GrasshopperNotes.com - Thoughts for inspired living


December 13, 2018

Letter To Santa

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 8:56 pm

Santa  MrsDear Santa,

I know I’m a little late with my requests this year. I sure hope you find time to consider them because I have been extra good.

I have given up on one of my past ideas because you haven’t delivered it, namely getting announcers to say, “Forward” instead of “FOE-ward.” I guess that’s up there with asking for world peace.

This year I would like you to bring a handbook that teaches people how to get off the phone. Saying “ta-ta” or “goodbye” shouldn’t be that hard, but it seems people linger long after you’ve indicated the conversation has concluded.

Please bring me tolerance for people that put coats on their pets in the winter.

I’m also requesting patience with people who cannot get to the point. Apparently, there’s a sickness going around.

Less TV drug commercials for products with the letter “Z” in them. Seriously, Santa, do they put letters in a hat and use the first seven letters they pull out to name the drug?

Finally, would it be possible for guests on TV talk shows to stop answering questions with the phrase, “that’s a good question”? If there was ever a bigger stalling tactic, I have not experienced it.

I hear you and Mrs. Claus are back on gluten, so I’ve taken the sawdust out of my recipe for your cookies this year. After tasting them, you’ll be singing, “Rudolph with your nose so bright, won’t you curb my appetite?”

Thanks for reading, Santa.

Love,

LJ (Little Johnny)



Be Sociable, Share!


December 4, 2018

I Plan To . . .

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 7:49 am

Hammer thumbHopes and expectations dashed? According to the dictionary that’s disappointment.

Want to avoid disappointment more often? Have fewer expectations.

Quoting Robert Burns, “The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.” Or as John Lennon reminded us, “Life is what happens to us while we are making other plans.”

Planning can be fun and fruitful and is a very useful tool, except when we expect all to go according to Hoyle.

I have a book title that illustrates this point: “There’s No Such Thing As A 5-Minute Job.” Feel free to write it because I never will. I lack the technical know-how.

I find the bubble of expectation bursts quite often when it comes to human events and interactions. Have you ever planned or attended an event where things just didn’t match up with your expectations? You’re in good company. We all have our stories.

The message here is not not to plan; it’s more about trusting your response apparatus. Plan down to the minutest detail if you choose, but if you can’t respond to unexpected circumstances, you’re likely to blow a fuse.

There is a part of us that knows how to go past a reaction and get to a response – one that wasn’t planned in advance. It’s the ability to respond that irons out the kinks of expectation.

Practice responding more often and expect fewer disappointments.

All the best,

John



Be Sociable, Share!


November 27, 2018

Holding On To Letting Go

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 7:24 pm

Letting goIt seems like something Captain Obvious would say but holding on prevents us from letting go.

What prevents us from releasing our grasp? One answer I come up with is this: Holding on to the past proves it existed. What that means to me is that we are so defined by back then, that we refuse to let it go because if we do, we believe we won’t exist.

It’s truly limiting to be defined by the roles we play in life. We are so much more but we can’t find that depth by having a death grip on the memory of who we once were.

I’m not sure I have a strategy for outgrowing the past, only the realization that the past isn’t happening now.

What is going on now is your life – not what you had then or what you will have in the future, but, rather, what you have now.

Focusing on what you have now is a springboard to letting go. Holding on is holding on to an illusion – something that doesn’t exist now.

To have the past go out of focus, we have to be present to the present. It’s really the only time that exists. Now is a reality; then is a memory and the future is a fantasy.

Here’s something worth holding on to: You aren’t the roles you play, only the spirit that can create a brand new day.

All the best,

John



Be Sociable, Share!


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



Be Sociable, Share!


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



Be Sociable, Share!


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



Be Sociable, Share!


May 24, 2018

Life Is But A Dream

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 5:35 am

DreamingThe Grasshopper gave me a puzzling message to reflect on: “You can’t dream without memories.”

Did you ever notice that dreams are loosely based on experiences that you’ve had (memories)?

Most dreams I have are like patchwork quilts. They hopscotch around and have bizarre twists and turns but are loosely based on experiences that I’ve had.

We may have met someone a week ago that had unusual eyebrows. We shouldn’t be too surprised that unusual eyebrows show up in a dream. Our dream may mix eyebrows with an experience that we had 10 days later and tie the two together.

Many moons ago I was introduced to the concept that we live our lives by reference. We’re always referring back to try and make sense of something unfamiliar that’s right in front of us now. We use past experience to try and figure out the present.

Dreams are no different, except for the fact that they’re a lot less sequential.

I find dreams to be an escape valve for emotions that are bubbling below the surface. We may choose not to deal with the emotions in our awake state, but the dream machine has no such option. It just stirs up lots of divergent stuff and sees what escapes.

Thankfully we don’t have to deal with all that angst in our everyday waking life. Our dreaming apparatus takes care of a portion of it while we sleep.

Some people attempt to make sense of their dreams and sometimes we can, but for the most part they are a confusing mix of disjointed events.

The takeaway here is this: Not all your dreams will make sense but they will make your life a lot less scary, because when you dream you let off some steam.

All the best,

John



Be Sociable, Share!


December 12, 2017

Comfort Zone

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 8:54 am

BeloRiskw is a post from long ago designed to make you uncomfortable.

“Success Lies Outside Your Comfort Zone.”

It’s my experience that marginal results come from staying inside our zone of comfort. If you claim you want success, you can’t refrain from moving towards the edge.

Many years ago, my hypnosis teacher, Dr. Dave Dobson use to say, “The luscious, ripe fruit is out on the skinny branches.” That picture he painted stays with me ’til this day and serves as a reminder that risk is a necessary part of reward.

The sales profession comes to mind. I’m sure there are some people who are very successful selling merchandise at parties out of their home – Tupperware, jewelry, makeup, etc. I’m also certain the successful ones are the exception rather than the rule. The bulk of the unsuccessful ones think they are professional sales people. They’re not. They are presenters and order takers. The successful sellers know the “dog and pony” show is only part of the skill set. They also know that future business isn’t going to come to them; they are going to have to seek it out.

That requires getting out of your comfort zone and making requests of “strangers.”

The life insurance industry knows they are going to have a large washout rate with beginning insurance sales people. They provide them training and then send them out to sell. Once these people pitch all their relatives and the neighbors they are “comfortable” with, their sales come to a standstill.

They all have a product to sell but most can’t sell it because they refuse to move out of their comfort zone. Here’s the ever-present excuse for failure to sell: “Oh, I’m just not a sales person.” Sorry, everyone is a sales person. The reason they’re not successful is because they won’t do what’s necessary – move out of their comfort zone.

We’re always selling something to somebody; it’s the give and take of life. That’s sales. To get better at sales, we need to make more requests. It’s really that simple. The first step to making a sale is making a request.

Want to get more sales in life? Make more requests. “But I’m not comfortable asking people for things,” you say. Then get used to not having what you want. I, again, for the zillionth time quote my 4th grade teacher, Miss Wagner: “You can either have what you want or your reasons why not.” Comfort is the reason you’re not successful.

You can either stay in your comfort zone (rut) or you can ask for what you want. Those are the plain and simple choices.

If you’re not in the habit of making requests, start. You can begin small and work your way up. But start now. When you branch out of your comfort zone, you start gathering in the fruits of you labor.

All the best,

John



Be Sociable, Share!


December 8, 2017

Doubt

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 5:08 am

120710 1409 doubt1I was visited by this blogpost from Christmas Past and thought the message would make the upcoming holidays more inclusive.

Seems just about everyone has a favorite Christmas movie – It’s a Wonderful Life, Elf, The Polar Express, A Charlie Brown Christmas, Christmas Vacation, etc.

The one that sticks with me most is Miracle on 34th Street (The Original). It stars a young Natalie Wood beginning to doubt the existence of Santa Claus. It’s a delightful film about believing and doubt.

Beliefs are something we all share in common. If you mentally exist, you believe.

Beliefs, by their nature, are exclusionary. The minute you commit to one, all the others on the same topic are on the outside looking in.

The stickiest of wickets is believing that your belief is right. “Right” is a word that has wronged for centuries. It’s also exclusionary. It makes anyone who believes differently from you on the other side of the fence.

The reason I like the little girl in “Miracle on 34th Street” so much is because she has doubts about her beliefs. It’s a childlike quality we can all aspire to because, by adulthood, our beliefs are more solid than month old fruitcake – no room for doubt.

Just like we bring out the holiday decorations once a year, it would serve us well to plug in an old belief and test it once a season to see if it still lights up – meaning, “Is it useful?”

Is there a long held belief you own that’s worthy of some doubt?

Doubt is the catalyst that makes you look in more than one direction.

Is this the season to dust off your doubt and bring it out?

Who purposely decorates their tree with burned out lights? – You and me when we refuse to use doubt to help us see.

Beliefs get re-gifted from one generation to the next never being questioned for their truth. Sadly, when we get to this true believer stage, there’s little room for doubt.

If no one else gets it for you this holiday season, you can give yourself the gift of doubt. It lights up the dark corners of Christmases past to see if their gifts are bright enough to light the way to a less rigid future.

This Christmas make sure the most enlightening gift is on your wish list. It’s the “Talking Thomas” doll – You just pull a string and he says, “I doubt it!”

All the best,

John



Be Sociable, Share!


December 7, 2017

Your Spirit Never Gets Old

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 5:46 am

NewImageAs we approach Christmas and the holiday season, I found an old post that addresses spirit and how it never gets old.

Old, as we have discussed before, lives somewhere on a continuum that’s older than you are. The old axiom, “the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak” underscores that our spirit remains the same. It’s vibrant and unchangeable.

My grandmother, whom I’ve also mentioned before, had a response to the question of “How are you doing?” She would say, “I’m getting old.” She never admitted to being old, only getting there. My mother was less delicate. She would respond to the same question by saying, “Not bad for an old broad.”

These people were in tune with their ageless spirit until their dying day. They recognized that old really is a mindset.

I have always had a great rapport with older women. I think it stems from a suggestion I got from my father in the 4th grade. Perhaps a story would be helpful . . .

The school I attended had a raffle each Fall and each student was required to sell tickets. After you sold your mother, father, aunts, uncles, grandparents and nearby neighbors, you had to find new customers. I was a little hesitant going out and asking strangers if they wanted to buy raffle tickets.

My father gave me the strategy that proved quite effective. Before I tell you his suggestion, I will remind you that at that time, most women did not work outside of the home. They were known as homemakers or referred to as a term that I’ve come to despise, “housewives.”

My father said it was most likely that a woman would answer the door. He said the first question I should ask them is not, “Do you want to buy a raffle ticket for my school?” He said to ask, “Is your mother home?” He said no matter how old the woman answering the door; I was to ask that question first. I sold the most raffle tickets in my class.

I was addressing the ageless spirit in each of those women by using that piece of stealth flattery I got from my father.

It grew into more than flattery for me as I grew older. I found that I began talking with older women and men the same way I would talk to people my age. I never made them feel old. I never presupposed that because they were older, they wouldn’t get what I was talking about or be offended by something I would readily say to someone of my generation.

Older people don’t need to be protected. They have lived longer than you and have survived more than you can imagine. To treat them as less of a citizen because of their age is demeaning.

Also, I have come to ask older people their opinions on decisions I have been contemplating. The wisdom that pours out is priceless.

Yes, you will find older people that only want to talk about their health and prescriptions and how it used to be, but you will also find those people in any adult age group. Once you’ve weeded out the chronic complainers, you will find a treasure of perception that may not be readily apparent to you.

If you assume they don’t know, you’ll never ask and remain impoverished.

Find your version of “Is your mother home?” and discover a mother lode from someone in their “Golden Years.”

All the best,

John



Be Sociable, Share!


Next Page »