GrasshopperNotes.com - Thoughts for inspired living


August 21, 2019

Pay Attention!

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Morgan @ 2:42 pm

Redcharlie QohYeMg19c unsplashThe Grasshopper popped in during my swim today. He said, “I paid more attention in life than I did in school.” I had to muse on that for a while.

My sense is the message is more about paying attention than anything else. Attention is the main commodity in human communication. The more you pay, the more you receive.

Too often we escape into our heads when someone is attempting to communicate with us. I think that’s where I spent most of my time when attending school. When it came to life, I finally figured out that I had to come out and play in order to comprehend what others truly had to say.

Paying attention pays dividends. You can really decode what someone is communicating, even if their words are saying something different. One of my teachers called it “Other Than Conscious Communication.”

I’m reminded of the St. Francis of Assisi quote: “Preach the gospel at all times; use words if necessary.” And also the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson: “Who you are speaks so loudly I can’t hear what you are saying.”

Paying attention is a Win-Win. You connect with others more deeply when you pay attention to them. And you see, hear, and feel pertinent things you would have otherwise missed if you stayed inside the mist of your internal thoughts.

Final thought on paying attention: Give it a go and you’ll see more of the show.

All the best,

John



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August 20, 2019

No Guts, No Glory

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Morgan @ 6:55 pm

Ash goldsbrough 2qBInlIcCTk unsplash“It doesn’t take smarts to notice a gut feeling.” So said The Grasshopper last night.

Even the stupidest among us make brilliant decisions when we pay attention to the sensations our body is sending us.

There is science behind a gut feeling. Your brain doesn’t get the signal first; your body does. Your brain then puts words to the the sensation. It may offer something like, “This doesn’t feel right.”

Long discussions about what the sensation means are unnecessary and most often counterproductive. You can boil down a sensation to two labels: “OK” and “Not OK.”

Learn to calibrate your body’s signals. Learn what Not OK feels like in your body. Do the same calibration for OK. You may get a knot in your stomach, or a lump in your throat, or a flushness on your face, or a gurgling of the bowels. Your signals will be unique to you, so find out where they register in your body and pay more attention to them when they arrive.

Your body has intelligence separate and apart from your intellect. Your body is a sensor; your intellect is a labeler. The only labels you need are OK and Not OK. They will pay dividends when heeded. You, too often, will pay the price when they go unnoticed or are ignored.

This is a “gut check” for all of us. Start noticing OK and Not OK. It’s the smart thing to do.

All the best,

John



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August 16, 2019

The Focus of HAVE

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Morgan @ 7:45 am

Patrick untersee gujUSnIY63g unsplashI don’t know about you but I‘ve spent a lot of my life focusing on what’s missing in my life. I don’t think I’m alone. Let’s call it “The Focus of HAVE NOT.”

I haven’t found that to be a productive strategy for attaining what’s “missing.”

Truth be told, there’s nothing missing; it’s just not in view. That view is occluded by the mental real estate taken up by “Have Not.”

A more realistic focus is zeroing in on what you have. That’s fact based, not fancy. I’m not a biblical scholar but I do believe the parable of the loaves and fishes illustrates this strategy. The 5 loaves and 2 small fish were said to have fed 5000. By focusing on what was in hand, the supply multiplied.

My experience is that when you focus on what you have, your mental noise decreases, your vision increases, and more options appear. That’s “The Focus of HAVE.”

More choices lead to more possibilities.

I could have made this all up, so prove it to yourself that “The Focus of HAVE” is more than a “fish story.”

Focusing on what’s not there leads to despair. Focusing on what’s here makes your vision more clear.

Final thought: HAVE AT IT!

All the best,

John



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August 12, 2019

Pursuing with Passion

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Morgan @ 11:40 am

Darren deloach 53rqKx28ITw unsplashI’m sure I’m not the first person struck with this idea, but I think it’s worthy of conversation: changing marriage from “’til death do us part” to a 3-year lease.

It could be the modern day “prenup.”

As with car leasing, at the end of 3 years, you could either buy the car or turn it in and possibly lease another.

Of course, there are pitfalls. Suppose children are conceived during the lease. You would be partly responsible for their well being, along with the other lessee. Just like with car leasing, if you dent the car, you have to pay the repair bill at the end of the agreement.

The upside is the divorce rate would go down and the amount spent on lawyers would disappear. It seems like a win-win.

I sincerely don’t believe in the above idea. It has “planning to fail” as one of its major tenets. That’s never a good focus. Yes, 50% of marriages do wind up in divorce but 50-50 is about the same odds for most things that we go after in life. That fact doesn’t keep us from our pursuit, nor should it.

Yes, explore the pitfalls before you leap, but don’t let them rob you from the aliveness of pursuit. Did you ever notice that when you’re pursuing something with passion, you feel most alive?

If there is a lake filled with alligators, I don’t recommend that you take a swim. But if it’s just a mushy bottom lake that keeps you land bound with the deadwood, your odds for aliveness are diminished by not jumping in.

You can own rather than lease passion by the act of pursuit. Even if you do fail, you won’t be deprived of the feeling of being alive.

All the best,

John



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August 5, 2019

Fad or Trend?

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Morgan @ 7:01 am

Screenshot 2019 08 05 07 52 50What’s the difference between a fad and a trend? The answer I come up with is that one is a sparkler and the other is a solar panel.

Fads fade and trends continue. They both have a shelf life but trends last a lot longer and spark new trends. Digging back into my radio daze, fads are “one hit wonders” whereas trends produce a lot of hits.

The passion for trends is a lot deeper than the unsustained zeal for a fad.

When a fad begins to die, there aren’t support groups to keep it alive. That’s not the case with a trend. When a trend senses death, it digs in its heels and fights ’til its last breath.

In the northeast United States, we have wasps known as “yellowjackets” in the summer months. They do their share of stinging. But, in late summer, when the feel of fall is in the air, they go on a stinging spree. They sense they will die soon, and strike out in an effort to show they’re still alive.

There is high resistance when a trend is dying. I think of the Danny DeVito speech to the stockholders of a wire and cable company that’s on its last legs in the movie OTHER PEOPLE’S MONEY.

“Ya know, at one time there must have been a dozen companies making buggy whips. And I’ll bet the last company around was the one that made the best, god damned, buggy whip you ever saw. Now how would you’ve liked to have been a stockholder in that company? You invested in a business and this business is dead. Let’s have the intelligence, let’s have the decency to sign the death certificate, collect the insurance, and invest in something with a future.”

In my opinion, the long-term trend of prejudice is dying. It’s becoming watered down with each generation, but we’re holding on to our modern day buggy whips and lashing out in a last ditch effort to keep it alive.

It’s my experience that almost no one thinks they’re prejudiced. If you believe you fall into that group, have the courage to check with your kids and grandkids and discover that your point of view is circling the drain.

It may be time for us to join the new trend, otherwise we’ll wind up buried in the landfill with mood rings and 8-Track tapes.

All the best,

John



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August 2, 2019

Listen Without Comment

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Morgan @ 11:39 am

Mimi thian lp1AKIUV3yo unsplashOne of the best things you can do for your communication skills is to listen without comment.

That means not to comment externally or internally, at least not right away. Just let the words flow over you and watch communication flow through you.

Steer clear of formulating responses when someone is addressing you. Let them have their say without your thoughts or judgements getting in the way.

Men will have a harder time with this than women because of conditioning. Men have been conditioned to have to know and know right now. This causes us to respond before a response is ready and offer some stale advice.

Practice listening to a cable TV talk show without formulating an instant opinion and watch your response options increase.

It’s a simple concept but it’s not easy. It takes some practice, especially if you have a history of snap judgements.

Listening without comment will increase your commentary skills. It just takes remaining still instead of imposing your will.

All the best,

John



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