GrasshopperNotes.com - Thoughts for inspired living


November 29, 2010

Losing

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 6:47 am

Ask any gambler, professional or casual, about the mindset they enter when they start to lose. The progression goes something like this:

“My luck is just about to turn,” “I still have a chance to win big,” “I hope I can win back just enough to get even.”

Then they recognize they’ve lost.

Losing in life follows the same progression; some people just move through the steps more quickly than others.

Watch any football player who just lost a hard fought game and you’ll witness that loss has a progression and takes some time to set in. Those who process it more quickly are the ones who are ready to play again; the others go into a slump, sometimes a career ending one.

Denial allows a losing feeling to hang around much longer than is productive.

Even though it’s clearly evident to anyone watching our game that we’ve lost, it’s not so clear to us. That’s because our emotion isn’t matching our reality and the illusion that we’re still in the game remains.

Hanging on to a loss never gets less painful. Time may pass but the loss remains in the present.

The popular prescription is: Just let go. If it were that simple, anyone wearing Nike’s would be in shape.

So is there a way to end your losing streak?

My sense is the first step is recognizing the game is over. I remember writing years ago, “The projectionist has gone home but my heart remains in the theatre.” That was me recognizing the facts and knowing that I had to process the pain.

Processing the pain is not rehashing the game. It’s sitting with the unsettled sensations and feeling your own pain. By doing so, you are taking action on what your body has been attempting to get you to do – deal with your loss.

The more you think about it, the more it hurts. Denying that it happened is just more thinking. Talking to yourself about acceptance is just more thinking. Thinking is like the friend you have who is always talking about what they’re going to do, but never doing it.

Feeling your own pain is the only way to process your loss. That’s the shortcut that’s always available at every turn.

I wish I could tell you that processing your pain isn’t painful; it is.

It really comes down to this: How long do you want your pain to last?

If you want to keep it around for a lifetime, keep talking about it. If not, feel your pain and watch it go down the drain.

 

All The best,

John

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November 24, 2010

Check Your Muskets at the Door

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 7:34 am

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving – a wonderful holiday and my personal favorite.

And being with family is a blessing, yet it can be tricky as some rarely visited emotions may come knocking on your door.

Last year I recommended checking your ‘TUDE at the door. You can read about it by clicking here.

This year I’m suggesting an additional practice to put into place.

For one hour, do nothing but respond.

What do I mean by that? Simply, notice a reaction you are about to have to something that someone says or does and throw in the clutch and wait for a response – a different way to speak or act in that situation.

This split second of noticing and waiting will save you from fighting over more than who gets the drumstick.

We all have emotional triggers and people who know how to set them off. If you adopt the practice of noticing your normal reaction before you act it out, and then wait for a different response, you are bypassing the stimulus/reaction loop that has become hardwired over the years.

This is more than stifling yourself; it’s offering yourself the gift of free choice. That means for one hour tomorrow you won’t be a robot, unconsciously reacting to the stimuli that’s presented.

It’s a way to go deeper even with the people who are closest to you.

Getting to choose how you will respond is something to be aware of and grateful for as we head into the biggest family day of the year.

 

Happy Thanksgiving!

John



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November 23, 2010

Tin Man

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 7:26 am

There’s been a lyric buzzing around in my head the past few days. It comes from a song called “Tin Man” by America. I thought I would attempt to make sense of its presence by writing about it.

The lyric is: “But Oz never did give nothing to the Tin Man that he didn’t, didn’t already have.”

We’re all the “Tin Man,” looking for what we already have.

The “have” in this case is deeper than what shows up on the surface.

Most of our life is spent looking for something on the horizon, just out of reach. It’s a game of one step forward, two steps back.

We’re looking for Oz when all we need is what we have at home.

The question we fail to ask ourselves about our stated desires is this: “What will that get me?”

We are looking for the feeling that capturing what is out there will bring – Satisfaction, fulfillment, pride, accomplishment, freedom, etc.

We are always looking for the feeling the desire will bring. You don’t have to travel to Oz to get that feeling because you already have it.

The Tin Man was looking for a heart. What are you looking for?

It’s never the thing itself; it’s the feeling the thing will bring.

That feeling is always at home with you but we keep missing it by looking for it over the rainbow.

There is nothing wrong with seeking what’s out there, unless your main desire for getting it is to produce something you already have.

You own every feeling you need; you just need to recognize that you don’t have to travel to a far off land to get it.

During this Thanksgiving season, here is something else to be grateful for: You don’t need a pair of red shoes to get back home.

 

All the best,

John

 

 



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November 18, 2010

Unknown Quotes

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 7:46 am

It seems you have to be famous to be quoted, so I thought I would list a few random quotes I’ve heard from people you don’t know.

The following may not turn up on your list of favorites but they underscore the notion that everyone has said something that’s worth re-quoting.

I’m wondering what some of your unknown quotes would look like. Here are a few of mine:

 

“It only takes one good thing to make all the bad things go away.” – My step father

“The less you do, the less you want to do.” – My best friend

(When looking at a 300 pound plus football player) “it’s hard to believe their toe hurts as much as mine when they stub it.” – My ex-wife

“Even mountain climbing is fixed.” – My mother

(When I was having trouble accomplishing a task) “You gotta’ wanna’ do it.” – My father

“I don’t want to massage sweaty strangers.” – A massage therapist contemplating a career change

 

Who do you re-quote that hardly anyone knows? There is a treasure trove of wisdom from them that just never makes it into the mainstream. Do your part today and pass on what they say. It just may make somebody’s day.

 

All the best,

John

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November 17, 2010

Shoulders

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 7:07 am

Whose shoulders are you standing on?

You didn’t get to the apex of where you are without stepping on a few shoulders.

I should note that you may not like where you currently are, but, again, the question begging for an answer is: “Whose shoulders are you standing on?”

In the case of not liking our location, we are quick to allow someone else to shoulder the blame as to where we are, but that ignores who is choosing where to stand.

Many of us, for better or worse, are standing on the shoulders of the early people who helped form us – parents, caregivers and influencers too numerous to mention.

But somewhere along the way we climbed onboard someone else’s shoulders to gain a taller view. Who helped you broaden your perspective? Who is foundational for your world view?

You may have a short or a long list of folks to credit, but it helps to make that list to see the flow chart of you.

One of the questions I like to ask musicians is: “Who influenced you?” Reminds me of a story . . .

About 15 years ago I attended a concert by pianist, George Winston who had a best-selling album called December. It contained many songs with a Christmas Holiday feel.

He played songs from that album and others he had recorded. I remember remarking aloud that his style, on a few of the songs, reminded me of a piano player who had a couple of hit songs when I was a kid. That man’s name was Floyd Cramer. Imagine my surprise when the very next song he played, “Last Date,” was dedicated to one of his early influences – Floyd Cramer. We both recognized the shoulders.

It’s not only respectful to give credit, but humbling as well. And it fills you with gratitude.

When we recognize we didn’t get here without help, we tap into the grateful feeling of having stood on another’s shoulders.

I could list a number of people whose names you wouldn’t recognize as being instrumental in my development, but that wouldn’t serve you as well as making your own list for your own benefit.

Take a moment today to list the shoulders you have stood on. It will help you to appreciate and see more of this parade called “Life.”

 

All the best,

John

LOSE WEIGHT & KEEP IT OFF
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November 16, 2010

Special Place in Heaven

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 6:28 am

From a spiritual perspective, it doesn’t seem that heaven should have a caste system, but my version of it does.

My opinion is that some folks should enjoy each other’s company in the afterlife, separate and apart from the rest of us.

My reasoning is sound. If we were in that section of heaven, we would think we were in hell.

Who deserves to be in that special place in heaven? Here is a partial list:

    *People who leave their shopping carts in the middle of the parking lot. (Did you ever notice that they yell the loudest when their car gets hit by one?)

    *Union leaders who take a paycheck while their members go on strike.

    *Anyone who asks you for money so they can pray for you.

    *Any professional announcer who pronounces the word “forward” as “FOE-ward.”

    *A politician that calls what they do “Public Service.” They get paid.

    *Anyone still watching “Survivor.”

    *Any man under 50 who refers to his spouse as “The wife.”

    *Anyone who forwards me an email that I have to forward to someone else to get a special blessing.

    *People who talk with their mouth full.

    *Anyone still blaming their parents.

I realize this list of deserving people is not all inclusive. It’s just a thought starter. Please feel free to compile your own list of candidates who deserve a special place in heaven.

If I have sinned by offending anyone with my list, thank God. That means I won’t be going to that special place in heaven.

 

All the best,

John

LOSE WEIGHT & KEEP IT OFF
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November 12, 2010

Bursting Bubbles

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 8:39 am

We’ve all participated in bubble bursting. We’ve either done it or it’s happened to us.

What is the result of bubble bursting? It’s the inability to hold a particular belief anymore.

The Grasshopper injected this into a conversation the other day: “Anytime you put a pin in someone’s belief bubble, you get an outpouring.”

Sometimes a bubble burst results in an “ah-ha,” but most often no “ha, ha” is present.

It can be a painful experience to have your bubble burst.

Beliefs are a set of patterns that help us negotiate the world we live in. When someone or something pricks our world with a sharp, pointy object, we’re going to gush.

If our belief is like a boil that need to be lanced, we experience pain, then relief. We are on the road to recovery.

It’s more difficult to recover when someone bursts your piñata that was filled with all the sweet treats of life. Your goodies are snatched up and scattered to the four winds.

Oftentimes it’s a “D” word that causes our bubble to burst. Death, Defeat, Demise, Deception and Divorce immediately leap to mind, but there are many others throughout the alphabet.

The recovery phase of an operation has little to do with investigating the cause. In fact, staying focused on the cause is as effective as breathing air into a balloon that’s already burst.

Recovery is forming new beliefs, not dwelling on the ones that can no longer hold air.

If your sweet bubble has burst, I’m sorry for your loss. I won’t lie and tell you that I feel your pain because nobody can.

What I can offer is a path forward. It starts with baby steps.

The first step is to let go of “why?” You’ll never get an answer that will satisfy you or move you forward.

The next step is to breathe in some new life. That means to recognize you can be filled up with another substance. Warning: The minute you begin to compare and contrast it with what you had, you pop your new balloon.

The ever present question you want to ask yourself is: “How can I be happy now?”

The answers you get are habit forming and bursting with promise.

 

All the best,

John

LOSE WEIGHT & KEEP IT OFF
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I LOVE MY BODY
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November 11, 2010

Improving the World

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 4:44 am

If we only pay attention to the news, it’s hard to argue with the notion that we’re going to hell in a hand basket.

But there is something else that, if paid attention to, would instantly improve our world 100%.

This “something else” is something that comes out of our mouths on a regular basis but we’re deaf to it.

What is it that would improve our world 100% that we say nearly every day but don’t seem to hear?

Our own advice!

I don’t know about you but I’m world class when it comes to telling others what to do. I’m closer to an “also ran” when it comes to following my own sage advice. I believe I have lots of company.

The old axiom is accurate. We would have more success in improving our world by taking care of our own little corner of it.

We become confounded when others ignore our pearls of wisdom, but it’s like yanking teeth to get us to admit that we don’t follow our own astute recommendations.

There is great wisdom in our counsel, but we’re so blinded by our own shortcomings that we become shortsighted when it comes to recognizing it also applies to us.

We’re never going to stop giving advice. That’s like asking the wind not to blow. So the world improving question is this: “When are we going to start taking it?”

Reminds me of a story . . .

I was walking past a neighbor’s house a few years ago and noticed that their beautiful, newly sodded lawn had a patch near their fence that didn’t take. I immediately went into “Mr. Fix-it” mode in my head and knew exactly what needed to be done. I didn’t know these folks well enough to offer my “invaluable” advice.

The story gets more interesting when I notice that days and weeks later that they haven’t tended to this obvious flaw. I was chomping at the bit to offer my advice, but had the good sense to choke it back. That good sense came to me that very day when I noticed that my own lawn looked like a patchwork quilt of sewn together bare spots.

This would have a storybook ending if I were able to report that I went home and immediately attended to my little corner of God’s green earth, but, alas, it remained brown.

It’s flattering when someone asks for your advice; it’s world changing when you follow your own.

 

All the best,

John

LOSE WEIGHT & KEEP IT OFF
STOP SMOKING FOREVER
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November 10, 2010

Beginnings – Endings

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 9:25 am

Beginnings hold promise.

Ask any avid baseball fan at the beginning of the season about their team’s chances and you can feel a palpable optimism.

Perhaps that’s why baseball is mentioned in the very first words of the bible – “In the big inning.”

Endings are painful.

If for no other reason than a way of doing things has come to an end.

Even if the ending has productive results, the pain is still present, as in ending the use of an addictive drug.

Beginnings and endings are one unit. They are not separate. Each one contains the other.

Just as up is part of down and vice versa, beginnings and endings are inseparable.

Consider this: Without conscious recognition, beginnings and endings, as we perceive them, don’t individually exist; they just change into each other.

Take a leaf for example. It begins on the tree and ends on the ground. It decomposes on the ground and forms the rich environment from which a tree can draw nutrients to grow new leaves.

If we only look at the individual components, we are looking at a snapshot, not the ongoing cycle.

Consider the concept of time. It’s a mind made phenomenon attributed to change. The fallacy of time becomes apparent when you ponder the conundrum of, “When did time begin?”

What did come first, the chicken or the McNugget?

Life is ongoing but when we consciously attempt to break it down, we are left with the polar opposites of beginnings and endings and the emotional ups and downs they bring.

Life doesn’t have form; it inhabits form, giving life the appearance that it has a beginning and an end.

The part of us that believes in beginnings and endings will end. When we end, life will continue, even though we believe it can’t go on without us.

This is more than an observation that we’re all going to die someday; it’s a call to action to appreciate the moment you are in. This moment has no beginning or end; it’s a constant that’s with us throughout our life.

The moment we are in is life itself, not the collection of up and down moments our mind makes life out to be.

When we immerse ourselves in the moment, our mind doesn’t wander off to thoughts of beginnings and endings which produce a never ending tug of war between hope and hopelessness.

If you’ve ever had a personal experience of time standing still, you have discovered the one moment of life. It has no beginning and it has no end.

Tap into that moment and your beginnings will never end.

 

All the best,

John

LOSE WEIGHT & KEEP IT OFF
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November 9, 2010

Catching Yourself

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 6:52 am

I had an interesting message from The Grasshopper the other day – “Criminals don’t get caught because they’re stupid; they get caught because they’re patterned.”

It got me to thinking about what patterns we are caught up in that lock us up every time.

You can go a lifetime and not become aware of an arresting pattern.

Patterns are pieces of purposeful behavior that we learn without knowing how we learned them, and they often hang around long after the purpose of their formation has come and gone.

We become like an unfragged hard drive in a computer with little pieces of behavior strewn about here and there, slowing us down and compromising our performance.

Pattered behavior is wonderful when it continues to serve a purpose that’s serving us.

It becomes problematic when it handcuffs our abilities.

I was reminded of the tragic side of patterning the other day when listening to a song by Karen Carpenter on the radio. This young singer had a beautiful voice but learned a pattern that she didn’t have a beautiful body.

As the story goes, early in her career, she and her brother, Richard were performing at a small venue and were well received. The local newspaper ran a glowing review of their performance the next day. The reviewer, as an aside, referred to Karen as “Chubby.”

She ignored the rave review and got caught up in the personal characterization. She began a life of dangerous dieting and purging and died from heart failure attributed to anorexia nervosa at age 32.

The purpose of the original pattern was to get her to not be chubby. The pattern lived on well past the time any healthy weight had been achieved.

What pattern do you own that’s confining you? It’s a question worth asking because your exploration of an answer can serve as your “Get out of Jail for Free” card.

The purpose in finding a limiting pattern is to then employ a strategy to outgrow it. This new outgrowth learning begins when you catch yourself running the pattern.

In order to catch yourself, you first have to know that you are running a pattern. Sometimes it’s quite evident what pattern you are running, and sometimes it’s not. If you are really in the dark about what offending pattern you are running, ask someone close to you. They always know.

But knowing isn’t enough to get paroled from this pattern. You have to catch yourself committing the crime.

That means to catch yourself in the act. All new learning begins when we become cognizant of a behavior while it is happening. The key to escape is to interrupt that behavior while you are in the middle of it. Beating yourself up a half hour later won’t do the trick.

Interrupting the pattern while it’s going on takes you to the prison gate. Continued recognition and interruption gives you the key to freedom.

It’s not only against the law for a high wire act to work without a net, it’s extremely risky. If you are caught up in a risky pattern, take a tip from the pros: Work with the net of recognition and interruption. You’ll catch yourself every time.

 

All the best,

John

LOSE WEIGHT & KEEP IT OFF
STOP SMOKING FOREVER
SLEEP THROUGH THE NIGHT EVERY NIGHT
IMPROVE YOUR SELF CONFIDENCE
I LOVE MY BODY
RELAX IN 2 MINUTES
FEEL FOREVER YOUNG
VIRTUAL MASSAGE



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