- Thoughts for inspired living

September 24, 2013

The Facts of Beliefs

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

C505726 mHere’s a question to ponder: What do you do when you find out what you believe isn’t true?

If you’re like most of us, you deny the evidence and keep on espousing that belief.

Let’s face it, there’s not a lot of evidence for most beliefs, but that fact doesn’t keep us from believing in them. We believe most things without evidence.

The hard question is the one asked at the outset: What do I do when I find out what I believe isn’t true? I submit that we initially get angry and defensive and those two behaviors will stay with us until we find another way to respond to the question.

There is no right answer, only ones that move you forward or keep you stuck. Reminds me of a story . . .

When I was in radio as a program director and consultant, part of my job was critiquing on-air personalities. From time to time I would encounter someone who believed they were God’s gift to radio who truly had no gifts. Coaching them up was always management’s first choice rather than firing them, so the process began. Ask any coach in any profession if they can coach someone who doesn’t think they need coaching. They will tell you hair curling stories about people who were filled with anger and defensiveness.

What facts are you not facing? Denying that they are there will keep your belief in place and your feet stuck to the floor.

Anger and defensiveness may be your initial reactions but are not productive responses to hang on to when you make a discovery of fact. Sometimes facts hurt and that can make us angry. The mistake we make is directing that anger outward at the messenger and not reflecting on the message.

Are you fighting with the evidence? That always results in a knockout. The trick is to get out of the ring when you come to your senses and find out what you can do when you find out what you believed isn’t true.

All the best,


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September 23, 2013


Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 6:53 am

C478770 mThe Grasshopper delivered his version of fire and brimstone the other day when he pronounced this from his pulpit: “Hell is in your head.”

I don’t think he was referring to the concept of hell being in your mind; it felt more real than that.

My best guess is he meant you are actually in hell when you are caught up in your thoughts.

We create a living hell every time we get ensnared in a fiery debate inside our head. If Hell is constant friction and gnashing of teeth, I can think of nothing that resembles that more than the flames we fan inside our mind.

What we fail to notice is that none of that blitzkrieg of banter has ever produced a productive result. It only puts more fuel on the fire. That’s hell.

To escape the fires of hell, it helps to notice that you’re in there. Once you notice that you are creating and fueling the agony, you can choose to grab a nearby seat (perhaps in Limbo) and just observe the raging fire of vitriolic rhetoric. It’s actually quite entertaining when you watch and don’t participate.

The minute you feel compelled to counter a point offered by “the other side,” you have bitten the tempting apple and reenter the fray. The result is that your peace of mind is taken away.

Observing your mind at work is a one-way ticket out of hell. Once you remove yourself from the fight, you are no longer interested in being right – only being at peace.

As an example of this phenomenon, you can enter a political debate any time you choose. Just call a local talk show and express an opinion or go to a local bar and do the same. Before too long you’ll be embroiled in a debate that has no end. That’s exactly what you do when you saddle up to the barstool in your mind.

Like anything else, the devil is in the details. Once you get caught up in the details, you lose sight of the bigger picture – that you have the ability, through observation, to leave this pit behind. This allows you to rise up to the level of peace, and that’s heavenly.

All the best,


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September 20, 2013


Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 5:57 am

C349613 mThe Grasshopper must love taking walks because he delivered this gem the other day during one: “When seeking help, bring your needs, not your neediness.”

What you need and what you are needy about travel on different paths. One goes towards the light of help and the other goes nowhere.

Neediness, pure and simple, is the lack of resourcefulness. A person who genuinely needs something lets what’s on the periphery go out of focus and zeros in on that specific need. Resources now have a direction to flow. The needy person is like a novice photographer at a wedding who takes thousands of pictures in rapid fire succession hoping to get some that look good. That’s called “Spray and Pray.”

Neediness contains a deep sense of lack – a lack of resources.

Neediness is a perception that doesn’t look in the direction of resources; it only focuses on lack. Looking into an empty pit is not going to fill up the hole. Looking for resources is your best option.

The needy person doesn’t think much of themselves because they are blind to their internal resources. They don’t think there’s enough of whatever it is they need. People needy about money don’t think there’s enough money to go around when, in fact, there’s more than enough. It’s what the parable of the loaves and fishes addresses.

A needy person is looking for someone else to provide for their needs when they are the own best provider. Dr. Dave Dobson made the bold claim that we are our own best therapist. He wasn’t suggesting that people not seek help; he was suggesting that they check in before they assume that what they need is out there somewhere.

You are resourceful; you just have to get focused on that part of you rather than staying glued to being needy.

Neediness is a repellent. No one wants to help a needy person because they know it’s a bottomless pit and a forever commitment – Translation: A drain.

If you are always looking for a helping hand, you’ll never handle your difficulties. That’s called not growing up. Growing up is recognizing your own resources and fashioning solutions.

When you become resourceful, that’s when you’ll discover willing people willing to lend a hand. I guess this whole post could be written more succinctly by quoting an ancient proverb: “God helps those who help themselves.”

All the best,


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September 16, 2013

What Am I Responsible For?

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 8:00 am

C166384 mThe Grasshopper offered this observation the other day: “You’re not responsible for your thoughts and feelings; you are responsible for your actions.”

How often have you beaten yourself up for your thoughts or feelings? Did that ever get you a win?

Thoughts produce feelings and feelings produce thoughts, but unless they lead to action, condemning yourself for them is an exercise in self abasement.

You can have “awful” thoughts or feelings about something or someone but unless they lead to an awful action, they’re not illegal, or condemnable for that matter.

If you are denouncing yourself for your thoughts and feelings, you’ve had sufficient training in guilt being cathartic. It isn’t.

If you want to judge yourself for something, judge yourself for your actions. They are the only things you are responsible for.

Thoughts and sensations just pop into your mind and body unannounced; you have a clutch to keep them from developing into actions.

Thoughts and sensations are not preventable; actions are.

Jimmy Carter’s admission that he looked on many women with lust and committed adultery in his heart just underscores my point. To flog yourself for biology and chemistry at work is to deny science. To take action on those thoughts and feelings may lead to impeachment.

Taking responsibility for your actions takes action. Taking responsibility for thoughts and feelings just popping up is just an idle thought.

All the best,


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September 12, 2013

Reaching Out

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 6:26 am

C165781 mIn the spirit of full disclosure, I’m not very practiced in reaching out. I’m more than willing if something is right in front of me and am usually at the head of the line when someone asks for assistance. But I’m not a self starter when it comes to finding out if you need a shoulder to dampen or your hand held.

My pattern has been to guard my privacy with a vengeance and, in the past, wrongly assumed that everyone else guarded theirs too. This kept me in the “mind my own business” department. The hard lesson I learned from having this pattern is that you can’t get help when you give the impression that you don’t need help.

Everything is not always AOK but many of us pretend that it is that way. It’s just another way to keep people away from our private sanctuary of suffering.

We have to reach out before someone can reach in and that takes a lot of bravery.

It takes an admission that you are vulnerable – a fate worse than death for people who pad themselves with privacy.

Vulnerability reveals a crack in our armor – a small entry way for others to reach in.

It’s been said that we come into this world alone and we go out on our own but I’ve discovered, in the space between, we’re not meant to walk alone.

Let folks know you have an underbelly. It’s a “reach out” revelation that will cause others to reach in.

All the best,


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September 10, 2013

Same or Different?

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 6:44 am

C134710 mI’ve been mentally wrestling with a chicken or egg type question: Are we more the same than different or more different than we are the same?

There will never be a correct answer but it is fun to explore the query. (Isn’t “query” a great word?)

Seems to me that most of our differences are conditioned and cosmetic and our similarities are deeply hard wired.

I encounter people who are misinformed, yet passionate, about a topic. I have differences with them. They will argue for their limitations with a set of limited, flimsy “facts” and are blind to anything that factually discounts their version of reality. I am also the same as them because I am capable of doing the same thing – getting on a soapbox without anything to sell.

There is a life force that animates me and, as best as I can tell, it also animates every other living creature. At a base level, that makes us the same. Where we become different is when we argue that my life force is better than your life force. That’s like arguing that your bleach is better. Bleach, no matter the brand, has the exact same chemical makeup. They may put a different color in the mix or add a different smell to it (cosmetics), but, at base level, it’s still the same.

It’s really the angle of view that will have us consider ourselves more different or more the same.

I think both our sameness and differences need to be recognized before we can begin to play better with others. When differences become the spice of life rather than the meal, that’s when we know we have embraced our sameness.

Differences are the tip of the iceberg. The bulk of that huge mass is unseen sameness. When we recognize the percentages, we may not dismiss someone so quickly whose tip is not perceived as majestic as ours.

Same or different? If you keep the accent on different, there won’t be enough bleach on earth to remove the stain of superiority.

All the best,


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September 4, 2013

How Tough Are You?

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 6:14 am

C166842 mIs it better to be tough or resilient? Like with any of these types of either/or questions, it depends.

My sense is that tough works best as a temporary solution and resilient is the better long-term option.

Our troubles multiply when we misapply our response.

Being tough all the time takes its toll. To cite the old axiom, “When you only use a hammer, everything looks like a nail.” That would sum up the tough approach. Imagine hammering your flower garden into shape.

Being resilient all the time, can get you walked on to the point that you’re perceived as a door mat. “Go along to get along” is often the mantra of the rotely resilient person.

Tough’s toll is a two-way street. It has an effect on both you and others. Tough hardens you and makes you hard to be around. It also doesn’t let you experience the softer side of life. If you’ve gone through basic training in the military, you are familiar with the following scenario: The tough drill sergeant who becomes your friend after your training is complete. His job as an instructor was to be tough. When he changes out of that role when he’s off the clock, he’s pleasant to spend time with.

Resiliency will serve you better over the long haul but if it’s not punctuated with toughness from time to time, you’ll always be bending where the wind blows. Sometimes you have to steel your spine.

To my eyes, the best parents are the ones who are both tough and resilient. The same goes for bosses, judges and indian chiefs.

It’s not a science; it’s an art to find the proper mix of tough and resilient for you. But it has to be a mix or you’ll find yourself constantly in a fix.

Here’s a rule of thumb: Sometimes when your instant reaction is to pick one, pick the other. This will have you practice resiliency in tough situations.

All the best,


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