- Thoughts for inspired living

October 17, 2008

Salt & Pepper

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 8:31 am

Which condiment are you, salt or pepper?

Each one plays a part in seasoning the flavor of life.

Metaphorically speaking, salt seems to preserve the status quo and pepper seems to get your beliefs to sneeze.

I never knew what iconoclast meant until someone labeled me as one. I looked it up and found this definition: Somebody who challenges or overturns traditional beliefs, customs, and values. I guess I’m pepper.

Look at the holes in traditional salt and pepper shakers and you will find there are more holes for salt to pour through than pepper. Salt is more popular than pepper. It simply has better PR.

But neither salt nor pepper is superior in its function. Both have a role to play and each is to be appreciated for their ability to enhance the flavor of our life’s situation.

The mistake we make is surrounding ourselves with the same seasoning. We need a little of both – one to preserve us and one to spice us up.

If all your friends agree with you, you need some new friends. That’s a blueprint for stagnation.

Be as thankful for those who test you as you are for those who soothe you.

Pepper may sprinkle salt in your wounds and make them sting, but the outcome may prevent you from getting peppered.

All the best,


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October 16, 2008

Wishing Well

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 7:39 am

Are you wishing in the wrong well?           

Results depend on depth. The shallower the well, the quicker you hit bottom. Perhaps an explanation is in order . . .

Wishing is a function of our intellectual limitations. When our intellect can’t figure out how to get us what we want, we begin the shallow wishing process. This takes us on a circular journey. It’s like getting stuck on the beltway in Washington, DC with no possibility of finding an exit. The result is we stay in “Wishville.”

There is no action component to a wish and very little belief that it will actually happen.

The wish lives on one side of a continuum. On the other side is the firm belief that I have to have this desire or I won’t be able to breathe.

The firm belief will get you closer to your desire than a wish but the odds of fruition are still slim. There is a mental tug of war going on between a wish and a firm belief, which keeps the focus on struggle and in your head. It’s much like being on a perpetual, monastic diet. The battle is between wishing for less weight and having a firm belief you can get there if you use enough willpower to eat lettuce leaves and gluten free figs forever. Anyone who has struggled with their weight can easily appreciate this mental yo-yo.

The key to success is finding a deeper well with wider answers.

You only have to view one election season to realize the longer you debate the further away you are from your objective. The place to end the debate is in the deepest part of you where thoughts aren’t allowed.

Take all the wishing and hoping and firm beliefs and let them stay on the surface and make each other wrong, while you take a break and go deep into your well where the noise cannot be heard. It’s here that action plans begin to formulate, not as thoughts, but as merging, unspoken energies. This is the birthplace of certainty. When you emerge from your visit, the surface noise doesn’t affect you as much and you recognize it for what it truly is – a diversion. There is a feeling of calm and trust that the merging energies are leading you down a more productive path.

This isn’t a pocket full of fairy dust. It’s a strategy that, when practiced, will get you to where you want to go quicker with less bruising.

Certainty will not spring from your intellect. It will arrive there as a byproduct of the gushing energies that come from the stillness found at the deepest part of your well.

You have deep internal resources. Gain access to them on a regular basis and learn the true meaning of the phrase “I wish you well.”

All the best,


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October 15, 2008


Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 8:38 am

Most people have a ready answer to the question “What was the happiest day in your life?” Whether it was your wedding day, the birth of a child, a job promotion or release from prison, the question always puts the focus on the past.

The Grasshopper weighed in on this from out of the blue yesterday when he offered this: “May you have a new happiest day in your life.”

Our thinking seems to run counter to this well intentioned wish. We as a species seem to shut down the possibilities quotient when we reach a certain level. This is quite evident in sales. Efficient sales organizations issue quotas to their salespeople – daily, weekly, monthly, yearly. The natural phenomenon that happens in most cases is this: If a salesperson reaches their quota before the deadline, they shut down efforts for remainder of the time frame. There is still a pile of money to be made in the remaining period but the effort becomes invisible.

“Happiest” for most seems to be fixed rather than fluid. The underlying belief is that I couldn’t possible exceed the happiness that past moment produced. Add to that, the fear of diminishing that moment by having a better one. What would people think of me if I judged this moment more happy than the traditional ones most people hold on to?

“Happiest” will have trouble reinventing itself if it we keep it married to the past.

I think happiness stays away when we close ourselves to possibilities. Back to sales for a moment . . . I learned most of what I know about sales from a guy named Terry Butler. One of the questions Terry encouraged you to ask a client was this: “How can you be happier?” People don’t usually go down that possibility path unless they are lead there.

You may want to lead yourself there and ask “How can I be happier?”

There is openness about the question. It’s not the normal head trash of “I should be happier” or “Why can’t I be happy?” It focuses you on the process rather than on thoughts that keep you stuck in place.

How open are you to exceeding your threshold of happiness and having countless more “happiest” days in your life?

Start the process now and ask yourself “How can I be Happier?”

All the best,


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October 14, 2008


Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 7:03 am

There is a different response to natural vs. manufactured and the difference can be felt.

Consider the difference between natural beauty and manufactured beauty. One is an imitation of the other and no matter how good the imitation, it can never measure up. Look at any natural waterfall and then look at the ones at Trump Tower in New York and Crown Center in Kansas City. The one in nature takes your breath away; the others get you wondering how they did that. Natural takes you into your body and manufactured takes you into your head. Reminds me of a story . . .

We took our family to Disney World for the first time in 1984. It was an adventure for all of us. Disney World is tailor made for kids and the kid in you. About the 3rd day there, I began to get some curious feelings in my body as I came to realize that the entire environment is a façade.

If you have ever been there, you can testify to the man made beauty. The lawns are manicured, some sort of tree or plant is always in bloom, wildlife abounds and the streets are antiseptically clean. In spite of all of this perfection, there was something inside me recognizing that it was manufactured and not natural. This is not a critique on Disney World or manmade beauty, only a kinesthetic contrast to that which is natural.

We’re in the silly season of politics – election time. You get to hear plenty from both major parties, and most of what you hear is manufactured. Notice the feeling in your body when a candidate says something unscripted that’s real. There is a marked difference. Their talking points put you in your head; their spontaneity will cause you to visit your body.

Can you remember an interaction with someone where you really connected? My guess is the conversation was real and not manufactured.

The question we want to get curious about is: “How do we become more natural?”

The old showbiz adage won’t work – fake sincerity.

One suggestion is to stop asking questions you already know the answers to. Adults do that with kids all the time, and the kids immediately are on to the game and clam up or give manufactured answers.

Another one is to consider our response before answering. This doesn’t mean to search for a response that you think the other person wants to hear, it means to dig past the party line and come up with one that is authentic.

I would rather be known as real vs. knowlegable. I can trust a natural response; a manufactured one keeps me in a though loop.

What is your true nature? This much I can assure you – it’s not your opinion of what your true nature is.

One of the things I like about Oprah Winfrey’s magazine is a regular feature she calls “What I know for sure?” It stems from her news reporting career when her boss would ask that question about a story she wanted to present to their viewers. The implied question inside that question is: “How do you know for sure?”

The “how” answer has a feeling of certainty in the body; the “what” question, alone, is filled with debatable facts.

You have a human Geiger counter. Use it! It’s a natural gift that can never be manufactured.

All the best,


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October 13, 2008


Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 7:01 am

I was treated to a new word over the weekend – “BLOGOVERSARY.”

It came from my friend and co-worker, Hali Chambers who reminded me that I have been blogging for a year as of October 11th.

I never thought I would blog, but here I am a year later. It got me to thinking about how GRASSHOPPER NOTES and thus this blog came to be.

When I’m on the road, I carry a journal with me and when something pops into my head that I deem personally noteworthy, I jot it down. One night after returning home from a trip I was sitting in our living room writing something in my journal. My son asked what I was doing. I explained that thoughts would come to me out of the blue from time to time and some of them seemed worthwhile to write down and remember. He asked me for an example. I read the following from my journal:

“How much would you bet on a grasshopper race if their legs were bound by the limitations of your thoughts?”

He responded, “That’s pretty deep” and went on his way. A week later I was in the same chair, doing the same thing when my son walked in the room and said, “What are you doing?” I said, “I’m writing in my journal.” He responded, “Oh, grasshopper notes.” It instantly gelled in my mind as the name for my new website.

Who is The Grasshopper? I answer it in this way:

“The Grasshopper is the knowing part of you that lets the truth slip out from time to time. Not the relevant truth but the truth that can only come from the one source of everything.”

Everyone owns a Grasshopper. I encourage you to keep a journal of your spontaneous thoughts. They can offer insight into many things that thinking often blocks. Any notebook or journal will do. If you want an official Grasshopper Journal available in 4 cool colors, visit my shop on Café Press and order one. Here is the link.

I further encourage you to sign up for a weekly Grasshopper Note to arrive in your email inbox every Monday morning. The message will contain the thought that popped in for me and a bit of commentary as to what it may pertain to. You are also encouraged to offer alternate meanings. There is no charge for the weekly note and it may open a part of you that you’ve been keeping closed off that could use a bit of light.

Thank you for reading my blog and for reading my weekly Grasshopper Notes at


All the best,





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October 10, 2008


Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 8:49 am

I was going through an old photo album the other day and saw a picture of myself at a Cub Scout banquet standing next to a woman who was the host for a local TV show. It got me to wondering about some of the things I used to do way back when. Perhaps some background would be helpful.

When I was a kid in Philadelphia, I used to watch a cartoon show called “Popeye Theatre,” hosted by a one-time stripper named Sally Starr. The show featured cartoons starring Popeye the Sailor who was famous for saying the phrase, “I am what I am.” It got me to wondering, “What if Popeye had a spiritual transformation, what would his new mantra be?”

After a moment, it came to me – “I am where I am.” It struck me as one of the most grounding and reality based phrases I could ever imagine.

Take a moment right now and say the phrase, “I am where I am” and let it sink in. Then notice what happens.

There may be other places you desire to be, but right now you are where you are. There is so much wrapped up in this new twist on Popeye’s declaration – acceptance, reality, presence and peace to name but a few. This realization chases denial out the door and focuses your awareness smack dab on where you are now.

There is something freeing about the truth, even if it’s not the truth you want to hear. “I am where I am” is the unadulterated truth. If it seems to be too simple to be helpful, say it again and notice the feelings it delivers in your body. “I am where I am.”

It has 24/7 applicability. If you’re stuck in traffic, use the new mantra “I am where I am” and notice your mind noise calm down. If you are struck with the thought “I’m in a dead end job,” use the new mantra, “I am where I am.” This isn’t a white flag of surrender, but a realization of the proximity of your presence. This realization keeps you from attempting to escape the moment by pretending or wishing it weren’t happening. By grounding yourself in the moment, you free your mind of the noise surrounding the phrase “I shouldn’t be here.”

From that quieter place comes the clarity that will guide you to a new “I am where I am.” If you continue to focus on what you don’t want, you are subject to the fate suggested by the biblical passage Job 3:25

“For what I fear comes upon me, and what I dread befalls me.”


Nothing is true because someone says it; it only becomes true when you experience it.

Experience “I am where I am” today and see how the recognition of reality can quiet your mind and open new doors.


All the best,



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October 9, 2008


Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 8:19 am

In the past, I have interviewed politicians from those running for dog catcher to a candidate running for President of the United States. My personal experience, after these encounters, is that most often I wanted to wash.

Campaigning is the part of the process that brings out the worst in politicians. They become walking talking points. There is no real conversation about substance. They continue to do this because, by and large, we have a low informed electorate that’s easily led by personality and pandering. Sad but true, there is a portion of the population that will vote only one way, even if their party nominated Attila the Hun. It’s an American Reality that could benefit by a dose of body awareness.

I’m not fond of most politicians based on my up-close, personal experience, yet I pay attention to the process. I have voted and not voted in elections. I have voted for Democrats, Republicans and Independents in spite of my dour opinion of most politicians.

If you are voting for President on Election Day, I have a suggestion:

Separately bring the candidates home for dinner. Imagine that you have the opportunity to prepare and serve them a meal, and then imagine sitting around the table afterward having an open, two-way discussion with them on the topics that are uppermost in your mind. After you bid them good night and are getting ready for bed, let go of everything they said and just feel their energy in your body – not their talking points – just their raw essence. Does that energy mesh with yours?

Don’t merely judge a candidate in your head; evaluate them in your body. It’s the most congruent way of voting I know of, and whether your candidate wins or loses, you will be at peace with your choice.


All the best,










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October 8, 2008

Manifesting Options

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 9:31 am

I have real differences with the “white hot” ideology of affirmation and the law of attraction.

There is no debate about the success of the movie and book by Rhonda Byrne called “The Secret.” It’s made people more cognizant of their role in manifesting their own destiny. My main complaint is the philosophy is too specific. If it worked as the proponents say, there would be a pony in every driveway on Christmas morning. Who has more imagination, unchallenged beliefs and visualization skills than children?

The point of imagining something specific as already in your possession does wonders for your ability to make yourself feel good in the moment. It does very little in making that specific desire show up. It’s like the feel good reverie you may experience for a moment when plunking down a dollar on a lottery ticket. Yes, there are stories touted about people who have used this “Secret” method and realized their wildest dreams, but the percentage of success is so low that it underscores the impotency of this strategy for the other 98% of people who bought in and didn’t win.

I believe people would be much more successful with “The Secret” strategy if they changed their angle of view and discovered that the strategy is best used in manifesting options, not specifics.

Specific desires, alone, engage critical consciousness too much which jams your thinking process and produces limited options. Does this mean that you cannot have a specific desire for something special to manifest in your life? No, it means that your percentage of success with the method increases when your desire is to manifest options rather than specifics.

Reality always delivers options. If we are so honed in on seeing only one specific result in our reality, we miss seeing the other options that are always there. Walkie-talkies work on the principle that only one person can talk at a time. If you are blathering on about a specific and the person on the other end has myriad options to offer, you won’t get to hear them and your chance for success remains at 2%.

More people would get what they specifically wanted if they did 3 things:

  1. Desire options around their goal rather than specifics outcomes.
  2. Find the best method for them to calm their critical consciousness.
  3. Become cognizant of the many options presented and pick the best one available.

There is a practice in drafting football players that underscores this approach. All professional football teams go into the college draft knowing specifically what position players their team needs to improve. Let’s say they need an offensive lineman. When it’s their turn to pick, the caliber of offensive lineman they need to improve is not available. The savvy team at this point picks the “best athlete available,” no matter what position they play, rather than wasting their selection on a mediocre player just because he plays a specific position. Oftentimes another team can use the person you picked and will trade you an experienced offensive lineman for them.

I think the route to your desires is more circuitous than the specific strategy of “The Secret.” You’ll be more successful with an uncluttered mind open to options than you will with a mind occupied with a one trick pony.


All the best,



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October 7, 2008


Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 7:36 am

I got one of those emails that travel around the internet that requests that you take a test. Normally, I put them in the trash and go about my business. This one was forwarded from my sister, so I gave it more consideration. It was a set of questions that you had to answer with ONE Word. See the test below.

It started out with, “Where’s your cell phone?” It asked a lot of favorite type questions like, “What’s your favorite meal?” Last time you laughed? Last time you cried? Each question had to be answered with ONE word. I have to admit that I made up a word to answer the question, “Your fear?” I answered “Papertowelless.”

The test revealed preferences and patterns and it turned out to be a fun and semi-insightful experience. It got me to thinking about a test answer that the late Dr. Dave Dobson gave during an oral, psychological evaluation he was given when interviewing for a job. The company psychologist asked, “What do you want out of life?” Dave said to the interviewer that he could answer the question in ONE word. The psychologist scoffed and said that it would trivialize the question and reflect poorly on the candidate to give such a shallow answer. Dave asked if the interviewer was curious to hear his answer, and he said he was. Dave replied “Enough.”

Wouldn’t it be a life game changer if we simple had enough?

Many people are seeking more, when enough will easily satisfy them. Others are seeking less, when enough would fill the bill.

Enough is a matter of trust.

Consider the financial independence daydream that most of us have had. It’s usually comprised of having tons more than we need. The reason for wanting more is to build a cushion in case we begin to lose that heightened position. The real focus is on loss, not gain. There is a lack of trust in our ability to manifest enough.

We employ trust every day. We trust that our car, which is made up of thousands of moving parts, will get us from Point A to Point B without them coming unhinged. Outside of physical emergencies, we trust that the part of us that regulates our heartbeat and breathing will continue to pump enough blood and give us enough air without us requesting more than we need. Yet, we most often fail to trust anything that doesn’t fit inside our intellectual box.

Your imagination is too big for your intellectual capacity. As Wayne Dyer says, “Imagination is the force of creation.” Can you imagine for a moment that there is a part of you capable of creating enough?

It is this ability to trust that mitigates the intellect’s overemphasis on fear – the fear of there not being enough.

So I would add one more question to the test below: What do you want out of life? I trust you will consider the ONE word answer, “ENOUGH.”


All the best,




1.Where is your cell phone?  

2. Your significant other?
3. Your hair?
4. Your mother?  
5. Your father?

6. Your favorite thing? 
7. Your dream last night?

8. Your favorite drink?

9. Your dream/goal? 

10. The room you’re in?
11. Your fear? 
12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? 

13. Where were you last night? 

14. What you’re not?  
15. Muffins? 

16. One of your wish list items? 

17. Where you grew up?  

19. What are you wearing?

20. Your TV? 

21. Your pet? 
22 Your computer?  

23 Your Life? 
24. Your mood? 

25. Missing someone?
26. Your car?  

27. Something you’re not
28. Favorite Store? 

29, Your summer?
30. Your favorite color?
31. When is the last time you laughed?

32. Last time you cried? 






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October 6, 2008

What Song?

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 8:02 am

I wonder what song you’ll be playing today. Will it be a golden oldie or something entirely new? Either way, will it be performed with the freshness of the moment?

We are like a musical instrument whose output is determined by which part of us is putting on the performance. What part of you will strum your strings today?

This is a sure bet; whatever comes out will have an effect on you and others. Will your performance inspire or make others want you to retire?

If you choose to play an old song, can you come up with a new twist – one that gets you and others to pay more attention?

When you don’t know exactly what song you will play or how you will improvise on a song you already know, you will have rapt attention. It’s a true reality event where no one knows what will happen. It’s in this reality that the creative process lives. Reminds me of an old story . . .

In 1962, I was watching Bandstand with Dick Clark interviewing singer, songwriter Neil Sedaka who was sitting at his piano. Sedaka is a graduate of the famed Juilliard School and is a highly trained musician. He had just performed his hit song “Breaking Up Is Hard To Do.” Clark asked him how his musical training had contributed to his songwriting skills. Sedaka answered musically by playing and singing the song he had just performed in a variety of different tempos and musical styles. It was quite extraordinary to see this person take the same material and reshape it in the moment. Interestingly enough, he rerecorded that up-tempo song as a ballad 14 years later and had another hit with it.

Resist the temptation to be a jukebox today, where people push your buttons, and you spin the same old song.

What fresh approach can you discover today? Can you interrupt the staleness of certainty from your life today and risk finding something worthwhile and new?

You can be the composer or the cover band. It’s really your choice.

Sing from the heart today and notice how many more people are listening.


All the best,


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