- Thoughts for inspired living

August 31, 2017

Reason for Concern

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 5:52 am

Lion TamerThrowback Thursday has given me a reason to repost a blog I wrote 10 years ago.

‘Tis the season to use reasons . . .

This blog has nothing to do with Christmas. This is about a misperception we humans have. Reasons have a year round and life-long season. Reminds me of a story . . .

When I conduct weight loss seminars, it is shocking to see the belief that a large number of intelligent people carry around in their mind that has no basis in reality. Someone will say, “I want to change this fat into muscle.” When I probe further, they really think that fat becomes muscle. Fat is fat and muscle is muscle. One never becomes the other one. When one dissipates, the other is more visible.

Then one day The Grasshopper spoke and said,

“Reasons have nothing to do with behavior.”

That got me curious as to how often we justify behavior after the fact with a reason. It’s a basic software package that comes with the human mind. “The reason I’m flunking algebra is because the teacher doesn’t like me . . . is the toughest teacher in the city . . . all the kids are failing . . . blah, etc.” The unreasoned answer to “Why are you flunking algebra?” is “because I’m flunking algebra.” The mind will never run out of reasons. It’s a reasoning machine.

The answer to “why” is always “because.” Perhaps this fact alone will get you to form the habit of stop asking “why” questions. “Why” always gets a reason. Behavior is behavior and reasons are reasons and when one dissipates, the other is more visible.

I’ll admit it’s fun to muse as to the reason why someone did something but the answers can never be trusted. No matter how talented a lion tamer you are, never turn your back on Leo.

We act and we justify. Notice how often that people don’t agree with your reasoning for your behavior. Then they come up with their reasons and the debate goes on forever as to who has the right reason. Reasons are like pregnant cats – they are the gift that keeps on giving.

Here’s a little secret I’ve discovered. When you acknowledge your behavior without issuing a host of reasons, the other person stops reasoning as well and the pointless debate ceases.

How many public figures – politicians, actors, athletes – would end the debate and soften their fate if they stopped issuing reasons for their actions. Flip Wilson was a funny man and his popular phrase, “The devil made me do it,” is the battle cry of the reasoning process. Reasons always throw kerosene onto an already blazing fire.

Today’s blog is a message for all of us to be more mindful about our penchant to reason away reality.

All the best,


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August 30, 2017

Simplify Before You Die

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 6:15 am

SimplifyHere’s a post from exactly one year ago today that warrants a second look:

As we used to say in the radio biz, “Here’s a blast from the past”: “Life Gets Simpler When You Simplify.” – Grasshopper

I believe we take too many steps to get where we want to go; we rarely take the most direct route. That may be because of a lack of knowledge, bullheadedness or something else, but each of those pathways is a detour away from a simpler life.

You won’t get your knowledge from an advertisement. They’re mainly designed to show you where you are lacking and how their product or service will fill your void.

Knowledge will come from someone who already has what you want. Find the person who has a simplified life and notice that their happiness quotient is higher than yours. Find out what they’re doing and do your version of it. That’s putting knowledge to use. That’s simplification.

Figuring it out on your own may take a lifetime and that’s just pure bullheadedness (translation, stupid). Again, there are people who have already blazed the trail. Follow in their footsteps. It’s the simplest way to simplify, and the smartest.

There is a principle of parsimony known as “Occam’s Razor” which states, “that among competing hypotheses, the one that makes the fewest assumptions should be selected.” Simplifying your life means to ignore the assumption that’s being sold to you and get sold on one that’s already working.

The simple life is not filled with conditions that need to be present for you to feel happy or peaceful. The simple life is celebrating victories wherever you find them vs. planning and scheming to have countless notches on your belt – a game of “who dies with the most?”

Simplifying means taking stock of what you’re stocking up on and finding out if the effort is worth it. My experience is that the happiest people are respectful and thankful for everyday things that the striver takes for granted and doesn’t think are enough.

There is a questioning technique that continually asks, “What will that get you?” For example, if you say, “I want a big house with acres of land,” you are asked, “What will that get you?” You may answer, “The house I’ve wanted all my life.” Again, you’ll be asked, “What will that get you?” This back and forth can go on for a while until you drill down for a deeper answer that addresses what you really want. It’s usually some form of peace of mind or a feeling of happiness.

The goal isn’t really the house; it’s the feeling you believe you’ll have if you get your desire. Simplifying just has you go directly for the feeling without the conditions. We’ve assumed that “this, that and the other” has to be in place for us to be happy or feel at peace, and that’s complicated. It’s simpler than that. The peace and happiness of a simpler life are fewer assumptions away.

Certainly go after what you want, just don’t buy into someone else’s idea of what you should have to be more peaceful and happy.

If you find yourself continually striving and not arriving, it may be a signal to take the shortcut to the simpler life – appreciating what you have. It’s a lot more peaceful with a lot less strife.

All the best,


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August 28, 2017


Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 4:14 am

Cracked ACORNWith Fall approaching, I stumbled upon this little “fruit of the oak” I wrote 10 years ago.

“Not every acorn becomes a tree. The power is contained in each one, but some never root and fall by the wayside.”

I got curious about what he meant by “root.”

I got that it meant that some acorns never find the fertile soil in which to grow. They have all the requisite potential, but some wind up being a squirrel’s dinner instead of its home.

Does the unfulfilled acorn know about fertile soil? My guess is he senses it at some level, but dismisses it as some fairy tale that his acorn friends discussed when they all still lived together in the tree.

He did believe he was going to fall to earth one day because he had seen it happen to others. But when it happened for him, he got caught up in all the glitz this new environment had to offer. He never went looking for the lush loam he had heard about because that seemed too farfetched, and who wants to grow up anyway?

He went on his way rolling from one hardened surface to another in search of his earthly thrills. Then one day it happened. His shell began to crack. Maybe it was from all those narrow escapes from those pesky squirrels, or the wear and tear from rolling on hard pan and clay.

Whatever the reason, he was not as indestructible as he once thought. He intuitively knew he had to root somewhere or he would wind up like Humpty Dumpty, or worse be Bullwinkle‘s buddy’s breakfast.

Then out of nowhere, a giant storm with gale force winds blew this acorn far away from its familiar stomped grounds. Fortunately, he experienced a soft landing into something that was unfamiliar yet very comforting. This felt like home. He nestled into this new surrounding and felt sensations that eased all his fears. Could this be the loam the others had talked about?

He started to notice roots coming out of his cracked shell and digging deep into this accepting earth. “This is what they were talking about. It really exists!” he joyfully exclaimed.

This story has a happy ending. Our once confused little acorn now stands as a tall oak tree in a park where families picnic and children play. He continues to marvel at how rooted he has become and how fulfilling it feels to reach one’s potential. If he had any advice for aimless acorns, it would be this:

“Find the substance that helps you grow.”

All the best,


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August 24, 2017


Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 7:33 am

HoleOn Throwback Thursday, here’s a blogpost from 7 years ago that I’m grateful I found.

“You cannot be whole with a hole in your soul.”

Wholeness is a completion; having a gap in your soul leaves you feeling incomplete.

Having a hole translates to a feeling that something is missing; wholeness heals all wounds and leaves us with an unmistakable feeling that everything is taken care of.

You can’t fill the hole in your soul. It has to fill itself.

You facilitate the process when you focus on what’s here rather than what’s missing.

Anyone can be an expert on what’s missing in their life; few fully realize what they already have.

When you take the time to count your current inventory, you get a finer appreciation of what’s already in stock. It’s like finding a treasure that’s been hidden in the attic for years.

The appreciation of current inventory, gratefulness, engenders more of that feeling which leads you to wholeness.

You cannot reach wholeness when your focus is on what you don’t have.

If you’re in a ditch, no more attention need be brought to that fact. It’s an obvious circumstance that doesn’t need constant restating.

The first step towards extrication is to focus on the resources you do have.

You do have the ability to take stock every day. It’s the inventory method, as the old song says, where you count your blessings instead of sheep.

The way out of a hole is not harping on that you’re in one. That only keeps your solution out of reach.

Use your gift of focus to zero in on what you’re appreciative of, and witness your hole become whole.

All the best,


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August 21, 2017

Energy Revisited

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 6:37 am

Car BatteryEight years ago today, the following showed up in an August blog post. I thought it would be an appropriate topic for a Monday. I called it “Energy.”

Are you positive or negative?

It doesn’t matter – both work.

I’m not referring to the half empty or half full mental concept of positive or negative. This is more about the energy you use to accomplish things – more like yin and yang.

Yin has been described as feminine energy and yang as masculine. We have both and use both.

Instead of arguing about which energy is superior, it’s better to notice the combination we use, and find out if it’s working to our best advantage.

There is no best side of a battery terminal. There is positive and negative, and one doesn’t work without the other. The same can be said of yin and yang energy.

Just like certain projects call for certain tools, certain situations are best served by certain energy. You are best served to have the flexibility to craft the energy combination that works best in those circumstances.

When we get stuck in one energy pattern, we stay stuck. That means we become inflexible and snap easily.

The trick is to notice our conditioned pattern isn’t working, and then summon the combination that gives us the best charge for the moment.

Now don’t get caught up in the “that’s not me” argument. That’s the argument that keeps you stuck. It’s better to notice you are all the combinations of yin and yang, not just the one you have been conditioned to prefer.

A great question to begin asking yourself is, “I wonder what energy would work best in this situation?” Don’t think your way to an answer. Just ask the question and let the energy that shows up answer it.

I realize that the first few times you attempt this practice, it will feel like working without a net. The giant upside is that you will begin to trust yourself to bring the appropriate energy to any situation.

Let your energy answer your question – not your intellect.

Letting your intellect answer is like letting the guy at the hardware store pick the color to paint your bathroom. You have a master designer at your disposal; all you have to do is summon them with a question.

Practice letting your energy answer your questions, and find that you’ll need far fewer jumpstarts in life.

All the best,


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August 17, 2017

Burst of Air

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 5:05 am

Screen DoorIs it “Throwback Thursday” already? I was going over some old notes and found something I called “Burst of Air.”

Screen doors let the air in while keeping the flies out. What a cool invention.

What if you could install a screen door in your mind? It could let in the air but keep out the pesky gnats.

Criticism is a stimulus we all receive and the responses to it vary with every individual. What if you could let the criticism in and keep out the piece that causes a conditioned response? The piece to screen out is the solid meaning that we attach to the criticism.

When someone criticizes you, they are giving you an assessment based on their angle of view. We tend to take it personally but when you think about it, it’s only a burst of air. Criticism is a stimulus and whatever happens inside of you is a response.

Between the criticism and response is meaning. The diagram would look like this:

Criticism ➔ Meaning ➔ Response

Meaning is something we add automatically due to our conditioning. This automatic addition robs us of “free will.”

Free will is something that most people rarely demonstrate though they will jump up and down and claim that they have it. If someone calls you a name and you immediately retaliate with a name of your own, where was the free will in your response? It was side stepped by the lightning quick meaning that you attached to the name you were called.

So let’s pretend that someone calls you a “fuzzy bellied lint licker.” Your normal response may be to respond in kind. What would happen if you threw in the clutch, and transformed the meaning of what they said to be just a burst of air? What meaning does a burst of air have? None! It’s just a burst of air. My guess is you would have a different response to a puff of air than you would to a name you have added meaning to.

This practice is a conditioning exercise. Condition yourself to have the free will that is always available but hardly ever used.

Think of your screen door as a meaning converter. It takes something that seems solid and turns it into something that isn’t. It’s like the transformation of an ice cube to steam.

You do have a choice. You can take the automaticity out of your response and move the conversation to a more productive outcome OR you could escalate it to Hatfield & McCoy proportions. You do have a choice.

Choosing takes practice and flexibility and it’s worth it. Remember this:

The person who is more flexible has more options.

All the best,


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August 15, 2017

Come Home

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 7:03 am

Party s OverHere’s a bit of writing I did about 10 years ago. I believe it still has legs today and beyond.

Do you have a sense when the party is over? Here’s a little secret I have found out. The party is over when you leave.

We have all stayed at a party too long. If we don’t want it to end, we stay on past its natural conclusion. It does take a toll on us.

What keeps us at this party? I think it’s the lure of missing something. I like to call this sense of missing something: “chasing the horizon.”

Parties are intended to be fun events where you go to entertain and be entertained. They can be wonderful, festive exchanges of our humanness – a terrific taste of life.

But that’s all they are – a taste.

To get more than the hors D’Oeuvres, you have to go somewhere else. You’ll never find life sustaining food at the party. And being a perpetual member of the party scene guarantees anti-climatic feelings, leaving you wanting more and leaving you with an empty stomach.

So, how do you know when to leave? Look at your life. Life leaves clues.

Do you feel a constant state of emptiness? Are you continually striving to fill up that emptiness by chasing carrot sticks? Do you have a penchant for doing it all? These are all clues that you are chasing the horizon.

The horizon is an illusion – a mythical mist. It seems real, but it’s always an empty promise. You can’t get there from here.

This isn’t meant to be preachy. This is just an undeniable fact of life that many people ignore their whole life.

If you think the answer is at the party, you will always be questioning and second guessing yourself.

This is an invitation to come home. Come home to the divine presence that is you. It’s a veritable smorgasbord that fills you up and sates your soul.

After coming home, you will bring more presence and fullness to the gatherings you do attend, and your soul nourishment won’t depend on the paté being served at the party.

All the best,


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August 3, 2017

Morning Upsets

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 6:33 am

UpsetI just made a discovery about me and I’m wondering if it applies to you too.

After I awaken and finally clear the cobwebs of sleep, my mind generates a list of things I’m upset about. I won’t bore you with my list because you probably have your own.

What an awful way to start the day.

This practice sets the tone for our day and we, unknowingly, filter the rest of our day through the prism of upset.

Some people sense this upset and countermand it with a ritual that changes their focus. Some say morning prayers, others write in a gratitude journal, some engage in a mind calming practice, but most do nothing.

Another way to mitigate the upsets is to notice them, as I did this morning.

My list, left unchecked, would have grown exponentially and would have colored my whole day gray.

When you next awaken, notice what thoughts are popping into your mind. Don’t beat yourself up about having them. Just notice them.

Yesterday I offered a meditation you can do anytime, anywhere called, “I’m in my head.” I have just discovered the best time to do that meditation is upon awakening.

Just noticing your thoughts at the beginning of the day takes away their power to influence you. By noticing, you change from being the effect of your thoughts to being the cause.

Noticing your upsets at the beginning of the day gives them less chance to influence how you’ll spend the time from when you awaken until you once again hit the hay.

All the best,


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August 2, 2017


Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 2:11 am

ThinkingThe following is a conscious meditation that can be done anytime, anywhere. You can be driving in the car, washing the dishes, mowing the lawn or relaxing in your favorite position.

It’s easy to do and the benefits are calming. Here is the meditation: When you catch yourself inside your head having a conversation or catch yourself in a thought loop, just say the following to yourself, “I’m in my head.”

When you notice yourself thinking and acknowledge that you’re in your head, you create a pause in your thinking and create some space in your mind where peace of mind can now enter.

This is a meditation that’s beneficial to repeat anytime you catch yourself in your head. Each time you do the meditation, you create calm and space. At first, you may notice the peace lasting for only seconds. But with repeated application, you increase the time you experience quiet serenity.

Our thinking goes on all day long and we rarely notice that it’s happening. It goes on unchecked and is an insidious drain of energy.

Yes, some things have to be thought through or consciously assessed but that only takes a short amount of time compared to the amount of time we spend in our head.

“I’m in my head” creates an interruption of your thinking. It’s truly the pause that refreshes. It’s a meditation anyone can do and it removes you from your mental stew.

All the best,


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