GrasshopperNotes.com - Thoughts for inspired living


September 19, 2017

Weathering the Storm

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

Weathering the StormThe Grasshopper had an interesting observation the other day: “Describing your entire life by how you feel at the moment is like describing your life by one weather pattern.”

We’ve all had moments when drama has taken over our life. “Woe is me, the propane tank on the grill is empty.” If we let that incident linger too long, it kidnaps our thinking and colors our entire outlook.

“Into each life some rain must fall” is a line from a Henry Wadsworth Longfellow poem. It was meant to be an observation on life, not a lifetime sentence.

Getting sucked into the drama is easy; getting out takes some recognition and practice.

Since I’m heavy on quotes today, “this too shall pass” is a mindset worth developing.

The key is to recognize you’ve slipped into drama. If you’re around other people, just notice their expressions when they look at you. “Is he/she for real?” is what you’ll interpret.

If you’re alone, just observe your circular thinking. You’re smart enough to recognize the thought the first time it comes around. But if it’s on its 33rd pass through your mind, you’re deep into drama and consumed by the storm.

What to do? Start the practice of observing your thoughts. Observe as a bystander and not as a participant. Noticing your mind at work from an outside vantage point removes you from the drama and gives you wider perspective as to where to head next. Before observation, you were trapped in an endless loop, which makes you “loopy.”

Recognizing your own drama is a catalyst towards peace of mind and the shelter necessary to weather the storm.

All the best,

John



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September 15, 2017

Achilles Heel

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 4:20 am

Achilles HeelHere’s an excerpt from a Grasshopper Note from a decade ago on “Flashback Friday.” “Your strongest asset is your Achilles Heel.”

This seems like backwards logic. It is! Sometimes you have to look at something from a different vantage point to get a deeper meaning.

Imagine for a moment that you are one of the kindest people in the world. If you chart your kindness on a straight line on a scale from zero to one hundred, you are to the far right side of the middle. Expect to get shot in the foot if you identify with that position because your greatest strength will become your weakness.

Kindness is a wonderful trait and, like all traits, it has its limitations. How effective is it to be kind to someone who’s about to take your life? Reminds me of a story . . .

Many years ago I was reading the book JAWS 2. You know I had to be bored. The author tells a story of a young man being forced down to the ocean late at night at gunpoint. The gunman is set on murder. The hostage is thinking to himself that if I turn around real quickly, I’ll be able to knock the gun out of his hand and save my life. He never acted on that impulse. He also didn’t leave any heirs.

Suppose that you own the skill of identifying someone’s weakness or shortcoming the moment you meet them. Many would consider that to be an asset. After all, it would protect you from entering an agreement with someone who is unscrupulous. Hooray! That time it worked for you.

But let’s say you use that same skill to unflatteringly label someone. Next, you may get caught up in all the drama of what that label means to you. You would dismiss that person out of hand and never take the opportunity to go deeper with them.

Your strongest suit became your weakest because you never really explored the person. You got trapped in your labeling system. Your new best friend could be standing right in front of you and you wouldn’t recognize them because of how adept you are at spotting imperfections.

We are proficient at many things. The minute that you set your expertise in concrete, you will eventually sink to the bottom of the ocean. The secret is to recognize and honor your skill and then mentally let it go. This means not to call this skill you. It’s a part of you. Just like a hammer is part of your tool box. Who trims their prized petunias with a mallet?

Use your tool wisely and only for the job it’s suitable for. Search for the appropriate tool for each project and you become a craftsman.

Reminds me of a guy I used to work with in radio. He was a Top 40 DJ. He spoke fast and at the top of his voice. He was LOUD! He only had one delivery in his tool kit. It worked great when he did Rock & Roll concert commercials. You would laugh out loud if you heard the one he recorded for a retirement community.

If you prize your prettiness, someday it will leave you. If you identify with your possessions, you are a target.

The ancient Chinese Philosopher Lao-Tzu put it this way: “By not prizing goods hard to get, you will cause the people from robbing and stealing.”

Enjoy your skills and use them to your best advantage. Just don’t get married to them because you are destined for divorce.

Discover that you are deeper than your abilities, preferences and prejudices and you get to take a bigger, juicier bite out of the apple of life.

All the best,

John



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September 14, 2017

The Learning Zone

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 4:46 am

Comfort ZoneWe’re all familiar with the concept of “Comfort Zone.” That’s a valuable piece of recognition because when we’re not in it, we’re in the “Learning Zone” – if we pay attention.

When you get out of your comfort zone, the initial response is to get back into it. That tactic will produce no new learning.

To learn something new, you have to get comfortable with being uncomfortable.

Learning is done out at the edge. Notice when you’re out on the edge, you pay more attention to things you would normally overlook or be oblivious to. If you’re at the edge of a cliff, notice how much more attention you give to your footing.

You learn something about yourself that you didn’t know before if you pay attention when you’re uncomfortable.

Your attention is keener at the edge and keener attention produces new learning.

Crawling back to your cave just keeps you in the dark.

I remember my hypnosis teacher Dr. Dave Dobson urging us to get closer to people we felt uncomfortable around. It pays two dividends.

1. You learn more about the other person.

2. You learn more about yourself.

If you’re done learning, stay in your comfort zone. But if you want to continue learning, spend some more time near the edge. It will keep you razor sharp for all of your days.

All the best,

John



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September 8, 2017

Ignoring the Tingle Will Cost You Jingle

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

SharkI think one of the costliest sins we commit is not following our own advice and our own instincts. Such was the case with me yesterday and it cost me $3000. I won’t bore you with the details of my stupidity; just offer you what I wrote 10 years ago. I called it “Signs.”

Are you asking for a sign? My experience tells me that’s like a fish asking where the water cooler is.

Did you ever notice that you set up the framework for the sign you are asking for? You may say something like, “if this or that happens, then that will be a sign.” Again, I can only judge from my experience, but the success ratio of that strategy seems less than casino odds.

I do have experience with seeing signs – mostly after the event happens. The signs are always there; many of us just don’t see them.

The collapsed bridge usually had fissures in its framework that were discovered after the tractor trailer fell into the river. They were there before the event. My friend, Jim was a long time member of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. He says that you always bring something into a crime scene and leave with something from a crime scene. Clues are always present.

So the question becomes how do we spot ever present signs? Your body will tell you.

Your body is a sign Geiger counter. We just don’t pay too much attention to our bodies. We rely mainly on our thoughts. That means we stay in our head and rarely visit with our body.

Animals are in tune with their bodies. They don’t take the time to think. The 2004 deadly tsunami in the Indian Ocean had prior clues. Humans missed them; wild animals headed for high ground. They were in tune with their bodies.

How did your mother know you were lying? She sensed it in her body. There was no conversation in her head needed. She had subconsciously catalogued many experiences with you over the years and stowed away the clues. Then when a similar experience came up again, she received a certain feeling in her body that produced the word “fib” in her mind.

Culturally, we have gotten away from trusting our bodies. That’s because so much attention is given to the intellect. Our whole educational system is based on facts and figures. We have given short shrift to such an important part of our learning.

When you start paying more attention to your body, you see more signs. You don’t have to ask for them.

The two step process of seeing more is feeling more.

1. Start noticing that you have a body complete with sensations.

2. Pay attention when your “spider sense” starts to tingle and you’ll start seeing signs beforehand.

I wish I had paid attention to my own advice.

All the best,

John



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