- Thoughts for inspired living

May 29, 2019

Old Saws

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Morgan @ 11:28 am

Saw 2Today’s question: Can an old saw still cut it?

Old saws are expressions that have been around longer than most of us can remember, but many of them remain memorable and apt.

Please feel free to add to the list but here are a few that come to mind that don’t nibble around the edges; they cut right in.

My all time favorite is an anonymous Chinese saying: “Talk doesn’t cook rice.”

Here’s one that will stand the test of time through time immemorial: “A stitch in time saves nine.”

And now a couple more.

“If you always do what you always did, you’ll always get what you always got.”

“A shoddy workman always blames his tools.”

I could go on and on with additional adages, proverbs and bon mots, but the real value is living them, not citing them.

Living them lets you cut through, citing them keeps you on a see saw.

It’s like Ralph Waldo Emerson reminded us, “Who you are speaks so loudly, I can’t hear what you’re saying.”

All the best,


January 11, 2008


Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 7:41 am

I was doing some trimming work with my bonsai collection the other day and came up with this question: Did you ever notice that saws are different yet they have the same purpose – to cut through? I had to get used to Japanese saws that are used in bonsai work because they cut mostly on the pull stroke where American saws cut on push and pull. Again, they both cut through. This got me to thinking about old saws because they still must be quite effective or they wouldn’t stand the test of time.

An old saw is a maxim, adage, proverb, or anything else that cuts through in just a few words. You’re familiar with them:

A watched pot never boils.”

“A penny saved is a penny earned.”

Talk doesn’t cook rice.” (my personal favorite)

I found one of them creeping into my emails over the past couple of days. It’s one I have heard but never used until a few days ago.

The proof is in the pudding.”

Some people abuse their power of discretion and it becomes a weapon that causes self inflicted wounds. This is a way of saying that many people dismiss something out of hand because they judge it in their head.

I agree that if someone told you that parrot saliva was the cure for arthritis, you probably would be justified to raise an eyebrow. But if there was a long, documented history of people getting results with this method, you would be doing yourself a disservice if you didn’t investigate further, especially if you have arthritis.

So let’s pretend that you saw an ad for a product in Parade Magazine and then hobbled down to GNC and bought the product called “Pollyspittle” because you were curious. You took it home and then you chose not to use it. It seems counter-intuitive, but the reality is lots of people do that. It’s the next piece of behavior that is mind boggling and counterproductive.

You hop on your computer and dash off a nasty-gram to the manufacturer saying, “This stuff couldn’t possibly work,” and add how disappointed you are. What’s wrong with this photograph? You judged it in your head.

No one’s claiming that you are not entitled to an opinion. We all have them. But when you put the onus on someone else because your untested belief won’t allow you to take the recommended action, whose problem is that?

This type of head judging has no bearing on IQ. You could be Mensa material or dumber than a stump and still be guilty of this practice.

So let’s use the old saws listed above and see if we can fashion some suggestions to prevent you from engaging in this practice.

(WATCHED POT) Know that most change takes patience. The quick fix is usually temporary.

(PENNY SAVED) Don’t buy the cake mix if you expect yours to look like the one on the box without following the recipe.

(COOK RICE) If you could talk yourself into results, they would have already happened.

(PUDDING) The proof is in the action, not what you think of the action.

Here is something that happens every day. A manufacturer of a home gym product gets a letter like this from a recent customer:

“Dear Mr. Manufacturer:

Your product is worthless. How can you advertise this crap on TV? How can you sleep at night knowing as I do that this gizmo can never produce the results you tout in your ads? I’m going to write to the Better Business Bureau and tell all of my friends what a sleezebag you are.

Disgruntled in DesMoines”

The package arrives back at the manufacturer – unopened.

When you stay inside your head, you will never learn anything new. Open yourself to taking some action and then your opinion will contain weight.

All the best,


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,


January 14, 2008


Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 6:40 am

Many people have asked me about The Secret which is a very successful book and DVD. It has captured peoples’ imagination around the world. My personal assessment is The Secret is a wonderful stepping stone towards the future. It’s one of the more attractive, decorated stones on the path. Rhonda Byrne is to be given high praise for compiling such a popular work.

The Secret’s message is one that’s been around for centuries – thoughts become things.

The real question is: what kind of thoughts?

The regular garden variety thought isn’t going to cut it. That’s thinking, and thinking doesn’t make it so. If that were the case there would have been a lot more ponies on Christmas morning.

The reality is that “thoughts become things” is a headline. The real story is many paragraphs deeper. When you investigate fully, the real secret is: Beliefs become things.

Beliefs are subprograms of the mind that run the whole show. No matter what we think, if we have a belief that opposes our thoughts, the belief will always rule the day. Thoughts are logical and beliefs are not. Beliefs run from serious to silly. Your beliefs on any of the talk show “hot button” topics (gun control, capital punishment, abortion, the war) are the “serious” ones. The “right” way to hang toilet paper is one of the sillier ones. Either way, your belief wins the day.

So if you desire to attract a new shiny, sleek, expensive automobile, you will have to do more than picture or imagine it showing up in your driveway. That’s a start but you will remain in the starting blocks if that’s all you do.

Your thinking will never change for more than a minute unless your controlling beliefs melt and fade away. Deep in the bowels of The Secret is the unvarnished truth. Quoting Rhonda Byrne,

“The law of attraction is reflecting back your innermost thoughts and feelings as your life.”

Those innermost thoughts and feelings are your beliefs and you will not think your way out of them no matter how vivid your imagination.

Another testament to “beliefs are things” comes from the author of Radical Forgiveness, Colin Tipping:

“Your life is a mirror of what exists in your subconscious mind.”

Socrates said, “An unexamined life is not worth living.” We live our lives, mostly unaware, of many of the beliefs we hold, and the hold they have on us. Beliefs will take you to one destination – the same place every time. They are like trains that run on predetermined tracks and they always arrive at the same station – no matter that you desire to go elsewhere.”

In order for you to attract something different than what you have, your beliefs will have to get updated.

A great starting point is recognition. Recognition of a controlling belief will get you to the threshold of change quicker than the most vivid of imaginings. Your beliefs need to be interrupted by you before they have a prayer of changing. Before you can interrupt one, you have to recognize that you have it.

So get curious about what belief is keeping you from getting what you want. When that belief rears its head, interrupt it by noticing it. Just the practice of noticing it every time it presents itself will weaken its grasp.

I think that Wayne Dyer communicates the starting point for the law of attraction when he says, “Imagination is the force of creation.” Imagination is the catalyst. Think of it as the fuse that leads to the bomb. The difficulty most people experience is the personal explosion will always short circuit as long as the belief is in between the fuse and the bomb.

Here’s a reframe of an old saw that points the way to finding fruition:

“Curiosity killed the cat’s belief.”

All the best,