GrasshopperNotes.com - Thoughts for inspired living


June 22, 2020

What if You’re Not You?

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Morgan @ 4:00 am

Grant durr JVbW2p8ZzBY unsplashHave you ever given consideration that the you you think you are is just sort of a Clark Kent type identity? It’s your name, but it’s really a cover identity if, underneath it all, you’re really Superman or Wonder Woman.

One identity covers over the other. What if you’re not the cover you? What if you’re not the thoughts that accumulate in your head as to who you think you are, what you believe, who’s wronged you, who agrees with you, who tells you that you’re this way and not that.

That’s the very minor you, little you if you will. What if the bigger you, the all-encompassing you, is who you really are. And that other you is just some nagging little pest that gets in your way and bosses you around and tries to control you. It’s like a very insecure person who wants to join the police force solely because they desperately want to experience some kind of authority and be granted control.

And that’s what the little you is: a sanctioned controller. We’ve been conditioned to believe it’s the authority in charge of all the rules as to what’s allowed and what’s possible. It acts as a gatekeeper, keeping the passageway between the big you and itself, little you, blocked. That’s little you’s main job.

When you’re in your head and little you is spouting all the things that are “true” – things others should know about and adhere to – the things that nobody understands, but you, that’s how you clog the corridor between you and your superpower.

But, when that pseudo-important little you calms down and relaxes, it lets answers and ideas that have been held in solitary confinement to come through the gate.

This mellowing out of little you, gives you access to an unlimited you, not just to a small conceptual world that you made up in your head. When big you comes through, you’re not limited to what you already know and personal biases; you now have access to something that can’t be Googled: Wisdom.

Wanna know who’s blocking the way for you to clearly see? Yep, it’s little old me.

All the best,

John

Listen to the recorded version.

 



Be Sociable, Share!


June 19, 2020

How Did I Get Here?

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Morgan @ 7:59 am

Kaleidico 7lryofJ0H9s unsplashEver wonder to yourself how you got to be where you are now?

It’s my experience that most of us attribute our current state in life, especially if it’s an undesirable one, to someone or something else. Rarely, do we put the onus on us.

You can certainly find out how you got here. Just reengineer the steps that preceded your current set of circumstances. Then, the trick to find out how you really got here is to remove all the blame you have ascribed to someone or something else. Then you’ll have a clear picture of how you arrived.

But all of that is a history lesson, not a plan to go forward. Going forward also benefits by reengineering. Start with what you want your circumstances to be and work backward from there. What are the steps necessary to build a bridge from where you are to where you want to be?

The past is of no use here – only your current set of circumstances and what you want to evolve to.

There are building blocks necessary to fashion a different future. Get curious as to what they are and then go to work on them one by one. Remember: to climb a mountain, it’s necessary to navigate the foothills first.

Reminds me of a story . . . I have relatives who are Navy SEALs. One of them graduated as one of the top five graduates at a major university in California. An Admiral spoke at the commencement. He said the reason that five of the six top graduates were SEALs was of no surprise to him. He said that they are mission oriented and don’t move on to the next step until the one they’re on is completed.

Make your future a mission. Start by leaving your past behind and craft a vision of what a desirable future looks like. Then employ my favorite Chinese axiom: “Talk doesn’t cook rice.”

Gather your building materials one-by-one, then assemble them piece by piece. Make your future more than a wish; take the necessary actions and work your plan, and you’ll never again have to wonder how you got to be where you are now. You’ll have a blueprint.

All the best,

John

Listen to the recorded version.



Be Sociable, Share!


June 15, 2020

Inside Light Meter

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Morgan @ 9:08 am

Annie spratt vKM 4ZqYx7k unsplashI had a dream last night about photographing someone and taking a light meter reading of their face. As I was doing that, I was saying to myself, “I wonder how I meter their light inside.”

Shakespeare told us, “The eyes are the window to your soul.” And yes, they are the leading indicator as to the amount of inside light someone is projecting.

You learn in photography that smiling isn’t necessarily an indicator as to how light someone is feeling, unless the smile makes it to their eyes. There’s a little crinkle on the outside corners of the eyes that reveals if the smile is genuine.

I think everyone is naturally good at something – something they didn’t work at – something that comes to them naturally. For me, it’s knowing how someone is feeling almost immediately after seeing or hearing them.

When I first discovered that I had this skill, I wanted to know how I knew. Eventually, the answer came to me. If I met them in person, it was their eyes that told me the story. If it was over the phone, it was their voice that gave me the clues.

Want to know how light or dark someone is feeling inside? Pay close attention to what’s showing up on the outside.

After you get a little better at this, people will wonder if you have a little bit of psychic in you. You do! It comes from getting out of your head and paying attention to what’s right there in front of you.

All the best,

John

Listen to the recorded version.



Be Sociable, Share!


March 31, 2020

Way of Life

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Morgan @ 5:13 am

Darren lawrence zW7MjBFE9zk unsplashDo you want something you’re responsible for to change? Change your way of life. It’s the only way that works.

Many people don’t believe they had a hand in getting to where they are. They’ve divorced themselves from responsibility. Their silent mantra is “Why me Lord?” This is “fun house mirror” logic on steroids.

Your current way of life is the patterned way you do things. Take eating as an example. You have a patterned way of consuming. If you’re too heavy for your liking, you may go on a diet. Chances are you will lose weight, but the odds are even greater that you’ll gain it all back. Why? Because you thought that a temporary change was going to be a permanent fix.

You would need to redefine the word “diet” to mean “way of life,” and follow it for life to get lifelong results.

We have too many patterns to list, so let’s go after just one and watch changes in others happen automatically. My friend Jerry Stocking years ago said, “The way you do one thing is the way you do everything.” So just change one unproductive pattern and watch the dominos fall on many others.

You can begin small and change one little thing you regularly do that’s not working for you. When that way of life is outgrown, other like patterns will follow in lockstep. Think of it as “Birds of a feather.”

If you want to go BIG, go to work on your patterned way of thinking. To change your thinking, start observing your thinking at work. Your mind has a mind of its own and its thoughts will own you until you recognize that the thoughts in your head are not you. They are a collection of patterns that take up space in your mind. Take a few minutes a day and just sit and observe your mind at play. You’ll soon discover that there is the thinker and the observer. When you become the observer, your thinking begins to change. Your mind gets quieter as your observational skills increase.

Make observing your thinking a way of life and watch your life automatically change without you having to seek out one temporary fix after another.

In closing, here is a “way of life” suggestion from the ancient Chinese Sage Lao Tzu who introduced us to the “tao,” which means “the way”: “Stop thinking and end your problems.”

All the best,

John



Be Sociable, Share!


January 21, 2020

The Religious Atheist

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Morgan @ 9:03 am

Ryan riggins 2KJjKrod2RA unsplash“Even Atheists have religion.” That was the mini-sermon I heard from The Grasshopper this morning.

We all have things we believe in that we can’t validate. That’s faith; that’s trust; that’s religion.

Even the most devout religious person knows they cannot prove many of the tenets of their faith. That, however, is not enough to dissuade them from their belief.

When we believe in something that others cannot fathom, and that we cannot prove, we have a brand of religion. There is nothing wrong with believing; that’s how we are wired.

The problem arises when we want to sell our belief as the only one there is, or to be more specific – The one true religion.

That doesn’t mean we can’t have discussions with non-believers about our beliefs. It just means that we need to step down from our soapbox, so we’re on the same level.

When discussing beliefs, it’s important not to challenge the other person’s way of believing. Here are two words to use when asking a question about another person’s belief: Curious and Wonder.

“I’m curious how you arrived at your belief that all left-handed strippers are bi-sexual.”

“I wonder what makes you believe that your religion (way of believing) is the one, true religion?”

You’re just asking how they arrived at their conclusion. You’re not challenging it, demeaning it, or dismissing it. You are just starting a discussion about what most recommend that we politely don’t talk about.

What their answer will reveal is what NLP practitioners call their “convincer strategy.” But that isn’t my goal when having this discussion. I’m attempting to form a closer bond with someone who has different beliefs than me. I’m not attempting to convince them to see things my way. That generally has them quickly head for the highway.

My goal is to get closer to the belief that this person is just like me – just with different content. I think of us both as tea or coffee mugs. We’re both the same; we just contain a different brew.

The next time you are tempted to dismiss someone’s beliefs, get a little religion and discover that they don’t have to be just like you.

All the best,

John



Be Sociable, Share!


October 10, 2019

Let’s Argue

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Morgan @ 7:56 am

Cloudvisual co uk DCtwjzQ9uVE unsplashWant to start an argument? Use comparatives or superlatives!

“Better” or “Best” are good places to start. “My idea is better.” “Inky Octopus has the best calamari in the city.”

Notice that comparatives and superlatives bring up instant counter-arguments.

Who’s the greatest quarterback of all time? “Of course, it’s Tom Brady.” Notice that if you live outside of New England, you may have a different player you want to make an argument for.

To avoid counterproductive arguments, use verifiable language. “Tom Brady has won 6 Super Bowls. No other quarterback in the history of the NFL has done that.”

Use softeners when using comparatives. “There may be a better way to go.”

It’s always productive and less argumentative to put the accent on the information rather than the opinion. This is especially apt when using the words “right” and “wrong.” If you have the right way, notice the only option you have given anyone with a different opinion is to be wrong. No one wants to be wrong.

Putting the accent on the information sounds like this: “According to the Office of Management and Budget, that information is not accurate.” Notice you didn’t say the person was wrong; you just stated the information was inaccurate. It’s much softer on the psyche and leads to a discussion rather than an argument.

I’ll admit there are people, when faced with irrefutable facts, will continue to argue. That’s why they invented the word “moron.” Move on from that person or you will witness never-ending moving of goalposts.

Some people like to argue. If that’s you, continue using comparatives and superlatives and right and wrong and you’ll find someone to spar with all day long.

All the best,

John



Be Sociable, Share!


September 2, 2019

Regrets

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Morgan @ 10:41 am

Matthew henry kq3MXXDGeOM unsplashThe Grasshopper said something obvious this morning: “Regrets indicate you are looking backwards.”

We all have regrets, but keeping the focus on them for too long has them morph into drama – which is the number one killer of moving forward.

Drama puts Gorilla Glue® on forward movement. That’s because we’re focused on the past vs. the present, and the present is where all movement happens.

I think it would be productive to sing along with Frank Sinatra for a couple of bars: “Regrets, I’ve had a few, but then again too few to mention.”

Imagine if you will two people sitting around talking ad nauseam about all their loses. That’s a conversation I want to run away from. If there is something to be learned by reviewing a loss, I’m all for it, but if it’s just a trip down Bad Memory Lane, I think that’s insane.

I once heard Jerry Stocking say, “Judge quickly.” I took that to mean that we all judge, so do it and get it over with. Because if you hang with a judgement too long, it too turns into drama. So, “Regret quickly.” Let it have its say and then get on with your day.

I think a lot of people believe if they don’t regret, they’ll forget. Quoting one of my dearly departed teachers, “You don’t need to go to the dump to remember what garbage smells like.”

The only regret I currently have is not knowing how to end this blog post. So, Happy Labor Day!

All the best,

John



Be Sociable, Share!


August 16, 2019

The Focus of HAVE

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Morgan @ 7:45 am

Patrick untersee gujUSnIY63g unsplashI don’t know about you but I‘ve spent a lot of my life focusing on what’s missing in my life. I don’t think I’m alone. Let’s call it “The Focus of HAVE NOT.”

I haven’t found that to be a productive strategy for attaining what’s “missing.”

Truth be told, there’s nothing missing; it’s just not in view. That view is occluded by the mental real estate taken up by “Have Not.”

A more realistic focus is zeroing in on what you have. That’s fact based, not fancy. I’m not a biblical scholar but I do believe the parable of the loaves and fishes illustrates this strategy. The 5 loaves and 2 small fish were said to have fed 5000. By focusing on what was in hand, the supply multiplied.

My experience is that when you focus on what you have, your mental noise decreases, your vision increases, and more options appear. That’s “The Focus of HAVE.”

More choices lead to more possibilities.

I could have made this all up, so prove it to yourself that “The Focus of HAVE” is more than a “fish story.”

Focusing on what’s not there leads to despair. Focusing on what’s here makes your vision more clear.

Final thought: HAVE AT IT!

All the best,

John



Be Sociable, Share!


May 30, 2019

Collective Moron

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Morgan @ 3:55 am

Cartoon 1300661 1280Ask anyone in radio or TV broadcasting who they think their audience is and they will answer with some form of “unwashed.”

The general managers of these stations want to believe that their audience is made up of successful stockbrokers and other affluent people. This narrative helps them to sell ads.

But ask any copywriter worth their ink the average grade level they write for. The best selling copy is targeted to the grade school level.

Politicians know their voters fall into the same low grade category. That’s why attack ads work and sophisticated ones are just a waste of money.

Radio and TV talk show audiences are pandered to by their hosts. They tell them what they want to hear. They know their general audience is not upscale or informed. So they can treat them like the morons the hosts believe they are.

The general population is not informed on issues because the only issue that means something to them is day to day survival. And when they want to know who’s to blame for their lot in life, their “friend” on the radio, TV, or social media, will tell them who the enemy is and it’s accepted without question.

Aaron Sorkin writes incredible political screenplays but they’re not targeted to the average voter. They’re for the already informed. The dialogue is too “snappy” and not relatable to the general populace. To reach them, you have to reach down.

It sounds snobby to quote Winston Churchill, but he goes right to the heart of the matter when he says, “The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.”

The message here is this: The people you watch, listen to, and read believe you fall into the category of “Collective Moron.” I’m not making this up. Ask any one of them privately who they think their general audience is and their disdain will astound you.

And if you don’t feel you fall into that low grade category, ask yourself the last time you reposted something scathing on social media that you didn’t vet, and you’ll know why they consider you all wet.

All the best,

John



Be Sociable, Share!


October 29, 2018

Seize The Day?

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

BulldozerI’ve come to the opinion that “Seize The Day” is so “yesterday.”

The concept has always been wrapped in the cloak of control and anyone who is paying attention knows that control is an illusion.

I’m a list maker. Listing, for me, makes goals that are on my mind both visible and actionable. That means I can see what I want and plan a course of action.

Need I remind you of the quote from poet Robert Burns, “The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.”

Once you’ve made your plan of action, it’s wise to adhere to the sports axiom: Let the game come to you. Instead, we often charge ahead and bulldoze whatever is in our way and call it “Seizing the day.”

Little do we realize that by using that manufactured energy we also destroy the building blocks we need to make our plan a reality.

Seizing the day will lead to a seizure. It’s a directive without a direction – A bumper sticker that doesn’t stick.

Reminds me of a story . . .

Many moons ago, I worked with this bartender in a disco. He danced behind the bar to the beat of the music and had a flamboyant style of mixing and serving drinks. There was a lot of show and a lot of visible action but people were delayed in getting their beverages. This backlog caused him to be fired because the plan was to serve all the patrons on time. Instead he seized on the opportunity to show his stuff.

Seizing the day has so much yang energy attached to it. It has the delivery rate of a runaway beer truck.

Certainly have a plan for your day but attempting to grab it by the horns means you’re likely to wind up covered with a lot of bullshit.

Perhaps you’ll get curious about exchanging the ancient Latin phrase “Carpe diem” for a mantra that successful sports teams use: Have a flexible game plan!

All the best,

John



Be Sociable, Share!


Next Page »