GrasshopperNotes.com - Thoughts for inspired living


June 26, 2017

“When I was your age . . .”

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 3:45 am

AdviceNot too long ago, The Grasshopper offered this perception:

“It’s Not Advice, It’s Input.”

I stopped giving advice a number of years ago because it too often seemed to fall on those who couldn’t hear. Then I discovered input.

I found that advice doesn’t give the receiver the sense of choice. Your advice is often perceived by them as “the only way,” and meant for someone else, not them.

Advice has a top down quality to it. It comes from “on high” which frequently translates to low value by the intended beneficiary of your “divine” wisdom.

Input is perceived more as a suggestion, rather than an edict. I often preface any input with the computer axiom of “garbage in, garbage out.” In other words, here’s something you can try on for size. Either it fits or it doesn’t. That makes the receiver the chooser, rather than the modern day Moses on Mount Sinai.

It’s my experience that input has more of a chance of getting through, whereas advice runs into built in barriers of resistance.

“If I were you” is advice; “Here’s something that worked for me” is input. This may seem like semantics on the surface but one registers more deeply than the other.

I would advise you to start using input but that would only be me giving you advice. I find it works better if you decide to try it on your own.

All the best,

John



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June 16, 2017

Tell Me a Story

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 1:33 am

StoryHere’s an old story I found in The Grasshopper archives:

“I Don’t Know More; I’ve Just Experienced More.”

We’ve all given advice, some solicited, most not. I’ve come to learn it’s better to be asked. And when delivering that requested advice, I find it more productive to come from the angle of experience rather than a position of your superior knowledge.

When you come from the position of knowledge, you immediately put the person on the receiving end of your wisdom a rung or two lower than you on the ladder. That distance makes your message harder to hear.

When you come from experience, you’re just telling a personal story about you that another can glean insight from, rather than feeling like they’re attending a lecture on how to live.

Become a better storyteller and you’ll help a lot more people. People like to hear stories; that’s why so many successful traditions use them. Think no further than the teachings of the ancient Chinese to Buddha to Jesus to George Lucas.

Your stories come from your experience. They’re authentic and they teach without preach.

So the next time you’re asked for your advice, rather than telling them what you know, share an experience and watch them grow.

All the best,

John



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June 14, 2017

Steeped in Stupid

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 1:48 am

DenialHere is a Grasshopper Note from just a few years ago:

“Denial: Doubling Down On Dumb.”

“Denial” and “Defensive” go hand-in-hand and they grab on to the lamest justifications one can imagine.
Reminds me of a story I’ve told before . . .

My boyhood friend who turned into a lifelong drunk was lamenting why he wasn’t as successful as he could be as a musician. He was in his late 30s at the time. The reason he wasn’t successful was because, when he was 18, his father wouldn’t lend him the money to buy the organ he wanted to play in his band.

That’s doubling down on dumb!

When we are focused on our stories of denial, we deny ourselves the opportunity to see a way forward. Our stories trap us in the dark past where light is at a premium. When we defend our stories, we just shine a light on our ignorance.

Sad to report that my friend is now in his 60s and has been in and out of orange jumpsuits for DUI infractions too many times to count. I’m sure he’s still telling the organ story, albeit through slurred words and denying that he has any culpability for his lot in life.

Just examine your excuses and find out how dumb they are. What story have you been telling that keeps you in place? Examine how often you deny the logic that’s been presented to you time and again. If you’re getting the same results (which are no results at all), it’s time to gather up the dumb stuff and put it in a U-Haul.

The truth about denial is you know you’re doing it, but deny you are.

If you want your fortunes to change, it’s time for a trip to the dump to drop off your denial and find out first hand that dumb isn’t forever.

All the best,

John



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June 8, 2017

Belly Laughter

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 6:48 am

LaughterThe Grasshopper offered up something yesterday that made me smile: “If you’re not laughing everyday, something’s wrong.”

I don’t think his message suggests becoming a “grinning idiot”; it’s more of a nudge to start noticing the lighter side which is available even on cloudy days.

“Laughter is the best medicine” is an interpretation of Proverbs 17:22 which reads: “A joyful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit drys up the bones.”

I don’t think I’m revealing any secrets here by saying that miserable people are dried up and their brittleness infuses everything they do.

Misery and looking for the lighter side are both mindsets. One takes you down a dark road; the other offers brighter options.

Norman Cousins was a journalist and author of the book Anatomy of an Illness. After suffering a life-threatening disease, he discovered alleviation through laughter. Quoting Cousins, “I made the joyous discovery that ten minutes of genuine belly laughter had an anesthetic effect and would give me at least two hours of pain-free sleep.”

It’s in your best interest to regularly find something to laugh about. The soothing result is this: Finding time for mirth makes your existence less painful on earth.

Final thought: If you choose to remain steeped in misery, it’s nothing to laugh about because the joke’s on you.

All the best,

John



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June 6, 2017

Bag Your Baggage

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 11:36 pm

BaggageCame across this past nugget from The Grasshopper:

“Our Personal Baggage: We’re Over-Packed For The Trip Of Life.”

Over the years I have been fond of labeling someone I couldn’t cozy up to as having too much baggage. That meant they had too many obstacles in the way of me getting closer to them.
The real discovery was it was my own baggage that got in the way of me getting to know someone better.

Let me re-label baggage as our “prejudice, patterns or conditioning.” We accumulate a lot of conditioning along the way and it weighs us down when it comes to warming up to others.

The key to better relating is to discover we’re not better than another – just someone who’s been conditioned differently. When we trace the conditioning path we have traveled, we can see the stops where we picked up a specific piece of luggage.

Oftentimes, we picked up the baggage by osmosis, meaning we learned the new patterns, prejudice or conditioning without knowing we learned it. It just seems to be something we were born with. Tracing our path shows us it was not.

Examining our conditioning, dispassionately, shines a light on our own baggage, allowing inspection to be much easier. What you’ll discover is that you are carrying too much. The key, going forward, is to pack lighter, by leaving the extraneous behind.

This results in you being lighter (translation: less serious) and not taking yourself so seriously. This lightness will open you up to more people, resulting in more ease in relating because there is less baggage to bog you down.

Packing light allows us to see more of the light and exposes our dark side, so we can leave it by the wayside.

All the best,

John



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