- Thoughts for inspired living

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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May 22, 2018


Filed under: Uncategorized — John Morgan @ 5:06 am

You matterWhere does our relevance come from – inside or out?

That’s a question that popped into my mind this morning.

It seems to me that outside relevance is manufactured and inside relevance is innate.

One always was and the other has an end date.

Let’s pretend that you derive your relevance from being up-to-date on all things “today.” That’s irrelevant when compared to inside relevance.

Inside relevance needs no constant study; the lesson is already built in.

If you live and breathe, you have inborn relevance. It’s just a matter of discovering yours.

You only have to discover it once, whereas outside relevance has to be worked on for a lifetime just to keep up.

You matter! It needs no outside validation.

Just like you don’t get confidence from others, you don’t get your relevance from what other people think of you.

If you continually seek validation from the outside, you are trapped in a self-made cultural divide.

Reflect on your relevance. I believe you’ll find that it resides in your body, not in your mind.

All the best,


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May 17, 2018

A Love of My Own

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Morgan @ 5:53 am

SnoopyThe lyrics of an old song popped into my head this morning: “A LOVE OF MY OWN.”

I look at the mountain

I look at the sun

I look at everything
Mother Nature has done

Then I wanna know

Why can’t I find a love of my own

It got me musing about love. I heartily buy into Jerry Stocking‘s definition of love, that being “inclusion.” I believe that to be “global love.” The message being, the more I include others, the more love I experience.

It seems to me that “A Love of My Own” is a subset of “global love.” It equates to my little corner of the world.

It looks like the pilgrimage to global love has to pass through our local neighborhood and have some success there before being able to get to the mountaintop of inclusion.

If you can’t get a handle on local love, it follows that global love will always be a concept rather than a reality.

A love of my own may be a romantic love or the love of something that brings the joy of love to your doorstep.

I believe we all yearn for a love of our own. Owning that experience is a stepping stone to move past our borders and head for the hills of inclusion.

All the best,


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May 10, 2018


Filed under: Uncategorized — John Morgan @ 8:55 am

DreadAre you part of the breathing dead? You are if you spend most of your life in a state of dread.

Dread, pure and simple, is anticipating the worst possible outcome in just about every case. Dread goes way past negative thinking. It’s fatalism on parade.

Dread is the opposite of hope which is also a state of mind. Neither has an effect on the outcome. They’re both just a state of mind we enter when we don’t know what the results will be.

I can remember a time when I would go to a movie and was aware of the run time of the film. I was more concerned with how much time was left in the movie and the possible outcomes rather than paying attention to the storyline. This behavior ruined a lot of movies for me.

I was jumping out of where I was into an imagined future that I had no control over, using either hope or dread.

I will admit that hope feels better but, bottom line, neither has any effect on how things will turn out.

If you find yourself in a state of dread, here’s a prescription: Get out of your head.

Put your attention on what’s currently going on. A tried and true practice for getting in touch with what’s going on now is to notice your breathing. You’re not focusing on whether you’ll be breathing or not in the future; you’re focused on your breathing now.

It’s a great practice for getting out of your head and not dwelling on dread.

You don’t replace dreadful thinking with positive thinking. That just sets up a mental battle between the two. Noticing what’s actually happening now gets you tethered to reality vs. fantasy.

If you want more life in your life, pay attention to what’s happening now and leave dreadful thinking to the walking dead.

All the best,


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April 26, 2018

If I Were You

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Morgan @ 7:42 am

Counsel“Are you giving a speech you aren’t hearing?” That was a question that came out of the blue the other day. It was cause for reflection.

I think the easiest job in the world is where someone pays you to give them your opinion. I don’t know about you but, in the past, I’ve offered mine without being payed.

Quite often my prescription was spot on but not one I was taking myself. You may want to boil it down to “walk your talk” but it goes down deeper than that.

Based on my personal experience, I don’t think people truly hear what they are saying. It’s pure rote and they don’t give their advice a second thought, and certainly no thought as to how it applies to them.

Years ago, I had a revelation. I heard a relative of mine say, “I don’t start fights but if someone else does, I finish them.” His words struck me like a body slam. They were offensive to me. I wondered why I had such an adverse reaction to those words and then it hit me. I have used that exact same phrase and never heard its impact until someone else said it.

Offering advice you’re not following is being tone deaf to your own shortcomings. Sometimes I think that hypocrites don’t recognize they’re being hypocritical. They’re like an obese person referring to someone else as “fat.”

I guess the message here is to pay more attention to your own counsel. That way, you have a better chance of being heard.

All the best,


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April 19, 2018

Never Had

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Morgan @ 8:27 am

ChecklistI had a list of things pop into my mind the other day: a list of things I never had.

I never had a . . .

• hole in one

• fish taco

• parent who read to me

• music recital

• turkey burger

Then I really had to put on my thinking cap to come up with more “never hads.” It was then that it occurred to me that my list of the things I DID experience was vast and ongoing.

This may fall in the category of gratitude but I think it’s even
deeper than that. I think it’s a realization that we can get focused on the smaller picture and get stuck.

The bigger picture is more encompassing and leads to brighter moments, brighter thoughts and more options.

The bigger picture includes not only “had” but also “have.” That’s why it’s ongoing and filled with movement rather than stagnation.

I encourage you to shift into “have” mode any time you think you’re missing something. It’s from this frame of mind that overlooked puzzle pieces appear and complete a bigger picture.

All the best,


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April 12, 2018


Filed under: Uncategorized — John Morgan @ 9:07 am

Old YoungI was responding to the question “how old are you?” the other day and replied with a surprising answer. The answer was, “Old enough to remember, young enough to forget.”

What the heck did I mean by that? I had no clue until reflecting upon my answer.

“Old enough to remember” seems to be the easier part. It suggests I’ve been around a while and have seen or heard a thing or two.

The “Young enough to forget” was puzzling. Did it mean that a younger me would let go of something more quickly or did it mean I’m still young enough now not to carry around unnecessary weight? I’m guessing both.

A younger me would move on to the next thing; an older me would stay steeped in the memory. The trick seems to be separating the two.

As long as I have the faculties to do so, I will remember. But I also still have my youthful ability to disperse quickly the energy surrounding a past injustice, affront or offending action.

A younger me wouldn’t waste the energy; an older me wanted to hang on to it. I think the older me interpreted that energy as “being alive.” Upon further inspection of that sensation, I found it to be a pile of hurt that I never acknowledged.

Acknowledging that something hurts takes away some of the sting. You can still remember but are not incapacitated by the memory.

It’s OK to hurt. We all do, but many of us bury the hurt in a memory instead of letting it come out into the light of a new day.

Please don’t misinterpret what I offer. Dwelling on the hurt is drama in its highest form and just keeps hurt in place. Acknowledging the hurt is recognizing it exists without exacerbating its intensity. Spiritual Author Eckhart Tolle reminds us to get in the habit of saying, “I have unhappiness within me” without assigning it to an outside event. That’s acknowledgement in its most productive form.

Lots of people don’t know they’re hurting. They just think they’re justifiably angry. Beneath all long-term anger sits unacknowledged, long-term hurt.

If the older you can acknowledge your hurt, the younger part of you will wake you up to brighter days.

All the best,


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