- Thoughts for inspired living

July 31, 2013

Change Your Thinking?

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 5:44 am

C382856 mIn the spirit of full disclosure, this will be a mini rant – my version of tilting at windmills. Somebody has to do it.

There is a pat phrase in self improvement circles that goes like this: Change your thinking, change your life. I really have no argument with the premise. If your thinking changes, your life WILL change.

My rant is against the people who put the directive out there without any direction. They never go any deeper than the bumper sticker. My guess is they have no idea how to assist someone to change their thinking. “Oh, just think positive.” When you hear that from someone, you now have a clue that they have no clue as to how to help you.

In order to change your thinking, you first have to notice what you’re thinking while you’re thinking it. Judging your thinking as “negative” has no effect on changing your thinking. Evaluating your thinking after the fact has no effect on changing your thinking. Telling yourself to “think positive” has no effect on changing your thinking.

Noticing your thoughts about something while you are having those thoughts is how you change your thinking. When you become an observer of your mind, you remove yourself from the automatic thinking process. When you take a moment to observe yourself thinking, you make a space for some fresh, new, unrehearsed thinking to emerge. Interrupting your automatic thinking machine with observation is the way to change your thoughts and, thus, change your life.

You will have to be diligent with this strategy. You can’t do it once and expect instant results. Remember, you are dealing with a pattern of thinking that’s been going on just about your entire life. You’ll have to interrupt that pattern often to get the change you seek.

Your thinking will not change on its own. That would be like expecting a train to decide to run off its tracks. As long as the tracks are properly in place, the train will run on them until it finally runs out of steam – in other words, for a lifetime.

To change tracks, you have to notice that you’re on one. When you observe your train of thought, while it’s running, you become the engineer rather than the passenger.

You can ride your current train ’til the end of the line or you can notice your thinking and change tracks now.

Develop the habit of interrupting your thinking and you will begin to think new things, and these new things will change your life.

You now have a directive with direction. Follow it and you’ll be the little engine that can change their thinking.

All the best,


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July 30, 2013


Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 6:36 am

C196868 mHere’s another great title for a book I’ll never write: Getting The Logs Out Of Logjams.

What causes logjams? Let me answer that with a story . . .

Years ago, my neighbor, Ed, who was an air traffic controller and a pilot, told me that 99% of airplane crashes were caused by human error.

So back to logjams. A lot of traffic doesn’t cause a traffic jam – a few people driving erratically causes the flow to slow. It only takes one act of attention-less driving to jam things up.

But this isn’t about cars or trains and boats and planes. It’s about lack of ATTENTION.

Look at any logjam in your life and you can trace it back to lack of attention at some point. It’s easy to point to someone else’s lack of attention as the cause, but this is an exercise in self-inspection. What logjams have you caused or are causing due to a lack of attention?

It can be in your job, your personal life or in your relationships.

I have never knowingly interrupted a pharmacist when he/she’s filling a prescription. They are paying careful attention to make sure the customer’s life isn’t put in jeopardy due to their mistake.

Logjams occur when we are attempting to pay attention to many things vs. the one thing that needs our attention.

What one thing needs your attention? You are causing your own logjam by keeping it way down on your to-do list.

There is no mystery as to what needs our attention; it’s just our inattention to what needs to be done that causes our own personal pile-ups.

Here’s as close to the truth as I can get: Based on my experience, we all know what our problems are and we all know the solutions, but there is a logjam preventing a resolution. The fog causing the backup is the lack of focused attention.

Attention is a mighty tool that lies at the bottom of our tool box gathering dust and rust. Perhaps today is the day to spray some WD-40 on your attention and finally use the one tool that can get you out of a jam.

All the best


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July 29, 2013

It Can Always Be Better

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 6:51 am

C610214 mThe Grasshopper offered this consumable tidbit over the weekend: “Your life situation can always be better; your life needs no improvement.”

One of the questions my friend, Terry Butler used to ask when on a sales call was: “How can you be happier?” He was searching for the area he needed to zero in on. He knew everyone could be happier.

Life is a constant chase for happiness for most. Advertisers know that, marketers know that, politicians know that. I call this phenomenon “Chasing the horizon.”

There is no permanent state of happiness. Yes, you can always be happier but there is never an everlasting arrival at happy. Perpetual happiness is a lure away from reality.

Would you rather be happy or feel peace?

Our conditioning has us answer in favor of happiness when what we are really looking for is peace.

Your life situation has you seek the temporary solution – happiness. Your life is peace itself. The life force that courses through every living thing is pure peace and it just sits there waiting for us to discover it.

A state of peace needs no improvement. There are no levels of peace; it’s one size fits all.

Enjoy happiness when it arrives and celebrate it as long as it stays. Just don’t chase it or you’ll be like a dog chasing its tail.

Your time will be better spent experiencing the peace that you already own. It’s what shows up when you stop chasing the horizon.

You’ll be happier than most when you discover that peace is what you really want. It’s closer than your next happy moment.

All the best,


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July 26, 2013

Secret Sauce

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

Secret sauceIs there a real secret sauce? I believe there is. It’s passion.

When you have passion, struggles aren’t struggles, just necessary steps to get what you desire.

Struggles happen when there is no passion. You are fighting the war on two fronts – You are pursuing something you tepidly want with the lack of desire that keeps you grinding. That combination has the struggle continue.

“He’s struggling in school.” “She’s struggling in her marriage.” What’s missing? The secret sauce.

I don’t have a secret formula for you to develop passion; I just know that without it you won’t get where you’re going. And even if you do arrive, it won’t feel satisfying without passion.

There will be struggles in life and that’s not a bad thing. Struggles can make us stronger and more savvy about how to handle future ones. But we insure that our struggles will continue, unabated, when we lack passion.

Have you ever noticed that successful people who lack passion are miserable?

There is a difference in simply using the know how and the clout for getting something done and having passion for it. Look at moguls in any field and you will find your share of driven, yet passionless people.

Most of us are not at the point where we can only do what “excites” us, but we must schedule time for those things or we’ll become the dust of the grindstone.

Make time for the things you are passionate about. Don’t put them off as a reward; include them in your daily rituals and let those attendant feelings flood your body. It not only feels teriffic; it serves as a pick-me-up that makes the struggles go more smoothly.

Put a little secret sauce in your day, and you won’t be all work and no play.

All the best,


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July 25, 2013


Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 9:04 am

C164048 mA few years ago The Grasshopper offered up this nip of nectar: “The purpose of being alive is to feel alive.”

It immediately brought up the contrast between existing and living. I’ve done both and living is the hands-down winner.

This goes past upside and downside; they are facts of life – yin and yang – push and pull. Like the poor, they will always be with us.

But both rich and poor have a choice to feel alive no matter what side of up or down they happen to be experiencing.

Feeling alive is feeling. Notice the period after the previous sentence.

We can feel when we are up and we can feel when we are down. Some people bypass their feelings whether up or down. They rarely celebrate even when the upside is present, and they do a lot of talking (complaining) when the downside has the floor. But in neither case do they feel. That’s why they feel dead.

Take time to notice what your body is feeling and you have tapped into your aliveness. We’re alive when we exalt and we’re alive when we cry. We are in limbo when we dismiss or attempt to overpower those feelings with the stoicism of logic or the escapism of denial.

You can’t think your way out of a feeling. It will always be there ready to let you know you are alive. You just have to give it some attention instead of pretending it’s not there.

Remember this: Thoughts are often illusions but feel is always real.

Take the time to feel. It has the Lazarus Effect; it brings you back from the dead.

All the best,


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July 23, 2013


Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 6:54 am

C161031 m“If you don’t own an experience, you can only talk about it and, when that happens, talk is truly cheap.” That was what The Grasshopper was proselytizing this morning.

I sense he was attempting to convert me from talk to experience with his message.

Experience is cleaner – meaning it’s more direct. Talk seems to nibble around the cookie’s edge forever.

I learned a concept years ago called “Incongruity.” It’s when a person’s affect doesn’t match up with their words. The textbook example of incongruity is a person saying “Yes” while shaking their head from side to side. Dr. Dave Dobson taught us that the unspoken response is the one to pay most attention to.

People who don’t own experiences, yet talk about them as if they do, are incongruent. That’s just another way of saying that what they are saying deserves little of your attention.

What experience are you pretending to own? Reminds me of a story . . .

I got a call from someone I casually knew inviting me to participate in an event. He went on to describe the event and all the benefits associated with it. The underlying current was that he was describing benefits he claimed to own, but didn’t. His words were spot on but his delivery was incongruent.

Think about salesmen that you like. That could take a long time but when you find an example or two, contrast them with the ones who made you exclaim “P.U.”

What was the difference? The ones you liked were more congruent. Their words matched up with their experience and made you feel more comfortable around them.

It’s OK to talk about something you don’t own. That’s called exploring. But when you claim to own it and you can’t produce the “deed,” you are offering up incongruent words not worthy of my heed.

The real lesson for us all is to find the touted experiences that we don’t own and retire the stories we’ve been telling about them. The abbreviated message is this: Stop fabricating fables or, more to the point, stop lying.

Your lack of experience will betray you even if you swear on a stack of bibles and bare false witness to the directive “so say you.”

Are you Experienced?

All the best,

Jimi Hendrix (an obvious incongruity)

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July 19, 2013

“I Hate You”

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 6:48 am

C576106 mHere’s another view on the phrase “I hate you.”

You’re probably not human if you’ve never said or thought that phrase. I know I have and I meant it when I said or thought it.

But who actually said or thought that phrase? The conditioned you, that’s who.

The part of us that pretends to be us says some of the “darndest” things.

When something vile like that pops into our mind or out of our mouth, you can be sure it’s our conditioning talking, not us. That, however, does not absolve us from our vile utterances. There are consequences for actions, no matter what part of us produced them.

If you need proof that my hatred assertion is true, find a toddler that hates. They haven’t been conditioned yet.

Who do you hate? No one. Who does your conditioning hate? All the people on your hate list.

Quoting Buddha: “Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one getting burned.”

Hatred is anger and it will burn you too. Hanging on to hatred is hanging on to your justifications, which is another way of saying hanging on to your conditioning.

The next time you are about to utter your next bit of hate speech, pause for a moment and notice where it’s coming from. It’s coming from the part of you that you made up and got comfortable with – your public persona. That’s not who you were born into; that’s how you were molded.

There are two ways to break the mold – noticing or dying. Dead people don’t have any more conditioning. Noticing is the method to do while living. Notice your conditioning about to speak and interrupt it. Each time you do, a little more love comes through and that feels good for me and you.

All the best,


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July 18, 2013

Best Friends

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 6:48 am

C414578 mHere’s a question worth reflection: How come your body’s not your best friend?

We spend every minute of our lives with our body but too often we give it the Cinderella stepsister cold shoulder.

We fall in love with our minds even though we experience constant betrayal from them, but we don’t offer that love to our bodies often enough.

Not only is your body your constant companion; it does what it’s supposed to do every time. For example, your body will turn copious amounts of junk food into fat. That’s what it’s supposed to do. It will also slim down and respond with more energy when you feed it more healthfully.

“Take care of your body” is a throw away phrase in our culture. They are empty words that aren’t backed up. We’re not taking care of our bodies when we constantly complain about them – when all they are doing is what they were designed to do.

When we are in physical pain, we curse our bodies. Our bodies are producing the pain because that’s what they are designed to do. Pain is a red flag that something is going on with us that needs to be remedied.

Too often the remedy is to numb our bodies rather than explore what’s causing the pain. I’d be the first in line for a pain pill if I was in severe pain but that’s not the pain many people are numbing.

Your body knows the answer to your situation; your mind keeps guessing. We keep inquiring of our mind and all it does is spin out one theory after another. Inquiring of our bodies will get quicker results.

Take a moment of quiet time and ask your body what’s causing your pain? Don’t listen for an answer from your mind, feel an answer with your body. Your body will send you a signal; you just have to pay attention to it.

Once you get a signal, ask your body for another remedy besides pain – one that serves the purpose of alerting you, but doesn’t incapacitate you. Your body is flexible and can sing more than one song. You just have to make friends with it and then make your request.

Making friends with your body will short-circuit the caterwauling of your mind and is a more direct way to get you out of your bind.

Today, introduce yourself to your new best friend – Your body!

All the best,


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July 16, 2013

Speeding Through Now

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 5:59 am

C167828 mIf hindsight is foresight, how come we put the pedal to the metal and speed right through the present on to a totally predictable future?

We forget to STOP in the most useful time there is – right now – and make a course correction.

The present moment is the only time that you can make a change, otherwise past is prologue to a future that may look different but retains the stench of past errors, ever ready to repeat themselves.

What we do right now is a paving stone to our future. If we don’t STOP in this moment, we will blow right through the present and not even notice it was there.

I request that we all take a moment today to honor the present. Just take in what the moment has to offer. The past will always be there to think about and the future will always lie in waiting, but the present is only here now.

Take advantage of the present today and see what changes come your way.

All the best,














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July 15, 2013


Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 5:52 am

C139915 mThere are countless numbers of religions, all with their own doctrines. There are political organizations, also with countless doctrines. It seems that the set of beliefs they have each settled in on sets them apart from each other. And therein lies the main difficulty.

I am truly amazed when I pass a house of worship and they have a marquee out front with some pithy saying. What amazes me is how exclusionary these phrases can be. The sayings often espouse a portion of their doctrine, and the underlying suggestion is that this way is the only way. I find the same exclusionary practice in many pieces of political literature.

Yes, I know you’re not supposed to talk about religion and politics, so let’s just focus the conversation on doctrine. When each side sets doctrine aside, progress sets in.

When your focus is principally on your principles, a solution remains out of focus.

I would love to see a sign like this at the entrance way of an ecumenical gathering: “Let’s set doctrine aside and just experience God.”

Capitol buildings could have a sign that reads: “The people we serve deserve more than our dedication to doctrine.”

Do you really care if the person giving you life saving, mouth-to-mouth resuscitation believes the same way you do, or do you just want the mission completed?

Whether it’s politics, religion or your own family, doesn’t it make sense to get past the doctrine and get something done?

If you are dictated to by doctrine, you can only say the same things over and over again. There is no room for something new to emerge that would serve others and you, no matter what hymn book you sing from.

You could spend your whole life defending your doctrine or you could have it there simply as your guide. The latter choice gives you the flexibility and option to accomplish something by periodically setting it aside.

All the best,
























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