- Thoughts for inspired living

January 13, 2015

Formula for Fresh

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 7:42 am

C513775 mHave things gotten stale? The following is a formula for freshening up. Note: It’s nice to know about the formula but it only works if we use it.

We are either reacting or responding to the ever-present stimulus known as Reality. Think of reality as a carrot that’s always dangling in front of us. Each day our life is filled with unforeseen and abundant realities, and how we answer them determines the freshness of our life. We can have a very predictable, repeatable existence or we can create our lives each moment. The path we wind up on is directly caused by a reaction or a response.

Reactions have us “re-acting” the same way again. We act like the actor who can only play one role. No creativity comes from a reaction, only predictability. We have been conditioned to give the same reaction to the same stimulus and haven’t noticed how stale we’ve become.

A reaction is a remedy we’ve used before – a remedy that may not be working now. We get so caught up in our reaction (the way it’s supposed to be) that we don’t notice we’re not being rewarded anymore.

If your life has you taken down the “dead-end stale trail,” you are a victim of your reactions. You have defaulted to one way of reacting. It seems like the only way, even though you know it’s tired and worn out. You need a creative intervention.

Creativity (Freshness) is the result of a RESPONSE.

There is magic in a response because it allows you to cross the border into creativity and find solutions reactions never look for.

Reminds me of a story I’ve told before . . .

About 30 years ago I was conducting a seminar for a computer company in Augusta, Maine. I was discussing the difference between a reaction and a response. I asked a young strapping lad of 28 what he would do if someone called him a derogatory name. He said, “I’d whack them.” I then asked him if he knew who Billy Martin was. He said, “He’s the former manager of the New York Yankees.” I asked if he knew how old Billy was. He said, “Late 50′s.” I further probed if he knew anything else about Billy. He said, “Yea, he gets in fights in bars.” I then asked him if he would be getting in fights in bars when he was 58. He said, “no way.” I then asked, “What magical metamorphosis is going to happen between now and then to keep you from whacking people who call you names?” I then added, “What if when someone calls you a name, you pause and then say, “if you knew me a little better, you may like me more’.” He smiled and he got it.

There is a stimulus (Reality) and there is a conditioned reaction (what you normally do). When you take time to choose a response, you are making life easier and more fresh. You acknowledge reality but you choose not to fight with it because you will always lose.

Before I knew about responding to reality, I felt locked in to some predestined plan that just didn’t feel right for me. I found that most people are under that locked-in delusion and response is the universal remedy – a passport to a life of fresh creativity.

Remembering to use the formula will be your biggest challenge because our reactions are so familiar to us. Noticing your reactions and interrupting them while they are happening, and coming up with a response instead, puts you at the doorstep of fresh.

A fresh response will have “humdrum” leave town with “stale” on its tail.

All the best,


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