GrasshopperNotes.com - Thoughts for inspired living


September 18, 2018

Let’s Pretend

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Morgan @ 4:16 am

Screenshot 2018 09 18 05 04 42One of the most useful phrases I’ve learned is “Let’s pretend.” It is a magical way to engage your or another’s imagination.

It’s very practical when you’re in negotiations. Here’s a real world example. Years ago, I was shopping for a teak outdoor table and chairs set. I went to a vendor who had an assortment of them on display. They all had a marked price.

It was mid-July and I asked the owner of the business if the item I was interested in would be going on sale and how much would it be selling for? He said, “in September at the end of the season and the savings would be 30 percent.” I noticed that I was his only customer at the time. I said, “I’m really interested in buying this set today. Let’s pretend it’s September now and you sell it to me at the reduced price.”

He looked a bit stunned but I could see the wheels turning. He said, “I can’t go the full thirty but I can give you a 20 percent discount.” I bought the set at 20% off.

Here’s another way I use the phrase “Let’s pretend.” When someone I’m helping is stuck in a mindset and I offer them a solution, they may say, “I just can’t do that.” I respond with, “Let’s pretend you could.” The phrase mentally transports them from where they are now to where they want to be and presents more options. “Let’s pretend” is a catalyst to move towards possibility.

Lets pretend that you have a part of you that knows what’s in your best interest. By the way, you won’t be pretending. Ask that part of you on a daily basis to “protect and direct” you in whatever you do. Make it a brief meditation – a daily prayer if you will.

I’m not sure this works, but let’s pretend it does. How valuable would it be to have it in your kit and caboodle?

Need more choices? Let’s pretend they’re available to you. My experience is this presumption will present more options than Door #1 or Door #2.

All the best,

John



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August 30, 2018

Think/Feel

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Morgan @ 8:05 am

Devil or angelThe Grasshopper has been quite active lately. Here’s one of his latest musings:
“What I think is right and what I feel is right may be two different things.”

It reads like pure logic at first, but logic often has nothing to do with feelings.

Here’s a telltale sign that you’re out of touch with your feelings: You are having an argument in your head about the right way to go.

When you notice that internal conflict, it’s time to check another source – Your body. Your body receives OK or not OK signals before thoughts pop into your mind. It’s like my teacher Dr. Dave Dobson said, “Words are the caboose on the choo-choo of life.” That means the feeling always comes first.

Feelings are our first responders. They’re first on the scene.

Many are so caught up in their mind that they forget they have a body – one that delivers sensations immediately. There is no argument within the body. It registers a feeling of OK or not OK right away.

How many times have you dismissed a “gut reaction” and paid the price? The phrase most often used after the fact is, “I knew that was going to happen.” By that time, your horse is in somebody else’s barn.

The recommendation for all of us is: Check with your body more often. The aforementioned Dave Dobson taught something he called “Other Than Conscious Communication.” One of the tenants of OTCC is this: When you are getting conflicting information between your body and your mind, go with your body.

In order to do that, you have to know you have a body. That means to pay more attention to the sensations that show up within you. They are not willy-nilly; they have a purpose: to alert you that something is OK or not OK.

Confused? Check with your body. It will let your mind know there is a reason to pay attention to the knot in your stomach.

All the best,

John



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August 28, 2018

Light My Fire

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Morgan @ 7:28 am

GardeningThe Grasshopper showed his green thumb yesterday when he opined, “You can take all the gardening classes you want, but until you plant something, nothing will grow.”

It reminded me of one of my favorite ancient Chinese sayings: “Talk doesn’t cook rice.”

We learned about action verbs in our early school days, but it seems we all could use a booster shot when it comes to actually taking action.

Inertia is not patience. One lacks action; the other is waiting for our action to take root.

How do we light a fire when there is no kindling wood? I think imagination is the answer. Either imagine what would happen if you don’t take action or what would happen if you do.

You will either be spurred to action to avoid the downside or drawn to the upside by activating your ability to imagine.

People either move towards something or move away from something. You can find your preference by engaging your imagination and envisioning both options. The one that feels right for you is the strategy to use to take action.

Moving towards or moving away, which strategy will get you to take action today?

All the best,

John



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August 27, 2018

Stop Attacking Yourself

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Morgan @ 7:08 am

Isaiah mcclean 412247 unsplashThe Grasshopper woke me up with an old theme in a new suit of clothes: “If you want to go somewhere new, put in the past what happened to you.”

There is a reason we keep telling our same traumatic stories. We are attempting to communicate the pain we’re enduring so you can know how much we’re still hurting.

Others will never feel your pain no matter how descriptive your adjectives. That’s because it’s your pain, not theirs. Not only that, we revisit the emotional pain of the past with each telling.

This is more than saying, “forget about it” or “move on.” Those are directives without directions.

There is a tried and true method of easing the pain of the past. Stop telling your story. I’m reminded of the words of my photography instructor Peter Hurley when he hears one of his students telling the person in front of their camera to smile: “STOP IT NOW!”

Teeth whitening works. You go to the dentist, have a procedure done and leave with follow-up instructions to make sure the transformation happens. You got great advice but you may not follow instructions and remain in a state of pale yellow. If you really want your teeth whiter, you have to do the homework.

Our homework is to interrupt ourselves when we begin to tell our story again. With each interruption, we outgrow the habit of telling our tale of woe. The benefit is we feel less pain than if we tell it again.

It takes practice to do something that’s seems counterintuitive. I’m reminded of taking Aikido instruction years ago. We were instructed to step into the attack rather than retreat from it. That meant that we had to blend with our attacker’s force and use it against them by moving in smaller circles than them. It takes some courage and practice to move towards rather than away to neutralize an attack. Make no mistake, you are retreating with each iteration of your story allowing it to live for another, painful day.

Want to neutralize attacks and smile brighter more often? Stop telling your story!

All the best,

John



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August 16, 2018

I Used To Be

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Morgan @ 5:50 am

Gemma evans 131781 unsplash

I used to be from Pennsylvania.

I used to be an altar boy.

I used to be a Catholic.

The stories of sexual abuse by the Catholic clergy in Pennsylvania and around the world cannot be defended, nor can the Pope’s handling of the abuse be accepted.

According to the BBC, this is what the Pope said about one of the leading clergymen while visiting Chili. “Pope Francis became involved in the scandal surrounding Juan Barros when he defended the bishop during his visit to Chile in January. At the time he said that allegations against the bishop amounted to ‘slander.’ ‘The day I see proof against Bishop Barros, then I will talk. There is not a single piece of evidence against him. It is all slander. Is that clear?'” the Pope had said at the time.

The New York Times reported this in July of this year: “Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick, the former archbishop of Washington, from the College of Cardinals, ordering him to a “life of prayer and penance” after allegations that the cardinal sexually abused minors and adult seminarians over the course of decades, the Vatican announced on Saturday.”

“Accepted the resignation” is the phrase that makes the Pope and the church tone deaf.

The words should have been, “I have immediately defrocked the offenders and recommend they answer to civil law enforcement if applicable.”

“Accept the resignation” is not a phrase you would hear from a police chief if one of his long time lieutenants was involved in a bank robbery years ago, even though the statute of limitations has run out. “I immediately fired the lieutenant when it was proved that he committed the crime.”

Certainly pray for the offenders but don’t offer a such a weak, inappropriate, feckless remedy for this egregious, criminal behavior as, “I have accepted the resignation.”

I suspect the Pope will be accepting a lot more resignations, not only from offenders but from the faithful if his current method of handling the situation continues.

I used to be from Pennsylvania.

I used to be an altar boy.

I used to be a Catholic.

All the best,

John



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August 14, 2018

Person of Substance

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Morgan @ 6:33 am

Ally EnemyA Person of Substance can be represented by an acronym: P.O.S. Another type of person can also be represented by the same acronym: P.O.S.

A person of substance will have your back if they declare they will. The other P.O.S. is highly likely to turn on you no matter what grandiose smoke they once blew in your direction.

The entertaining scenario is when two P.O.S., turncoat types are in cahoots with each other. When the going gets tough, you can count on these two vilifying each other.

“Birds of a feather” comes to mind as does the old saying, “If you lie down with dogs, you will get fleas.”

Look no further than mob underlings testifying against their boss when they are faced with long-term incarceration. That’s one P.O.S. turning on another.

If you surround yourself with suspect people, you will also be a suspect, and rightly so.

These P.O.S. people are very transactional, loyal to no one and emblematic of the downside of the P.O.S. label.

Who do you want to be associated with? – People of Substance or their exact opposite: People who have conditioned themselves to be Pieces of Shit.

All the best,

John



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August 7, 2018

Venn Diagrams

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

Venn2I didn’t learn about Venn Diagrams until high school. For whatever reason, they fascinated me then and continue to do so.

The thing I find most intriguing about them is the “melting pot” in the middle where divergent things come together.

To me, that section represents what we have in common. It’s actually very little if we look at it from the angle of being a special club that divides us.

I now switch subjects to Greek syllogisms. They are comprised of 2 assumptions (whether valid or not) that come to a 3rd conclusion.

All Americans have blood.

All Americans have red blood.

Therefore All Americans are red blooded.

You can come to an absurd conclusion if you wind up in the middle section of a Venn Diagram with corrupted data vs. factual information.

So, based on faulty information, you may not really belong in the middle but on the fringe. People on the fringe don’t have much in common with the universe of sampled people.

The following type of “fun house mirror” logic is spewed every day to prop up our fringe opinions and represent them as facts.

Radio host Bob Blowhard is a Bigot.

Joe Public is a family man and applauds and supports Bob’s positions.

Family men are not bigots.

What do we really have in common? That’s worth exploring because it will be the glue that unites us. Passing off our opinions as facts divides us.

I’m reminded of the story of the drunk leaning on a lamppost. Is he using it to support his impaired position or is it shining a light on his condition?

I guess my message is to inspect your opinions before you pass them on as facts.

I’m a parent and a grandparent and one of the most divisive things I can do is pass on my prejudice. It’s productive for me to either inspect my opinions in the light of day or just shut up.

All the best,

John



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August 2, 2018

Who’s Running The Show?

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Morgan @ 2:50 am

DirectorI have used the phrase “comfortable in your own skin” for many years. It’s hard to define in words because it’s a feeling, yet I’ll make an attempt.

It occurs to me that someone who is comfortable in their own skin has figured out that their thinking mind is not them. We are not our thoughts; we are so much deeper. “Deeper” translates to more comfortable.

Uncomfortable people constantly argue with their mind. It’s a battle for who’s running the show. Arguing with your mind is like arguing with a tape recorder. Imagine how quickly you would call for the men in white coats if you saw someone outwardly arguing with a tape recorder.

Your mind is playing the same tapes over and over again and baits you to fight with it to see who the winner will be. As noted many times in the past, you have NEVER won an argument with your mind.

So, your mind runs the show . . . until you go deeper.

I’m currently writing a book called INTER RUPTION: The Key To Lasting Change. The premise of the book is to interrupt the mind, not fight with it.

When we interrupt our scripted mind, we open the door to depths not previously plumbed. It’s at this depth that argument melts and fades away and comfort within your own skin wins the day.

Want to have more say in directing your life? Interrupt the script and add depth to your role.

All the best,

John



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August 1, 2018

The Invitation

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Morgan @ 4:55 am

SubmarineLife offers us a standing invitation every day. Most of us ignore the invitation.

What invitation does life offer every hour, every day? – The invitation to go deeper.

Based on my experience, I find that most of us argue for our surface limitations which puts up a barrier to reaching our depth.

Many people begin to notice the invitation when reality delivers a blow. I refer to that moment as “a dark night of the soul.” This is an optimum time to discover who you are past all your surface descriptions.

This is a time to spend time with yourself and avoid the diversions you’ve entertained in the past. It’s scary for some to spend time with themselves. Their mind goes into high gear defending the way they are, even though that way is not working.

If you avoid going deeper, you’ll go back to the limited options your conditioning consistently delivered.

Did you ever wonder why many people gravitate to the same type of people who were problematic to them in the past? When you stay on the surface, your options are limited and as I heard many years ago, “If you always do what you always did, you’ll always get what you always got.”

If you’re going through a dark period, it’s highly recommended to R.S.V.P. to life’s invitation.

Going deeper is going deeper than your thoughts.

The vehicle you use to go deeper is irrelevant. It can be prayer, meditation, reflection, mindfulness or something else. Any of those methods will transport you to enter the depths of you.

I invite you to get curious about going deeper. It’s a life changing experience.

All the best,

John



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July 23, 2018

Go Get Em’

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Morgan @ 5:03 am

Job FairHere’s a question the Grasshopper asked over the weekend: “Are you a go-getter or a come-find-me?”

I’ve been both. One’s harder than the other and one is more comfortable than the other.

I’m sure you know which is which.

People are paying a premium for higher education these days. The mindset of many graduates goes along these lines: I’ve studied hard for 4 years and have a higher than average GPA. I should be in high demand.” The raw reality is, at that point, no matter what your degree is in, you are a salesman. You have to sell someone on you.

That’s true in job prospecting, dating, politics and too many other things to mention. Reminds me of a story . . .

I was pitching a communication program to a law firm back in the 80s. The owner of the firm had 26 attorneys working for him. Before I laid out a program for him I asked, “What would you like your people to learn?”

His answer was immediate and LOUD. “I want them to know they’re salesmen. All of them think they’re Perry Mason and that business is going to come walking through the door.” I then switched gears and sold him a sales seminar.

We are all salesmen. We are always pitching something to someone. It can be as simple as persuading someone to go to the restaurant you want to go to.

If you play the come-find-me game, you’ll find that you’re actually playing hide-and-go-seek with a really good hiding spot.

The odds of someone finding you are south of slim.

This is more than a pep talk; it’s a reminder of reality. You may have the best mouse trap ever built but if you don’t put some cheese out there, the only thing you’ll snare is more people telling you to go to the job fair.

I wish it was the way it isn’t, but that hope just keeps us on the couch and our pocketbook saying, “ouch!”

All the best,

John



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