GrasshopperNotes.com - Thoughts for inspired living


March 5, 2018

The Cure

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Morgan @ 6:02 am

NewImageHere’s a post from 4 years ago that’s worth getting curious about.

Who hasn’t experienced humdrum? It’s a state of mind that keeps us humming the same tune. Is there a cure? Yes, I’m happy to report that there is.

The remedy arrives by adding four more syllables to the word “Cure.”

Cure then becomes curiosity.

Humdrum put down roots and settled in the day we stopped getting curious.

You don’t have to roust humdrum from your mind; it will leave on its own volition when you get curious.

Did curiosity really kill the cat or was it just the catalyst to kill off a dull existence?

Find out for yourself by getting curious.

What you will find is that curiosity opens your mind to options. Those options often lead to passion for something that was lying dormant under the doormat of humdrum.

The cure is to get curious.

Start to wonder about things to get curious about and act on what you come up with.

Curiosity also engages your creativity. How curious are you about what creations you can come up with? New possibilities become more probable when curiosity becomes your mindset of choice.

There is nothing to buy and no 7-step plan you need to follow. Just decide to get curious and discover the cure for humdrum.

All the best,

John



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March 2, 2018

What’s Right With You?

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Morgan @ 6:04 am

Hammer wrenchFor me, finding out what’s wrong with someone is easy. Finding out what’s right with them is a much harder row for me to hoe.

Assessing the problem comes like breathing to me. Offering the solution often has me wasting my breath.

It’s not that my remedy won’t work. It’s extremely prescriptive. The problem is the person is not in the frame of mind to receive it, mainly because, in some way, I’ve communicated they’re inferior for having the problem.

I remember having difficulty warming up to the NLP concept of “the meaning of the communication is the response that you get.” I was caught up in the mindset of “the meaning is the meaning,” meaning I was hemmed in by the facts.

People were not responding to my facts and I wasn’t noticing.

I’m sure there are others like me. Perhaps we can form a group called “Flaw Finders.” We can sit around and tell each other what’s wrong with the world, but the world will keep spinning away from our assessments.

Here’s a life lesson that I’m in the process of learning: “Tough Love” is a tool in the toolbox; not a way of life.

Quickly reading a situation is a powerful skill to own, but it will own you if you don’t make allowances for the foibles of humanity. We all have them but some of us have difficulty owning our own. When you come from a position of “on high,” you’ll have a low rate of getting through.

All the best,

John



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March 1, 2018

All Out

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Morgan @ 8:32 am

AngryWhen you hear yourself or someone else say “All,” you are encountering an opinion. The person uttering “All” believes they’re stating a fact.

When I took NLP (Neuro-linguistic Programming) training I learned you can challenge words like “All,” “Every” and “Never.” The recommendation is to respond with a question mark after the word: All? Every? Never?

The purpose of the challenge is to show that the hard assertion has holes in it. It helps people move from “Solid” positions to porous ones that give them more options.

Monitor your use of these words and discover that your Rock of Gibraltar is more like a sand castle.

Reminds me of a story . . . One of the radio commercials our company runs features a person who refers to himself as an “Ex-Marine.” Over the years, I have received a handful of complaints about the man using the term. Here’s a word-for-word example: “Your ads on the radio are fake. One guy says he is an ex-Marine. No Marine would ever use that term. There are Marines and former Marines.”

Notice the word “No” – a second cousin to “All” – is an opinion, not a fact. The facts are that both the person offering the unsolicited testimonial and the person who recorded him were both members of the Marine Corp. Neither Marine had a problem with the term.

I have no doubt that there are Marines who agree with the complaining email about the use of the term “Ex-Marine.” What the passionate complainer doesn’t recognize is the fallacy of “All” and how it limits his options.

My experience is that compromise with an “All-er” is difficult, but not impossible. If you can help someone recognize they are expressing an opinion vs. stating a universal truth, your chances for compromise expand.

Years ago, I heard this observation: The more flexible you are, the more options you have. The rub is this: If you have ALL the answers, there are no more options.

All the best,

John



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February 26, 2018

Lose The Logic

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Morgan @ 7:35 am

NewImageI was reminded of a great song and, also, a useful post from yesteryear.

Billy Joel has a song called Leave A Tender Moment Alone,” and there is an axiom in golf to leave your driver in the garage. There is logical reasoning in both recommendations, but it is never the logic that makes or breaks the moment.

Let’s examine the advice of both positions.

A tender moment is often dissected. When you do that, it’s no longer a tender moment but a compilation of ingredients. The logical attempt is to be able to recreate the moment as easily as you can bake brownies from a recipe. It’s the difference from being able to capture a lightning bug or lightning in a jar.

Every golfer has hit a memorable drive off the tee. It was an especially sensational swing. They don’t know how they did it, but they mentally begin to break it down into pieces. The difficulty is that they logically think about their next drive which often causes it to be less than stellar. Many golfers, especially men, when they tee off, select the largest, most powerful club in the bag – the driver. They usually over swing instead of letting the club do its work and the ball often goes way off line into the deep grass, the woods or water. The errant logic, for some, after this shot goes astray is to not use the driver. Thus the expression, “I should have left my driver in the garage.”

The logic leaves you diminished in both cases.

What would happen if you just took the time to appreciate a great drive or a special moment and let the feeling sink in?

Here’s some alternate logic you’ll never hear elsewhere: You have to let lousy moments sink in too.

The most useless question we never stop asking is “Why do I feel this way?”

Did you ever take that question to the logical conclusion, that if you did get an answer, it doesn’t make you stop feeling that way? Knowing why may sate the intellect, but it does little to ease the pain.

Whether your moments are tender, memorable or miserable, they are a reality, and logically pulling them apart will not enhance, preserve, or diminish them.

Being with the emotion of the moment is the best use of that moment.

We rarely just sit with the glow of a tender moment. We have the need to logically recreate it because we’re driven by the fear that we’ll never have this feeling again. It’s a basic lack of trust in our ability to naturally and spontaneously create whatever the moment calls for.

In the case of a lackluster moment, we logically do everything we can to chase it away. That logic keeps it coming back. It’s like Dr. Dave used to say, “It’s like attempting to hold a beach ball under water.” Allowing yourself to feel that moment will do more to let the air out of it than a semester’s worth of Aristotle’s syllogisms.

There are great uses for logic but attempting to use it to figure out or dissect your emotions pays paltry dividends.

When you practice feeling whatever the moment brings, you’ll naturally arrive at a new mantra – leave the logic in the garage.

All the best,

John



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February 23, 2018

Control

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Morgan @ 8:29 am

NewImageSeems like I have no control over what pops up in my Facebook feed. Look what showed up from this date 9 years ago.

Second to happiness, it seems the thing we chase the most in life is control. Like the blind monkey who finds a peanut once in a while, we occasionally catch happiness. We are always left in the dust when we run after control.

Control is an illusion no one has ever seen. It’s a myth more pervasive than the Jersey Devil.

I don’t have a problem believing in things I can’t see; my difficulty is wearing myself out chasing something that doesn’t exist.

If you believe in control, you are in an overwhelming majority who has never tested their faith. You can easily make me a believer again. Just control the next thought that spontaneously pops into your head and I’ll readily rejoin your house of worship.

It becomes quite apparent to anyone who’s paying attention that what we are attempting to control is reality. We inflict so much pain on ourselves and others by competing with “all that is” and trying to capture it in a jar. It’s a lifelong quest that leaves your thirst unquenched.

This doesn’t mean that we don’t take action to adjust to a situation we find ourselves in. It simply means if that action comes out of the mindset of control, it will fail. I was talking to a friend over the weekend and said, “I’m all for riding the current wherever it takes me, but there must be a reason they put paddles in the boat.”

The paddles are used to respond to reality, not to control it.

The real gift in life is our ability to respond. Reality gives us countless opportunities to practice every day. The more often you choose a response to reality, the less you are up Control Creek without a paddle.

The sooner you give up chasing control, the more time you have to enjoy the white water raft ride known as life. Reality will test you, scare you, invigorate you and throw you overboard from time to time. To pre-think (control) Reality’s every movement will burn all of your energy and you’ll have none left to respond.

Responding deftly paddles you through the currents. Control leaves you with your oars out of the water.

Which ride do you want to be on?

All the best,

John



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February 20, 2018

Solid

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Morgan @ 7:15 am

NewImageHere’s a post from 9 years ago that identifies where we were then and, still, where we are now.

“Solid as a rock” is an old expression as well as an old song. Solid is an illusion – one that helps us and hurts us.

We are hurt when we bump into “solid” things and helped when we discover that they are not real.

When they take a powerful electron microscope and view something under it, the object’s solidity all but disappears. The magnifying glass used on a newspaper picture gives us a layman’s version of looking through one of these powerful scopes. We see the picture is made up of dots and space.

I have this unproven theory that there is no solidity whatsoever. It’s an assumption that’s worth adopting even though it can’t currently be proved.

What if electrons, photons, quarks, etc. were not even remotely solid but “shadows of energetic activity” captured by the magnification of the microscope? What if everything is really nothing?

Everyone is entitled to their wacky theories, even Columbus.

So pretend for a moment that my assumption is accurate. How will it help you?

It seems that every man made thing comes from the nothingness of an idea. They haven’t built a scope to capture an idea yet. My guess is they never will. Out of nothing comes something. It didn’t exist, now it does.

We treat ideas in our head as solid. We build things with them and we also build walls with them – walls of disconnection. We postulate that if something is “this,” it can’t be “that.” Our labels won’t allow it. But underneath the label is the connection of nothingness that makes “this” and “that” the same.

Solid translates to separation and isolation. If it’s solid, it needs a separate space and it can’t live in the same space as something else that’s solid, so the two must be isolated from each other.

That’s what we do as a people. We divide and are conquered.

When we search for the solid things that make us different, we aren’t looking for the invisible things that make us the same. Our search criteria keep us separated.

Eckhart Tolle offers a powerful example of our sameness when people say they have nothing in common with someone. He points out that in a matter of years you will both be rotting corpses.

So just maybe it’s useful to come to that conclusion before you die – that you came from nothing, and are returning to nothing. This idea of nothing being the only thing there is, has us make more connections because we can make space for everything when we’re not solid.

The rigidity of solid ideas has rigor mortis set in well before you die. The stiffness that goes with solid doesn’t allow the flexibility to stretch and find life’s connections.

Solid is the “Monroe Doctrine.” Nothing is infinite law.

Here’s a scientific piece of homework that is beneficial for all of us: Take a peek inward with your own microscope and begin to notice that your idea of solid is filled with holes. The more holes you find, the more connections you make.

You’ll discover that you can make nothing out of something.

All the best,

John



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February 15, 2018

Facts

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Morgan @ 12:36 am

Shoe bangingFacts won’t sway anyone who has an opposing agenda, no matter how accurate the facts are.

Have you ever noticed when you produce incontrovertible facts to some people they move the goal post and say something like, “what about blah, blah, blah?” that has nothing to do with the topic being discussed.

Pivoting off the topic is an Olympic sport for many. The biggest offenders I’ve witnessed are politicians. During my radio days I interviewed everyone from local councilmen to candidates for president and, frankly, wanted to wash afterwards. I traveled a crooked road trying to get a straight answer.

Just getting someone to acknowledge a fact that doesn’t match up with their narrative is a losing proposition.

Is there a solution? I’m not sure. I know this for sure: you can’t fact people into submission. That doesn’t work. It seems the most successful convincers rely more on emotion than they do on facts, and the fact people never catch on. They believe if they come up with one more fact, that will be the convincer. Sorry, emotions don’t pay attention to facts.

I guess this is my way of cautioning you not to engage a true believer in a fact based argument.

I’m actually amazed that people continue with a strategy that’s clearly not working. Reminds me of a story . . .

Back during the Vietnam War people, especially politicians, would constantly argue the pros and cons of the conflict. No one was convincing the other even though the facts were the facts. What it took for the argument to stop and the war to end was TV networks beginning to show actual battle scenes on film. This action bypassed the facts and brought what was far away closer to home. It was one of the best emotional, convincing strategies that TV ever came up with.

You can continue to argue the facts but notice it rarely, if ever, works.

Joe Friday may have used “just the facts” to solve homicide cases, but you’ll murder your mission if you rely solely on the facts.

The old lawyer axiom comes to mind: “If you have the law, hammer the law. If you have the facts, hammer the facts. If you have neither the law nor the facts, hammer the table.”

All the best,

John



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February 14, 2018

Real Love

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Morgan @ 6:25 am

NewImageExactly 10 years ago today The Grasshopper sent this my way:

I was just musing about my favorite memories of Valentine’s Day. They stem from when I was a little boy and my sons were little boys.

I remember buying a big pack of Valentine cards and writing down everyone of my classmates’ names on the tiny envelopes – boys and girls. I can see myself scrawling a little message and printing my name. I can even see the blockiness of the letters. Then I remember putting my Valentine card on each one of their desks. How innocent and exciting that was. Everyone was included; no one was left out. That was real love.

When my boys were little, I remember vicariously having the same thrill watching them joyfully filling out their card for each class member. There were no exclusions.

Somewhere along the line we began to exclude and not everyone got our expression of love. The innocence was gone, the joy dissipated. Or was it still there and ignored?

As our ego continued to develop, it wouldn’t let us love everybody. We began to compartmentalize that this person is worthy and that one isn’t, and we found a way shut down the part of us that can include everyone. It’s one of the saddest stories ever told.

Real love is always present. It’s just covered over with so much conditioning and programming that we cannot seem to get to it. But we know it’s there because we can feel it from time to time. If you meditate or do some mind calming practice like self-hypnosis, or engage in the deep contemplation of prayer, you feel real love. You don’t feel separation in that state of awareness. That is our natural state – the state of love where all is included.

The more times we visit this inclusive state of mind, the more often we imbue our everyday life with the genuine expression of love.

Take a moment today and just wonder how you can expand that feeling of love that you have reserved for a handful and mentally drop a Valentine on everyone’s desk.

Happy Valentine’s Day,

John



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February 13, 2018

Better Place

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Morgan @ 7:22 am

BridgeIf you’re a people helper – someone who helps people make transitions from one frame of mind to another – there is only one question you need to answer: Did you leave them in a better place than you found them?

It’s easy to make people feel bad, just dwell on their flaws and failings.

That’s not to say that you don’t get them to acknowledge their shortcomings. That’s healthy. But if your next step is not helping them build a bridge from where they currently are to where they want to be, you’ve left them in a bad place.

That’s why arguments often end so poorly. We get so focused on being right and winning rather than seeking a solution that we lose sight of the next step: to get to a better place.

This is different than the perfunctory, funeral refrain: “He’s in a better place.” This is about making transitions while they’re here.

I don’t know where I first heard it but I’ll never forget it: Bring only good cheer when visiting a hospital room. The person is already in a bad place; bringing anything else is dereliction of your mission: to leave them in a better place than you found them.

Think of someone you consider a dear friend. Notice their natural inclination to brighten your day. They may be totally straight with you about your situation but they’re always ready with a demeanor to help you transition from here to there.

Want to get to a better place? Help someone else get there. Your kindness will rub off on you and will become a brightening residue. Which reminds me of a favorite biblical phrase: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

All the best,

John



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February 12, 2018

Deserve

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Morgan @ 5:48 am

090908 1338 deserve1Here’s a Grasshopper Note from a long time ago that came out to play again today.

The word “Deserve” popped into my head yesterday. It dawned on me what an anti-reality word it is and how it causes so much pain for the user.

“I deserve a raise.” I deserve a promotion.” “I deserve an opportunity.” “I deserve better treatment.” These are the type of phrases that we have all used and they most often promote disharmony in our mind.

We set up a tug of war between what we’re deserving of and what we’re not getting. This leads us to the land of illusion instead of the realm of reality.

Reality is one force. “Is” or “isn’t” are the only true definitions of its manifestations. “Deserve” doesn’t fall into the category of “is” or “isn’t.” Our mind carves out this make believe territory in an attempt to convince us there is more than the “is” or “isn’t” of reality. It’s quite the game and we get hooked into playing time and again with diversion being the only result.

Either you got a raise or you didn’t. The same is true for a promotion, an opportunity or better treatment.

If you desire better treatment, “deserve” will never get you there. “Deserve” puts any necessary action on hold as long as you sit in its way station.

You can certainly get a group of people to agree with you that you deserve whatever you don’t have, but all the commiserating in the world won’t change “isn’t” to “is.” Reminds me of a story I’ve told before . . .

Many years ago I was out of work and was offered a job and a lot less money than I was making. I was telling my tale to my friend, Paul and said, “It’s not as much money as I was making. I deserve more.” Paul in his succinct wisdom responded, “It’s more money than you’re making now.”

What I discovered was this: You define your worth when you agree to compensation. You are worth what you accept. No amount of “deserve” will add to your paycheck or any other area in life.

You ignore the reality of the way you’re being treated, compensated, held down or bypassed by entering the wacky world of “Deserve.” If you stay there, you truly get what you deserve.

All the best,

John



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