GrasshopperNotes.com - Thoughts for inspired living


November 13, 2017

Action Verbs

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 6:10 am

Here’s a blast from my radio past.

DiagramVerbs are the action words of the English language. They often communicate movement. Verbs also have tenses – too many to mention, so let’s focus on the three that are used most – past present and future. Reminds me of a story . . .

Back in 1974 I was offered a radio job in St. Louis by a man I came to like less and less. I was, however, impressed by a piece of information he shared with me on the phone. He told me that my performance would improve by making one slight adjustment – using action verbs. For example, if you are the morning DJ on a station, you may say something like, “WXYZ the home of the hits and you may be having trouble popping out of bed this morning so here is my way of helping you with a song by Stark Naked & the Car Thieves on WXYZ.”

His suggestion would be to say, “WXYZ – the home of the hits pops you out of bed and gets you on your way. Here’s Stark Naked & The Car Thieves on WXYZ.” It was more succinct and communicated more action. Little did I know that was the only helpful piece of information he would ever offer.

Have you noticed that action can only take place now?

“I raked the leaves last fall” has no impact on the pile sitting on your lawn right now. Action may have taken place in the past but that is only a memory now. Raking is not happening now. It happened then.

“I’m going to begin an exercise program” has no current action attached to it. It’s deferred to the future, yet our mind thinks we have taken action by making this declaration.

How many of your verbs are past and future related? Action can only take place in the present tense.

One of my most unfavorite phrases is, “I tried that.” Forget for a moment that the word “try” connotes no action. When I investigate the person’s use of this phrase with follow-up questions, I usually discover there was a lack of necessary effort on their part to achieve their goal.

Goals require sustained action. The athlete who only turns it on for the big game will have a shorter career than most. When his physical prowess begins to diminish, he has nothing to fall back on. The athlete who takes sustained action elongates his professional window of opportunity.

How much hit and miss is present in your life? It boils down to a noun that needs the moving energy of a verb – Action.

After formulating a goal, here is a suggestion: Ask yourself, “What action can I take right now to move towards this desire?” The answer may be “nothing at this time” but there is action embedded in the question.

Develop the practice of asking yourself, “What action can I take right now?” You will surprise yourself how much more action you take by asking this one simple present moment question.

Go ahead, give it a spin right now and see what happens.

WHAT ACTION CAN I TAKE RIGHT NOW?

All the best,

John



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November 9, 2017

Solution Pollution

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 4:45 am

ExcusesThe Grasshopper came up with this definition the other day: “Justifications: Telltale signs that you’re not working on a solution.”

I recently wrote something called Explaining Why Until You Die and this post is an addendum to that observation.

Justifications either move you backwards or keep you in place. They rarely lead to forward progress.

When we’re busy justifying, we take all our time looking for a scapegoat or a support group to agree with us instead of taking that opportunity to seek a solution.

Solutions can’t occupy the same space as justifications. Justifications and solutions mix even less than oil and water.

I just saw a football player’s apology online. It started with an explanation (justification) of why he did what he did. There is no room in an apology for a justification. It keeps the bad blood in place and the solution you purport to want at arm’s length.

An effective and heartfelt apology is completely falling on your sword. Anything else will come off as half-baked. You may as well have said, “Let them eat cake.”

Here’s a suggestion: If you need to apologize for something, write it out first and then read it over. If it contains any reasons (justifications) why you acted the way you did, it simply won’t work. Take away the justification and clear the way toward a solution.

If you really want a solution, edit out the justification and remove the pollution.

All the best,

John



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November 3, 2017

As I’ve Always Said . . .

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 6:13 am

PompousHow often have you heard the phrase, “As I’ve always said” from people who said no such thing?

“As I’ve always said” is a red flag that you’re about to hear some form of a backtrack phrase designed to cover what they emphatically once said to the contrary.

It’s amazing to me the lengths we will go to avoid saying, “I was wrong.”

I’m reminded of the character Fonzie from the 70s TV series “Happy Days” and his inability to say certain words (see clip HERE).

The failure to apologize without justification is just another form of the fear of being wrong.

The smell of elephant dung leaves the room when you make room for being wrong.

The odds for being right all the time are never in our favor. Being able to acknowledge being wrong about something gets you a seat at the adult table.

For you sports fans, I remember saying that quarterback Jameis Winston was going to be the next Vince Young (a college standout who was a flash in the pan as a pro). Boy was I wrong. This kid is flourishing.

How hard is it to acknowledge that your opinion didn’t pan out or that something you did was wrong? You’ll garner more respect and, frankly, feel better when you do.

As I’ve always said, “when I’m right, I’m right.” Too bad for me I can’t say it that often.

All the best,

John



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