- Thoughts for inspired living

May 29, 2009

Your Personal Portfolio

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

Just about every financial whiz out there recommends evaluating your portfolio on a regular basis. It just makes sense.

You find out where you currently are, where you would like to go, and then determine if you have a workable strategy in place. It’s valuable to take stock from time to time.

Do you ever stop to consider where your energy is invested?

Our energy is a precious commodity and we have the tendency to invest it and forget it. We, through conditioning, use our energy in patterned ways. These ways may have made terrific sense at one time, but they may not be serving us now, yet we continue the investment.

How much of your energy is invested in something that’s not going to pan out? That’s a prescription for energy depletion. It’s a misappropriation of a valued resource.

How much time do you spend inside your head expending energy on what has happened or what could happen? That’s a lot of energy invested in two places that don’t currently exist – the past and the future.

Very little energy is invested in the moment you happen to be in – the only one that can bring you a return on investment – now.

Focusing on now is the wisest use of your energy. It’s fuel efficient and gives you the most miles per gallon. Dwelling on the past or worrying about the future is keeping the pedal to the metal at all times. You run out of gas more often than not.

It’s your energy and no one can tell you how to use it but you.

I’m just wondering if you’ve taken a look under the hood recently to find out if your energy is being put to efficient use or if it’s going up in smoke.

Energy is like the game of Monopoly. You get a fixed amount of money at the beginning of the game and depending on how you put it to use, it will determine how far you go. Are you paying rent to others or are you collecting on your investment?

Invest your energy wisely. Invest your energy now. It pays dividends that fuel you up the steepest inclines with energy to spare.

All the best,



Be Sociable, Share!

May 28, 2009


Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 8:09 am

Next to inertia, I believe the avoidance of step-by-step has been my largest nemesis in life. I don’t believe I’m alone.

Getting started is always taking the first step. It takes a lot for some people to advance their toes on that journey. The thing that keeps inertia in place is the daunting vision or conversation we have with ourselves about the proposed trek and the attendant feelings about the number of steps that are necessary after the first one.

That’s enough to stop anyone in their tracks.

I’ve discovered the secret about treks. There is only one step necessary – the one you are on now.

We just never give the proper attention to the step we are taking right now. We have the tendency to ignore it while we ponder other steps that can’t possibly happen until we complete this one. I call it paint-by-numbers boredom. See my blog post from last November.

There is a certain allure of beginning at the top without having to build a foundation. It’s embedded in our culture, mainly through advertising, that there is a shortcut for everything. Reminds me of a story . . .

I am a big fan of Little Richard – one of the pioneers of rock and roll. I loved watching him play the piano with that raw energy and blinding speed. I took piano lessons as a kid but never had the discipline to get past the scales. I wanted to be able to play Good Golly Miss Molly right away.

Later as an adult, I asked my friend, an accomplished pianist, to show me the notes and chords to play that song. I just wanted to know how to play the introduction, nothing more. He showed me but my playing of those notes and chords never sounded like his. I was missing the foundational training of rhythm and tempo and other nuances that made my presentation sound stilted and disjointed.

Here’s the lesson: You have a whim, not a desire if you aren’t willing to embrace step-by-step.

If you string back-to-back whims together, you unwittingly have, step-by-step, built a pretty unfocused life.

“You’re lazy” does not apply in many cases. It’s more like “you’re whimsy.”

Here’s a suggestion: If you have found a vague description of yourself within this blog post, commit to something, no matter how small, and do it step-by-step. Follow the recipe to the letter and notice the result.

If you want your life to be more than a collection of tips and tricks, get curious about immersing yourself in something – step-by-step.

All the best,



Be Sociable, Share!

May 27, 2009


Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 6:43 am

Got a visit from The Grasshopper last night. He said,

“What you know pales in comparison to what you have access to.”

I had to let this one settle in. After some quiet reflection, my sense is it’s about internal resources.

Reminds me of a story . . .

We have a quaint old library in the town where I live. It’s not the big, main library but a regional one that’s been around since the turn of a couple of centuries. It’s quite the experience to go in there and soak up all the history and charm and browse the books and services they have to offer. Size and budget keeps its resources at a level lower than the main library but it has a feel you’ll never get in a big modern building.

The same is true about what we know. It’s personal, unique and has a familiar feel. After all, nobody has the exact collection you contain but you.

The difficulty develops when we limit ourselves by what we know. We may evaluate our own personal collection of knowledge and find that others have quite a bit more on hand than we do. We may label them superior. We may think that we have the upper hand in the area of knowledge and label others with less as inferior. The truth is there will always be someone who is smarter/dumber and more or less knowledgeable than we are.

Enter the great equalizer for all – access.

Every public library has the capacity to order a book not on its shelves. And most of them have computers to search the world for useful information that may not be in book form. You also have access to a much bigger database, but you may lack the mindset to find it or use it. That’s called being stuck in your ways.

If all you want to do is browse the limited amount of books in your personal library, you will be going over the same information again and again. You may be hesitant to use the computer to do a wider search on what you’re looking for because it’s unfamiliar to you. You will remain impoverished if you have anachronistic tendencies and refuse to branch out. What you remain stuck with is a label that glues you in place.

It’s not always the best and brightest that bring stellar results. If you need an example, look what the geniuses of Wall Street have delivered recently.

The person who pokes past their collected knowledge and mines their internal resources is on the fast track to discovery. What they will discover is that knowledge is limiting. There is only so much of it we can retain, depending on the size of our library. If we determine that’s all there is, we miss the opportunity to grow.

To gain access to our unlimited, internal resources, we have to let go of what we know. It’s the first step.

There’s an old expression about financial resources that explains the comparison between knowledge and internal resources. When comparing their financial holdings, one person says to the other, “If I had your money, I would burn mine.”

When you gain access to your internal resources, your knowledge compared to your wisdom begins to pale by comparison.

You do have access to internal resources. The only question you need to ask yourself is, “Am I brave enough to let go of what I know?”

What could you find out if you weren’t hampered by what you know? Lots!

Here’s a challenge. Find something you know that’s in cement. Chisel it out and set it aside. It will be there if you need it. Now get curious about what you can find out without having what you know be foundational. It may feel like taking a rock to a knife fight at first but it gets easier the more we practice.

Give yourself some quiet time where you can experience the deep reflection of not having to know anything. I like to call this time what Longfellow referred to “a pause in the day’s occupations.” Out of this “pause” comes insight – something you would never find in a book.

To get there you only need to heed the words of the librarian – “Be quiet.”

All the best,



Be Sociable, Share!

May 26, 2009

Can’t Explain Pain

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 8:25 am

Veterinarians are probably the best diagnosticians because their patients can’t explain the pain.

Humans on the other hand, equipped with language, are equally inept in explaining pain but it doesn’t keep us from talking about it.

My best suggestion is to talk only with your physician or counselor about pain. But even then, it’s hard to explain.

One of the saddest and most freeing discoveries you will make in this lifetime is you can’t explain your pain.

Words are poor substitutes for feelings – always have been and always will be.

Explaining pain is like explaining infinity. We think because we have a word for it, we have captured its essence and can easily communicate it to another. It’s a conceptual discussion that lacks action.

Someone recently asked me my feelings about something and I responded, “I can’t explain the pain.” I recognized it was there but I knew it was futile to make an effort to put it into words. I wouldn’t get a clearer understanding going down the explanation trail nor would the well meaning questioner.

Feeling pain is something that goes counter to our culture. Just look at the ads on any TV program and you will find a proposed remedy for your pain. We have been conditioned that pain is not supposed to exist and that it must be dispensed with immediately.

I would be the first person in line for a pain killer when suffering severe pain. See my blog post called VACATION DAY.

We have not been taught to explore pain. After we explain it, we want to “medicate” it away – pain killers, tranquilizers, alcohol, recreational drugs, excess food consumption, etc.

We make the primal mistake that we are first and foremost logical beings when in fact we are patterned creatures. We have automated our reaction to pain by attempting to explain. The specious thinking goes something like this: “If I explain it one more time, I’ll be free of it.” Enter my favorite Chinese quote, again – “Talk doesn’t cook rice.”

So the sad part is we can’t explain pain no matter how hard we try. The freeing news is we can explore pain and move through it. When we don’t move through pain, it hangs around longer than is necessary and continually plagues us.

Note: This is in no way a recommendation to ignore pain. Some people – the stiff upper lip crowd – are pain deniers and experience pain much longer than is necessary. I like to refer to them as the “Sack cloth sissies.” They are too afraid to face the real issue and endure the self imposed minor pain of denial to take its place.

This is an invitation to move your awareness to your pain and keep it there. The initial reaction will be to flee. It’s foreign to us to just feel rather than explain.

This doesn’t mean to have an internal conversation about your pain. Awareness doesn’t speak. Become aware of the pain. All pain has a physical component in your body. Find out where that pain is registering in your body and sit with it. Hold hands with it and explore the feeling.

This is an exercise in metabolizing pain rather than have it hang around undigested in your body.

I could make an effort to explain how this procedure works but that would just be more talk delaying the action.

Start slow and build up. Find a minor pain, emotional or physical, and feel it fully in your body. Don’t attempt to do anything with it other than put your awareness on it and feel it. You may become distracted because this is something new and out of your comfort zone. Notice the distraction and go back to the feeling experience.

There is something for you on the other side of pain; it’s just something that I can’t explain.

All the best,



Be Sociable, Share!

May 25, 2009

Memorial Day

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 7:30 am

Happy Memorial Day!

Keep those who love and protect us

out of harm’s way.

All the best,



Be Sociable, Share!

May 22, 2009

A Present

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 7:06 am

As we head into the Memorial Day Weekend in America, The Grasshopper offers us a present. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Pretend there is no other time than the present and you won’t be pretending.

Rely on the fact that you’re in a moment that will never be here again. Take advantage.

Experience all this moment has to offer.

Sense that you are in the midst of something unique. You are.

Enrich yourself with the gifts each moment brings.

Nourish your spirit now.

Trust that each moment is exactly as it should be.

All the best,



P.S. As the T-Shirt weather arrives, make sure to see the FUN ones at the SAVE THE IRISH Shop at the following link:

People will notice you.

Be Sociable, Share!

May 21, 2009


Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 8:16 am

I once asked my grandson if he had an opinion on something. He was about 9 at the time. He asked, “What is an opinion?” I gave my best answer and forgot about the discussion until recently.

“What is an opinion?” is a question we rarely ask ourselves because we have it confused with truth.

Notice how we tend to spout opinions as though they are facts. Watch or listen to any current events TV or radio talk show, or eavesdrop on any supermarket deli conversation and you will find opinion draped in its flowing costume pretending to be fact.

We all do it.

Here’s the rub. Opinion is opinion and fact is fact and rarely do they ever meet.

Opinions are assumptions. The good news is many assumptions that can’t be proved lead to facts. Columbus’ voyage comes to mind.

The downside is many assumptions leave out many of the facts. It’s what is known as “Selective Perception.” Reminds me of a story I’ve told before . . .

Dr. Dave Dobson was telling us about his purchase of a new Volvo. The day he drove his new car off the lot, he noticed many of the same cars coming in his direction in the opposite lane. He said, “That damn salesman paid people to drive Volvos in my direction so I would feel good about purchasing this car.” It was his way of teaching us Selective Perception.

Jerry Stocking in his sales course talks about how most salespeople misuse equations when they claim that X=Y. “This is the best pen ever made.” This pen – “X” = Best pen ever made – “Y.” That’s an opinion represented as a fact.

Take the same equation and put it into a relationship. “You are insensitive to my needs.” You – “X” = Insensitive to my needs – “Y.” His recommendation is to make X=X. In this case “you” = “you” and “insensitive” = “insensitive.” The minute you have one equaling the other, you’re in for an opposing opinion smackdown.

Jerry offers that people would be better served talking about their feelings about something rather than labeling it as fact. “When you do (fill in the blank), I feel like you don’t love me.” That’s an unvarnished opinion not pretending to be anything else.

We are all entitled to our opinions. The question not often asked is, “How well are they serving me?”

Chances are your opinions get in the way more often than not due to mislabeling them as fact.

It’s my opinion that we would all be better off by taking stock of our opinions and see how often we have them in costume masquerading as facts.

Find out how many of your X=Y equations can’t be proved. Take the home study course today and factually find out how opinionated you are.

All the best,



P.S. If you haven’t emailed the following link to all your Irish friends yet, I request you do so today.

They will thank you for turning them on to all the fun items they’ll find at the SAVE THE IRISH Shop. (Opinion)

Be Sociable, Share!

May 20, 2009


Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 8:16 am

Here’s an observation I’ve made after interacting with hundreds of thousands of clients: The more rules you have, the less flexible you are – mentally and physically.

Inflexibility is the number one clue that you have lots of rules.

We all have rules whether we admit to them or not. Many of them are quite useful. Never swim in a lobster tank nude comes to mind. There are notable others that keep us safe and functioning and are worth hanging on to.

The difficulty I see with rules is that we don’t take time to investigate our list. If you make the effort, one discovery you will make is that most of your rules are not yours. They belong to someone else and you got them through the osmosis of social, cultural and parental conditioning.

The next discovery you’ll want to make is finding out how well they’re working for you.

Here’s a little exercise I do when I have a client who is bogged down with rules. I tell them that I believe it was Aristotle who said that “perception is 100%.” And I go on to say, “I know some extraordinary, ancient Babylonian determined there are 360 degrees in a circle.” After this little preamble, I have them physically position themselves on the arc of the circle from where they view life.

Next, I put my hands on the outside of their shoulders and shift them a few degrees in either direction. It’s amazing to watch their face and physiology change just from this subtle perception shift. They immediately become lighter and more flexible.

Perception comes from our angle of approach. Our rules come from our perceptions. Shift your perspective and watch your spine fusing inflexibility begin to melt and fade away. It’s really that basic.

The famous story of the pot roast comes to mind.

A newlywed wife cooked her first dinner for her husband. She prepared pot roast. The husband enjoyed the meal and asked one question. “Why did you cut off the ends of the pot roast before cooking it?” She said, “That’s the way my mother does it.” He asked her to call her mother and find out why. The mother said that her mother had always done it that way. They got grandma on the phone and asked her why she did it that way. She told them when she first got married she only had one roasting pan and it was too small for a pot roast, so to make it fit, she cut off a piece of each end.

Rules are purposeful. What you may not recognize is that you have outgrown the purpose while your rules remain in place and so does the inflexibility.

If you’re looking for a new rule to live by, here’s one to consider: More options are presented to those who are more flexible.

All the best,



P.S. Please email this link to all your Irish friends.

They will thank you for turning them on to all the fun items they’ll find at the SAVE THE IRISH Shop.

Be Sociable, Share!

May 19, 2009


Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 6:01 am

What a terrific feeling – Welcome!

When it becomes more than a concept, welcome reaches into your being and the sensation is unmistakable.

Who or what makes you feel welcomed?

There is no faking welcome. It’s a feeling you can trust and one that’s to be treasured.

Permit me to ask again, who or what makes you feel welcomed?

Find more time for those persons or places and enjoy the feeling.

I believe the key to being more welcomed is to become more welcoming. I wish I had a secret formula to share on how to do this but I don’t. My best guess is to model those that do it well and have it sneak up on you over time.

Maybe there is a faster way but I haven’t found it yet.

Here’s a thought: The catalyst for most things is pursuit. Oftentimes, the pursuit of something is as rewarding as the destination itself.

Pursue welcome and my guess is you’ll begin to see it everywhere.

I just said “Thank you” to The Grasshopper for the idea for today’s post. He said the magic words: “You’re Welcome!”

All the best,



P.S. Please tell your Irish friends about my new SAVE THE IRISH Shop on Café Press. They will thank you for turning them on to all the fun items they’ll find at the SAVE THE IRISH Shop.

Be Sociable, Share!

May 18, 2009


Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 9:01 am

Who hasn’t experienced pain? It’s a staple of the human condition. Some seem to experience it more than others but we all know what it feels like for us.

I got to wondering about the causes for pain, physical and emotional. It seems the physical has more of an evidence trail but sometimes we are still clueless about its origins. Emotional pain also leaves clues but sometimes it is buried so deep that it escapes investigation.

Walking Snuffy the black nosed beagle is a wonderful spiritual practice for me. I get so many ideas while absorbed in this ritual. This morning the word “Pain” came to mind. I immediately knew it was an acronym – P.A.I.N.

A few steps later the acronym had meaning – Past Actions I‘ve Negated.

It may not explain the cause for all of our pain but it’s a useful place to start.

The elephant in the room is not your behavior. That’s the elephant dung.

The cause of your behavior is the problematic pachyderm.

The cause of your pain is what needs to be addressed and it can be addressed more fully when you bring the focus away from others and on to yourself.

Let’s suppose that you develop diabetes. Your physician may ask if it runs in your family. If the answer is “Yes,” you have found your cause, or have you? Or did you negate the lifestyle you lead that lead to your disease? I have a different view of heredity and disease. This is it. “If you do what they did, you get what they got.”

Have you noticed that false teeth are not as common today as they were in the 40’s and 50’s? That’s because most people have better dental hygiene than they had then. I’m sure there was some explanation of heredity given to adults of that generation when their gums became inflamed causing them to lose their teeth.

Long term emotional pain has a cause. What past action are you negating? As long as you take no responsibility for your pain, it will endure. You can try and cover it over with self medicating of some sort but that just leads to a life of shoveling elephant shit from one pile to another.

We keep our pain alive when we cover over its cause. Again, if you are looking past your part in this painful ordeal, you are emotionally myopic.

Past actions don’t have a statute of limitations. They follow you more closely than your shadow.

What do you continue to lie to yourself about? That’s a question that reveals a pain alleviating answer. Once you stop negating the cause, you bring it up for exploration and you can then begin the process of moving through the pain. (Read about that process here).

If you continue to pooh-pooh your past actions, you’ll postpone your prescription and remain in pain.

Take time to address the P.A.I.N. and learn one of life’s best magic tricks – how to make the elephant disappear.

All the best,



P.S. If you are Irish or come from Irish roots or have Irish friends, you must visit the SAVE THE IRISH Shop I have set up on Café Press. It is loaded with all sorts of products that celebrate the amazing self-deprecating humor of the Irish.

From T-Shirts to Mugs, Caps to Keepsakes, Baby Bibs to Beer Steins, Coaster Tiles to Thongs, it’s all there with two fun designs to choose from. (See below)

If you are looking for that one of a kind gift for an Irish relative or friend, check out my SAVE THE IRISH Shop on Café Press.

Be Sociable, Share!

Next Page »