.

Making time is a major indicator that someone values you. One caution: Don’t overuse the open door policy of another. If you do, all your problems take on the same hue – unimportant, not worthy of making time for.

If you demand abundant access to another’s ears – friends, Romans and countrymen, plus Mickey Mouse will not invite you to join them for a beer.

All the best,

John



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February 13, 2019

S.P.I.N.

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 8:41 am

ArrogantThe word “Spin” popped into my mind this morning. It arrived as an acronym: S.P.I.N.

“Spin” for me is presenting “what is” as “what isn’t.”

There is a positive side of spin. The NLP (neuro-linguistic programming) folks call it “reframing.” The reframe most are familiar with is the Helen Keller quote: “I cried because I had no shoes until I met a man who had no feet.”

The technique takes the whole painting and reduces it to a corner that acts a springboard to a change of attitude.

Others use spin differently. It seems to be a pattern that can be reduced to four steps.

S. Sidestep

P. Prevaricate

I. Insist

N. Negate

The first step is the favored strategy of the politician. Don’t answer the question asked.

The next step is to lie. The bigger the lie the more convincing it seems to be. (I believe it appeals to the conspiracy theorist that’s in all of us).

Next, insist emphatically that people believe you because you are on the side of the angels.

The last step is to negate the counter argument by not acknowledging it. This involves continually moving the goal posts which takes us full circle back to step one: Sidestep.

On and on it goes, around and around with endless rebound.

I recently heard the following quote to stop the merry-go-round. It came from TV talk show host Don Lemon: “Don’t play me, play lotto. Your odds are better.”

I used to have the following strategy to decide who to vote for. I asked myself if I would follow that person up a hill. If the answer was “no,” they didn’t get my vote.

I now have added another criterion: The politician who spins the least gets my support to procure their seat.

All the best,

John



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February 6, 2019

Believing Without Evidence

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 9:02 am

Scales of JusticeHere’s something we all have in common: We believe without evidence.

Whether the topic is social, religious, political, cultural or something else, we believe without backup.

Then we often get on a soapbox and believe “louder.” Here’s one of life’s little known secrets: The loudest one doesn’t win. They just temporarily drown out the facts. But eventually the verbal storm passes and the evidence has a way of sticking around.

Here are two personal examples of me believing without evidence. We all were exposed to the allegations of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford against Justice Brett Kavanaugh, and now we have the Lieutenant Governor of Virginia accused of sexual assault. I personally believe both of the women. But I don’t believe they “should be believed” without evidence.

The hue and cry is that the victims “should be believed.” No, their allegations should be taken seriously and then held up for inspection and serious investigation. Believing, by itself, is relying on your conditioning and prejudice, neither of which has a good track record when compared to the facts.

Sexual assault is a serious charge and should be taken seriously as should the person making the allegations. But to believe without looking at the evidence is about as prejudiced as we can be.

This is not a political or social stand. This is my observation on beliefs and how they are formed and how we, without evidence, conform.

All the best,

John



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January 31, 2019

Crumbling Control

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 4:23 pm

CookieBasic fact of life: There is no such thing as control. Yet that doesn’t keep us from continually craving our concept of it.

What’s so important to us about control? It comforts us with the illusion that we can avoid reality. We are so frightened about the unknown showing up at our doorstep, that we make up something to deal with it – Control.

There is only one response that works with reality – Choosing a response. If we automatically react the way we did before (trying to control), we already know what we’ll get – what we got before.

When we choose a response, we are responding to what’s right in front of us – not a ghost from the past or an illusion on the horizon. We’re responding to something real – Reality. We have a much better chance of dealing effectively with reality when we choose a response.

Reality is a constant in our lives. Control is an illusion. Attempting to control has the same odds of getting the tooth fairy to pay your mortgage.

Start responding to reality and watch your concept of control crumble into the nothingness that it is.

All the best,

John



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January 28, 2019

Doses of Reality

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 5:16 pm

VitaminsThe only pure truth is reality. Reality is always a self-contained whole, never nuanced.

Accepting that, reality is often too strong a drug to administer, so we dole it out in doses.

Just like you don’t teach Algebra until there is some mastery of basic math, introducing reality without laying a foundation, will doom your mission to failure.

Yes, if there is an emergency, it’s best to present undiluted reality so all can know the necessity of an immediate response.

Effectively presenting reality is a lifelong lesson that I continue to learn. I can easily describe myself as an opponent of nibbling around the cookie, but too often I feel crumby when I don’t take small bites.

The lesson here is most folks are averse to reality even though it’s exactly what they need to formulate a response to their difficulty. The deeper lesson is: You can’t eat a whole cow at once.

Pure reality often gets people to shut down and think “What’s the use?” Dosing out reality in smaller measures keeps them flexible – loose with the requisite juice.

All the best,

John



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January 25, 2019

As I’ve Always Said

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 4:41 pm

DbusinessmanknowitallGet ready! It’s coming! It’s a telling phrase: “As I’ve always said.”

You will be hearing “As I’ve always said” from people who said no such thing.

It will be the ass covering phrase of people who have been extremely vocal in favor of something or someone that can’t be defended anymore.

Their “as I’ve always said” claim will be that they never expressed such allegiance and will express a position they have never taken as the one they’ve been espousing all along.

Think of someone you know who was proven dead wrong, and when confronted with their position, they moved the goal post. The telling, goal post repositioning phrase will be some form of “as I’ve always said.”

It’ll be here soon. Be on the lookout. When you hear it, know you are listening to someone who can’t admit to or bear being wrong. They’re part of the “I’m sorry but” crowd – meaning they’re not really sorry.

Quoting Charles Barkley, “I may be wrong but I doubt it.”

All the best,

John



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January 15, 2019

Bring Me The Magic

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 12:50 am

MagicLet’s just admit it aloud: We’re all looking for a piece of magic.

We want our magical thinking to work. That means we want our thinking to get us what we want.

I believe I’ve found what we all want. I sense that it’s peace of mind.

To free ourselves from the thinking machine for just a spell brings us the magic that works so well: Peace of mind.

When we have peace of mind, we are magically transported from the past and future to the present – the entry point for peace of mind.

You don’t have to slave to get peace of mind, you just have to notice your mind at work. When you stop to notice that your mind has a mind of its own, you create a quiet space of peace.

You can’t say “abracadabra” to get there. That would be like trying to pull a rabbit out of a hat. What you can do is notice the sleight of hand your mind is distracting you with. Notice your mind thinking on its own tempting you to join in.

If you, instead, just watch your mind at work, you will discover the soft piece of magic that gets you to peace of mind. There is the thinker and the observer. When you choose to think, you won’t sleep a wink. When you observe, you open a doorway to that quiet reserve: Peace of mind.

The offshoots of peace of mind are bursts of creativity – pieces of magic that were hidden from view, simply because you participated in all the ado.

I’m running out of rhymes so let me leave you with this: If you want peace of mind, start observing and leave magical thinking behind.

All the best,

John



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January 11, 2019

Expectation vs. Entitlement

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 9:58 am

Pregant 001FLASHBACK FRIDAY!

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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January 9, 2019

The Purpose of Habits

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 3:42 pm

SmokerThe Grasshopper, as is his habit, opined out of the blue, “Habits have no agenda.”

Even if you’re a habitual liar, your habit of lying itself isn’t necessarily doing so to support your current agenda. It’s just a purposeful behavior that you’ve learned but haven’t outgrown.

All habits are purposeful. We learned them for a purpose – to get us over a hump so to speak. Perhaps lying kept you from being punished. It served a purpose. You may have outgrown the fear of being punished for your actions, but that doesn’t keep you from continuing to lie. Lying is now a habit. Perhaps now you have a finer appreciation for the phrase “habitual liar.”

That’s how habits are formed: for a purpose.

Take smoking as an example. What was the purpose for starting to smoke? It certainly wasn’t because they tasted good. Remember choking on your first inhale?

Perhaps you wanted to be older, more sophisticated, like your older brother or sister, tougher, cooler – pick a purpose. That’s why you started. Now you’re older and wiser and know that smoking is nasty and harmful but you continue to smoke. That habit was formed for a purpose and purposes are powerful – powerful enough to keep you acting against your best interests.

Patterns in your mind are frozen in time. They are only as old as when you first learned them. That means when you smoke a cigarette 30 years later, the purposeful part of you continues to communicate that you’re still “cool.”

So how do you outgrow a habit? Notice that you have one is first and foremost. Second, recognize that the initial purpose for learning the pattern is long gone. And finally, interrupt the pattern every time you notice it running.

Each interruption creates a space in your thinking – a space for something new to come through – a new habit. it’s not an overnight fix but it does work, over time, when consistently applied.

Interrupting a habit gets the habit off track. Consistent application will derail it for good. Once you outgrow a habit, it will never fit again.

Make outgrowing unwanted habits your new purpose.

All the best,

John



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January 8, 2019

I Matter

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 11:47 am

Michael sum 565770 unsplashSeems to me that “eye matter” gets in the way of “I matter.”

The occluding substance is the outside world filter we apply to who we should be. And when we judge ourselves by those standards, we come up with “I don’t matter.”

You can’t be defined by outside circumstances because the inside you – the part that matters – is never touched by them.

Outside evaluations can set some benchmarks to shoot for when we want to improve our station in life, but they can never measure our capacity to matter.

The old axiom comes to mind: “It’s not the dog in the fight; it’s the fight in the dog.”

I’m not suggesting that you have to fight for what matters. You don’t. It’s there for you without lifting a glove.

Just knowing that you matter will deliver personal respect without having to demand it.

Any time you feel as though you don’t matter, wipe out your eyes and see through to the real you – the part of you that matters.

All the best,

John



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