- Thoughts for inspired living

August 21, 2013


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

C133559 mIs it better to be inside looking out or, as the old love song goes, on the outside looking in? It depends.

It seems to me that what we’re looking in on is the past; what we’re looking out on is the future. Both views have their up and down sides.

Wanting what you had, when it’s no longer available, is the downside of looking in. The upside of looking in is discovering and adjusting patterns of behavior that got you on the outside in the first place.

Looking out on a brighter future is the hope that keeps you going. That’s the upside of looking out. The downside of looking out is that we spend so much time doing it rather than doing something to make it happen.

Looking back and looking forward are perspectives. Right now is where your past and future meet. It’s not a perspective; it’s a reality. The downside of reality is that you ignore it and, by doing so, will always pay a price. The upside of reality is discovering that, no matter what the situation, you have the ability to respond to it.

Responding is not reacting. Reacting is doing what you did in the past. Responding is not escaping the moment and wishing for a different future. That’s just another conditioned reaction. Responding is the gift life has given us to interact with the present.

What reality are you attempting to put perspective on? That has the same success rate of trying to put lipstick on a moose. Looking back on a better time or looking forward to a time that will be better are reactions that keep you from responding to what’s right here, right now.

Reminds me of a story . . . Years ago, I was in Kentucky to do a seminar. The hotel where we were holding it had one meeting room which we were assigned. The trouble was that it was filled with tables, chairs, and dirty plates from a wedding reception that was held in there days before. The person at the front desk, the only staff person in the hotel, told me that the cleaning and setup of the meeting room was not staffed by the hotel but by an outside company and they didn’t work on Monday. I had a reality on my hands.

I told him that we had a meeting in there in about 4 hours and that it needed to be cleaned and set up as per our agreement. He said our agreement was not with the hotel but with the catering company and he repeated they didn’t work on Monday. I was frustrated and about to get into a long, heated debate with this fellow until I recognized that I was reacting. I was reacting to the way it should be rather then to the way that it was.

I looked directly at him and said, “You are the only person that can make this happen. I don’t know who to call to make this happen but you do. Make that call now and make this happen.”

A half hour later two people were on site to clean and set up the room. I could have eloquently argued for hours about how things should be or how they were in the past but that would not have gotten me a functional meeting room.

Putting perspective on reality is ignoring reality. Responding to what’s right in front of you is always an action plan, not a reaction plan.

Gaining perspective may make you smarter but when it comes to reality, it’s a non-starter.

All the best,


Be Sociable, Share!