GrasshopperNotes.com - Thoughts for inspired living


December 14, 2017

Unhappy Holidays

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Morgan @ 7:13 am

Sad SantaThe holidays are here or soon coming, and coming for some will be the holiday blues. Below is a Grasshopper message about unhappiness from Christmas Past. I hope you take the time to get a feel for it.

Speaking from personal as well as professional experience, we wage a war against unhappiness and lose every battle.

The problem is the declaration of war. It would be much more healthy and productive if we learned to peacefully co-exist with unhappiness. It’s like dog poop; it’s everywhere and it will always be around.

Reminds me of a story . . . about 20 years ago I took training in the martial art of Aikido. After being instructed in the basic movements, holds and falls, the most counter-intuitive thing to learn was to step into an attack. Every natural instinct seems to want us to move back and away from our attacker. The objective is to move in smaller circles than your attacker. When you enter their larger circle with a smaller one, you control where the action flows. It’s a simple principle to understand but harder to put into action due to our conditioning.

Our conditioning is to traditionally fight with unhappiness. We have plenty of help. Our entire advertising culture preys upon the conditioning that there is something wrong with being unhappy and offers us a quick fix. The medical and psychological community follows suit with prescriptions and remedies to chase away the blues.

Unhappy does not feel good and who in their right mind would want it to hang around?

We would be better served as human beings to let unhappiness have a time share unit within us. When it shows up, treat it with respect and spend time with it. It is a powerful emotion that can be a driving force to what’s next. But you have to let it take a seat and be with it in order to benefit by the energy it brings.

If you fight it, you are negating its energy field and you never get the upside from the downside. That’s because you are taking sides and making unhappiness be your enemy. Unhappiness is relentless and will keep battering the castle door until it gets in.

Fighting with unhappiness is more destructive and painful than letting it in. You make unhappiness an enemy by resisting it. “Make Unhappiness your Friend” is a book title that probably wouldn’t sell and a practice that wouldn’t catch on, but making it an acquaintance delivers benefits.

When you accept the unhappiness within, you give it free reign to roam around your body where it eventually tires out and takes a rest. If you keep resisting it in your mind, it will tire you out with countless weary battles.

There is something on the other side of unhappiness but you’ll never get there unless you allow it to naturally move through you.

Again, like Aikido, this is counter-intuitive and highly effective. It takes practice and the rewards of peace outweigh the spoils of war.

All the best,

John



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December 13, 2017

The Wave

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Morgan @ 2:20 am

WaveHave you ever experienced a wave? I’m not referencing the one in the ocean but, rather, a cultural phenomenon.

Reminds me of a story . . .

I used to be a radio broadcaster – a DJ. I moved to Kansas City for a radio job that looked quite promising. The station I worked for was a 50,000 Watt AM Powerhouse. I made more money than I ever had up to that point. Life was good.

What was going on below decks was the wave I was unaware of. I wasn’t alone. The wave was the tipping point of FM radio. Listeners went away in waves, almost overnight, from AM to FM and the station I worked for sank rapidly.

If we had been paying attention rather than pooh-poohing the upstart FMs, we would have left AM radio before it left us.

There is a wave going on in our country right now. It’s not a fad, nor is it something we can ignore. We do so at our own peril.

I don’t talk politics. It’s folly to do so. I talk more about patterns and change. The wave (change) that’s happening now is about women. More specifically, women, seemingly overnight, have found their collective voice and no one will be able to shout them down.

This women’s wave has been building for quite some time and most didn’t see it coming. And those most threatened by it continue to ignore the wave and pretend it’s a fancy that will pass. They will be swallowed up by its sheer force.

Wave goodbye to things the way they were. They will have their place in history but they will have no place in our current society.

We’ve entered a new era and those who ignore it will be ignored. It’s no wonder that “Wonder Woman” is one of the most successful movies of 2017.

To put a fine point on my point, I will leave you with lyrics from a Beach Boys Song I used to play on the radio: “Catch a wave and you’re sitting on top of the world.”

All the best,

John



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December 12, 2017

Comfort Zone

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 8:54 am

BeloRiskw is a post from long ago designed to make you uncomfortable.

“Success Lies Outside Your Comfort Zone.”

It’s my experience that marginal results come from staying inside our zone of comfort. If you claim you want success, you can’t refrain from moving towards the edge.

Many years ago, my hypnosis teacher, Dr. Dave Dobson use to say, “The luscious, ripe fruit is out on the skinny branches.” That picture he painted stays with me ’til this day and serves as a reminder that risk is a necessary part of reward.

The sales profession comes to mind. I’m sure there are some people who are very successful selling merchandise at parties out of their home – Tupperware, jewelry, makeup, etc. I’m also certain the successful ones are the exception rather than the rule. The bulk of the unsuccessful ones think they are professional sales people. They’re not. They are presenters and order takers. The successful sellers know the “dog and pony” show is only part of the skill set. They also know that future business isn’t going to come to them; they are going to have to seek it out.

That requires getting out of your comfort zone and making requests of “strangers.”

The life insurance industry knows they are going to have a large washout rate with beginning insurance sales people. They provide them training and then send them out to sell. Once these people pitch all their relatives and the neighbors they are “comfortable” with, their sales come to a standstill.

They all have a product to sell but most can’t sell it because they refuse to move out of their comfort zone. Here’s the ever-present excuse for failure to sell: “Oh, I’m just not a sales person.” Sorry, everyone is a sales person. The reason they’re not successful is because they won’t do what’s necessary – move out of their comfort zone.

We’re always selling something to somebody; it’s the give and take of life. That’s sales. To get better at sales, we need to make more requests. It’s really that simple. The first step to making a sale is making a request.

Want to get more sales in life? Make more requests. “But I’m not comfortable asking people for things,” you say. Then get used to not having what you want. I, again, for the zillionth time quote my 4th grade teacher, Miss Wagner: “You can either have what you want or your reasons why not.” Comfort is the reason you’re not successful.

You can either stay in your comfort zone (rut) or you can ask for what you want. Those are the plain and simple choices.

If you’re not in the habit of making requests, start. You can begin small and work your way up. But start now. When you branch out of your comfort zone, you start gathering in the fruits of you labor.

All the best,

John



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December 8, 2017

Doubt

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 5:08 am

120710 1409 doubt1I was visited by this blogpost from Christmas Past and thought the message would make the upcoming holidays more inclusive.

Seems just about everyone has a favorite Christmas movie – It’s a Wonderful Life, Elf, The Polar Express, A Charlie Brown Christmas, Christmas Vacation, etc.

The one that sticks with me most is Miracle on 34th Street (The Original). It stars a young Natalie Wood beginning to doubt the existence of Santa Claus. It’s a delightful film about believing and doubt.

Beliefs are something we all share in common. If you mentally exist, you believe.

Beliefs, by their nature, are exclusionary. The minute you commit to one, all the others on the same topic are on the outside looking in.

The stickiest of wickets is believing that your belief is right. “Right” is a word that has wronged for centuries. It’s also exclusionary. It makes anyone who believes differently from you on the other side of the fence.

The reason I like the little girl in “Miracle on 34th Street” so much is because she has doubts about her beliefs. It’s a childlike quality we can all aspire to because, by adulthood, our beliefs are more solid than month old fruitcake – no room for doubt.

Just like we bring out the holiday decorations once a year, it would serve us well to plug in an old belief and test it once a season to see if it still lights up – meaning, “Is it useful?”

Is there a long held belief you own that’s worthy of some doubt?

Doubt is the catalyst that makes you look in more than one direction.

Is this the season to dust off your doubt and bring it out?

Who purposely decorates their tree with burned out lights? – You and me when we refuse to use doubt to help us see.

Beliefs get re-gifted from one generation to the next never being questioned for their truth. Sadly, when we get to this true believer stage, there’s little room for doubt.

If no one else gets it for you this holiday season, you can give yourself the gift of doubt. It lights up the dark corners of Christmases past to see if their gifts are bright enough to light the way to a less rigid future.

This Christmas make sure the most enlightening gift is on your wish list. It’s the “Talking Thomas” doll – You just pull a string and he says, “I doubt it!”

All the best,

John



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December 7, 2017

Your Spirit Never Gets Old

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 5:46 am

NewImageAs we approach Christmas and the holiday season, I found an old post that addresses spirit and how it never gets old.

Old, as we have discussed before, lives somewhere on a continuum that’s older than you are. The old axiom, “the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak” underscores that our spirit remains the same. It’s vibrant and unchangeable.

My grandmother, whom I’ve also mentioned before, had a response to the question of “How are you doing?” She would say, “I’m getting old.” She never admitted to being old, only getting there. My mother was less delicate. She would respond to the same question by saying, “Not bad for an old broad.”

These people were in tune with their ageless spirit until their dying day. They recognized that old really is a mindset.

I have always had a great rapport with older women. I think it stems from a suggestion I got from my father in the 4th grade. Perhaps a story would be helpful . . .

The school I attended had a raffle each Fall and each student was required to sell tickets. After you sold your mother, father, aunts, uncles, grandparents and nearby neighbors, you had to find new customers. I was a little hesitant going out and asking strangers if they wanted to buy raffle tickets.

My father gave me the strategy that proved quite effective. Before I tell you his suggestion, I will remind you that at that time, most women did not work outside of the home. They were known as homemakers or referred to as a term that I’ve come to despise, “housewives.”

My father said it was most likely that a woman would answer the door. He said the first question I should ask them is not, “Do you want to buy a raffle ticket for my school?” He said to ask, “Is your mother home?” He said no matter how old the woman answering the door; I was to ask that question first. I sold the most raffle tickets in my class.

I was addressing the ageless spirit in each of those women by using that piece of stealth flattery I got from my father.

It grew into more than flattery for me as I grew older. I found that I began talking with older women and men the same way I would talk to people my age. I never made them feel old. I never presupposed that because they were older, they wouldn’t get what I was talking about or be offended by something I would readily say to someone of my generation.

Older people don’t need to be protected. They have lived longer than you and have survived more than you can imagine. To treat them as less of a citizen because of their age is demeaning.

Also, I have come to ask older people their opinions on decisions I have been contemplating. The wisdom that pours out is priceless.

Yes, you will find older people that only want to talk about their health and prescriptions and how it used to be, but you will also find those people in any adult age group. Once you’ve weeded out the chronic complainers, you will find a treasure of perception that may not be readily apparent to you.

If you assume they don’t know, you’ll never ask and remain impoverished.

Find your version of “Is your mother home?” and discover a mother lode from someone in their “Golden Years.”

All the best,

John



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December 6, 2017

Home For The Holidays

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 9:28 am

120610 1234 homefortheh1

Below is a blogpost from 7 years ago today that sets the tone for the upcoming holidays.

There really is something magical about home.

Home is more than a place to hang your hat, as the old expression goes. It’s a refuge.

It’s more than a house, an apartment, or a room. It’s a love filled womb.

Everything is taken care of when you are home.

The multi-talented, Jazz/Pop singer, Michael Bublé sings an enchanting song about this sought after, soft landing called “Home.”

Truth be told, home isn’t a place; it’s a feeling.

The feeling you get when you are home cannot be described in words. It’s the peace that passes all understanding.

If you are attempting to find home by mentally seeking it, you will always encounter noise. There are no magical thoughts that get you to the peace of home. In fact, it’s the absence of thought that ensures you find your way to that ‘homey’ feeling.

If you hear the song “(There’s No Place Like) Home For The Holidays” this holiday season, let it serve as a reminder that home lies beneath all the hustle and bustle and is always there to welcome you.

Your job is to find a way to let the noise calm down. When you take steps to calm the noise in your mind, you are at the threshold of peace, and if you take the time to look down, you’ll see a door mat that says, “Welcome Home.”

All the best,

John



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December 4, 2017

Reality vs. Destiny

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 9:01 am

Destiny

Here’s a post from 8 years ago that’s just as “real” today as it was then.

When you pit reality against destiny, it’s a mismatch.

Reality ALWAYS wins.

It’s amazing to me how we try and squeeze reality into our model of destiny. It’s the typical case of attempting to arrange the facts so they support our belief.

There is no arranging reality.

Destiny has an air of resignation about it. “It was meant to be this way.” Truth is, the only meaning it contains is the one you consciously added to it. That would be like saying, “The wind meant to blow off my roof.” The wind doesn’t care. It just is.

No one has a fate for you all lined up and ready to go. When you believe that, you can make an excuse for anything, my favorites of which are: “The Devil made me do it” and “It was God’s plan.”

I can think of no more limiting concept than destiny. It’s something we made up. Notice that reality contains the word “Real.”

Destiny keeps you contained in a self made box. Reality has no limitations.

The only destiny that exists is contained in your patterns of belief. Change your belief and you change your destiny. That’s the reality of destiny.

“I was meant to be poor” is a destiny myth. The reality is, “You were patterned to be poor.”

Your patterns can be your destiny if you let them. The key to a self made destiny is to notice your patterns. So many of them run on automatic pilot that we fail to notice the stimulus/response contained in each one of them.

Noticing that you have patterns is noticing reality. When we begin to notice reality, we begin to see the building blocks of the pattern we have labeled as “Destiny.”

You can create your own destiny; you just have to notice that you have the ability to do so. The process begins by noticing the reality of stimulus/response. When you recognize a stimulus and interrupt your patterned response to it and choose another, you have chosen a new destiny.

Unlike the current model of being resigned to your destiny, the new model of manifesting your own destiny takes some action on your part.

The action is to notice that your “Destiny” was created by your conditioned thoughts and behaviors. When you make the effort to interrupt them and choose others, you will discover the reality of your destiny.

All the best,

John



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December 1, 2017

The End of The Movie

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 2:00 am

MovieAs I get older, I find myself asking, “How does this movie end?”

The focus is not so much on my ending but, more so, on what will happen with the people I leave behind.

There’s really no way to tell, but it doesn’t keep me from wondering.

How will my children and grandchildren fare? How will my surviving friends and other family members make out? Does the “Law & Order” TV franchise ever end?

I want to leave them something, something other than tangible things. I heard Katie Cassidy the daughter of the late, teen star David Cassidy quote her father’s last words: “So much wasted time.”

She took her dad’s message to heart and vowed to make the most of her time. Her father left her with a guidepost.

I remember when I turned 50. My father called to wish me happy birthday and I asked him a question. I said, “Dad, you’ve already been 50. If you were 50 again, what would you do differently? He didn’t hesitate and replied, ‘save more money.'”

He gave me a great birthday present.

I sure hope I’m acting in an epic movie that goes on for a long time but every movie ends. So what can I leave to those near and dear when I leave the theatre?

I’d like to leave them the gift of response.

So much of our lives are about patterned reactions which become stale over time and stultify life. Nothing new comes to us when we’re in reaction mode, which is almost always.

The gift I want to give to my family and friends is to let them know that they always have the ability to respond rather than react. Just becoming aware of your ability to respond brings more freshness to your life. Acting on that awareness and choosing a response brings a lifetime of options – options that would have remained hidden in the shadows of a reaction.

Each time you see the credits rolling at the end of a movie or TV show, let them serve as a reminder that you’re more than a pat answer. You’re a creator of responses – ones that direct your own version of “It’s A Wonderful Life.”

All the best,

John



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