GrasshopperNotes.com - Thoughts for inspired living


July 17, 2018

Soon Revisited

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

NewImageThis is one of my favorite blog posts from 6 years ago. I ran across it today and wanted to give it another play.

The end of soon will not happen soon enough for me.

This is a mini-rant.

I detest the word “Soon.” It is the fluffiest word in the dictionary and I’m just as guilty of using it as anyone else.

When is soon? It could be a few seconds to a lifetime depending on who’s using it.

I would rather endure a monsoon than soon.

I got a sales call disguised as a service call last week. The person reportedly wanted to thank me for my business of a recent purchase and then went on to pitch me on another of their products. I inquired when the product I had ordered would be arriving. She replied, “Soon.”

I responded with a question: “When specifically is soon?” She then said, “Oh, that’s not my department; I don’t really know.” I said, “You know enough to lie to me to say, ‘Soon’” and then I politely ended the call.

“Soon” is often a parent word. We use it as shorthand for “Shut up.”

When someone offers you “Soon,” they are giving you a handful of air. If you accept “Soon,” you will be disappointed because your timeframe of soon will not match theirs.

It’s always useful to get clarification of “Soon.” My personal favorite is, “How soon will that happen?” If they come back with “Oh, soon,” you know you are dealing with a person who doesn’t know.

Just for fun, notice how many times you hear the word “Soon” today and know that the person using it has nothing to say.

Rant over!

All the best,

John



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July 3, 2018

Staying Put

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Morgan @ 5:09 pm

stubbornmule.jpgIt’s close to being the national pastime: Staying Stuck. The Grasshopper chimed in on this observation saying, “Arguing for your conditioning is arguing for your limitations; neither will move you forward.”

Our conditioning cannot be denied nor can it be dismissed as a causative factor on how we act. We act in accordance with our conditioning . . . until we notice.

There is an appetite for defending our conditioning. Look no further than religion. Most people have the same religion as their parents. The question that’s rarely asked is: “Did they ask your permission?” In most cases, you got your religious beliefs through conditioning by your early caregivers. Then you may argue vociferously that you have the one true religion.

Your conditioning will have you assert what has become my least favorite phrase: “That’s the way I am.” When you hear that phrase, you are in the presence of someone who’s stuck. They may claim they want to evolve but can’t because they are so invested in defending their limitations.

When someone calls you on your shit, the conditioned response is twofold:

1. Get angry

2. Get defensive

Getting angry is understandable. No one likes to hear about their shortcomings, even if it’s warranted to point them out. Getting defensive is the more destructive of the two. It’s the glue that keeps us stuck.

Here comes one of my favorite words again: “Noticing.”

When we notice our conditioning, we then have a choice. We may choose to remain the same or we may choose to move forward. If you don’t notice, you have no choice; you’re a prisoner of your conditioning.

It may seem obvious but the best way to avoid moving forward is to stay stuck.

Here’s a challenge that takes some courage: Notice your conditioned beliefs and offer yourself a choice – to stay put or move forward.

All the best,

John



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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,

John



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May 30, 2018

Discomfort

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,

John



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May 22, 2018

Relevance

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,

John



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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,

John



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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,

John



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April 5, 2018

A New Discovery

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Morgan @ 8:44 am

IMG 1657For more years than I care to count, I’ve had this notion that there are no such things as discoveries.

“Discovery” is one of the words poorly defined by dictionaries. They use the word in the definition: “the action or process of discovering or being discovered.”

For me, a more descriptive word is “uncover.” It’s my un-researched contention that things are not discovered; they’re uncovered. They always existed but were heretofore unnoticed.

You won’t find the following word in any dictionary but I believe there are only “Uncoveries.”

An “ah-ha” moment is a moment that always existed, but not for you until now.

Here in the northeast, snow covers up just about everything for the period we call winter. But as we enter the spring, we begin to see things that were covered over reveal themselves. For some, seeing what’s uncovered is a first time experience. What was actually revealed always existed.

Take the case of British doctor Alexander Fleming who is credited for discovering penicillin. He found mold growing in his unattended Petri dish. He found that the mold surrounded an infectious material in his dish and prevented the normal growth of staphylococci.

“When I woke up just after dawn on September 28, 1928, I certainly didn’t plan to revolutionize all medicine by discovering the world’s first antibiotic, or bacteria killer. But I guess that was exactly what I did.”

Give credit where credit is due for Doctor Fleming putting together two and two, but what he uncovered always existed.

This is a long way of saying there is an answer to your question. It’s always existed. You just have to uncover it.

Just knowing there’s an answer keeps us moving towards a solution rather than stagnating with pessimistic mind pollution.

I hope you discover what has been covered.

All the best,

John



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March 5, 2018

The Cure

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Morgan @ 6:02 am

NewImageHere’s a post from 4 years ago that’s worth getting curious about.

Who hasn’t experienced humdrum? It’s a state of mind that keeps us humming the same tune. Is there a cure? Yes, I’m happy to report that there is.

The remedy arrives by adding four more syllables to the word “Cure.”

Cure then becomes curiosity.

Humdrum put down roots and settled in the day we stopped getting curious.

You don’t have to roust humdrum from your mind; it will leave on its own volition when you get curious.

Did curiosity really kill the cat or was it just the catalyst to kill off a dull existence?

Find out for yourself by getting curious.

What you will find is that curiosity opens your mind to options. Those options often lead to passion for something that was lying dormant under the doormat of humdrum.

The cure is to get curious.

Start to wonder about things to get curious about and act on what you come up with.

Curiosity also engages your creativity. How curious are you about what creations you can come up with? New possibilities become more probable when curiosity becomes your mindset of choice.

There is nothing to buy and no 7-step plan you need to follow. Just decide to get curious and discover the cure for humdrum.

All the best,

John



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February 13, 2018

Better Place

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Morgan @ 7:22 am

BridgeIf you’re a people helper – someone who helps people make transitions from one frame of mind to another – there is only one question you need to answer: Did you leave them in a better place than you found them?

It’s easy to make people feel bad, just dwell on their flaws and failings.

That’s not to say that you don’t get them to acknowledge their shortcomings. That’s healthy. But if your next step is not helping them build a bridge from where they currently are to where they want to be, you’ve left them in a bad place.

That’s why arguments often end so poorly. We get so focused on being right and winning rather than seeking a solution that we lose sight of the next step: to get to a better place.

This is different than the perfunctory, funeral refrain: “He’s in a better place.” This is about making transitions while they’re here.

I don’t know where I first heard it but I’ll never forget it: Bring only good cheer when visiting a hospital room. The person is already in a bad place; bringing anything else is dereliction of your mission: to leave them in a better place than you found them.

Think of someone you consider a dear friend. Notice their natural inclination to brighten your day. They may be totally straight with you about your situation but they’re always ready with a demeanor to help you transition from here to there.

Want to get to a better place? Help someone else get there. Your kindness will rub off on you and will become a brightening residue. Which reminds me of a favorite biblical phrase: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

All the best,

John



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