GrasshopperNotes.com - Thoughts for inspired living


January 2, 2019

Actions vs. Labels

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 9:18 am

SlobHere’s a new habit we can all aspire to in the new year: Describe actions vs. assigning labels.

“He’s a bald-faced liar” is labeling. Labels turn conversations into conflagrations.

Better to factually state what someone lied about. That’s describing their actions, not them.

I will admit that labels have more initial oomph and cut through quickly, but they also kill the opportunity to have a productive discussion.

“He’s a fat, lazy slob” is guaranteed to go nowhere. It may make you feel better, but it won’t advance anything close to a remedy. “He’s 40 pounds overweight, doesn’t exercise, and doesn’t comb his hair.” That’s factual and more actionable.

It’s more useful to mentally write a report about someone rather than label them. The report has actionable facts; the label has emotional fireworks.

Develop the habit of describing actions without adjectives and people will stop labeling you judgmental.

All the best,

John



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January 1, 2019

A Solution to Resolutions

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 5:29 pm

2019

This year I thought I’d take a different tack and list what I’m not going to do in the new year.

  • I won’t ask a question I’m not invested in.
  • I’m not learning Spanish or any other language. I’m pretty sure I would have done that by now.
  • I won’t buy a piece of photography equipment I’ll never use. (There’s a good chance I’ll break this one).
  • I won’t go camping.
  • There’s no chance that I’ll take dancing lessons.
  • I won’t attempt to change anyone’s mind on Facebook to my political preferences.
  • I won’t try Paintball.
  • I won’t eat a beet.
  • I won’t say, “Never say never.”
  • And finally, I won’t list all the things that I’ll resolve to do and never accomplish.

To say, “I am not yet a fan of New Year’s resolutions” would be a severe understatement.

Here’s my New Year’s wish for you. I hope all your aims aren’t missed. And if they are, no one has to know about it if you don’t blather on about what you’re going to do.

Better to list at the end of the year what you have accomplished. That’s a resolution that you can surely keep.

All the best & Happy New Year!

John



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December 27, 2018

Most Important Day

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

TodayI was watching a movie last night and the question was asked, “What is the most important day of your life?” It got me musing.

Seems everyone would have a different answer to this question but I believe there is really only one: TODAY!

Today not only delivers what no other day has, but it also sets your tomorrow.

This is not a bumper sticker to “Seize the Day.” That’s just manufactured energy. This is more about noticing the importance of today.

Today isn’t yesterday, nor is it tomorrow. It is its own special day.

I wonder how you will spend your today. Will you attempt to relive yesterday or mentally project yourself into tomorrow? Both of those strategies will have you miss the importance of today.

Today is as important as any day in history, and during this day you will make your own history. Will it be a memorable chapter in your life or will it be not worth remembering?

This is a reminder to us all: Make today important!

All the best,

John



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December 24, 2018

New World Order

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 7:19 am

Christmas Tree in snowIs Christmas just another day? Is any day just another day? The Grasshopper answered those questions cryptically when he chirped, “It’s a new world every day.”

Everyday when you wake up, you wake up to a new world. The world itself hasn’t changed but the stories that happen within its sphere have.

Everyday is a new chapter – some happy, some sad, but most often the changes go unnoticed. Our sensory acuity doesn’t get calibrated often enough to see the change, so we perceive everything is the way it was when we went to bed.

Due to conditioning, we don’t adapt to change very well. We rail at reality when it doesn’t bend in our direction. Quoting my friend Craig’s motto, “Be flexible or get bent out of shape.”

No one knows what a new day brings but bet on this: It will bring something new.

Here’s hoping that Santa brings you something newer than Christmas snow: The ability to go with the flow. It’s truly the gift that keeps on giving.

Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays,

John



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December 20, 2018

Holiday Wonderment

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 6:53 am

Longlist

Since Christmas is a time of wonderment and lists, here’s a list of 10 things I’m wondering about:

1. Does Bill Gates buy lottery tickets?

2. Does cold air take away odors quicker than hot air?

3. Where is that other sock I put in the dryer?

4. Do people who put pictures of their food on Facebook, weigh more than the rest of the population?

5. Where is Waldo?

6. Does Santa have a second home in Florida?

7. Would a Greek/Italian tailor ask a customer this, “Euripides”?

8. Who really let the dogs out?

9. Is Ivory soap 99 44⁄100% Pure?

10. Why didn’t they shoot JR sooner?

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to my fellow wonderers!

John



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December 18, 2018

Ready, Set, GO!

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 8:59 am

RSG“It’s not what you know; it’s what you act on.” So said the Grasshopper at the crack of dawn.

It sounds a bit like, “actions speak louder than words” to me, but I think it goes deeper.

“Words” reflect what you’ve done or what you’re going to do. “Actions” relate to what you are doing now. There is no action in the past or future. Action only happens now.

Some folks think because they have the knowledge to act on something, that it’s the same thing as acting. “I already know that” is a commonly used phrase of the non-doer.

You may ask, “If you already know that, how come it hasn’t happened?” And then brace yourself for the non-stop litany of excuses for not acting. I keep hearing my 4th grade teacher Miss Wagner’s pronouncement when hearing actionless justifications: “You can either have what you want or your reasons why not.”

The “why not’s” are the reasons you don’t take action. Excuses are perpetual diversions from doing.

If you know what you need to do, start subtracting your excuses one-by-one until you’re down to the bare metal of action.

We are all well lubricated excuse machines. The action needed is to drain the oil and have the excuses burn up. It’s then and only then that what you know turns into action that gets you past “Ready, Set” and on to “GO.”

All the best,

John



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December 17, 2018

Curve Balls

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 4:22 am

Curve ballCall me late to the game but it just dawned on me that life is a steady stream of curve balls. You can replace the words “curve balls” with the word “Reality” and arrive at the same conclusion.

Expecting the unexpected is an approach to life that most of us do not take. We get to a point where we think all is settled and we want it to stay that way.

Life is dynamic, not static.

On the surface, this sounds like we’re at the mercy of reality. But the saving grace to a curve ball is the ability to respond.

When we resist reality, we react. That means we do the same thing we did last time. When we notice and accept reality, we create a space where we can choose a response. It’s the response that takes us down a new path – one that reaction doesn’t know about.

I wish it wasn’t the way it is, but curve balls are a staple of life. Rant and rave all you want and even shake your fist at God if you choose. But after you recognize that isn’t working, let your reaction go and seek out a response.

I’m not sure if Yogi Berra ever said the following or not: “Responding to a curve ball will increase your batting average, but if you stick with resistance, you are destined to strike out.”

All the best,

John



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December 13, 2018

Letter To Santa

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 8:56 pm

Santa  MrsDear Santa,

I know I’m a little late with my requests this year. I sure hope you find time to consider them because I have been extra good.

I have given up on one of my past ideas because you haven’t delivered it, namely getting announcers to say, “Forward” instead of “FOE-ward.” I guess that’s up there with asking for world peace.

This year I would like you to bring a handbook that teaches people how to get off the phone. Saying “ta-ta” or “goodbye” shouldn’t be that hard, but it seems people linger long after you’ve indicated the conversation has concluded.

Please bring me tolerance for people that put coats on their pets in the winter.

I’m also requesting patience with people who cannot get to the point. Apparently, there’s a sickness going around.

Less TV drug commercials for products with the letter “Z” in them. Seriously, Santa, do they put letters in a hat and use the first seven letters they pull out to name the drug?

Finally, would it be possible for guests on TV talk shows to stop answering questions with the phrase, “that’s a good question”? If there was ever a bigger stalling tactic, I have not experienced it.

I hear you and Mrs. Claus are back on gluten, so I’ve taken the sawdust out of my recipe for your cookies this year. After tasting them, you’ll be singing, “Rudolph with your nose so bright, won’t you curb my appetite?”

Thanks for reading, Santa.

Love,

LJ (Little Johnny)



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December 4, 2018

I Plan To . . .

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 7:49 am

Hammer thumbHopes and expectations dashed? According to the dictionary that’s disappointment.

Want to avoid disappointment more often? Have fewer expectations.

Quoting Robert Burns, “The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.” Or as John Lennon reminded us, “Life is what happens to us while we are making other plans.”

Planning can be fun and fruitful and is a very useful tool, except when we expect all to go according to Hoyle.

I have a book title that illustrates this point: “There’s No Such Thing As A 5-Minute Job.” Feel free to write it because I never will. I lack the technical know-how.

I find the bubble of expectation bursts quite often when it comes to human events and interactions. Have you ever planned or attended an event where things just didn’t match up with your expectations? You’re in good company. We all have our stories.

The message here is not not to plan; it’s more about trusting your response apparatus. Plan down to the minutest detail if you choose, but if you can’t respond to unexpected circumstances, you’re likely to blow a fuse.

There is a part of us that knows how to go past a reaction and get to a response – one that wasn’t planned in advance. It’s the ability to respond that irons out the kinks of expectation.

Practice responding more often and expect fewer disappointments.

All the best,

John



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November 27, 2018

Holding On To Letting Go

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 7:24 pm

Letting goIt seems like something Captain Obvious would say but holding on prevents us from letting go.

What prevents us from releasing our grasp? One answer I come up with is this: Holding on to the past proves it existed. What that means to me is that we are so defined by back then, that we refuse to let it go because if we do, we believe we won’t exist.

It’s truly limiting to be defined by the roles we play in life. We are so much more but we can’t find that depth by having a death grip on the memory of who we once were.

I’m not sure I have a strategy for outgrowing the past, only the realization that the past isn’t happening now.

What is going on now is your life – not what you had then or what you will have in the future, but, rather, what you have now.

Focusing on what you have now is a springboard to letting go. Holding on is holding on to an illusion – something that doesn’t exist now.

To have the past go out of focus, we have to be present to the present. It’s really the only time that exists. Now is a reality; then is a memory and the future is a fantasy.

Here’s something worth holding on to: You aren’t the roles you play, only the spirit that can create a brand new day.

All the best,

John



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