- Thoughts for inspired living

May 22, 2019

Counter Thoughts

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 6:11 am

Charles 451762 unsplashThe Grasshopper woke me up with this: “A counter thought is still thinking.”

He seems to be offering a prescription for not arguing with yourself.

First off, you have never won an argument with yourself, so there’s that. But secondly, the act of thinking keeps you from creating.

We are conditioned to believe that if we weigh the pros and cons in our head that we will come up with a creative solution. When has that ever happened?

Counter thoughts are just more thoughts. And if your mind is filled with thoughts, there’s no room for creativity.

Ah-ha moments don’t come from internal debates. Don’t take my word for it, just let the words of a great “thinker” sink in. Albert Einstein said, “We cannot solve our problems with the same level of thinking that created them.”

The next time you catch yourself gearing up for a debate, just notice the counter thoughts arising without engaging with them. Just the unemotional observation of these thoughts will dilute them, making space in your mind for something new to come through.

Let me leave you with this: The only “counter thought” that will serve you well is what kind of pie to order.

All the best,


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May 21, 2019

Casting No Shadows

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 6:32 am

Matthew ansley 254316 unsplash“Beyond the shadow of doubt” indicates in crystal clear terms that which is being asserted, is not a mere shadow of the truth.

Such is the case when we discover that we aren’t who we “think” we are. I’m of the opinion that if we distance ourselves from our thoughts about ourselves, most of our perceived problems will fade into the shadows.

Coming to the realization that we aren’t who we “made up and got comfortable with” is the passageway to becoming more authentic.

There isn’t a person among us who wouldn’t benefit by getting out from the shadows of our false self.

The process starts by un-labeling yourself. “I’m a mother, father, doctor, lawyer, Indian chief, or pole dancer” are assertions that need to be peeled away.

Once you stop describing yourself with nouns, you come closer to the you that can’t be named, yet is deeply felt.

Digging deep into the Tao te Ching – a 2500 year old Chinese philosophy – we find this:

The tao that can be told
is not the eternal Tao

The name that can be named
is not the eternal Name

The unnamable is the eternally real

Naming is the origin
of all particular things

I guess in modern terms this philosophy can be reduced to this: Don’t take yourself so seriously, otherwise you’ll become a shadow of yourself.

All the best,


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May 20, 2019

Footprints in the Snow

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 7:29 am

Alberto restifo 4510 unsplashJust like footwear makes imprints in the snow, past events make imprints in our lives. Yet, trying to find those footprints after a new snowfall is as close to impossible as it gets.

Going back looking for what imprinted us is, at best, a history lesson. Looking for the cause, causes us to use the wrong pair of shoes. We don’t need ones that sink us deeper in the drifts, we need snowshoes – ones that facilitate walking forward, not descending into submersion.

I know some people who are in perpetual counseling. I wonder if they ever reflected on how going back over their cause keeps them mired in “because.”

“I’m this way because” is an abdication phrase that keeps us in a haze.

It may very well be true that past events cause you to react in a certain way now . . . until you notice. In the past, you’ve let your history handle you. It’s time now to handle your history. That means to notice it when it comes up as an excuse. And to quote The Grasshopper, “Excuses are like bad checks; they can’t be cashed.”

Start noticing your excuses for “why you are the way you are.” The more you notice them, the quicker they’ll go away, making way for sunnier days.

All the best,


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May 2, 2019

Survive Or Thrive?

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 9:20 am

Samuel foster 380827 unsplashMany people come to a choice point in life: whether to survive or thrive.

Surviving a crisis is one thing, but surviving as a way of life is soul sucking.

Thriving is a 2-step process:

1. Start

2. Continue

Starting is often easy. Think about how many diets you have started or projects that remain undone. The most important step is next: continuing.

Nothing starts without the first step, but it’s the second step that’s crucial to your success.

Inertia is the enemy of “second steppers.” Nike would probably insert “Just Do It” here, but it takes more than willpower. It takes passion.

As The Grasshopper reminded us moons ago, “You can’t be a rock star with part-time passion.”

Quiz yourself about what you’re passionate about. You may come up with a short or long list, but if there is nothing on your list, you are destined to remain a survivor.

Step in the direction of passion and discover that continuing is easier than ever before.

Survive or Thrive? It’s passion that gives your second step drive.

All the best,


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April 30, 2019

Multiple Personalities

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 8:33 am

Matus kovacovsky 248993 unsplashI believe we all have multiple personalities, but not in the way you may imagine.

We have parts of us that serve us well and parts that get in our way.

For example, when I am faced with a mechanical issue (mechanics not being my strong suit) and I miraculously come up with a solution, I say, “Thanks, Jack.”

Jack was my father’s name. He built everything from kitchen cabinets to skyscrapers, but none of that rubbed off on me. I call my mechanical solution solver “Jack.”

We have parts of us that are held in place by beliefs we got before we knew what beliefs were. I call that part of me “Outdated.” When I notice that I’m ignoring the facts and sticking with my biased belief, I have an opportunity to update it. I say, “Thanks, Outdated.”

When I make someone laugh, I say, “Thanks, Mom.” She was a very funny person.

When someone attempts to hook me by making a suggestion that’s not in my best interest, I say, “Thanks Dave.” Dave was my hypnosis teacher and he called the practice of making manipulative and counterproductive suggestions “Bad Hypnosis.”

I could go on and list more personalities than Sybil but that’s not the point.

The message is to recognize that you have parts of you that deliver solutions. The way to encourage those parts of you to keep delivering comes down to two words: “Thank you.”

Remember to thank the part of you that sent you a gift. It’s more than using your social graces; It’s an insurance policy that the gifts will keep on coming.

All the best,


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April 18, 2019


Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 5:17 am

Jr korpa 1349735 unsplashThe following Grasshopper thought popped in the other day: “Masterminds master their mind.”

Please don’t read “master” as “control.”

“Master” should be read as “mastery.” Mastery is not perfection; it’s more like excellence.

An excellent way to “master” your mind is to observe your mind at work. Just become a bystander to your thought process and watch the Broadway show your mind puts on.

To become more of a mastermind, you have to have less attachment to your thoughts. When you attach to your thoughts, you wind up fighting with your mind. You have never won an argument with your mind.

Observing the mind rather than fighting with it is the key to mastery.

Catching yourself thinking (observing) is a discipline that pays dividends.

When you observe, you interrupt your thoughts. When you interrupt your thoughts, you create a space in your thinking. In that space is mastery begins to bloom.

Want to be a mastermind? Master the magic of observation and experience peace of mind.

All the best,


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April 12, 2019


Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 10:54 am

Levi guzman 268866 unsplashThe Grasshopper hit me with an idea the other day: “There’s opportunity in unity.”

It felt a little bit like a quote that’s been around since 1624: “No man is an island,” but different.

Unity suggests camaraderie to me. I guess that’s why they call collections of military personnel “units.”

I also have to mention the Three Musketeers’ motto – “All for one and one for all.”

Going it alone is a tough road whether professionally or personally, and it, too often, keeps opportunity on the horizon rather than in your grasp.

Bringing other people into your circle to consult and cavort with presents more options and more opportunities.

If you’re stuck in place, reach out to another face. It’s an exercise in unity that leads to opportunity.

All the best,


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April 2, 2019

Happy 😄

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 5:40 am

Ben white 128604 unsplashWhat makes me happy? This is the question that popped into my mind early this morning. I came up with countless answers, of which I will only list a few . . .

• I’m happy when I see a dog hanging its head outside a car window.

• It makes me happy to see a happy ending movie.

• It makes me happy when I make someone laugh.

But this is not just about me; it’s about you too.

“Happy” is a matter of focus. It seems that most of our focus is on troublesome thoughts . . . until we notice.

Learn to catch yourself thinking. Troublesome thoughts will always be a part of our life. But if we keep non-stop focus on them, we miss many happy thoughts.

No one is totally happy. Anyone who claims they are has a truckload of snake oil.

Develop the habit of noticing (observing) your thinking. Just by noticing, we create a space between our thoughts. In that space, take a moment to think about what makes you happy. It’s a pleasant respite from doom and gloom.

Did you ever notice that happy thoughts deliver warm bodily feelings? Warm always melts ice. Take a moment to purposely feel nice.

All the best,


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March 28, 2019

Emasculation Emancipation

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 11:44 am

Marco jimenez 780958 unsplashI have a theory about angry men, not men who get angry, but those in a perpetual state of pique.

To me, it comes down to one word: Emasculation.

Angry men feel weakened and the only way to chase away that feeling, if only for a time, is to get angry.

Emasculation is depriving a man of his identity or role. No one can actually take it from you, but that doesn’t keep some men from being angry over the perceived theft.

Yes, some men may have modeled angry behavior from a parent or care giver but the thing that keeps feeding the fire is “not feeling like a man.”

Just look at your male friends on Facebook who issue ongoing diatribes about the way it should be. You can feel the anger. They’re feeling emasculated – unable to do anything but rant.

Part of the male persona is due to conditioning. “Big boys don’t cry” comes to mind. Military recruitment taps into this emasculated mindset to populate its ranks. “Be a man my son” is a directive without direction. So with no clear path to manhood, many men feel inept, which generates anger.

I don’t have a solution just the observation. It’s my experience that observing one’s anger, while it’s happening, is a step towards relieving the hostile feelings. Noticing that you have anger within you will get you to metabolize those feelings much quicker than justifying your anger with a rant.

I guess I could reduce this to a bumper sticker: Real Men don’t Rant, but that would only point out the problem rather than solve it.

My recommendation is to notice your state of mind more often. Just the act of noticing interrupts the behavior and in that space between your angry thoughts can come a solution. Let’s call it “Emasculation Emancipation.”

All the best,


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March 19, 2019

Is There Real Magic?

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 4:05 pm

Magic Castle

If an ancient civilization saw an airplane take off and fly, they would think it was magic. We know it’s mechanics and science.

Then we see a master magician do incredible feats, but we know there is some sort of trickery going on. So it’s more magical than it is magic.

So the question is: Is there real magic? – something past hoodoo and voodoo.

I continue to be amazed about the magic of beliefs – the ability to create something unbelievable from concentrated thoughts and feelings.

Think of a beautiful piece of music that once wasn’t even notes on paper. Someone believed they could create something that no one had done before. How about a story writer or a scientist? What led them to their creations and discoveries? It began with an idea and belief.

So the next question is: Do you have beliefs that aren’t working for you? Or better stated, they are working but not to your benefit.

Those beliefs are worth examining and worth outgrowing. That practice makes room for new beliefs – ones that can help us create our own brand of magic.

Your belief that you “can’t” is your biggest impediment to getting to “can.”

I readily agree that believing you’ll be the best ballet dancer that ever lived and you begin your training at age 70 is, to quote Betty Crocker’s husband, “pie in the sky.” That doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy a level of personal greatness in ballet. You can. Magic starts with a belief.

One of the best workarounds to “can’t” is to pretend you can. The magic of pretending opens up avenues of belief that were being held back by the paralyzation of two words: “I can’t.”

Pretending you can is the real magic of believing.

When someone tells me they can’t, I often respond with, “pretend you can.” It’s a magical phrase that opens up possibilities – ones hidden by can’t.

The land of make believe is not hocus-pocus. It’s the proving ground for real magic.

All the best,


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