GrasshopperNotes.com - Thoughts for inspired living


January 31, 2013

Myths

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 6:37 am

C167865 mI was knocked over by a pound of feathers last night when I got the idea that beliefs are myths, with one notable exception.

I looked up the definition of myth and found this: A widely held but false belief.

How many beliefs do we own that we have no evidence for? They’re myths – ones that we believe in.

This doesn’t mean that beliefs aren’t useful; just mythical.

I did note one exception. What’s the one thing you can believe in that’s not a myth? The answer is reality – what’s actually happening, not what you believe is happening.

“Reality is not a Myth” is a bumper sticker that sticks forever, not just until a new belief comes along.

For example, how many of us believe in the notion of positive thinking? That’s one of the biggest myths ever perpetrated on mankind. Thinking positive does nothing to change reality. It may make you feel better about a reality that you’re dealing with, but it’s a myth to believe it changes anything.

People will emphatically cite examples of when they thought positive and something “good” happened. They conveniently ignore all the times they thought positive and something not so good happened. To credit positive results to positive thinking ignores the “odds of reality.”

I prefer positive thoughts to negative thoughts because they make me feel better, but believing they change anything other than our demeanor is a myth.

I could go on and on and slay more mythical, sacred cows, but it’s not my intention to set up endless debates with firm believers. My intent is to have us examine our myths.

Most of them are harmless, but there are some that impede our progress. They’re worth looking into. A simple test to find a limiting myth is to find a belief that you have that isn’t working for you. You won’t have to look far. And you don’t have to stand up on a soapbox and announce that it isn’t working to the world, just admit it to yourself.

In that moment of admission you will discover reality – the biggest myth buster of them all. Reality takes off the blinders and lets you see the whole landscape. It’s from this vantage point you can make a choice as to which way to go rather than be limited by the maze of myth.

Final thought: The following is not a myth: Reality is something you can believe in!

All the best,

John

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January 30, 2013

Invitations

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 5:06 am

C162129 mI have come to believe that we invite more into our lives than we’re willing to admit – good and bad.

We will do our level best to cite the circumstances that have unwelcome events visit us, but we do not consider, even for a moment, that we put out the welcome mat.

I can’t prove what I’m offering here but I have a ton of examples in my life of unwelcome results that I deeply suspect, on some level, that I’ve invited in. It’s my unproven assertion that patterns that regularly repeat themselves throughout our lives have an invitation. The reason they keep coming back is because they have a RSVP card.

One of the leading clues is the way people treat you. If you find there’s a pattern of how poorly many people treat you, I submit that it’s not the people conspiring with each other that gets you that treatment; it’s you wearing an out of view sign that invites and instructs people to treat you in that fashion.

We invite in what we claim is uninvited and then we want to call it an invasion.

We are sending out signals consciously, but mostly unconsciously, that invite in the treatment we receive. We, in effect, teach people how to treat us.

If you are tired of continually being treated a certain way by lots of people, you may want to check in before lashing out.

You would benefit by some quiet reflection on what it is that you are doing to magnetize the muck instead of attributing it to outside circumstances or bad luck.

This type of reflection is a work in progress for me and I invite you to also adopt the view that you’re welcoming in what’s going on with you.

I believe that opening yourself up to personal inspection will cause you, after a fashion, to send out different invitations and welcome in more inviting results.

All the best,

John

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January 29, 2013

Follow-up

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

C390080 mThe Grasshopper showed up in a moment of pique yesterday and gave me a title for another book I’ll never write: “If You Don’t Follow-up, Your Lack of Results Will Take You Down.”

I have literally booked thousands of hotel meeting rooms and overnight guest rooms over the years in conjunction with my seminar business. My contact conversation with the hotel sales person follows a checklist. I don’t move on to the next item on the list until I have confirmation on the item we just discussed. It then gets a checkmark. Call me anal, but I find my memory improves a hundredfold when I write things down.

We then exchange signed documents via email and fax that confirm the items on the checklist. How many times would you suspect that the items that painstakingly were gone over and agreed to, verbally and in writing, don’t happen? The answer is, “a lot.”

Side note: When I call those hotels back for future bookings, the people who failed to follow-up are generally not there any longer.

It is a demonstrated fact in my world that people don’t follow-up. I coined a phrase years ago that sums this up, “Businesses don’t run themselves.”

I have found that in order to get what was agreed to, I have to follow-up with those who don’t. If this sounds like a rant, it is. But I know I’m having a powerless chat with the wind.

The reality is that we all have to follow-up to get what we agreed to. That goes for professional and personal relationships as well. How many of us were in “set-it-and-forget-it” relationships and our failure to follow-up lead us down the road to separate paths? The numbers are staggering.

The older I get, the less I agree to. That doesn’t mean being disagreeable. It simply means that if I have an objection, I voice it up-front rather than have it be something I quietly agree to but fail to follow-up on later.

Follow-up is a fact of life. It’s what turns agreed to facts into fruition.

If you aren’t the leader in your own life, chances are that you’re following an unproductive lead and you aren’t following-up. Do some follow-up on your lack of follow-up and follow the pathway to more success.

All the best,

John

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January 25, 2013

Motivations

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 9:44 am

C166419 mThe following is not an all-inclusive list of motivations but these four are present in my life and I suspect in yours.

1. Fear

2. Necessity

3. Curiosity

4. Love

1. FEAR doesn’t need much explanation. We all have it and respond to it as a motivator quite often. For me, it’s usually in the form of “If I don’t do this, something dreadful will happen.”

2. We do many things out of NECESSITY. This often includes the duties of our jobs. Everyone answers to someone, even Bill Gates and the President of the United States, and that someone’s requests are necessary to fulfill to keep our jobs or to remain in good stead.

3. CURIOSITY is more fun than fear or necessity. Something has caught our attention and we want to explore a little bit more. There is a bit of anticipatory excitement with curiosity because we really don’t know what we’re going to find. Curiosity adds to our aliveness.

4. LOVE is the most selfless motivator. In part, it falls into the category of what you would do for another no matter what the consequences are for you. A subset of love is passion – a motivator that causes you to do things for yourself and others – things that make you feel alive.

I don’t know if there is a proper mix of all the above; I only know that I more prefer the feelings that go along with curiosity, passion and love.

I suspect that setting an intention and following a plan of action to be more curious and passionate will change our current percentages. It seems that it’s a matter of focus. If we remain too focused on our fears and necessities, our lives will be less filled with passion and love. That observation should get you curious enough to find a way to shift the percentages towards your preferences.

Fear and necessity aren’t going away, and thank God for that. They play an important motivational role in our lives. We just have to remind ourselves that we have other playmates that motivate us in different ways, and invite them over more often for play dates.

All the best,

John

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January 24, 2013

Caught Up in Concepts

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 5:13 am

C167156 mHave you ever wondered why you’re not moving forward as quickly as you think you should? After all, you are smart and competent and have a pleasing personality, and you’re good to your friends and family, not to mention that you’re kind to animals. What else could you possibly do?

Even if you don’t have all the aforementioned skills, you do have enough tools to get the job done. Here’s my experience of what gets in the way: Getting caught up in concepts.

Concepts “should” work but they have a poor history of finishing the job.

Who you think you are won’t move you forward. There is a common thread I’ve noticed in “Conceptualizers”; they think they are special and their specialness should make them attractive to people who can help them reach their goals.

Here’s something that’s not a concept: That specialness ends at the border of your skin and is not a passport to progress. You’re not going to be offered opportunities because you’re special; you’re going to get doors to open up when you display a willingness to do the job at hand and not expect special treatment.

Reminds me of many stories . . .

Back in my radio career, I rarely met a part-time radio personality who didn’t think they were better than the full-time people who were employed at the station. Their assessment may have even been true in some cases. It was often their concept of entitlement that stood in the way of their advancement.

The part-timers who rose to the ranks of full-time didn’t think they had already arrived. They were willing to do all that was necessary to make that transition happen. They weren’t hampered by the concept of “should”; only focused on what needed to be done to reach their goal.

A concept is only an idea. An idea needs action for implementation. If your only action is an assessment inside your head, your chances of moving forward are all but dead.

You only get paid for what you work for, not what your think you’re worth.

Entitlement is a concept that has us misplace the keys to progress and we’ll never find them in that special place.

All the best,

John

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January 23, 2013

Keeping You Conditioned

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 6:37 am

C381968 mWe have all been conditioned whether we notice or admit to it. Many of us will argue to keep our conditioning alive which is what our conditioners rely on to keep their agenda alive. Nowhere is this more evident than in TV commercials for drugs which all have some form of the magic phrase, “My doctor recommends” in them.

I have no axe to grind with doctors. I’m glad they are there when I need them and not there when I don’t. But most people I have met have doctors on a higher, heavenly rung than I do. By extension, the drug companies rely on your conditioning that what a doctor says is sacred scripture. So any ad that uses any version of the words, “My doctor,” “Your doctor,” or “doctors” is an attempt to use your conditioning to buy their drug or to ask your doctor to prescribe it.

You may never admit to being manipulated but your drug cabinet offers evidence to the contrary.

This isn’t a rant against prescription or over-the-counter drugs; it’s a suggestion to take notice of what my late teacher, Dr. Dave Dobson called, “Bad Hypnosis.”

“Bad Hypnosis” contains suggestions that would lead you down a path that’s not in your best interest. Bad hypnosis is also used to scare you into the arms of your conditioning so you’ll do something again that has never worked before.

Just for fun, start to notice the mention of the word “doctor” in drug ads. If you start to count, you’ll soon lose count because the word is ever present.

Let the word “doctor” in any ad become a trigger that you’re being offered some bad hypnosis. Advertising is using your conditioning to make you think you can’t live without their product, when their main concern is to keep that product, not you, alive.

I’ve spent my entire professional life around advertising and hypnosis and this I can say with certainty: “My doctor says you need to pay more careful attention.”

All the best,

John

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January 18, 2013

Feeling Powerless

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 7:43 am

C395209 mI’m sure you’ve been in situations where you felt powerless. I know I have. It’s what the late Dr. Dave Dobson called the highest state of fear.

Hopefully, it’s not your constant state of mind, but for some it is. It is easily evidenced by their penchant to constantly rant and rave. I’m guessing you have a few friends on Facebook who write in ALL CAPS!!!

I’m amused by them until I’m not. My amusement turns into concern because these folk are locked into the illusion of being powerless.

You would never consciously come to that conclusion by reading their words. Their soliloquies are filled with bombast and false bravado, but they are scared to death, scared that they have no power.

They haven’t stopped to notice that their rant isn’t making that feeling go away.

If you want to feel powerless, here is the formula: Equate power with control.

When we attempt to control our situation and can’t, which is always, we feel powerless and that can cause us to strike out. It reminds me of a story I’ve told before . . .

Years ago, I was at a christening and ran into a man who found out I did a talk show on the radio. He said, “Do you know the kind of people who call talk shows?” Before I could answer, he said, “I’ll tell you the kind of people who call talk shows. They’re the people who are in a bar and will bend anyone’s ear who will listen. When the last person in the bar also begins to ignore them, they go home and call you. That’s who calls talk shows.”

He wasn’t too far off the mark.

If you are ranting and raving about something and not doing something about it other than broadcasting your fear, you are steeped in the illusion of control and will continue to feel powerless.

Certainly not in every case, but this person tends to be more than a little overweight (obese), leans toward conspiracy theories, is into name calling and lays out a talk that’s rarely followed by a walk.

They are attempting to control the universe with their words. It’s hard enough getting a cab on a rainy night, but they set their sights exponentially high, causing a giant drop back to earth every time.

The best antidote to feeling powerless is to recognize you are feeling that way and just sit with the feeling. Acknowledging the feeling and allowing yourself to feel it, is the quickest way to metabolize the fear. Striking out rather than reflecting in will keep that fear in place, sometimes for a lifetime.

No doubt these people are angry, and anger sits on top of fear and is driven by it. If you are constantly angry, here’s a remedy: Notice that you are angry and don’t assign it to a cause. Just notice that you are angry and feel the anger. The minute you attempt to assign it to a cause, you go back into the anger loop and it will have you go round and round with endless rebound, without any relief.

Feel free to continue to “piss and moan” because we all do. But when it gets to be your regular practice, you are practicing to be angry and powerless for the rest of your life.

All the best,

John

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January 17, 2013

Defenseless

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

C508242 mGot an interesting perspective from The Grasshopper as he intoned this turn of a phrase: “The best defense is no defense at all.”

It immediately got me to wondering, “What are we defending?” It seems most often that we defend who we think we are. When we get defensive, we are putting up a fight for a false front that we present for public consumption, or as I like to say, “the person we made up and got comfortable with.”

There is a giant upside when you lay down your arms and stop defending your stunt double. Your false exterior begins to crumble and fall away and what’s left is nothing that needs a defense – You!

The real you is nothing or “no-thing.” It’s not a gender, a temperament, neither fat or skinny, rich or poor, smart or dumb. It doesn’t have a social security number, social status, or membership in a particular religion or political party. No wonder the real you needs no defense because all the above is stripped away, allowing an authentic you to come out and play.

Examine what you are defending and you will see that what you are doing is propping up a cardboard cutout and calling it “You.”

“You” can’t be defined or defended, but it is the core of who you are – a cauldron of nothingness that is the force of creation.

If you absolutely need a label to define yourself, try this one on for size: Creator.

When we are stripped down to our bare essence, we are creation machines.

Creativity doesn’t need a defense, just an open space to work its magic. We keep our space to create confined when we insist we are all the things we’ve defined. That is truly limiting behavior.

You open yourself to endless possibility when you open the barn door and let the horses run. They’re no longer corralled; just free-to-be without a name or a saddle, and nothing to rein in their creative force.

Every minute you spend to defend delays your ability to create. The maxim is simple: If you want to create more, defend less.

All the best,

John

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January 15, 2013

Knowing

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 9:27 am

C381805 mAt what point does one thing begin to become another? At what point does the caterpillar transition to a butterfly? In short, when does change happen?

I’m sure the actual moment of change happens in an instant, but we don’t recognize it that fast. Change sort of sneaks up on us, kinda’ like age.

What attitudes and behaviors did you have a decade ago that you don’t have now? When did the actual change take place? Sometimes we can point to a seminal event, but most often it just arrives and we notice it later.

Knowing also sneaks up on us. There is a certain sense of wisdom that just leaks out when we get to the point of knowing. Knowing isn’t knowledge; it’s a sense that we have a part of us where everything is taken care of.

Knowing doesn’t arrive as an “Ah-Ha” moment; it’s more of a transition from hurry and worry to a sense of peace. Knowing embodies the Buddha’s observation that, “Everything is as it should be.”

Knowing allows you to know that your response is the only choice you own. Your reactions own you. Once you know that you have the ability to respond vs. react to whatever life presents, life gets more peaceful.

There is less worry about how you’ll react because you now know that you have the ability to respond. Life is coming at us all at all times. If we have to plan our reactions to each of life’s events, we will be too preoccupied to notice that we have the ability to respond.

Make the transition to knowing happen quicker by opening yourself up to the idea that there is a part of you that knows and is capable of generating a response.

Here’s a hint to make the transition happen sooner: Give up the idea that you have control over anything. Once the illusion of control goes away in a puff of smoke, you begin to transition into a state of knowing.

If you reacted to these observations, your transition to knowing will take longer. If you embrace the idea that there is a part of you that takes care of everything, you’re in the know.

All the best,

John

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January 9, 2013

Refresh

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 7:57 am

C411408 mFor me, the opposite of the word “Fresh” is “Stale.” When I get stale, whether in word or deed, I look to refresh.

“Refresh” is to be fresh again. I think the freshest we’ve ever been is before we had thoughts in our head, when we were infants and toddlers.

Just notice that an infant or toddler lives in a world of experience where everything is fresh. There is wonderment all around. There is no debate in their head that they “should be doing something else” or internal comments about “the same, boring mobile that I stared at yesterday.”

When you get quiet in your head, even everyday things that you’ve seen countless times are seen in a new light. That’s because you are experiencing them rather than commenting on them or taking them for granted.

The same is true when interacting with people. People take on new dimensions when you experience them rather than when you have a running commentary in your head when you’re with them.

They take on a freshness, if you will. They really haven’t done anything different, but you have. You’ve made an intention of experiencing them rather than judging or compartmentalizing them.

The commentary will always be there if you want it or need it, but know this for sure: When you’re commenting inside your head, you are no longer experiencing whom or what you are in the presence of.

That stale old commentary is like the same joke you’ve heard for the hundredth time; it’s no longer fresh.

You can even freshen your commentary by refreshing and going back to experience. Seeing as you will be seeing or hearing new facets about something or someone when doing so, you’re ability to describe your experience becomes broader.

A final thought before I get quiet: A quiet mind opens you to a world of experience. Quieting your mind is a great way to refresh.

All the best,

John

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