- Thoughts for inspired living

April 8, 2009


Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 7:24 am

If you’ve seen enough cop and lawyer shows, many times you have been treated to the question, “Does the end justify the means?”

The Grasshopper weighed in from out of the blue on that topic yesterday. He said, “It depends on who’s judging the means.”

I think most reasonable people can agree on desired ends but we become totally unreasonable when evaluating the means.

Our arguments have more to do with conditioning than they do truth. Yet we’ll make the bold claim that a working methodology is the work of the devil if it doesn’t match our version of the truth.

Look at the current economic slump. There is a common end we can agree on, but the means to get there gets demonized by all sides because it doesn’t match up with a specific ideology.

The therapy business is replete with ends/means debate. Papers are written, symposiums attended, and patients continue to suffer because their therapist is stuck with an antiquated model.

Reminds me of a story . . .

Many years ago I worked with a woman who was a stutterer. She was an attractive interior designer who had trouble stringing three sentences together without going into an extremely noticeable stuttering pattern. She had spent $10,000 to go to this renowned clinic that specialized in stuttering. It didn’t help. She had sought help with a psychologist and a psychiatrist.

She attended my weight loss clinic and came up afterwards to speak to me. I remarked that she didn’t look in need for weight loss and asked her purpose in attending. It was obvious when she began to speak. She wanted to know if I could help her with her stuttering. I responded with the phrase I learned from my mentor, Dr. Dave Dobson, “I don’t know what’s not possible.” We set up an appointment.

We had three sessions. After the first session, there was marked improvement. She attended a session with her psychiatrist in between our sessions and he emphatically cautioned her that what I was doing was not going to last and that it was giving her false hope. He called it a “placebo effect.”

Well maybe the good doctor should have gone and heard her address the Chamber of Commerce flawlessly, or read the letter she sent to me months later that cited her new found ability to speak without stuttering for the first time in her life.

If someone is getting results I’m not getting, I want to know their means. It may not match up with my idea of what works, but I am not going to oppose their methodology simply because it doesn’t agree with mine, especially if they’re getting results.

My message is we are too quick to judge things in our head. I may raise an eyebrow when I hear something that seems “whacky,” but if it’s getting results, I want to be able to put my beliefs aside for a moment, and entertain the possibility.

I may ultimately decide that their means aren’t a fit for me, but it won’t be based on my ideology. I’ll take the time to explore new or novel means and then see where I end up.

All the best,


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