GrasshopperNotes.com - Thoughts for inspired living


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!


October 26, 2018

Everyone Is Someone’s Nemesis

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Morgan @ 4:51 am

GossipSeems no matter how “good” you are, there is going to be an opposing viewpoint.

My sense is that Mother Teresa had her detractors, also Mr. Rogers.

What propels this animus? I don’t know for sure but I have a guess.

I don’t think it has anything to do with the accused; It’s more about the accuser.

The words “lazy” and “uninformed” pop up for me.

Just look at some of the things your Facebook friends and family members repost. Did they ever take a moment to check the accuracy of their reiteration? It’s not that hard.

Here are two examples from both sides of the political aisle:

Sarah Palin claimed in an interview that Jesus Christ celebrated Easter during his time on Earth.

All the Congressional Democrats voted against a 2.8 percent Social Security cost of living allowance.

It’s easy for me to appreciate that some people don’t like other people, but to pass on egregious, defamatory claims about them without checking not only shows your bias; it shows how easily you are led.

Before you click the “Send” button, make sure what you are saying is buttoned up, otherwise you appear as a butthead.

Allow me to end this observation with the following quote from Socrates: “Strong minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, weak minds discuss people.”

All the best,

John



Be Sociable, Share!


October 23, 2018

Breaking Down Fear

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Morgan @ 9:12 am

FearFear, when you break it down to its basics, is a feeling. Nothing more.

It’s not a great feeling, but just a feeling nevertheless.

Fear is a warning sign that something is threatening you or troubling you. If it’s a threat, do everything you can to get out of harm’s way. If it’s troubling you, it is in your best interest to acknowledge and address the underlying cause.

But the biggest antidote to fear is to actually feel it, not fear it.

How many of us invite that feeling in for tea? It’s a way to get the tempest out of the teapot.

Sitting with the sensation we label as fear and actually feeling it in our body, rather than combating it in our mind, is the way through fear. You can spend a lifetime attempting to go around fear but you can go through it much quicker.

Feeling the sensation fully without mental commentary is how we transmute fear and find out what’s on the other side.

It seems like a conundrum but what we really fear is the feeling itself. So the most direct route to “unfeeling” fear is to metabolize it, by feeling it.

I’m not suggesting you make fear your friend, just an acquaintance – one you can break bread with once in a while so you can break its hold on you.

All the best,

John



Be Sociable, Share!


October 4, 2018

Here, There

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Morgan @ 9:01 am

0ne concept 2Did you ever notice the high rate of suicide by long-term drug and alcohol abusers?

According to Psychology Today, “Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S. Depression and other mood disorders are the number-one risk factor for suicide, but alcohol and drug abuse – even without depression – are a close second. In fact, research has shown that the strongest predictor of suicide is alcoholism, not a psychiatric diagnosis. People with substance use disorders are about six times more likely to commit suicide than the general population.”

Going beyond the statistics and zeroing in on the causative factors of abuse, I find the following dynamic at work: Alcohol and drug abusers would rather not be “here” (present to their current reality). Their substances take them “there” (away from here).

“There” can change locations after long bouts of abuse. That new location is too often death by their own hand.

Abstinence is certainly a solution but it may not change not wanting to be here. “Here” is the only place you can actually be. “There” is a fictitious place like “Wonderland” was for Alice.

We all, to some degree, have been conditioned to escape “here.” Just about any ad that targets your dissatisfaction is offering “there” as a solution. They just reinforce our conditioning.

One solution is to notice your reaction to “here” and interrupt it by choosing a different response. This is not a one-time fix. It takes consistent application of noticing and interrupting and choosing a new response to our old habit of seeking escape.

You will never escape your thoughts, but you can respond to them differently. It takes some “real time” noticing, interrupting and choosing. With practice, noticing your state of mind will deliver some space between your thoughts. That space is where a new, productive response can take hold and grow into a new mindset – one that makes “here” a much more livable place.

I’m putting the finishing touches on a book I’ve written about this change process. it’s called: INTER RUPTION: The Magic Key To Lasting Change.

My best guess is a November release date. As we used to say in radio, “Stay Tuned.”

All the best,

John



Be Sociable, Share!


Next Page »