- Thoughts for inspired living

April 12, 2019


Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 10:54 am

Levi guzman 268866 unsplashThe Grasshopper hit me with an idea the other day: “There’s opportunity in unity.”

It felt a little bit like a quote that’s been around since 1624: “No man is an island,” but different.

Unity suggests camaraderie to me. I guess that’s why they call collections of military personnel “units.”

I also have to mention the Three Musketeers’ motto – “All for one and one for all.”

Going it alone is a tough road whether professionally or personally, and it, too often, keeps opportunity on the horizon rather than in your grasp.

Bringing other people into your circle to consult and cavort with presents more options and more opportunities.

If you’re stuck in place, reach out to another face. It’s an exercise in unity that leads to opportunity.

All the best,


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April 2, 2019

Happy 😄

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 5:40 am

Ben white 128604 unsplashWhat makes me happy? This is the question that popped into my mind early this morning. I came up with countless answers, of which I will only list a few . . .

• I’m happy when I see a dog hanging its head outside a car window.

• It makes me happy to see a happy ending movie.

• It makes me happy when I make someone laugh.

But this is not just about me; it’s about you too.

“Happy” is a matter of focus. It seems that most of our focus is on troublesome thoughts . . . until we notice.

Learn to catch yourself thinking. Troublesome thoughts will always be a part of our life. But if we keep non-stop focus on them, we miss many happy thoughts.

No one is totally happy. Anyone who claims they are has a truckload of snake oil.

Develop the habit of noticing (observing) your thinking. Just by noticing, we create a space between our thoughts. In that space, take a moment to think about what makes you happy. It’s a pleasant respite from doom and gloom.

Did you ever notice that happy thoughts deliver warm bodily feelings? Warm always melts ice. Take a moment to purposely feel nice.

All the best,


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March 28, 2019

Emasculation Emancipation

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 11:44 am

Marco jimenez 780958 unsplashI have a theory about angry men, not men who get angry, but those in a perpetual state of pique.

To me, it comes down to one word: Emasculation.

Angry men feel weakened and the only way to chase away that feeling, if only for a time, is to get angry.

Emasculation is depriving a man of his identity or role. No one can actually take it from you, but that doesn’t keep some men from being angry over the perceived theft.

Yes, some men may have modeled angry behavior from a parent or care giver but the thing that keeps feeding the fire is “not feeling like a man.”

Just look at your male friends on Facebook who issue ongoing diatribes about the way it should be. You can feel the anger. They’re feeling emasculated – unable to do anything but rant.

Part of the male persona is due to conditioning. “Big boys don’t cry” comes to mind. Military recruitment taps into this emasculated mindset to populate its ranks. “Be a man my son” is a directive without direction. So with no clear path to manhood, many men feel inept, which generates anger.

I don’t have a solution just the observation. It’s my experience that observing one’s anger, while it’s happening, is a step towards relieving the hostile feelings. Noticing that you have anger within you will get you to metabolize those feelings much quicker than justifying your anger with a rant.

I guess I could reduce this to a bumper sticker: Real Men don’t Rant, but that would only point out the problem rather than solve it.

My recommendation is to notice your state of mind more often. Just the act of noticing interrupts the behavior and in that space between your angry thoughts can come a solution. Let’s call it “Emasculation Emancipation.”

All the best,


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March 25, 2019

Below The Belt

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Morgan @ 7:52 am

Below The BeltThere’s a boxing term called, “below the belt.” It means that a fighter has struck his opponent below the waistline, which is a no-no.

So it follows that hitting below the belt is striking a vulnerable area. When this tactic is used metaphorically, it can often be labeled as an attack.

It also can be a useful tool when getting someone off their “horseshit soapbox.” That’s the place where they cite “their truth” about why they are the way they are. It’s always a defensive position and it keeps them stuck in place.

Hard questions are perceived by many as hitting below the belt.

Many won’t ask hard questions of a person suffering, thinking it will further damage them. I find that’s not the case. Hard questions are focusing agents. They are bridge building questions – taking you from where you really are to where you want to be.

I wouldn’t recommend a steady diet of them but a well placed, succinct inquiry can take the fight out of a long held defensive position. Perhaps an example would be helpful.

Here’s an excerpt from my book “INTER RUPTION: The Magic key To Lasting Change.”

“It was some 30 years ago and I was pitching an employee communications program to the owner of a propane gas company. I did all the usual rapport building one would do and began my presentation.

There was a lot of back and forth, along with many questions about the content and expected results of the program. It was all pretty routine, until he asked me this question: “How will I know I’ve enhanced my employees’ communication skills?”

I had a ready-made answer for him but for some reason I didn’t bring it out. I just let the question hang in the air for what seemed like an eternity. It may have been no longer than 10 to 15 seconds but in a setting like this, that’s a long time for silence. I just sat quietly and then this question popped out of my mouth: “Why do you think your employees hate you?”

His eyes widened, he sat up straighter, and he looked at me as though I had visited his soul. He asked me, “How do you know that?” I don’t remember exactly what I said but it was along the lines of “Just a hunch.”

This piece of information may have never surfaced unless my patterned answer got INTER RUPTED. The good news for both of us was that we got what we wanted: He learned to communicate with his employees, and his employees learned some new, fun and useful stuff as well. Me, I got paid, and in the bargain I got a bigger payoff than money can buy, that is, how to find deeper, more meaningful answers by INTER RUPTING my patterned way.”

If your patterned way is using kid gloves, you may not be getting measurable results with yourself or others. It may be time to “lace them up” as they say in the boxing world and land a strategic blow below the belt.

I can tell you this for certain: it will take the wind out of any defensive position.

All the best,


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March 19, 2019

Is There Real Magic?

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 4:05 pm

Magic Castle

If an ancient civilization saw an airplane take off and fly, they would think it was magic. We know it’s mechanics and science.

Then we see a master magician do incredible feats, but we know there is some sort of trickery going on. So it’s more magical than it is magic.

So the question is: Is there real magic? – something past hoodoo and voodoo.

I continue to be amazed about the magic of beliefs – the ability to create something unbelievable from concentrated thoughts and feelings.

Think of a beautiful piece of music that once wasn’t even notes on paper. Someone believed they could create something that no one had done before. How about a story writer or a scientist? What led them to their creations and discoveries? It began with an idea and belief.

So the next question is: Do you have beliefs that aren’t working for you? Or better stated, they are working but not to your benefit.

Those beliefs are worth examining and worth outgrowing. That practice makes room for new beliefs – ones that can help us create our own brand of magic.

Your belief that you “can’t” is your biggest impediment to getting to “can.”

I readily agree that believing you’ll be the best ballet dancer that ever lived and you begin your training at age 70 is, to quote Betty Crocker’s husband, “pie in the sky.” That doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy a level of personal greatness in ballet. You can. Magic starts with a belief.

One of the best workarounds to “can’t” is to pretend you can. The magic of pretending opens up avenues of belief that were being held back by the paralyzation of two words: “I can’t.”

Pretending you can is the real magic of believing.

When someone tells me they can’t, I often respond with, “pretend you can.” It’s a magical phrase that opens up possibilities – ones hidden by can’t.

The land of make believe is not hocus-pocus. It’s the proving ground for real magic.

All the best,


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March 7, 2019

Hate Hole

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 9:32 am

HoleIt’s my sense that some of the most stuck people on earth are stuck in a “hate hole.”

Just look at your friends on Facebook. Is there any doubt about the ones steeped in hate? Also notice that they’re stuck in life, often financially.

Also notice that they blame their stuckness on someone else. If you want to bond or influence these folks, give them someone or something to blame for their station in life and you’ll have a friend for life, albeit a hateful one.

I don’t know a foolproof way to extricate yourself from this abyss, just the following suspicion.

Open yourself to the possibility that there’s something more redeeming than hate. You don’t have to own this position, just explore it. You can always go back to hating if you choose.

Looking at life from another angle is the mindset that needs to be adopted to begin the process of climbing out of this hellhole. It gives you an appreciation that there are other ways to go.

If you can just get a glimpse of your culpability in keeping hate in place, you have a leg up on all the other haters. Sadly, most people won’t adopt a new perspective and stay in their hole. You don’t have to. If you’re tired of looking up from the bottom, stop digging.

Just entertain the notion that giving up hate is a magic potion – one that sets your ascent in motion.

All the best,


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February 26, 2019

Liar is a Label

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 8:22 am

LiarThe noun “liar” describes someone who tells lies. But it’s also a label, one that has extreme emotion attached to it.

Notice that people most often argue about labels. “He’s a cotton headed ninny muggins” comes to mind. The attached emotion to a label keeps the facts out in the field and agreement without yield.

Calling someone on a lie vs. labeling them a liar is the difference that will make a difference.

Pejorative labels always lead to escalation. If all you want to do is pummel another, keep labeling them. But if you want a resolution, start peeling back your labels.

Pinocchio was a puppet who lied. If people continued to label him a liar, there would be no metamorphosis towards a happy ending. And that’s no lie!

All the best,


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February 20, 2019

Making Time

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 11:01 am

Interruption phoneWondering if someone has your back? Here’s one signpost that they do: Making time when they don’t have time.

Have you ever dropped everything to listen to another’s concerns even though you were knee-deep in something that was important to you? That’s making time.

Sometimes it’s just not possible to make time. If you’re a veterinarian in the middle of surgery on a wharf rat, it’s understandable.

But if all your activities take on the air of importance – too important to be interrupted – you tacitly communicate the lack of importance that person has to you.

Here’s a telltale sign of a person who can’t make time. You begin to communicate something deeply concerning to you and the other person launches into a personal experience they’ve had that’s much worse than yours.

Making time is a major indicator that someone values you. One caution: Don’t overuse the open door policy of another. If you do, all your problems take on the same hue – unimportant, not worthy of making time for.

If you demand abundant access to another’s ears – friends, Romans and countrymen, plus Mickey Mouse will not invite you to join them for a beer.

All the best,


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February 13, 2019


Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 8:41 am

ArrogantThe word “Spin” popped into my mind this morning. It arrived as an acronym: S.P.I.N.

“Spin” for me is presenting “what is” as “what isn’t.”

There is a positive side of spin. The NLP (neuro-linguistic programming) folks call it “reframing.” The reframe most are familiar with is the Helen Keller quote: “I cried because I had no shoes until I met a man who had no feet.”

The technique takes the whole painting and reduces it to a corner that acts a springboard to a change of attitude.

Others use spin differently. It seems to be a pattern that can be reduced to four steps.

S. Sidestep

P. Prevaricate

I. Insist

N. Negate

The first step is the favored strategy of the politician. Don’t answer the question asked.

The next step is to lie. The bigger the lie the more convincing it seems to be. (I believe it appeals to the conspiracy theorist that’s in all of us).

Next, insist emphatically that people believe you because you are on the side of the angels.

The last step is to negate the counter argument by not acknowledging it. This involves continually moving the goal posts which takes us full circle back to step one: Sidestep.

On and on it goes, around and around with endless rebound.

I recently heard the following quote to stop the merry-go-round. It came from TV talk show host Don Lemon: “Don’t play me, play lotto. Your odds are better.”

I used to have the following strategy to decide who to vote for. I asked myself if I would follow that person up a hill. If the answer was “no,” they didn’t get my vote.

I now have added another criterion: The politician who spins the least gets my support to procure their seat.

All the best,


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February 6, 2019

Believing Without Evidence

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 9:02 am

Scales of JusticeHere’s something we all have in common: We believe without evidence.

Whether the topic is social, religious, political, cultural or something else, we believe without backup.

Then we often get on a soapbox and believe “louder.” Here’s one of life’s little known secrets: The loudest one doesn’t win. They just temporarily drown out the facts. But eventually the verbal storm passes and the evidence has a way of sticking around.

Here are two personal examples of me believing without evidence. We all were exposed to the allegations of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford against Justice Brett Kavanaugh, and now we have the Lieutenant Governor of Virginia accused of sexual assault. I personally believe both of the women. But I don’t believe they “should be believed” without evidence.

The hue and cry is that the victims “should be believed.” No, their allegations should be taken seriously and then held up for inspection and serious investigation. Believing, by itself, is relying on your conditioning and prejudice, neither of which has a good track record when compared to the facts.

Sexual assault is a serious charge and should be taken seriously as should the person making the allegations. But to believe without looking at the evidence is about as prejudiced as we can be.

This is not a political or social stand. This is my observation on beliefs and how they are formed and how we, without evidence, conform.

All the best,


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