- Thoughts for inspired living

May 29, 2014


Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 5:46 am

C726822 mI’ve been playing with the word “worthless” and the results were more than I expected.

It seems “worthless” is a pejorative word that indicates useless, unless you parse it differently.

Suppose you make it two words instead of one: worth less.

If something or someone is “worth less,” that means it or they still retain some worth.

Think of an aging basketball player. At one time they were worth more, not only in monetary terms but also in their contribution to the team. They could run faster, jump higher and, perhaps, score more points. Now they fill a different role but still contribute worth – just less.

When you deem someone worthless, you have negated any worth they may still have to offer. Is there a role they can still play? Is there a way they can still contribute to your life?

I don’t pretend to know the answer to those questions, but they may be worth our exploration.

We may just discover that a worthless person is worth more than we think.

All the best,


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May 28, 2014

Behavior = Responsibility

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 6:57 am

C279371 m“Behavior may not be your fault, but it is your responsibility.” So said the Grasshopper as he hopped out of the poison ivy while I was walking the dog yesterday.

Suppose you unknowingly walk through some poison ivy. It’s certainly not your fault, but it is now your situation and it’s your responsibility to remedy the itch.

Behavior has consequences whether you’re aware of what you did or not.

Reminds me of a story . . . My stepfather’s biological son caused some property damage while driving erratically many years ago. The authorities came after my stepfather for payment since his son was a minor. He didn’t have the ability to pay, so they suspended his (the father’s) driver’s license until he made restitution.

He had nothing to do with the driving behavior but he did bear responsibility for it.

It’s been a long time since President Truman issued his famous quote “The buck stops here” and many of us have forgotten the reality of responsibility he referred to.

I’m responsible for ending the previous sentence with a preposition. I could easily make an argument that it wasn’t my fault – lousy teachers, persnickety grammarians, etc. but the behavior and the responsibility are solely mine.

Deflecting fault for our behavior just prolongs the remedy. When we grasp that our behavior and the behavior of those under our charge is our responsibility, we step in the direction of a solution rather than wasting time arguing for absolution.

No matter what your age, equating behavior with responsibility is a sign that you have officially grown up.

All the best,


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May 27, 2014

Should, Ought, Must

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 5:23 am

C302164 mThe Grasshopper offered this nugget over the holiday weekend: “Should, ought and must are opinions, nothing more.”

Who hasn’t ever been caught up in a “should, ought or must” conversation? You could be having it with someone else or with yourself and the result is the same: opinions are being offered as truths.

“I/You should, ought, must (fill in the blank). The blank is an opinion based on a rule, not reality. Anytime we utter should, ought or must, we are putting our rules on display.

The more rules you have, the less life you live.

The more time we spend with should, ought and must, the more time we spend on how things should be, and less time with how things really are. How things really are is where life happens, not where they ought to be.

You are one step removed from life when you engage in should, ought and must. In fact, if you inspect those opinions, they are some very old rules that are very “musty.”

Should, ought and must aren’t going away anytime soon. The real question is: How soon will you notice how often they show up in your life? Just by noticing, you give yourself a little space from your opinions and begin to live a little bit more.

If you need a new rule, you “must” try this one on for size: My opinions “shouldn’t” keep me from living.

All the best,


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May 21, 2014

Perfect Day

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 7:25 am

C311256 mHave you ever had the occasion to envision the “perfect day”? It’s a day that goes exactly as you gloriously planned.

I have daydreamed about that day as well but, for me, it’s never gone according to plan. That’s because other people and reality are involved and neither got the memo about my perfect day. Even if they did, they have their own plans.

Perfection becomes an exercise in bending reality to our will – Control.

Here’s a little known secret: every day is a perfect day – one that’s out of our control and never goes according to plan.

Perfection is what happens; imperfect is what we plan.

Does that mean to stop daydreaming and stop planning? No, both are tools that help shape your efforts. The key is to have another tool in your toolbox – Response. It’s the one tool that can smooth over the bumps of planned perfection.

Reminds me of a story . . . Had the occasion to talk with someone on the phone the other day about a position in our company. There were many questions that went back and forth and things were going as “planned.” Then the person on the other end received an answer that was unexpected. You could hear the disappointment in their voice at the answer. There was lots more ground to cover about the position and we did, but the life did not return to their voice. They were not able to respond to a piece of unplanned information. The job requires someone who can respond to the moment, not get caught up in it. The same is true for life.

If you are caught up in your plans, you will encounter even more unplanned circumstances lying in wait. I’m reminded of what my friend Doug O’Brien told me about space rockets on their way to wherever: they are off course over 90% of the time. Part of the plan is course correction. It’s the necessary tool for every successful launch.

Whether you’re planning on going to the moon or planning the perfect get-to-gether, leave room in your tool kit for response. It’s the perfect tool for a “perfect day.”

All the best,


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May 16, 2014


Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 7:06 am

RecipeI passed by a church the other day and their street-side marquee read: “Mediocrity is a well worn path.”

After reflecting on this offering, I was reminded of one of my favorite sayings: “If you always do what you always did, you’ll always get what you always got.”

The revelation was: if we’re always producing mediocrity, we’re on the wrong path.

If you bake, are the cakes you make mediocre or stellar? If you’re not being asked for the recipe quite frequently, your cake may as well be stale.

Mediocrity is a stale path. Our mediocre cake will be the last one sold at the bake sale, if at all.

Whatever you’re putting in the oven on a daily basis is either getting awards or it’s just doing the job. Mediocre is just doing the job. The results mediocre gets are neither nourishing nor tasty.

We’re probably all familiar with the computer phrase, “Garbage in, garbage out.” We may not be aware of this lesser known truth: “Mediocre in, mediocre out.”

The illusion we’re under is that marvelous results can come from mediocre efforts. It’s never been the case. Too often we experience disappointment with our efforts but, sadly, that doesn’t get us to up our game. We’re too busy complaining that our hard work isn’t getting us what we want.

The recipe for success is available; just find someone who’s getting the results you want and follow their lead. Reminds me of a story I’ve told before . . .

My neighbor, Barbara makes world-class brownies. I’ve never had better. Many people have attempted to make Barbara’s brownies, but they never come out like Barbara’s, even though she’s given them the recipe. No one ever went in the kitchen with Barbara and witnessed the process from start to finish. Had they done that, they would never make a mediocre brownie again.

If you want top-notch results, “get in the kitchen” with someone who’s top-notch and do precisely what they do. If you cut corners, you’ll find yourself back on the path to mediocrity in a hurry.

Mediocre is ladened with shortcuts. If you want much better results, you have to walk the more challenging, less traveled path. It’s the pathway out of mediocrity.

All the best,


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May 14, 2014

Behavior Fulfills

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 7:20 am

DreamerThe Grasshopper woke me from a dream and offered this: “A thought may spark your dream but only behavior fulfills it.”

There are many people who have more dreams than me but, like you, I have my fair share of them. I’m only guessing here but my sense is the ones that don’t get fulfilled are either highly improbable fantasies or our behavior doesn’t match the fervor of the dream.

Dreaming is a creative release and we release any hope of it gathering steam when both feet are in the clouds. A return to earth is required to get “boots on the ground.”

The journey leaves dreamland the minute you begin your march.

I may have offered this before but I believe dream fulfillment would be better served by putting together a “behavior list” rather than just a “bucket list.”

I abhor the word “try.” It’s the excuse word of the unfulfilled dreamer. Show me your “behavior journal” on the things you “tried” and your lack of entries will reveal why your dreams remain a dream.

We are world class in making excuses for our behavior or lack of it. We haven’t taken the time to notice how much time we spend on justifications that only reduce our chances of fulfilling our dreams.

I promise you this: Only behavior will get you to the Promised Land.

Please continue to dream your dreams, but do yourself a service: Stop justifying not fulfilling them. All that does is keep your behavior on hold, and behavior is the only pathway toward your dream.

Do yourself this favor: Inspect your behavior. If you’re honest, you’ll find it to be the missing ingredient that’s making your life a boulevard of broken dreams.

All the best,


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May 13, 2014

Robbing the Moment

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 7:22 am

C413512 mThe Grasshopper warned of a stickup the other day when he said, “When you rob yourself of this moment, you rob yourself of life itself.”

Are you forever looking back over your life? Are you continually musing on what your life should be? Whether looking back or projecting forward, you are robbing yourself of the only time life can happen – right now!

Life happens in every moment but if we’re not there to witness it, the past or future has picked our pocket again.

A moment doesn’t need to be momentous to feel life. Just stop at any portion of your day and honor the moment you happen to be in. Do that by feeling the sensations in your body the moment has to offer. That’s the feeling of being alive.

We deaden ourselves to our aliveness and open the door to robbery by being anywhere but where we are.

If you seek to feel your aliveness, it can’t be felt in the past or future. It can only be felt now. Your body is a “right now” feeling apparatus.

Right now there is aliveness in you. Every moment of every day, your aliveness is available. If you are shopping in the past or future looking for the “real deal,” your aliveness will be shoplifted while you’re looking for a “steal.”

Protect yourself from falling victim to robbery by noticing this moment and the sensations it has to offer. Your reward will be an aliveness the past or future cannot offer.

All the best,


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May 7, 2014

Going Through

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 7:22 am

C558612 mThe Grasshopper had some traveling advice to offer: “Going through is the way out.”

Imagine that you are driving into an unfamiliar, scary looking, remote town that’s in a canyon. There is impassible, mountainous terrain to your left and right and the only way through is straight ahead. Your only options are turning back or going through. What do you do?

I don’t think I’m alone in admitting that, in the past, turning back was my default choice.

Now imagine the name of that town is “Pain.” How many times have we turned back when we came upon pain? The result is we stopped ourselves from getting through it again.

Avoiding pain takes many forms. There are many ways we attempt to deaden it – denial, drugs, alcohol and overeating are some of the pain killers of choice. But they’re not really choices but conditioned reactions that keep our painful condition in place.

What painful reality are you choosing not to look in the face? Each time your turn back and look the other way, you have guaranteed your pain an extended stay.

Going through pain is the way out. Please don’t confuse going through pain with drama. They both cannot occupy the same space. Drama is acting out your condition for the whole world to see. Going through is a private journey with just you and your pain.

Most pain demands to be acknowledged and fully felt before it will release you from its grasp. Pain is a sensation in your body whether your pain is emotional or physical. It must be felt to be transformed. I would be the first in line for a deadening drug for severe pain. That just makes sense. What doesn’t make sense is denying our recurring pain is there or attempting to “self medicate” it away.

Your pain registers somewhere in your body. If you stop for a moment and explore the sensations associated with your pain, you now have the strategy for going through. Save the “woe is me” chit-chat and just sense where the pain shows up in your body and sit with it. This is the quickest way I know of to get to the other side of pain.

It takes some bravery to travel through pain. Emotional cowardice just won’t get you through. It will have you stop on the outskirts of town and turn back towards a deadened existence.

If you continually deny or deaden pain, it may be time for you to explore going through. Once you get a glimpse of what’s on the other side, there’s no turning back.

All the best,


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