- Thoughts for inspired living

January 30, 2014


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

C164074 mI think one of the most potent words in the English language is “Loser.” Whether it’s used pejoratively or not, it seems to convey the lowest of lows.

The Grasshopper checked in with a less stinging and more insightful definition. “Loser: One who is struggling against the flow of life.”

We’ve all struggled and the more we do, the more we lose.

I’m reminded once again about the remarks of the late comedian/actor, Jackie Gleason revealing a secret to life: “Be going out when the tide is going out and be coming in when it’s coming in. Anytime I did it differently, I paid the price.”

What is the flow of life? It’s what presents itself every moment – Reality. The flow of life is the flow of reality. Some days reality will flow our way; some days it won’t.

It’s too easy to say, “Go with the flow.” That’s a directive without direction. My suggestion is to begin to recognize when you are railing against reality; then you’ll know you’re going opposite to the flow.

Recognition that you are swimming against the tide is often enough to get you to stop struggling. The struggle is getting you nowhere. You are better served waiting for the tide to shift.

To know that you’re not in the flow is an asset that signals you to stop struggling (losing) and wait for a more opportune time to expend your energy.

Are you putting too much energy into losing? it’s a question worth asking and worth waiting for a response.

I think it’s this simple; If you are struggling against the flow, you are choosing to continue losing.

All the best,


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January 28, 2014

The Same Frequency

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 9:15 am

C576275 mHave you ever used the phrase, “We’re not on the same page”? Or how about, “We’re not singing out of the same hymn book”? Perhaps you’ve even said, “We’re not on the same frequency.”

On the initial review of those phrases we may assess them all as metaphors. I submit the last one is more than a metaphor.

“The Same Frequency” has science behind it. According to the scientists everything is energy and energy can be measured in frequency.

When you are on the same frequency with someone, there is a bond and you radiate that frequency together. Think of a couple in love. There’s more to their bond than reading flowery phrases out of a book of poems together. There is a sameness – an exact frequency humming in both of them.

So how do we get on the same frequency as someone else? You can’t think your way there. That just creates a lot of noise that diverts you from a matching frequency.

One way is to give your critical consciousness a rest and just be with another person without agenda. Let the back and forth conversation in your head subside and watch a bond begin to form. This doesn’t mean that you don’t converse; it means to let your prepared remarks fall by the wayside and let the conversation naturally flow. Note to control freaks: This is like walking the high wire without a net. It’s scary.

It’s also very effective in getting on the same frequency.

When your back and forth with someone is less prepared and more free flowing, the chance for being on the same frequency is more of a possibility.

Not convinced? Practice in low risk situations like interacting with a stranger in the deli line, or with the person on the seat next to you on a bus or plane, or with the UPS guy. What you will find, when you let your preparation die, is the aliveness of the same frequency.

To borrow and bend a famous line: “May the frequency be with you.”

All the best,


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January 23, 2014

Who’s Gonna’ Pay?

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 6:47 am

C479806 mThe Grasshopper had an interesting question the other day: “Who’s going to pay for your bad day?”

In the spirit of full disclosure, I do believe this was a nudge from the universe to write one of the books I’ve been threatening to write for years but have been too lazy to give it full effort.

The book’s theme is about growing up and what’s necessary to be in place to be an adult, not just an older person with lots of immature habits.

One of the signs of immaturity I’ve been able to observe is that when a person is mad, they’re mad at the whole world. The message they communicate is: If I’m going down, everyone is going with me, including all the innocents. They seem incapable of compartmentalizing their angst.

The textbook example is the person who comes home from a less than glorious day at work. Children in the home are just being children, playing and being kids. The parent snaps at what is regular behavior and even the dog goes away with its tail between its legs. Everyone is going to pay for your bad day.

The trick to outgrowing any behavior is to recognize and acknowledge it while it’s running and physically interrupt it before it does its damage. But lots of folks don’t recognize this “gonna’ pay” phenomenon as immaturity. They, or others, have labeled it in the category of “That’s just the way I am.” That’s justifying immaturity and keeping it in place. In fact, most times you hear the word “just,” you’re about to hear a justification.

“Oh, he’s just in one of his moods” is a telltale justification for someone’s immaturity. Whether you are defending yourself or someone else with a justification for poor behavior, you are legitimizing immaturity as acceptable behavior.

Does everyone have to pay for your bad day? Your answer to that question determines your level of immaturity. Once you recognize it, you now have the option to grow up.

All the best,


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January 21, 2014

Feeling Alive

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 7:33 am

C557947 sC558515 sIt occurred to me recently that you can’t feel alive without feeling. That may seem obvious on first blush, but allow me to offer you the opportunity to get red in the face as often as possible.

Attempting to feel alive in your head will keep you feeling dead. It’s like planting a piece of bark and expecting a tree to grow.

Thinking bypasses feeling and is a poor substitute. Thinking can be a spark that sets a fire but you’ve got to feel the heat of the flame in order to gain, otherwise thinking, alone, is a zero sum game.

Feeling is something we have been conditioned to dismiss. The stiff upper lip crowd can provide all the evidence you need. They attempt to override their feelings with rules and advice, and with a public face, encourage you to avoid that which feels nice. They also attempt to avoid the downside of feelings, and in the process remain divorced from their body.

If you are human, you feel. The extent to which you attempt to curtail those feelings is in inverse proportion to how alive you feel.

Feeling alive requires a dive – into your feelings. You won’t talk yourself out of them. They keep knocking on your door until you let them in.

Allowing your feelings into your housing is so much more than rousing. They provide an aliveness that you can otherwise only talk about.

Invite your feelings to come in to play. I can guarantee that you’ll feel a mix of both joy and sadness in the process, with the upside being that the mannequin known as you will feel alive, and you’ll be able to author your own book called: “Feeling for Dummies.”

Let your body feel. It’s a guaranteed way to become real.

All the best,


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January 16, 2014

Learning to be You

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 7:15 am

C616329 mIt occurred to me recently that one of life’s missions is “Learning to be you.” For me, it took a long time but the wait was worth it.

Learning to be you is being comfortable in your own skin. It’s not about your preferences or prejudices (those are ideas that live in your head); it’s more about the comfortable sensations you have about being you.

I imagine that we’ve all dreamed what it would be like being someone else, but even if that dream became a reality, it would pale in comparison to being you.

Being you is being home. It requires no justification or defense, it just is.

It’s not the declaration, “That’s just who I am.” That’s a defense of a mind made facade. Being you is being secure in the worth of your existence and a contentment with the Buddha‘s notion that “Everything is as it should be.”

Being you isn’t being passive; being you lets more things naturally pass by that you would have reacted to in the past. You don’t sweat the small stuff as much – the stuff that caused you so much consternation before.

Being you is not being above it all; it’s being inclusive of it all and letting what doesn’t stick fall harmlessly away.

It’s always a challenge when attempting to put a feeling into words because there are no words that can describe a feeling. There is no way of describing “Being you.” It’s an experience that you will instantly recognize when it happens to you – kind of like being in love.

Being you is loving who you are past all the labels that have been ascribed to you. My hope is that you find you and saturate yourself in the comfortable sensations of being home.

All the best,


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January 13, 2014

Flowery – Thorny

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 8:27 am

C147313 mThe Grasshopper left me with just a phrase to contemplate over the weekend: “Flowery words, thorny deeds.” It got me to reflect.

It’s easy to parcel out flowery advice, just do what most people like to do – Give your opinion.

Words may be in iambic pentameter but if they don’t get followed up by deeds, they just die on the thorny vine.

Work, even work you enjoy, takes effort. You have to put movement into your life or you’ll just prattle on about how you have to stop and smell the roses, but you won’t sniff any fragrance.

Deeds are, indeed, thorny. You’re going to get pricked from time to time no matter how flowery your work. Attempting to avoid the thorns, we often do nothing but talk about experience rather than experience it.

No one ever thought themselves to where they want to go. Oh, yes, a thought may have been the impetus to start your trek but it was actual movement that completed it.

How much thinking do you do compared to action you take? When you come up with those percentages, you will have the formula for where you are right now. If where you are is not satisfactory to you, you’ll have to tinker with the percentages.

In my management career, I have seen some of the most flowery 5 year plans go the way of week old wedding boutonnieres because no one wanted to address the thorny issues. Let’s call it “Ivory Tower Flower.” Everyone wanted to have business “blooming” but few were willing to put their hands in the dirt and do some planting; they just busied themselves with planning.

No flower garden got planted by just thinking about it. Any gardener can show you their recent scratches, but they pale in comparison to the colorful array their actions produced.

If you’re looking for a rosy outcome; you’ll need to do more than flirt with putting your hands in the dirt.

All the best,


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January 6, 2014

Effective Lying

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 8:22 am

C680272 mThe Grasshopper has been on an anti-nose growth kick over the weekend. He is responsible for my weekly Grasshopper Note, the title of which is: SLEEPING LIES WILL DOG YOU and now today’s post: EFFECTIVE LYING.

EFFECTIVE LYING is probably a course some people would sign up for but it would be a very short course because there is only one tenet to follow. Here is The Grasshopper’s whole curriculum: “To lie more effectively, tie into the lie they already believe in.

When someone’s belief is based on a lie, it’s so easy to make up other lies that resemble the ones they already worship and then, using biblical terms, lead them to the altar for slaughter.

Nowhere is this more prevalent than on the internet. I’m sure that you, like me, have Facebook friends that post things that support their political or philosophical views. I’m sure that you are just as aware that many of these “truths” are concocted lies that pander to the posting person’s prejudice. They are quick to buy in without investigation and then pass it along as “the smoking gun.” They have been duped, they have been manipulated and need a primer on “Effective Lying” to see the light.

Reminds me of a story . . . I was listening to radio personality, Howard Stern in December of 1994 when he predicted the outcome of the O.J. Simpson murder trial before it began when he heard his co-host Robin Quivers announce the racial makeup of the jury – 9 Blacks, 1 Hispanic, 2 Caucasians. He said, “Robin, we may as well start painting OJ’s house.”

His point was that jury would not convict OJ. Did he mean that jury was incapable of being impartial due to race? No, he foresaw what OJ’s attorneys would do with the issue of race as he, on-the-spot, imitated the jurors talking about their experience with the police in black communities. Stern knew the attorneys would pander and tie a lie to the experience many of the jurors already owned. It was a brilliant defense.

Not all Effective Lying is bad. Take the doctor that gives his hypochondriac patient a placebo knowing full well that the patient’s belief in the prescription is what will make the prescription have a chance of working. He effectively lied by tying into an experience that was already there.

Effective lying is like electricity. You can use it to illuminate a city or electrocute someone. The choice is yours. My hope is that you’ll come away from this post with a finer appreciation of how you are being manipulated by effective liars, and also know how to use effective lying for the benefit of others.

All the best,


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January 2, 2014

Getting It

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 7:29 am

C577999 mThe Grasshopper popped in last night with this nugget for the New Year: “Getting it begins when denial ends.”

I’d have to guess we’re all in denial about something, but if it’s in the area of something we need to get, it’s gonna’ be a long wait.

Denial is a roadblock to progress; it’s always been that way. I’ve had many people request that I work with them regarding their issues with alcohol. My answer has yet to be “Yes.”

The denial that permeates people with drug and alcohol problems is so ingrained in their make-up that anything I could offer would bump up against it and bounce off – never reaching the target.

Denial is not something someone else can lure you out of; you have to confront it yourself. It begins to lose its power when you acknowledge it, not when I point it out.

When someone besides you addresses your denial, you will double down and offer even more polarity than you did the last time they brought it up. The hope is that they will go away, and to insure that, you will often act hostile towards them and their observation.

I don’t know how to get people out of denial, but they do. Deep down, anyone in denial knows they are there. Pointing it out to them is like telling them that Whoopi Goldberg has a terrible voice for radio. They already know.

One way to address your denial is to pretend the opposite of what you are denying is true. This exercise in imagination opens you to the possibility that your denial is in the way of a solution. Pretend you are the way everyone says you are. Try it on for size and feel what that feels like. Then, switch gears and dig back into your denial and imagine that everything they are saying is false. Go back and forth between the two positions so you can switch in the blink of an eye. Then just let the topic alone for awhile.

What you are doing by pretending is expanding your options, options you would have never entertained by staying totally steeped in denial. Each time you do the back and forth exercise, you give more credence to an option you would have slammed the door on in the past. In effect, you are creating a crack in the door of your facade to allow denial to escape.

Do you need to “get” something? It will be a lot easier if you pretend that you’re in denial.

All the best,


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