- Thoughts for inspired living

October 29, 2015

Clear The Screen

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 6:48 am

Clear the screenI’m playing with something I’m finding most helpful and offer it to you to see if you find it useful.

I call it “Clear the Screen.”

Imagine for a moment that there is a small screen inside your head where all your thoughts appear, whether as images or words. That thought just shows up on your screen. In most cases you don’t invite the thought in, but there it is.

Now further imagine that you have access to a button or key (like on a keyboard) that reads: “Clear the Screen.”

Once you notice the thought and decide that it’s not a productive one to continue thinking, mentally press the “Clear the Screen” key.

This much I can tell you: the thought will go away from your screen if only for a moment. The key is to press the “Clear the Screen” key each time the thought appears. After repeated clearings, the thought will come back less frequently and may completely go away.

Here’s a real life example:

I came up with this idea at the swimming pool at the fitness center I belong to. I swim a certain number of lengths of the pool as my workout. I swim three sets of 20 lengths for a total of 60. It’s just under a mile.

What I noticed was a running dialogue in my head going on as I began my first set. It went something like this: “Am I really going to swim 60 today? I was up late last night watching the debates and I may tire myself out too much by doing all 60. Maybe, just for today, I’ll cut it back to 40.” Then I answered my own thoughts with some counter-thoughts: “You’re just looking for a way to get out of your workout. Suck it up and swim the amount of laps in your routine.” And so it went.

When I noticed the thoughts, I also noticed the lane marker on the bottom of the pool was made out of small square tiles. They reminded me of keys on a keyboard. I see these tiles through my goggles about every 2 seconds when I’m face down in the water.

I set it up in my mind that every time I saw these tiles, they would represent a “Clear the Screen” command for unwanted thoughts floating across the screen of my mind. I set up an automatic trigger.

It’s something I learned from Dr. Dave Dobson. He called it a “Subjective Reversal.” I use it when I conduct stop smoking seminars. The suggestion goes like this: “Anytime you see cigarettes, whether in a rack at a convenience store or when you see someone else smoking, or you see a cigarette ad in a magazine or on a billboard, that will immediately reinforce in your mind your desire to be smoke free.”

You have taken the subject – cigarettes – and reversed your thought process about them. In the past the sight of cigarettes caused the desire to smoke. Now, with practice, the sight of cigarettes automatically reverses your thought pattern to that of being smoke free.

It’s a powerful technique. But like with all powerful techniques, it’s only powerful if you use it.

Uninvited thoughts are going to show up on your screen every day of your life. The key is to notice them and then start pressing the “Clear the Screen” key. The more often you get in the habit of doing this, over time, the process will happen automatically – resulting in less unwanted thoughts per day. After a time, I suspect you’ll report that things are going swimmingly.

All the best,


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October 20, 2015

Best Friend

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

Snoopy  ChuckThe Grasshopper had this to say in the wee hours of this morning: “You are your own best friend.”

What an eye-opener! Tough to go back to sleep with that tidbit rolling around in your head.

After reflection, it didn’t seem to mean that you can’t have outside best friends; it just communicated that inside your skin, you have to be the person you rely on the most.

It goes much deeper than narcissism. That’s just idolizing the person you made up and pretend to be. Being your own best friend is knowing there is a part of you that you can always count on to:

1. Be there for you.

2. Offer you the wisest counsel.

I remember Dr. Dave Dobson telling us over 25 years ago that we were our own best counselors. That didn’t mean we shouldn’t seek outside help; it just meant, when evaluating their input, we had a part of us we could trust to know if it was or wasn’t useful.

You have access to your best friend 24/7. To contact them all you have to do is calm the surrounding noise in your mind, so their guidance comes through clearly and unambiguously.

Your best friend won’t abandon you in time of trouble or need. They’re just hard to hear when your surrounding thoughts are like overgrown weeds.

There are a zillion ways to quiet your mind. Find a few that work for you and when you do, your best friend will always come through.

All the best,


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October 16, 2015

No Argument Here

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 2:03 am

ArgumentI was chatting with a friend on the phone yesterday and this statement just fell out of my mouth: “If I can’t prove it, I don’t argue for it.”

This hasn’t always been the case. In the past, I would argue for positions I had opinions about but certainly didn’t have all the facts.

The problem, as I see it now, was asserting that what I was saying was “the truth.” If I had labeled it as just my point of view, I could have left the truth out of it and also the obstinance that’s displayed when you claim the truth is on your side.

Over the years, what I found is this: the arguments go nowhere. There’s just a back and forth of bashing each other with “the truth,” resulting in hard feelings after hard arguments which were soft on the facts.

Here’s one of the things I would argue about: Nature or Nurture.

Were people born that way or conditioned that way? This argument can apply to too many situations to mention. Suffice it to say, that no one to this day has all the facts line up on their side for either nature or nurture, yet they continue to argue. Not me.

There is “no win” involved for either side, just perpetual contention about opinions labeled as truth. It’s truly a waste of breath and time.

I will readily share my opinions on topics when asked, but I no longer argue for them. I may offer a rationale for having my opinion but I now know I can’t prove it and have stopped pretending that I can.

Here’s the closest I can come to the truth: You’ll be involved in fewer pointless arguments when you stop pretending that you can prove your opinion.

All the best,


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October 14, 2015

The Magic Bean

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 6:35 am

BeanstalkThere is a magic bean when it comes to evolving (changing). It’s called “Interruption.”

It works every time. The rub is this: You have to work at it.

There is no denying that we are patterned individuals. Our actions are dictated by our conditioned patterns of thinking and behavior.

When we want to change a pattern, we normally go about it by attacking it. If that strategy works, it’s short-term. Think of dieting to lose weight as one of these attacks.

The strategy for evolving that works is twofold:

1. Noticing

2. Interrupting

Noticing a pattern of thinking or behavior is the necessary first step in changing. “Yes, I do do that” has to enter our awareness. Not only is it necessary to notice, it’s most productive to notice when the pattern is happening. Notice the pattern while it’s going on. “OMG I’m yelling now because I’m frustrated” is an example of noticing in real time.

Suppose that’s something you want to change. You could practice not yelling over and over again in imagined, frustrating situations but when reality hits, you’ll go back to your default pattern unless you outgrow it. That’s what change is: outgrowing or updating a pattern.

Interruption is the magic bean to use once you notice patterns in real time. You can’t use this bean just once and expect results. You have to use the prescription over and over until you get results.

This is not an experimental theory I’m offering. It’s the proven way deliberate change happens.

When you notice that you are exhibiting a pattern you want to change, immediately interrupt it. If, as in the previous example, you notice you are yelling because you are frustrated, immediately interrupt the pattern and adjust your volume downward, in real time. Do that every time you notice you are running that pattern.

This is where the magic happens – in the space between stimulus and reaction.

Consistent application of this two step technique updates your old pattern over time and has you responding in more up-to-date ways to surrounding stimuli.

I liken the process to learning to “spit shine” shoes when I was in the U.S. Navy. The method seems like it’s never going to work, until it does. Here’s a description of the process I wrote about a few years ago:

In order for your porous, cheap leather boots to shine like a black mirror on the toe portion, you have to constantly apply polish and water and rub in a circle in the same spot to get the desired result. It doesn’t happen on the first application and is still absent after the 30th. The sense is it will never happen and giving up is not an option. Your drill instructors insist on your success and their tactics seem heavy-handed, until that little spot of reflection begins to show itself. Then success feeds on itself until you have a shining example of your work.

This method of change is available to all of us and the results are guaranteed if you guarantee to put in the work. This method doesn’t attack the problem; it interrupts it, and gets results that last for a lifetime.

Once you outgrow something, you’ll never go back. The only question you need to answer regarding changing is this: Am I willing to go to work on a way that works?

If your answer is “Yes,” you now have access to the magic bean.

All the best,


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October 13, 2015

Emotional Discomfort

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 5:40 am

DiscomfortThe Grasshopper delivered this nip of nectar early this morning: “You will experience emotional discomfort when your conscious and unconscious mind are at odds.”

First, let me apologize to my dearly departed hypnosis teacher Dr. Dave Dobson who would bristle at the use of the words “unconscious” or “subconscious” when it comes to describing that part of our mind. He would bellow and say, “That part of your mind is not unconscious; it’s other than conscious.” He explained that it was present and paying attention at all times and wasn’t “sub” or “unconscious” to anything.

Regardless of the nomenclature, the discomfort you feel is real when these two parts are not on the same page.

Let’s take the topic of forgiveness as an example. You may have been consciously magnamimous and told someone you have forgiven them for their transgression. But if you still experience emotional discomfort concerning their actions, your other than conscious has yet to catch up with your conscious declaration.

You may intellectually arrive at a new plateau about a certain topic but if you haven’t caught up subconsciously, you will be sent uncomfortable sensations.

Many “senior citizens” grew up in an era where interracial marriage was taboo and gay marriage was unheard of. They may have consciously evolved to the position that it’s perfectly acceptable for people to marry whomever they want, but if they encounter discomfort at the kissing ritual at the wedding ceremony, it’s a sure bet their subconscious isn’t yet up-to-date.

What to do?

Shine a light on your subconscious. Calling on the wisdom of famed Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung, “Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.”

Begin to notice your discomfort. Not only that, take the time to feel it rather than what we normally do – dismiss it. Allowing yourself to fully feel the discomfort is a necessary step in updating what’s going on below decks.

Taking the time to feel rather than evaluate your feelings is a transformative step in bringing your conditioning in line with your conscious evolvement.

Rather than chase the feelings away only to come back another day, sit with them and let them have their say. That means to fully feel the discomfort in your body until it starts to fade away. My experience is you will have to do this exercise many more times than once, in order for what you feel to be in line with what you say.

The payoff for us is emotional comfort which, as the credit card commercial says, “is priceless.”

All the best,


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October 8, 2015

Compromising with Yourself

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 5:32 am

Compromising“In the space between the positions is where you’ll find the solutions.” So said The Grasshopper yesterday afternoon.

Upon recording that thought onto my phone, I initially thought it was about compromising with another, but it’s much deeper.

Seems we all have positions on something and oftentimes they are just concrete assertions that leave little space for new information to occupy.

The new information just bounces off of us and isn’t considered when seeking a solution.

Having rigid positions, by definition, means less porosity for something new to get through.

There is space in even the most densely packed ideas. We just have to stop and take notice.

“Is there room for compromise?” is an often asked negotiating question. The space between the positions isn’t the space that’s between your proposal and my proposal that needs to be explored. It’s the space that’s inside each of our tightly packed positions that needs recognition.

It’s our internal space that we have control of, not the external space that exists between our divide with another.

The compromise isn’t with another; it’s with ourselves. We have to search for the space within us in order to be more open to finding a solution rather than what we normally do: defend a position.

It’s the space that’s contained in our tightly packed idea that needs to be explored. When you look through a magnifying glass at a picture in a newspaper, you begin to see that the seemingly solid picture is composed of many dots, all of which have spaces between them. The same is true of any assertion we make and/or defend.

Our compromise is with ourselves.

Find the spaces between your position first, and then you’ll be in a better position to find solutions with another.

All the best,


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October 5, 2015

The Art of a Message

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 7:05 am

Telephone messageThe art of leaving a voicemail message is on life support and on its way to an unnecessary death. It’s not too late to save the patient.

I can’t speak for you but my memory is not as good as it used to be and I only know about seven phone numbers by heart, including the one for Chinese take-out.

When someone leaves me a voice mail and rapidly speaks their number and only says it once, it makes me have to go back through the message several times and act as interpreter. Many people don’t get a call back because, frankly, I don’t want to work that hard. Some don’t even leave a call back number but expect a call back.

Unless you are one of the sainted seven, please don’t assume that anyone knows your number. Don’t make them go look it up. Put it right out there TWICE so they have easy access to it the first time. Additionally, speak the number as though you were giving nuclear launch codes to the Pentagon.

If it’s important to you to have the person call you back, make it as easy as possible for them to do so.

This message also applies to email and texts. I cannot begin to tell you the amount of emails I get that lack specificity on how they want me to respond. Here are real world examples: “Smoking is killing me.” “My doctor says I’m overweight.”

Of course I answer, “How can I help?” but the amount of assumption that people put in their communiqués is staggering. They must believe you can read minds as to what information they specifically want.

Reminds me of an old pseudo-radio commercial created to show the ineffectiveness of lack of specificity.

“It’s our amazing, annual sale and it’s only going on for a limited time. Act now to get the biggest savings ever. Hurry on down so you’re not left out of the biggest sales event of the century. No offer will be refused. Bad credit or no credit will not stop you from getting huge savings. It’s a once in a lifetime extravaganza that you can’t afford to miss. Drive, walk or run to our nearest location and take advantage of our doorbuster deals. Don’t be left behind because time is running out for you to save a bundle. So grab your coat, cash, credit cards or checkbook and head out to our incredible sale. But hurry, these deals won’t last forever.”

Almost sounds real, doesn’t it?

Want to leave a real message that has a real chance of getting answered? Be specific and make it easy for them to get back to you. You’ll save the patient without trying someone’s patience.

All the best,


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October 2, 2015

Center of the Universe

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 5:37 am

UniverseHere’s something each of us can say with certainty: We are the center of the universe.

You may have heard something like this from a parent growing up, especially if you were acting selfishly: “The whole world doesn’t revolve around you.” But it does.

If you take the idea of infinity out to a logical conclusion, you can prove my premise that you are the center of the universe and so is everyone else.

There is only one person that can occupy the exact space you’re in right now. No one else can fit there but you. Now imagine lines going out from your body in all directions toward infinity. Now reverse engineer that. Notice exactly where infinity comes back to. It comes back to you. You are the center of infinity; you are the center of the universe.

So what does all of this suggest?

I believe it illustrates that each of us has infinite potential – potential to create well past our self-imposed limitations.

Here’s a mental exercise that will help unlock your infinite potential:

Pretend you are going into a special room where the sole purpose is to tap into your infinite potential and creativity. Before you enter the room, notice and heed the sign on the door: “Leave your limitations outside the room.”

You can certainly claim your limitations on your way out if you want to, but they are not allowed in the room.

You are now in a place with no limitations. What does that feel like? Take time to notice because they are the sensations that are the engine of creativity. Cultivate these sensations with each visit and watch your limitations begin to melt and fade when you’re on the outside of the room.

Infinity is pointing back at you every moment of every day. Just take some time to get your limitations temporarily out of the way and discover who you truly are: The center of the universe.

All the best,


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