- Thoughts for inspired living

July 29, 2016

Hooking Headlines

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 4:52 am


Came upon an old Grasshopper Note that seems particularly relevant in today’s world:

“Acting On Headlines Will Make You Frown.”

Too often we react to the surface material and neglect to dig deeper for a response.

Who can hook you with a stimulus? What stimulus will do it every time? When you answer those questions, you’ve found your headline.

Notice that your reaction to headlines is always the same – a furrowed brow that leads to “Ow!”

For example, political advertising, which is abundant these days, depends on hurting you enough to make you react. The folks behind the ads are pandering to the surface part of you that’s too conditioned or too lazy to dig deeper. They want you to viscerally respond to their headline.

The best headlines in the world belong to The National Enquirer. These folks are masters at hooking you with headlines that drive you to buy. The results are always the same – no substance or source to backup the headline, leaving you once again dining on cotton candy.

If you too often react to headlines, not only will you be misinformed, you’ll act out again in a way that only makes you pay.

If you are tired of being a pawn in the headline game, start to take notice of the refrain that causes you pain. What do you react to in the same way every time? Find that headline and then dig deeper for a response.

Your first reaction is what the issuer of the headline wants. Deny them that access and find your true personal power. Watch your initial reaction go by like a float in a parade and just wait for one that has less feathers and more substance.

It’s hard to think of ours brains as stimulus/response machines but that’s exactly what they are until we discover our free will. That’s our ability to choose a new response rather than reacting the same way again.

How hooked are you? Find a headline that makes you stew, then respond to it differently and watch the whole story start to come through.

All the best,


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July 27, 2016

Anger Management

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 4:29 am

AngerI saw this Buddha quote on my niece’s Facebook page the other day and it stuck with me. “You will not be punished for your anger; you will be punished by your anger.”

Everyone gets angry. It’s when it becomes a way of life that we suffer.

I remember my aunt talking about her brother, my father, and saying, “He’s always mad at somebody.”

The punishment is not only a stream of angry thoughts but also a series of tight feelings in the body. Over time, those feelings take their toll.

It’s productive to stop and notice that your anger isn’t working for you. It’s always working against you.

I met a very famous man a few years ago who had smoldering anger. He was telling me about his digestive issues and I remarked that it would be useful if he noticed his anger. He thought I was peering into his soul by bringing up his anger. He thought it was hidden by his outward facade. It wasn’t. It was there for anyone to see who was paying attention.

That’s what I asked him to do: pay attention to his anger.

I also asked him to not ascribe it to a person or thing as in: “I’m angry because . . .”

That ascription justifies the anger and keeps it in place. I asked him to pay attention to the feelings in his body when he felt what he called “anger.”

Paying attention to sensations without assigning a cause metabolizes the anger and lets it dissipate rather than aggregate.

It’s my experience that digestion issues and other disease processes caused by being constantly constricted gradually ease just by paying attention.

We’re not going to stop getting angry anytime soon but we can stop the residual damage that anger can cause. It just takes a little anger management – better known as paying attention.

All the best,


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July 19, 2016

Reality Doesn’t Reverse Itself

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 5:38 am

Upside downStumbled across this Grasshopper tidbit that highlights a universal illusion that we all suffer from from time to time:

“Reality Doesn’t Go In Reverse.”

Life, like a friendly game of golf, doesn’t give out “Mulligans” (Do-overs), but we pretend it does. This piece of personal illusion has us repeat our defeats and prevents us from moving forward.

If there is a bigger governor on progress than miss-assessing or lying about our current location, I’m unaware of it. We cannot get to where we want to go when we make up where we currently are. If we hit the ball in the woods but pretend we’re on the fairway, every shot will bounce off trees and bring us to our knees.

The undebatable reality is this: You are where you are and no amount of mental spin can put you back where you were. Starting over doesn’t exist in life; starting from where you are does.

The starting point is always here and now. There is no amount of deft logic that can make it any different. If you need more proof that this magical thinking doesn’t work, just look at constant setbacks of anyone who wants to start at the top.

Starting from where you are takes noticing and then action. Here and now begins with facts, not what we want the facts to be. You can’t get the ball rolling until you recognize it’s not.

Where are you?

If you are anywhere but here, you can’t get there from any other version of here.

There is one other truth you can count on besides death and taxes – Mirrors don’t lie. Look at your reflection and describe exactly what you see. That’s precisely where you are. Don’t sugarcoat or embellish; just take precise and accurate measurements. This is noticing.

Real action begins when we notice we can only begin at the beginning. That means to step off from where you are. Just take a step in any direction. You’ll be able to course correct much easier when your feet are on the ground vs. walking in the clouds.

“To thine own self be true” is a piece of wisdom that will ground us when we’re tempted to chase a sky of blue.

The probing question that will start you on a new quest is: Where am I? Any answer, other than here and now, is a lie.

Reality is always moving forward and will leave you in the dust if you stop and smell the artificial roses.

You will measurably reverse your luck when you recognize that reality doesn’t go in reverse.

All the best,


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July 14, 2016

Mission Incomplete

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 4:43 am

PrayingAnd now a trip back through time to a Throwback Thursday message from years ago from my pal The Grasshopper:

“Ask God For Directions, Not A Completed Mission.”

Whomever you ask things of – a deity, your intellect or your creative self – ask for the tools rather than the shed. They will prove more useful for the trip ahead.

We’ve all read stories of musicians, actors, sports figures and lottery winners blowing through fortunes spent on the times of their lives rather than lasting them a lifetime. They lacked the basic tools for managing their wealth. They got the moon before they knew how to build a rocket ship.

It seems that we keep asking for what we want with a bow attached, not realizing that we have the gifts (tools) to wrap our own presents.

Internal resources are our most precious and natural gifts.
I proffer that our culture has conditioned us to be lazy – to look outside ourselves for the Holy Grail. “It’s somewhere out there” is the external message we keep hearing and it keeps us looking for completed projects rather than working a plan.

You may get the spark for an idea that would have a huge impact on your life and then spend your quiet time praying for that completed mission. Your times of contemplation would be better spent asking for the tools for completion.

Ask your internal resources for the tools and a plan.

The answer to your prayer may look more like a blueprint than it does blue sky. Then it’s necessary to assemble the proper tools. The most important thing is to use them. I feel as though I’m channeling my late, sainted mother in this next sentence: “Your great idea will never come to pass until you decide to get off your ass.”

A great idea will remain an idea until you execute a plan.

Potter’s Field is filled with people who prayed for things with no strings. Their lives became a waiting game.

What are you waiting for?

The next time you pray ask for the tools to mold clay.

All the best,


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July 11, 2016


Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 6:05 am

Eye gougingThere’s an old saying: “An eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind.”

It seems most reasonable people would agree with the logic of that adage but many of us don’t wholly follow that wisdom.

We make exceptions for certain eye gouging. “After this one, I’ll be done. This person deserves it.” But we keep finding the exception rather than following the rule and blind ourselves to the teaching for a lifetime.

It’s like making the argument for more prisons or more nuclear power plants and following it with the exception “but not in my back yard.” You really don’t want to do your part.

We all have a part in curing the world’s myopia. It starts by eliminating the exceptions. Cleaning up our own little exceptional world is where to begin.

It’s like the famous hymn says, “Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me.”

We can’t reach the goal by continually granting exceptions. Each exception pushes the finish line farther away until we reach a point that we can no longer see it.

If we only give lip service to “love thy neighbor,” we have talked ourselves into being blind for a lifetime.

Stop making exceptions (excuses) for scratching someone’s eyes out and start to see the world through the prism of “you and me.” It’s a common path that will let us all see.

All the best,


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July 1, 2016

The Way It Is

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 5:18 am

SternDo you know someone who is forever telling you the way it is? Perhaps it’s you. In the past, I know it’s been me.

What I’ve come to realize is that “the way it is” is “the way it was.”

That sounds a bit cryptic to me so let me delve deeper.

“The way it is” is too often an opinion – one we’ve inherited from someone who came before us. So the way it was when we learned that opinion is still the way it is now. It will remain that way unless we notice and take steps to outgrow it.

To quote any Law & Order episode, we’re “stating facts not in evidence.”

Our opinions have become facts to us and we assert them and they act as spears towards others who have different opinions.

Seems to me that we could make some room for “the way it could be.” That would stop us from arguing facts that aren’t facts and seek workable possibilities that don’t currently exist.

When you have two “that’s the way it is” folks interacting with each other, you have a call-in talk show – an assertion filled platform that’s designed for fighting for what was instead of what could be.

We can recreate our past or we can design our future. Keeping our past alive is easy. Just keep asserting “the way it is.”

But if you want to go someplace different, other than the familiar battlefield, begin to focus your energy on the way it could be. You just may discover some evidence for a brighter future.

All the best,


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