GrasshopperNotes.com - Thoughts for inspired living


March 28, 2014

Caring

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 6:31 am

C284104 mThe Grasshopper disguised himself as the Care Bear and delivered this: “No one can make you care but there is a price to pay for not caring.”

Caring presupposes that you include others; not caring keeps others out of your life.

If there is only room in your life for you, you don’t care.

Caring is giving of yourself, not just your resources.

Bending the Hallmark slogan a bit, “When you care enough to give the very best,” you give yourself.

The longer the list of things you don’t care about, the less inclusive your life will be. When that list is made up of mainly people, the less people you will have in your life.

From my vantage point, not caring is often a protection mechanism – protection from being hurt. The underlying pattern is this: If I keep it at arm’s length, it can’t hurt me.

Are you keeping life at arm’s length?

There’s not a list of things you must do that gets you to caring. For example, don’t volunteer at the retirement home if you don’t feel it because your lack of caring will be transparent.

It’s best to notice how much you don’t care and discover that it’s the wall between you and the world. Once you discover the correlation, then you can get curious about what you can care about. You don’t have to include everything, but beginning to care about one thing is a start.

You can go a lifetime justifying what you don’t care about. That exercise will produce a long list that someone can read at your funeral that few will care to attend.

All the best,

John



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March 26, 2014

Conversations

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 6:49 am

C432992 sDid you ever notice that the conversations in your head go nowhere? The same argument that you had yesterday, last week, last year, last millennium or beyond is still going strong, and still going nowhere.

If your mind had an announcer for what was going on in there, he/she would say, “And the thought loops just keep on coming.”

The key to finding an exit ramp from the thought loop is to notice that you’re caught in one. Just take a step back and witness the conversation continuing. You become the audience rather than a participant. It’s really entertaining when you stop to notice. There is a whole production going on in there just waiting to be noticed.

Noticing disengages you from the conversation. You become present to it rather than consumed by it. It’s really a monumental step forward in discovering that you are not your thoughts. They are independent of you. You can prove that to yourself by just taking a moment and witnessing what goes on in your own head.

You discover that you are much deeper than thought. It’s quite the discovery.

It’s interesting to me how serendipitous life can be. When I was struck with the idea for this post about conversations in our heads the other day, I got an email from Jerry Stocking inviting me to read his blog post called “Visible and Invisible Thinking.” It details a process of not only noticing the thoughts but how to deconstruct them so they lose their hold on you. I invite you to read it by clicking here.

Discovering you begins by noticing you are not your thoughts or the labels you affix to yourself. You can notice and pull apart that thinking apparatus and construct a lighter method of living.

All the best,

John



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March 19, 2014

Emergencies

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 2:39 am

C449623 mThe Grasshopper donned his fireman’s helmet early this morning and had this to say: “In an emergency, it’s more advantageous to focus on what you can do vs. what you can’t do.”

Time is your enemy in an emergency; ask any EMT or firefighter. The more time spent on “can’t” has your solution burn to the ground. Reminds me of a story . . .

I used to work with the world’s laziest engineer back in my radio days. I may be exaggerating a bit with the word “laziest,” but I don’t think I’m that far off. He did have his upside though. He was the best engineer I ever worked with when there was an emergency.

When I asked him to do routine things, he brought out his string of lame excuses why he couldn’t get to them. It was maddening. Every minor project took days of asking and cajoling to get completed. But in an emergency, off came his Clark Kent glasses and on went his red cape. There was no longer any red tape. He flew to the rescue and in “faster than a speeding bullet” time.

There are some people you hope never to share a foxhole with. They would be the “can’t be done” crowd. The image of Nero fiddling away while Rome was burning comes to mind.

There is a time for well reasoned, long winded, “can’t be done” conversations. In an emergency is not that time. Emergencies call for laser focus and speedy decisions. That’s how people who are known as “leaders” gained their reputation. Reminds me of a story my friend, Paul told during a communications workshop . . .

He asked participants to imagine this: You win a contest where the Today Show asks you to come on and do a live segment and interview your favorite performer for 5 minutes. The producer asks if you can come up with enough questions to fill up 5 minutes and you enthusiastically answer, “Yes!”

You are now on the set with your favorite performer and you are 30 seconds away from air time. All of a sudden, the producer is talking to you in your earpiece and announcing that an attempt on the Pope’s life has been made. Your segment has to be cut to 90 seconds before they cut away to Rome. Paul now asked, “Would you be able to pare down your questions, on the fly, to the most important ones for your interview?

There are times when there is no time to phone a friend. That’s an emergency. It’s time to focus on what you can do. If you get lost in the loop of what can’t be done, you may as well stick a fork in yourself because you’re done.

We have all faced emergencies in the past and will face more in the future. It’s the nature of reality. The question is this: What response will you have – Can or Can’t? One puts a firehose in your hand; the other causes you to hopelessly rant.

All the best,

John



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March 18, 2014

Biggest Impediment

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 7:58 am

C442673 mThe Grasshopper offered a small morsel that’s a mouthful: “The biggest impediment to change is the mindset of ‘I don’t have to change.'”

The hidden part of that observation is that the mindset may be hidden from some people. They may think they are open to change when, in fact, their actions suggest otherwise.

It seems odd to me that people who take the most self-help courses fall in the category of “resistant to change.” That is my experience. My guess is that they believe by taking the course, it will change them. It won’t. Only a series of sustained actions after the course or reading the book will bear fruit. Their patterned belief is that something outside of them will change them. They will take that belief into their next course and get the same results they got before. Their mindset has to change before change is possible.

There are others who own the mindset of “I don’t have to change” that isn’t hidden from them. They have an air of “I know better” about them. You will often witness them lobbying for you to change to their way when their way clearly isn’t working for them. No one likes being wrong, but these people loathe it. They will lobby long after their argument has been disproven that they were right. They will stay on an intellectual path that bears no fruit.

“Results” win all arguments.

In order to get results, you have to act, not proselytize or show up at yet another course.

If people “don’t get you,” it’s your fault. There is something you are doing that isn’t working. That something needs to change.

The next time someone tells you that what you’re doing isn’t working, you may want to take that as a wake-up call that your notion of “I don’t have to change” needs to change.

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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March 4, 2014

The Cure

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Morgan @ 8:30 am

C167341 mWho hasn’t experienced humdrum? It’s a state of mind that keeps us humming the same tune. Is there a cure? Yes, I’m happy to report that there is.

The remedy arrives by adding another syllable to the word “Cure.”

Cure then becomes curiosity.

Humdrum put down roots and settled in the day we stopped getting curious.

You don’t have to roust humdrum from your mind; it will leave on its own volition when you get curious.

Did curiosity really kill the cat or was it just the catalyst to kill off a dull existence?

Find out for yourself by getting curious.

What you will find is that curiosity opens your mind to options. Those options often lead to passion for something that was lying dormant under the doormat of humdrum.

The cure is to get curious.

Start to wonder about things to get curious about and act on what you come up with.

Curiosity also engages your creativity. How curious are you about what creations you can come up with? New possibilities become more probable when curiosity becomes your mindset of choice.

There is nothing to buy and no 7-step plan you need to follow. Just decide to get curious and discover the cure for humdrum.

All the best,

John



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March 3, 2014

Unwilling to Participate

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Morgan @ 8:48 am

C703875 mLike everyone, I have my hot buttons. I don’t get hooked by them as much as I used to but I still have my moments.

One of my most “sizzling” ones is the funhouse mirror logic many people have bought into that they don’t have to participate in their own success. They passively expect success without participation, as though attaining success is akin to getting a massage.

I know countless people who have gone to real estate seminars where they present all the ways you can make money in real estate. I’m only guessing here but I’m willing to bet that the number of people who actually make money in real estate as a result is less than 5%.

Did they receive bad information? I don’t think so. The methods presented all work when you work at them. How many times have you heard that someone “tried” a diet and it didn’t work? “I tried the chocolate covered snails diet and it didn’t work.” All diets, no matter how bizarre, work. You just have to continue to work at them.

What’s not being said is, “I expect results without having to do all the work.” That is a fairy tale that will never become a reality.

“I prayed and prayed and I didn’t get what I wanted.” What did you “do and do” to get what you desired? Did you participate in your own success?

Years ago, I got the best piece of advice when I was out of work. I was at a Richard Bolles seminar in 1980 and heard this: “When you’re unemployed, your full-time job is seeking employment.” He went on to add that if your normal job required 8 hours of work a day, you needed to spend 8 hours each day that you were unemployed looking for work.

“I just can’t find anything.” “No one is hiring.” “The job market is soft.”

“Did you work 8 hours a day looking for work?”

“Well, I made some calls, sent out some emails and they didn’t get back to me.”

Think about the absurdity of the next statement which I’ve heard hundreds of times: “I joined a gym but it didn’t work for me.”

“Did you go to the gym regularly?” “Did you do the exercises they recommended?” “Did you do more than pay your fee and buy a cool workout outfit?”

The level of expectation that people expect without participation is enormous, in fact, epidemic.

Just once, I’d like to hear someone say, “I’m just not willing to work that hard to get what I say I want.” That response would be rarer than a politician answering the question you asked.

If you are unwilling to participate in your own success, you will remain unsuccessful with a litany of stories as to why something didn’t work.

You and your actions are the main characters in your success story. If you’re always a bridesmaid and never a bride, the probability is high that you’ve never gotten behind the wheel – you’re just along for the ride.

There is a certain amount of luck involved in any success but it plays a cameo role compared to the star of the show – Participation.

All the best,

John



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