- Thoughts for inspired living

November 26, 2013

Turkey Day Takedown

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 8:48 am

C483090 m

My heart, not to mention my belly, is warmed that there is a holiday called “Thanksgiving,” yet I’m not excited by what it’s evolving into. It’s morphed recently from a grand family day of celebration to let’s stand in line at Walmart to see if we can get an X-Box.

It seems to be the most inclusive, secular holiday we have, yet its traditions are being challenged by the lure of culture.

I’m not going to start a petition drive to outlaw the banning of retail stores opening on Thanksgiving, but I am protesting.

I will call this protest “What if they had a sale and nobody came?”

There’s no doubt I’m going to lose this battle, but I will take solace in the fact that the practice hasn’t won my heart.

Aside from hunger and money, I don’t see too much of a difference between a homeless person in the street on Thanksgiving and the person waiting outside Target for the “Doorbuster” savings on Thanksgiving night. Both are losing.

I guess I can sum up my mini-rant this way: I’m thankful that we live in a country where we’re free to choose; I’m just not crazy about the new choices.

Happy Thanksgiving,


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November 20, 2013

I Can’t

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 8:48 am

C166886 mHaving spent the last 30 years as a people helper, I can say, with confidence, that the two words I’ve heard the most from people who profess they want to make changes are: “I can’t.”

I’ve come to find that it’s not a lack of ability that brings those words out; it’s a lack of willingness. A more accurate statement would be: “I’m unwilling to make an attempt.”

“I can’t” is a cover.

This two word utterance covers over and attempts to hide our unwillingness to make an effort.

Reminds me of a story . . . Years ago I witnessed “I can’t” at a bowling ally. A group of friends had gotten together for dinner at a restaurant and after the gathering it was suggested that we go to a bowling alley just for fun. Most of us had not bowled in years or never bowled at all. In short, we mostly all sucked.

This one person made two attempts to roll the ball down the lane and missed every pin on both occasions. They exclaimed, “I can’t bowl” and then sat down. One of the people in the group, who did know how to bowl, offered some polite encouragement and instruction to make their next attempt go smoother. They responded with “I can’t bowl” and sat out the rest of the night.

After the event, I probed a bit further with this person and found out that the thing that kept them from bowling that night was the appearance of looking “silly.”

They had the capacity to learn; they were just unwilling to go through the process.

“I can’t” is a programmed reaction that retards the one quality we need to move forward – Willingness.

In my experience, “I can’t” most often translates to “I’m unwilling.”

What are you unwilling to do in your attempt to move forward?

Unwillingness is your roadblock.

It may seem like semantics but when you say each of the following phrases, they will produce a different feeling in your body. Say each phrase and notice the difference for yourself;

Phrase One: “I can’t.”

Phrase Two: “I’m unwilling.”

If you’re anything like me, “I can’t” puts the onus “out there somewhere”; “I’m unwilling’ brings it back to you.

When you recognize the difference, “I just can’t lose weight” becomes “Up until now, I’ve been unwilling to do what’s necessary to lose weight.”

The shift in language makes the “impossible” more possible. Once you realize “I can”t’ is a little monkey pretending to be a 500 pound gorilla, you discover the quality you need to move forward – Willingness.

All the best,


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November 19, 2013

All of Me

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 9:33 am

8164444I woke up with the Frank Sinatra song All of Me in my head this morning. The opening lyrics are “All of me, why not take all of me . . .” One may think I could have just stopped and enjoyed the musical interlude, but I sensed there was more.

I was having a conversation with Hali, our seminar coordinator yesterday about two exceptional people helpers we both experienced and we were parsing out the differences between the two. My assessment came down to this: One was an incredible technician who could get people from A to B in a jiffy. The other wasn’t as demonstrative but his skill was getting people from A to infinity.

One was using part of him and the other, all of him.

One of the skills was teachable; the other wasn’t. Can you guess which was which?

When you give someone a pat answer, you are giving them part of you – a very well rehearsed part of you, and that is teachable. You give someone all of you when you wait for a response to form. You are drawing on all your resources at that point, not just the ones within arm’s reach. The waiting part is teachable but the response isn’t because it’s different every time, custom made for the person you are interacting with.

There are many times when pat answers fit the bill and are quite appropriate. Any questioner looking for factual data will be well served by a pat answer. Someone who hasn’t been helped by patterned answers would be better served by getting all of you.

The key to “all of me” is to wait for all the pat answers to pass by and then offer what shows up after that. That answer is coming from a much deeper reservoir and will have more impact than reciting one of your favorites again.

If you’re looking for a “Just Do It” type answer, watch a Nike commercial. That’s about as pat as you can get.

If you deem that someone deserves the best response you can give, give Sinatra’s suggestion a spin – “Why not take all of me.”

All the best,


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November 15, 2013

Vantage Point

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 8:52 am

C640407 mI had a dream the other night that I was a defensive pro football player. In the dream, I was 20 feet above the ground (remember it was a dream) and when the runner came in my direction, I couldn’t get down on the turf to do anything to stop him. The coach was yelling into the speaker that was in my helmet to “tackle the bastard!” My response was, “I have too high a vantage point.” Then I woke up.

Somehow I don’t think the dream was about football.

When your vantage point is too high, it’s hard to interact with the people on the ground – whether you’re a General smoking a cigar up on a hill overlooking the troops on the battlefield or someone who doesn’t want to interact with the “little people.”

“Too high a vantage point” is a metaphor for superiority.

I have the credentials to speak to superiority because I have an advanced degree in it. Here’s what I know first hand: Superiority is an elixir that keeps you from being a mixer. That means that you feel good about your position but you’re not positioned on the same level with others, so it’s hard for you to interact.

Superior people miss a lot in life. That’s because they believe they’re better than people living one. They’re too busy commenting in their head about how above the fray they are to notice that no one’s knocking on their door asking them to come out and play.

There is a remedy for superiority. Notice that you made it up. You’re not really superior, or inferior, for that matter; you just made it up in your mind. Then you started to believe your own fairy tale.

Once you notice that you’ve created this mindset, you have the ability to make up a new one – one that doesn’t leave you high and dry letting life pass you by.

Start to observe your “better than” moments and train yourself to laugh at them because they are, after all, entertaining theatre. Laughing at yourself on your high horse is a trigger to dismount and get down on the ground, the only place you can horse around.

All the best,


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November 14, 2013

Retire a Lie

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 7:02 am

C382188 mThe Grasshopper had a reflective musing this morning: “Where there is smoke, there are mirrors.”

It got me to wondering about the smokescreens we create during our lives. What is it that we’re attempting to cover up?

More to the point, what do we lie about? Quoting my favorite doctor, Dr. Gregory House, “Everybody lies.”

Some are white lies and others are black marks on our soul. It’s the charred ones that rob us of our life as they continue to produce a heavy smoke.

“Stop lying” seems to be the answer but that’s too big a chunk to go to work on. Doing it all at once has us fear that we’ll choke on our own smoke.

There is an easier way to breathe more fresh air, more often – Retire a lie.

What barn burner have you been telling that you’re willing to soak with a fire hose?

Here’s the fun part: No one has to know that you’ve retired the lie, just you. Just the act of letting it go up in smoke will lighten your load by having you keep track of one less lie.

Then continue the process by retiring another. Before too long, you’ll be having a fire sale where “Everything must go!”

In the spirit of full disclosure, this is a work in progress for me, but I can issue this progress report: It feels better when I look in the mirror.

All the best,


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November 13, 2013

The War on Peace

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 5:10 am

C668801 mThere is a battle that rages everyday – a battle for your mind. It’s the War on Peace.

The warring factions are War and Peace themselves, but only one is actively fighting; the other is just waiting.

War is the attacking army; Peace isn’t even on the battlefield. War doesn’t need an opponent, just a mission to disturb the peace.

Unrest is the catalyst for war. Our minds search for ways not to be at peace. The funny thing is we believe we have to go to war to find peace. The reality is this: Peace is the absence of War.

Newton’s First Law of Motion comes to mind – A body at rest stays at rest and a body in motion stays in motion – unless acted upon by an outside force.

Your peace of mind is under attack when you need something to be upset about. It reminds me of what my aunt said about my father: “He’s always mad at somebody.”

Dwelling on an upset robs you of your peace. That doesn’t mean not to seek a solution; it just means a solution won’t be found while you’re at war. Peace can only be found when war ceases. Think of it this way: You’ve never seen Clark Kent and Superman in the same place. The same is true for War and Peace.

A peaceful mind has no enemies.

Recognition is the olive branch towards Peace. Recognize that your mind is at war. Just a momentary observation, without participation, of your mind at war causes a brief cease fire. It’s in that tiny space that you get a glimpse of, and a feel for, Peace.

The longer you continue to observe without picking up a weapon to participate, the longer you will remain at peace.

Observation of your mind at war is the key to peace. The minute you decide that you have to be mad at something or someone, your peace disappears and you are battling with yourself.

The key to keeping war alive is justification; the key to peace is just letting it go. Justification for your unrest is the fuel for the fires of war. “The reason I’m mad at that (expletive) is because (fill in the blank).” That’s a declaration of war.

We all experience unrest; it’s just a matter of what we do with it. Continually justifying our unrest makes our mind a war room; Peace is closer than your next justification.

All the best,


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November 8, 2013

Threshold of Change

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 8:40 am

C521266 mThere’s a word I use quite often regarding change. That word is “Outgrowing.” When you truly change, you outgrow something, just like you outgrew your childhood clothing. Once you outgrow something, it doesn’t fit anymore.

How do you know you are at the threshold of change? My experience is there is a tipping point with all sorts of signposts and signals present indicating we’re about to change.

Best as I can tell, there is a bit of nagging going on beforehand, not the yammering in your head that’s ladened with invectives like “you lazy slob” or some other demeaning dig, but more of a gentle nudge or a polite push.

You keep getting reminders from out of the blue that it’s time to wear something new.

It goes past “I should do this or that.” It’s more like a temptation than it is a beration. (Is “beration” a word)?

The interesting thing for me is that I don’t really know when the actual transitions happened; I only know they did. I do remember the reminders and feeling they were different than the mental pummelings I received, and I remember sensing that I was about to outgrow something.

Have you ever had the feeling that you were on the right track but you weren’t there yet? That best describes the feeling for me of being at the threshold of change.

There is a catalyst that can be used to arrive at the threshold quicker. It’s a willingness to allow these reminders to visit as often as they like. When you open yourself to the idea of change, you get more invitations.

When you force yourself into change mode, you’re likely to find that it’s temporary, kinda’ like the diet you go on before the “big” event – wedding, class reunion, final weigh-in on “The Biggest Loser.”

When you invite change in rather than letting it take you hostage, it’s a much smoother transition from old to new.

I wish I could tell you how and when change happens; that’s still a mystery to me. I do know there is a threshold and it seems the more willingness you put out, the more invitations that come in. Odds are that one of them will be tempting enough to R.S.V.P. to and you’ll cross over the threshold.

All the best,


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November 6, 2013

Breakout Moments

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 8:30 am

Gingerbread manIt occurred to me that we have “Breakout” moments when we can no longer be contained by the container.

Containers are patterns; think of them as cookie cutters. As long as you have that pattern, you will put out the same shapes. The dough composition may change but the final product looks like the container.

We keep tinkering with the recipe hoping to change the shape, but we turn out the same shapes only with a slightly different taste.

Breakout moments happen when your container breaks or changes shape.

Have you ever taken some sort of self-improvement class? The ads read: “Organize your Life in 3 Easy Steps,” “Finally Get A Handle on Your Finances,” “Selling Real Estate Made Simple” are just a few examples. All the classes contain valuable information but if you put them in the same container that you’ve used in the past, any success is often short-lived.

You’ve heard the expression “You can take the person out of (name of a demeaned city) but you can’t take the city out of the person.” That illustrates the concept of staying within the same container.

Seekers of the Holy Grail seem to think that if they know one more thing, that will be the ticket to their discovery. It winds up being a transfer to another bus with the promise that this is the vehicle that will take them there. The pattern keeps repeating and the results remain gingerbread men.

The thinking seems to be “I don’t have to change the way I am, only what I know.” That philosophy will keep your container in place. My experience is that we don’t need any more information to change; we need to alter our containers to grow.

You’ll be hard pressed to arrive at a new belief if you’re evaluating it with your current belief system. A start is to ask yourself: “What would be possible if I didn’t believe this?”

That sort of musing breaks you out of the container. It’s out of the container that life starts to take on new shapes.

All the best,


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