- Thoughts for inspired living

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,


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July 22, 2018

Relationship Math

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Morgan @ 5:44 am

Scales of JusticeI was never a whiz at math but this Grasshopper thought recently came out of the blue: “Relationships are either a 1 or a 2, meaning either you do more for me or I do more for you.”

There are no zeros in relationships. Relationships are like see-saws. If there ever is balance (Zero), it doesn’t last very long. Zero is a territory we pass through on the way to me or you.

There is no 50-50 in relationships.

I find this not to be a judgement, only a verifiable fact. Just look at any relationship you’re in. Either you’re doing more or less than the other person at any one moment in time.

“Balanced” relationships are like the scales of justice: they tip one way or the other depending on the circumstances. Then they reset to zero until they tip in the other direction. This, to my mind, is the most productive type of relationship to be in.

Sticking with the see-saw metaphor, an “unbalanced” relationship has one of you expending more energy to stay on the ground so the other can stay “up there where the air is rare.” That means you continue to do more than your share and it doesn’t seem “fair.”

I’m reminded of a Grasshopper musing from a decade ago: “Fair is a fairy tale.”

“Fair and balanced” may make a great slug line for a news network, but it doesn’t exist in a relationship.

My friend Doug O’Brien reminds us that rocket ships on their way to the moon are off course 90% of the time. The good news is they auto correct when they go too far in one direction, so they can successfully reach their destination.

Working relationships are a dynamic process. They’re not static; they just shift back an forth from one direction to the other.

You already know if you’re in an unbalanced relationship, no one has to do the math for you. The only question left is, “what to do?”

I don’t pretend to have the answer, only the question: Are you a 1 or a 2?

All the best,


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July 20, 2018

The Good Fight

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Morgan @ 5:20 am

Yada yada 1430679 1920The Grasshopper woke me up with this overnight: “Don’t fight to be right; fight for what you want.”

Only one way rewards you.

Fighting to be right is like an ongoing debate. Fighting for what you want has an outcome either way – yes or no.

The real question is: Is the “right” way working?

You may eventually win the debate but there will be no reward other than bragging rights.

I guess the message here is: Ask for what you want.

The long preamble of being right before asking for what you want, almost always, dilutes what you will get.

Skip the argument about being right and you’ll less often be wronged.

All the best,


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July 17, 2018

Soon Revisited

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Morgan @ 6:26 pm

NewImageThis is one of my favorite blog posts from 6 years ago. I ran across it today and wanted to give it another play.

The end of soon will not happen soon enough for me.

This is a mini-rant.

I detest the word “Soon.” It is the fluffiest word in the dictionary and I’m just as guilty of using it as anyone else.

When is soon? It could be a few seconds to a lifetime depending on who’s using it.

I would rather endure a monsoon than soon.

I got a sales call disguised as a service call last week. The person reportedly wanted to thank me for my business of a recent purchase and then went on to pitch me on another of their products. I inquired when the product I had ordered would be arriving. She replied, “Soon.”

I responded with a question: “When specifically is soon?” She then said, “Oh, that’s not my department; I don’t really know.” I said, “You know enough to lie to me to say, ‘Soon’” and then I politely ended the call.

“Soon” is often a parent word. We use it as shorthand for “Shut up.”

When someone offers you “Soon,” they are giving you a handful of air. If you accept “Soon,” you will be disappointed because your timeframe of soon will not match theirs.

It’s always useful to get clarification of “Soon.” My personal favorite is, “How soon will that happen?” If they come back with “Oh, soon,” you know you are dealing with a person who doesn’t know.

Just for fun, notice how many times you hear the word “Soon” today and know that the person using it has nothing to say.

Rant over!

All the best,


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July 3, 2018

Staying Put

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Morgan @ 5:09 pm

stubbornmule.jpgIt’s close to being the national pastime: Staying Stuck. The Grasshopper chimed in on this observation saying, “Arguing for your conditioning is arguing for your limitations; neither will move you forward.”

Our conditioning cannot be denied nor can it be dismissed as a causative factor on how we act. We act in accordance with our conditioning . . . until we notice.

There is an appetite for defending our conditioning. Look no further than religion. Most people have the same religion as their parents. The question that’s rarely asked is: “Did they ask your permission?” In most cases, you got your religious beliefs through conditioning by your early caregivers. Then you may argue vociferously that you have the one true religion.

Your conditioning will have you assert what has become my least favorite phrase: “That’s the way I am.” When you hear that phrase, you are in the presence of someone who’s stuck. They may claim they want to evolve but can’t because they are so invested in defending their limitations.

When someone calls you on your shit, the conditioned response is twofold:

1. Get angry

2. Get defensive

Getting angry is understandable. No one likes to hear about their shortcomings, even if it’s warranted to point them out. Getting defensive is the more destructive of the two. It’s the glue that keeps us stuck.

Here comes one of my favorite words again: “Noticing.”

When we notice our conditioning, we then have a choice. We may choose to remain the same or we may choose to move forward. If you don’t notice, you have no choice; you’re a prisoner of your conditioning.

It may seem obvious but the best way to avoid moving forward is to stay stuck.

Here’s a challenge that takes some courage: Notice your conditioned beliefs and offer yourself a choice – to stay put or move forward.

All the best,


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June 21, 2018

Story Untold

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Morgan @ 5:14 am

SadEverybody has a story and we all need to tell it to let it out in the big world rather than keeping it in little old me. But, at some point, it also needs to be retired or it will immobilize you.

The discovery I’ve made about bringing our story out too often is this: You block yourself from moving forward.

Why do we keep our story on the front page for so long? To justify why we are the way we are. “I’m this way because my mother fed me from the wrong breast.” It sounds silly to say that but it’s no sillier than us citing and leaning on our reasons (our story) for why we are the way we are.

Our story keeps us arguing for our limitations.

Everyone’s story is important and once we’ve told it a few times to our counselor, friends, clergy or family members, it’s in our best interest to leave it where it does us the most good – in the past.

To make room for a new chapter in our life we have to purge the old ones.

Some people will elect to keep telling their story. They believe at some level if they tell it just one more time, they’ll get the emotional relief they’ve been seeking. The reverse is actually the case. We cause ourselves more hurt with each successive telling. We revivify the original experience. I’m reminded of what my hypnosis teacher Dr. Dave Dobson said: “You don’t have to go to the landfill to remember what garbage smells like.”

Got a story to tell? We all do but I encourage you to explore the powerful question that author Byron Katie asks: “Who are you without your story?” One answer is this: Free to move forward without baggage.

Retiring stories is like the game of golf: simple but not easy. The simple instruction is to immediately stop telling your story. The challenging part is to realize that you are not discounting the importance of your personal history by no longer telling it.

No one can diminish the importance of your story and no one should try. But if you keep telling it, the only thing you’ll insure is that you’ll stay stuck until the day you die.

The only story worth continually telling is this: Once upon a time I was my story.

All the best,


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June 15, 2018

The Downside of Ownership

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Morgan @ 9:34 am

MonkeyThe Grasshopper let this slip out the other day: “I once owned it; I’ve since outgrown it.”

What mindsets do you own that just don’t cut it any more? Too many to count in my case.

What are you holding on to that’s dragging you down? (Think of attempting to tread water while holding on to an anchor).

I’m reminded of how native Africans captured monkeys. They would put peanuts inside a hollowed out coconut shell. On one side of the shell was a knotted rope with the knot on the inside of the shell. The other side had a larger hole where the monkey could reach in and grab the peanuts. The problem was when they closed their hand around the peanuts, they couldn’t withdraw it from the shell. The natives would just pull on the rope and bring the monkey towards them and capture them. At any time, the monkey could have released their grip and let go of the peanut and freed themselves. Most didn’t and left no heirs.

“Changing” a mindset is usually temporary. Think about dieting. The diet eventually has an end and in almost every case the person gains back the weight. They attempted to change their behavior rather than outgrow it.

I remember asking a divorced woman at a seminar if she would ever consider going back with her ex. Her answer was an emphatic “No!” I attempted to sweeten the pot. I asked if she would consider it if he won a major Powerball jackpot. Her answer was just as emphatic – “No!”

She outgrew her husband. Once you outgrow something you won’t go back to it. Think about the “stylish” clothes you wore in high school. Most people wouldn’t be caught dead in those togs today, even on Halloween.

Outgrowing is the realization that something doesn’t fit or isn’t working anymore.

It’s acting on that realization that will take you out of that mindset and grow into one that works for you now.

Take inventory of your beliefs and have the courage to notice which ones are no longer working. It’s at that moment that you’ll begin to outgrow the old way and grow into a new way.

All the best,


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May 30, 2018


Filed under: Uncategorized — John Morgan @ 5:41 am

Magic lanternRecently, I decided to close a chapter in my life. It was painful and it was time.

There are too many reasons to list why this was the appropriate juncture, but suffice it to say I grew weary – weary of trying to pierce peoples’ illusions.

The biggest obstacle I came up against is the mindset that someone is going to do something for you with no effort on your part. Straight up, no one can go to the bathroom for you and there is never a free lunch.

When you get a massage, you lie there and the therapist does all the work. The only thing you need to do is turn over half way. Reaching goals, self–improvement and outgrowing habits take work on your part. The problem is that a majority doesn’t believe that.

I follow a photographer online who is extremely talented and obese, and gets bigger by the day. He enthusiastically touts that he works out but his videos show no evidence of any effect. My guess is he thinks his workout is all he has to do. No, that’s not true. He’ll also have to work at outgrowing old eating and drinking habits and rid himself of magical thinking as well.

Magical thinking is hocus-pocus. Magic bullets, like magic wands, don’t exist. If they did, I would own my own private island.

People in the Self-Improvement business offer you a program to follow. You’ll never guess that 95% of the people don’t follow it. They figure that they paid their money and now all they have to do is sit back and reap the benefits. That’s a fantasy.

If you go to a wealth building seminar or an AA meeting or a seminar on how to flip houses, you have to do the steps they outline. It’s my experience that people attending a seminar, too often, think attending is enough. If you attended a geometry class but didn’t do the homework, the only circumference of a circle you’ll find is the hole you put your head up.

Our culture has evolved to “No pain, No pain.” The amount of justifications for not doing the necessary work is endless. If it’s the least bit uncomfortable, we bail.

I call this phenomenon the “World War II Water Down Theory.” I’m the child of a World War II veteran. I didn’t have it as rough as my parents. They shielded me from pain they experienced. I’m the father of children. I did the same shielding for them. They didn’t have it as rough as my wife and I did. They now have children and these young ones certainly have it a lot less tough than their parents, grandparents and great grandparents.

NOTE: Being uncomfortable is a sign that you’re learning something new. It’s not second nature yet and it won’t be if you don’t complete the steps and follow through.

For me, it simply comes down to this: Life has its discomforts and the only way out is through. Or as my hypnosis teacher said, “The ripe fruit is out on the skinny branches.” It takes some risk (discomfort) to reap rewards.

I don’t mind telling you that I’m uncomfortable writing this, so I’ll be curious as to what this malaise will teach me.

All the best,


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May 24, 2018

Life Is But A Dream

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 5:35 am

DreamingThe Grasshopper gave me a puzzling message to reflect on: “You can’t dream without memories.”

Did you ever notice that dreams are loosely based on experiences that you’ve had (memories)?

Most dreams I have are like patchwork quilts. They hopscotch around and have bizarre twists and turns but are loosely based on experiences that I’ve had.

We may have met someone a week ago that had unusual eyebrows. We shouldn’t be too surprised that unusual eyebrows show up in a dream. Our dream may mix eyebrows with an experience that we had 10 days later and tie the two together.

Many moons ago I was introduced to the concept that we live our lives by reference. We’re always referring back to try and make sense of something unfamiliar that’s right in front of us now. We use past experience to try and figure out the present.

Dreams are no different, except for the fact that they’re a lot less sequential.

I find dreams to be an escape valve for emotions that are bubbling below the surface. We may choose not to deal with the emotions in our awake state, but the dream machine has no such option. It just stirs up lots of divergent stuff and sees what escapes.

Thankfully we don’t have to deal with all that angst in our everyday waking life. Our dreaming apparatus takes care of a portion of it while we sleep.

Some people attempt to make sense of their dreams and sometimes we can, but for the most part they are a confusing mix of disjointed events.

The takeaway here is this: Not all your dreams will make sense but they will make your life a lot less scary, because when you dream you let off some steam.

All the best,


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May 23, 2018

Antidote to Boredom

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Morgan @ 1:58 am

BoredomAre you bored? Is it more often than not?

I know the antidote: PASSION.

What are you passionate about? If you answered “nothing,” you have entered the Boredom Zone. It’s similar to the HOTEL CALIFORNIA: “you can check out anytime you like, but you can never leave.”

Boredom feeds on itself and there is no diversion known to man to make it go away, except for passion.

Passionate people rarely get bored.

So, if passion is the answer, how do I get me some of that?

Search for something to be passionate about. “How will I know when I’m passionate?” The answer is different for everybody. It’s like the question “How will I know I’m in love?” The answer is always, “you’ll just know.”

Where do I begin my search? I don’t have a pat answer, just some suggestions. Here’s one: Go to a large bookstore and go over to the vast magazine racks. Scan every magazine in the racks and notice which ones register with you. Buy a copy of the ones that jumped out at you and go home and read them from cover to cover. The seed of your passion just may take root from this little expedition.

Here’s another: Search out passionate people, either in person or online or in books. Passion is contagious. For example, if you were sad all the time, the suggestion would be to hang around with happy people.

When you encounter passionate people, notice what they do. What rate of speed do they speak at? How do they hold their bodies? How do they gesture? What’s their rate of breathing? Once you notice what passionate people do, mirror their actions. That means to try on their patterns. You just may like the fit.

You would now have the physiology of a passionate person, and don’t be too surprised that you’re feeling a bit different. This little exercise opens doors that you didn’t even know were there.

I would write more but I don’t want to bore you, only remind you that passion is available. You just have to seek it out and take it for a spin.

All the best,


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