- Thoughts for inspired living

December 24, 2013

Christmas Guideposts

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 8:02 am

C483241 m

Thought I’d offer some Christmas guideposts for the big day tomorrow. Even if you just pick one and carry it out, your holiday will be richer as a result.

C – Chill out – Everything was never meant to go your way.

H – Have a second helping – It’s the holidays.

R – Reach out – It’s the best way to get people to reach in.

I – Immerse – Saturate yourself with your surroundings.

S – Stifle Yourself – Your rules can come back tomorrow.

T – Take in the moment – It will never be repeated.

M – Make Memories – Tomorrow’s reminiscences begin today.

A – Ask – Ask questions you don’t know the answer to.

S – Seek Stillness – It exists between the din and clatter.

Merry Christmas!


Grasshoppers Dec copy

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December 23, 2013


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

C168002 mThe Grasshopper has delivered many eye opening messages to me over the years but none more challenging than the one he delivered this morning: “If a realization doesn’t turn into an actualization, it’s just something else that you know.”

The implied challenge was: “Now what are you going to do?”

There comes a point where realizations become like statues on a shelf – rewards that we’ve done nothing with other than display them as a shrine to our knowledge base.

What are we going to do with our rewards? It seems we have some choices. We can act on them for our own benefit. We can pass them on to others in hopes that they will benefit, or we can just admire them with no real benefit other than a polished ego.

What realization needs to come off the shelf? Perhaps it’s time for one of them to get off its ass and get a job.

As we head into a New Year, it may be valuable to reflect on the realization that has the best chance for fulfillment and give what you know a proper go.

All the best,


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December 16, 2013

Getting Past Uncomfortable

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 8:54 am

C265650 mIs there someone you are uncomfortable around? I’m certain the answer is “Yes” for most of us.

What I find is that we immediately cite reasons for why we are uncomfortable around this individual. That only justifies the discomfort and keeps it in place.

I would be the first to tell you to refrain getting comfortable around an ax murderer, but most of the people we feel discomfort towards don’t fit that description.

“She’s just not my cup of tea” is an old refrain that keeps us safe within our borders again.

I’m not suggesting that you put these people on your Christmas card list or hang out with them; just make an effort to get closer to them and see what they’re really like when they’re not at arm’s length.

You will make two discoveries:

1. You’ll learn more about the person that goes deeper than your defenses will ever take you.

2. You will learn more about yourself.

Even if you’re not feeling altruistic, do it for the selfish reason of finding out more about you.

You already know what your prejudices about this person are; so now you can dig deeper and find other parts of you that you would have never known except for this exercise in reaching out. Reminds me of a story . . .

Years ago I was at a workshop and met a man I instantly disliked. I couldn’t cite anything concrete; I just knew I didn’t like him. Turns out that he felt the same way about me. The seminar leader suggested that we get together outside of the seminar environment and explore each other. We went to breakfast together the next morning.

It was uncomfortable . . . until we decided to poke past discomfort and discover more about each other and ourselves.

His life story was compelling. I found out more about him over breakfast than he had shared with people in years. The same was true for me. I brought up things about me that hadn’t seen the light of day in years, and certainly never shared with “strangers.”

It was a powerful exercise in getting past discomfort that revealed lessons for both of us.

We didn’t become pen pals or Facebook friends but we did dispel the discomfort and discovered each other’s humanity as a result. I also found out deeper parts of me that I may have never found had I remained uncomfortable.

Here’s the lesson I learned: You will find more of your depth when you explore others. It simply takes getting comfortable with discomfort.

All the best,


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December 10, 2013

Dream Come True

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 7:41 am

C618259 mWhat do you do when your dream comes true?

There are a lot of answers that come up for me but two grab the spotlight.

1. Enjoy the moment.

2. Start working on a new dream.

“Enjoy the moment” seems to be the easier of the two. Let’s call it the “Honeymoon Effect.” Everything looks, sounds, smells, feels and tastes better. What’s not to enjoy?

“Start working on a new dream” may seem counter-intuitive, especially when you are rapt in the euphoric moment; but soon after, it’s time for the next dream to begin.

I’m reminded of what my friend and media consultant, Holland Cooke offered at one of his seminars: “The day you get your new job is the day to begin writing your new resumè.”

My personal experience is that when you stop dreaming, you start becoming stale.

Let me separate “Dream” from “Daydream.” Dream has a plan attached; daydreams are like couch potatoes aimlessly floating from one cloud to another.

Dreams get your creative juices flowing in a direction, rather than just sitting there as potential.

Have you stopped dreaming? If so, you have put limits on what’s possible for you.

Your dream’s destination is really the starting point for a new dream. Working on a new dream will keep you fresh for a lifetime.

Dream as big as you dare, and keep working on your dream. It will take stale air and make it clean.

All the best,


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December 5, 2013

Separate and Superior

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 8:06 am

C686531 mWhen we determine that certain people have superior skills at something, we are comparing them to all the others who possess that skill and then we make a classification. “He’s the best rebounder of all time.” That makes sense. That person is deemed in a class all by themselves and that’s worth celebrating.

When we personally deem that we are in a class all by ourselves, we become separate and superior. You won’t be celebrating that because no one is coming to the party but you.

Separate = Superior. The more we consider ourselves separate and apart from others, the more superiority we will display. Reminds me of a story . . .

Years ago, I was talking with Jerry Stocking on the phone about an issue I was having. He invited me to come to one of his in-house courses. He thought it would be beneficial for me. It’s what he said next that captured my focus: “Come on down and experience the course with a group of your peers, of which you have none.”

There it was in a nutshell – self ascribed superiority keeping me separate and apart.

The more you entertain the notion of “me against them,” the less you will want to participate in the dance of life. That leaves you off the dance floor, alone in your own world, and subconsciously advertising to people that you’re too good for them.

I’m reminded of the Eckhart Tolle observation regarding people we say we have nothing in common with. He says, “Yes, you do have something in common” by pointing out that in “X” amount of years all of you will be rotting corpses.

The trick is to recognize that commonality before we die.

To separate ourselves from superior, we have to start including more and excluding less. It’s a process. My experience is it won’t happen overnight, but it will happen if you make the effort.

It starts by recognizing others as people just like you with hopes, dreams, fears and fancies. This makes them less “other” and more like you. The more you take time to focus on what you have in common, the less time you’ll have to feel separate and superior.

I love Jerry Stocking’s definition of love. He says that love is “Inclusion.” It follows then that the less inclusive you are, the less love you’ll feel. There is an abundance of love waiting for us all. We just have to separate ourselves from superior by beginning the process of inclusion.

All the best,


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December 4, 2013


Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 8:51 am

C417339 mThe Grasshopper interrupted a phone conversation I was having yesterday with this: “Everything begins with a start.”

It reminded me of an advertising slogan I heard when I was a kid that I’ve mentioned before. It was from the Philadelphia Savings Fund Society (PSFS) that underscored the magic of action: “Wishing won’t do it, saving will.”

Like our grammar school teachers taught us, every story has a beginning a middle and an end. But there are no stories, no successes or failures without a beginning. It’s where we start.

I’m all for envisioning desired endings but never at the expense of beginnings. Too often our happy ending never gets off the ground because we fail to begin.

This is about the reality of a start. You can’t begin anything without one.

You can talk a mean streak about what you’re going to do but it won’t begin until you do something. Doing something requires an action past thought.

And yes, a start is only a beginning that needs to be followed up with additional efforts to get to an ending, but the first step is to start – take an action.

As Lao-Tzu reminded us centuries ago: “The longest journey begins with the first step.”

Short journeys begin with a first step as well.

You may know some “serial beginners” – people who begin a million things and never complete them, and use that fact to poo-poo the sagacity of beginnings. They haven’t learned the second step yet. In dancing terms, they only learned to “Cha.”

But, even they, are a step ahead of you if you haven’t begun.

You have to get out of your head to begin. Beginnings are body based; they take action.

What action can you take today that will move you closer to a desired goal?

Perhaps you can start an “Action Journal.” Instead of listing the things you want to do in there, list the actions you’ve taken. It takes your to-do list and turns it into a done list.

Whatever you’re contemplating, it won’t get off your plate until you begin.

Imagine all starting lines in any race having this banner displayed: HAPPY ENDINGS BEGIN HERE.

All the best,


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December 2, 2013

How Do You Know?

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 8:04 am

C559975 mHas someone ever made a statement to you to which you responded, “How do you know?”

There are so many voice inflections that can be made in that question. Here are a few:

How do YOU know?

How DO you know?

How do you KNOW?

HOW do you know?

The one I’m asking about is the last one – HOW do you know?

Stated like that, it’s a process question seeking the HOW of how you get to your information.

Some things that we know, we know without knowing. Reminds me of a story . . .

I was talking with a friend about stuttering and out of nowhere I said, “More boys than girls stutter.” My friend asked, “How do you know?” I really didn’t have a satisfactory answer. I just knew that I knew. Doing a bit of research after the phone call, I found what I said to be factually accurate. I hadn’t studied the subject but I did help a couple of clients who were stutterers outgrow their habit – one was male and the other female. So no real world statistics I could base my claim on.

The feeling I had when I made the statement to my friend was not one of cockiness, but certainty.

It got me curious. HOW did I know?

I wanted more information past what I learned from NLP (neuro-linguistic programming). NLP would have me model out what senses I employed to get to the answer – what combination of visual, auditory, kinesthetic did I use? That would make a nice graph of HOW, but it wouldn’t answer what I really wanted to know – How could I be certain without supporting information?

I wish I could tell you that I found the answer. I haven’t. Here is one suspicion: Best as I can tell, there is a deeper database that acts independently from our factual database and gives us our moments of “intuition.”

My experience is you won’t think your way to these intuitive moments; you just have to put yourself into position to let them happen. I find that they happen more often for me when I don’t have an agenda on the topic being discussed. Back to the stuttering conversation for a moment . . . I was not pontificating on the subject; we were just having a friendly conversation about nothing when the topic just popped up. I didn’t know anything about gender specific stuttering, yet I knew I knew.

This reminds me of an old Grasshopper maxim from years ago: “Know Less, Discover More.”

It seems that our knowing gets in the way of knowing. There is a lot of internal debate that goes along with traditional knowing; there is none with certainty. It arrives unannounced when we stop announcing what we know.

My Takeaway: You will have more moments of certainty when you know less.

All the best,


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