- Thoughts for inspired living

February 28, 2014

The Ultimate Feeling

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Morgan @ 7:15 am

C164203 mWhat’s the ultimate feeling? I submit that the ultimate feeling is being loved.

For me, there is no comparison to the feeling of being loved; it’s in a class all by itself.

You can take all the other feelings combined and they can’t even come close to the feeling of being loved.

Watch even wizened, hardcore, stone faced people melt when a cute, cuddly puppy nuzzles with them. What are they feeling? – Being loved.

There is a therapeutic effect of the feeling of being loved. There is a measurable warmth that comes over you. And I’m only guessing here, but I suspect those feelings are ladened with Oxytocin which has been labeled the “bonding hormone.”

I’m also guessing that there have been times you have felt unloved. Me too.

What to do?

It may not always be possible to go down to the “Puppy Palace” and pretend you’re going to buy a dog and just play with several until you feel the warmth.

Instead, notice that there is a part of you that loves you 24/7.

You can tap into your own reservoir of self love even when the puppy is asleep.

It’s a two-step process for most:

1. Take it on faith that there is a part of you that loves you no matter what.

2. Tap into it just by noticing it.

When you notice your own ability to generate feeling loved, you stop “nobody loves me” dead in its tracks and bask in the feelings of being loved.

There is a part of you that has your back. It loves you. What a great feeling that is. It’s nice to know that feeling is available even when no one else is around.

If you are inside of your head convincing yourself that no one loves you, take an inventory of your body and find that wellspring of warmth and stay there until you have all the puppy slobber you can handle.

All the best,


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February 26, 2014

Watered Down

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Morgan @ 7:11 am

C428434 mI asked myself a question: “Is watered down input effective?”

My answer was, “It depends.”

What does it depend on? Mostly on whether the person on the receiving end is in the frame of mind to receive an undiluted message.

If you approach everyone as having the same sensibilities as you, you will offer them the input style you prefer.

I prefer people not to sugarcoat their advice. That approach gets my attention quickly and has less chance for misinterpretation.

I can tell you from experience that that approach doesn’t work for everybody. In fact, only a small percentage of people respond well to it.

You can be razor sharp and spot-on with your message and not reach someone who requires some water to cut their whiskey. Reminds me of a story . . .

Last year, I was talking with a family member on the phone about their life situation. I could plainly hear that they were so invested in their story of why things were the way they were that I would have little chance of getting through. So I brought out the big guns and went for the direct approach. I felt better; they felt worse. More importantly, my message fell on plugged ears. They received no benefit because I wasn’t paying attention.

So how can you tell the most useful approach? Pay attention to how the other person delivers their message. Once you see their delivery style, you’ll know their preference and you can tailor your delivery accordingly.

Final thought: If you continue with your “patented” approach, your message has less chance of getting through more often.

All the best,


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February 21, 2014

Laughing at Judgement

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Morgan @ 6:12 am

C166966 mI went on a blind date a number of years ago and after returning home I reflected on the evening and had this realization: I didn’t laugh once.

What a sad realization that was. Here I was in communication with another human being for a few hours and not once did I laugh. It was the first and last date we had.

I like to laugh. I look for opportunities to make others laugh, but this night the cricket choir was chirping.

It would be too easy to lay the blame at the feet of my date, but it was deeper than that. I know from experience that you have to bring the party with you in order to party. That wasn’t the case. I was fully prepared to put myself out there and see what happened, yet nothing happened.

As I dissected this experience further, I found the culprit – Judgement.

From the minute I arrived, I was in my head judging this person, judging everything about them. The worst part was that I thought my judgements were “true.” And when something is true, it gives it more gravity, more seriousness.

I made a discovery that night – Judgement and laughter can’t occupy the same space.

My judgements were getting in the way of my good time. They were also messing with my communication skills.

This phenomenon of absence of laughter in the face of judgements applies to all communication, not just dating. There is a lot less communication going on when laughter is kept outside the room, and judgement is the bouncer.

Judgements serve a purpose, but when your only purpose is to judge there is a lot less communicating going on and a lot less laughter.

If you find yourself being far too serious, take a moment to see if you’re in full-blown judgement mode. And if you are, just stop and take a moment to laugh at what an ass you’re being.

Here’s the bumper sticker: Judge Less, Laugh More.

All the best,


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February 20, 2014


Filed under: Uncategorized — John Morgan @ 8:34 am

C167193 mThere are many careers that are short-lived. Professional gamblers and NFL running backs immediately come to mind. The average career of a professional running back is about 5 years; professional gamblers even less.

Talk to these people and many of them will regale you with their successes. If they were really that successful, their career would have lasted much longer. The point is that we and they, when looking back, sort for more of the successes.

Really, who wants to sort for the failures? The stand-up comedian, who now works as a greeter at Wal-Mart, doesn’t turn to his wife at the Christmas party and say, “Tell them about the night they booed me off stage.”

If we examine our successes and failures a bit more closely, they’re a lot closer in number. My friend Jerry Stocking calls this phenomenon, “Ignoring the downside.” His point is that you are ignoring about 50% of your life.

That part of you that you are ignoring will ignore your cold shoulder and just hang around. It needs to be acknowledged and felt before it will leave you alone.

It’s easy to embrace the upside but our prickly parts need a hug too.

This isn’t about dwelling on your losses; it’s just a reminder to include them when they knock on your door. To do otherwise will have them hang out on the front porch ’til the cows come home waiting for your autograph.

Don’t chase the feeling of a loss away; it will only return another day. Feel the loss as fully as you feel any success. It will prevent you from living in the past and leave you in a state of acceptance for whatever the present moment brings.

You cannot not accept reality. Not accepting what is real is magical thinking on parade. Successes and failures are real and they need to be embraced before they find their proper place in your memory bank. Reminds me of a story . . .

My stepfather was a lovable loser. He was a gregarious bartender, bookie, amateur chef and bullshit artist all rolled into one. He went from job to job. He was in the habit of boldly predicting things that he claimed would happen and when they didn’t, which was most of the time, he quietly ignored his prediction. But on the rare occasion one of his pronouncements came true, he would turn to my mother in mixed company and say in his outside voice, “Didn’t I call that shot, Lil?”

You may have called a shot or two in your life too but you’ve also been shot down more than you care to admit. It’s not like you have to announce it to the whole world but you do have to admit it to yourself. It keeps the past from staying present and gives you the gift of acceptance – the key to balancing an up and down life.

All the best,


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February 18, 2014

Reasoning Away Action

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Morgan @ 8:26 am

C686810 mGive three reason why you are stuck. Give it some thought. Then list them.









Reason 1 ____________________________________

Reason 2 ____________________________________

Reason 3 ____________________________________

Now that you have them all in place, replace them with three other reasons.

Other Reason 1 ______________________________

Other Reason 2 ______________________________

Other Reason 3 ______________________________

Now I’d like you to engage your imagination and pretend that all those reasons have miraculously disappeared.

Here’s what you will notice: You’re still stuck.

Your reasons for being stuck are not the reason you are stuck; they are the justification for your “stuckness.” Notice how you want to argue for your reasons. Notice how wrong you want to make my assertion.

You now have another reason to justify your reasons and you’re still stuck in a pile of shit.

Here’s one of life’s secrets: You’re not going to reason yourself out of a smelly place.

Getting unstuck takes some sort of action. Something has to move besides your train of thought.

Coming up with another creative way to explain your stuck state won’t get you to the starting gate.

Notice that Chinese Philosopher, Lao Tzu didn’t say, “The journey of a thousand miles begins with one reason.”

Modern day philosophers and singers/songwriters, Kenny Loggins and Michael Macdonald wrote it this way in the Doobie Brothers song, “What a Fool Believes“: “No wise man has the power to reason away.”

The next time you’re about to “reason away,” take a step. It’s the most reasonable thing to do.

All the best,


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February 13, 2014


Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 7:26 am

C137116 mThe Grasshopper dropped his left and delivered this gem yesterday: “When your defenses are down, your communication ability is up.”

I don’t know about you, but some of the best responses I’ve ever given were not guarded or scripted. They came from no place of defense or preparation, were on point and sometimes illustrative or intuitive.

When I’ve been defensive, my reactions have been combative, missed their mark, and were predictably ineffective.

To me, being defensive is like walking into the wind towards a manure factory. You’re not going to come out smelling like a rose.

“Defend yourself at all times” is sage advice in the boxing ring but it almost guarantees you being knocked out everywhere else.

I’m not suggesting not to defend yourself, just stop being defensive. There’s a difference. Defensive is filled with justification which, almost always, leads to a no win debate.

Defending yourself is more question oriented. When someone delivers a verbal haymaker, it’s more in your interest to ask a question. My hypnosis teacher, Dr. Dave Dobson used to counsel this: “Respond to a critical remark with a question.” He also added to ask the question in neutral, meaning don’t have an implied “screw you” in it, and ask with genuine curiosity.

There is an openness in that approach which can lead to opportunities you may not see if hunkered down with your defenses.

You genuinely have a chance of going somewhere rather than going nowhere again when you drop your defenses.

If you find yourself defending yourself too often, you may want to get curious about asking questions. It can open you up to improvement, insight and a level of communication that you may never get to by being boxed in by your defenses.

All the best,


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February 11, 2014

“I’ve Arrived”

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 8:20 am

ArrivedIn my decades of experience in managing and coaching people, I can say, with confidence, that the hardest people to get results with are those who have “arrived.”

“Arrived” has an air about it that communicates that I don’t need to learn anything new because I already know it all. The funny thing is, I find this attitude is most prevalent in marginal performers.

Yet, I’ve also witnessed brilliant, successful people who can’t be bothered learning how they could improve because they don’t think they need improvement. I’ve literally watched geniuses defend personal behavior that a moron would recognize as detrimental and destructive.

Behavior behaves and the intellect justifies in the smart and not so smart. The mind, oftentimes, will attempt to convince you that you have arrived when, in fact, you have hardly begun.

My experience with “arrivers” also suggests that deep down they know they are pretending. Once their bombast calms down, they’re back at the drawing board crafting a new way to prop up their cardboard cutout with false bravado.

I’ve come to believe that the best strategy to help someone who has arrived is to help them retire the concept of “arrived.” Life is constant movement; there’s not a place called “Arrival” where you can put down roots. It’s like the electronics industry. The nifty gizmo you bought today is already obsolete in a research and development department somewhere, or on someone’s workspace in a basement, garage or kitchen counter.

People who know they haven’t arrived have tons of curiosity, no matter how successful they already are. If you have limited or no curiosity, you have “arrived” at a place called “Stuck.”

You can spend your time coming up with new defenses for your arrival or you can get curious about that which you know you don’t know.

Here’s the conundrum: If you think you’ve arrived, you haven’t. In fact, you never will.

And finally, here’s a recommendation I would like to drive home: I’m curious how soon you’ll put arrived in your rear view mirror?

All the best,


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February 7, 2014

Doesn’t Work

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 8:42 am

C122566 m“Just because it doesn’t work for you doesn’t mean it doesn’t work.” So said the Grasshopper early this morning.

Have you ever scoffed at something and wondered how people could be so stupid to fall for something that doesn’t work? Take the email from the far off prince who wants to leave you their entire fortune as an example. “Just send us your social security number and banking information and we will deposit your money within 24 hours.”

That email doesn’t work for me but it’s obviously working on somebody or they wouldn’t keep sending it.

There is another angle to “doesn’t work” that galls me even more. It’s the person who judges something in their head as unworkable without doing the required work. That would be the person who says, “Gyms don’t work for me.” Yes they do, but you have to work at it. You may not like going to gyms, but that doesn’t mean they don’t work. Nothing “works” unless you work at it. Reminds me of a TV show I just saw . . .

My son watches this show while cooking in the kitchen. It’s called “Bar Rescue.” It’s about this bar consultant who goes into a struggling bar, makes assessments, makes recommendations, makes changes, all in an effort to turn the business around and start making a profit.

The consultant is an “in your face” guy that I have a hard time warming up to. He’s loaded with anger and a boatload of know how and uses both of those things to build successful businesses. I may not like him but I can’t argue with his ability to make things work.

I watched this recent episode where he ran into an equally angry bar owner who was adamant that this consultant’s strategies wouldn’t work. The bar owner was so consumed with “doesn’t work” that it got in the way of his business working. He was arguing for his limitations throughout the show and oppositional to anything offered to improve his bar and his bottom line.

Even after the metamorphosis and improved revenues, he still hadn’t matured. He undid some of the changes they made and my guess is that his business will go back to underperforming, all because he stayed with his judgments in his head that had no evidence to support them, instead of sticking with what had proven to work.

If you are holding on to beliefs that aren’t working for you, you may have to go to this guy’s bar and tout all the things “you know won’t work” and refuse to do them, and then the two of you can drown your sorrows together.

Bottom Line: If you’re arguing for your limitations, that doesn’t work.

All the best,


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February 6, 2014


Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 7:58 am

C703764 mThe Grasshopper came up with a little rhyme that’s worth our time: “Follow-through: Doing what you say you’ll do.”

I know I’ve written about it before but one of the qualities of all the successful people I know is follow-through. The ones who aren’t as successful at what they do have a litany of reasons why they didn’t follow-through.

And let me dust off one of my favorite quotes again: “The reason life doesn’t work is because people don’t keep their agreements.” – Werner Erhard.

What is the fulfillment of an agreement other than follow-through?

If we look at where we’ve come up short in life, we have to look no further than lack of follow-through. It’s the secret ingredient for getting things done and having more successes.

Just do what you say you’ll do and you’ll experience follow-through.

Don’t do what you’ve agreed to do and you have earned the reputation of someone who can’t be counted on.

Who are you BS-ing when you commit to do something and don’t follow-through? Only yourself.

There are only two excuses that work for me.

1. Act of God.

2. I forgot.

If I hear reason 2 too often, I will forget about you, and so will everyone else.

The old road to failure is paved with excuses. To pave the way to a smoother future, make follow-through synonymous with you.

All the best,


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February 4, 2014


Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 8:59 am

C625773 mWho doesn’t have secrets? I suspect they’re something we all have in common.

A secret is a piece of information that we don’t want certain people to know, so we keep it locked up. I wonder if you’ve ever considered the secret that you have hidden away that is so secret that even you don’t know about it.

I suspect that most of us have that secret in common as well.

What is the secret that we have under lock and key that even we can’t see?

The secret is in plain sight, not hidden away. We just have on dirty goggles that makes our vision opaque.

The secret is this: I’m not who I pretend to be.

This secret is so secret that we don’t even know of its existence even though it’s transparently clear.

The minute you accept a label and pretend to be that label, your secret gets buried deeper and deeper, covered over with layers and layers of misinformation.

Any label keeps you one step removed from who you really are. Add on more labels and you dance away even further from your core essence.

Think of labels as secret passwords that you have accumulated – your ATM PIN Number, the password to your financial information online, your Facebook login, your mother’s maiden name, your first pet, etc. You are not those passwords, nor are you the labels you have gathered over the years – Mother, Father, Sister, Brother, Kind, Mean, Industrious or Lazy.

Labels are currency that allow us to transact with other labeled individuals. They give us a false sense of being “somebody.” They are useful to a point, but are pointless in getting to know who we really are. Labels keep us above the surface. The question that gets us to go deeper, where the real secret is revealed, is: Who am I without my labels?

I’m not my profession, my station in life, my accumulated possessions, my religion, my political affiliation or my position on any topic. Those are just labels that only stick to my exterior. Compared to what’s on the inside, they are exponentially inferior.

Want to get closer to who you really are? Start subtracting labels from your life. Start with one and then work your way down. Each time you remove a label, you get closer to your core, which, by comparison, makes any label seem poor.

Just stop using one label and notice how much lighter you feel; it starts the process of getting real.

All the best,


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