GrasshopperNotes.com - Thoughts for inspired living


March 24, 2020

Know-It-All

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Morgan @ 5:27 am

PompousI’ve heard it said that no one likes a “Know-It-All.” I don’t know if that’s a universally accepted maxim but I suspect the following Grasshopper observation is: “No one can help anyone who knows everything.”

The telltale phrases you will hear from KIAs (Know-it-alls) are: “I’ve tried that” or “That will never work.”

Let’s look closer at each phrase.

“I tried that” has failure written all over it because it almost always translates to I didn’t finish what I started. Dieters fall into this category. They think diets are temporary fixes, not ways of life and try diet after diet. This results in no long-term results.

Imagine hearing this comment (I have) . . . “Gyms don’t work.” That’s actually a very accurate statement. Gyms and health clubs don’t work. Funny thing is, people who use them do get results.

In the “That will never work category,” is this hypothetical I wrote about many years ago.

Some people abuse their power of discretion and it becomes a weapon that causes self-inflicted wounds. This is a way of saying that many people dismiss something out of hand because they judge it in their head.

I agree that if someone told you that parrot saliva was the cure for arthritis, you probably would be justified to raise an eyebrow. But if there was a long, documented history of people getting results with this method, you would be doing yourself a disservice if you didn’t investigate further, especially if you have arthritis.

So let’s pretend that you saw an ad for a product in Parade Magazine and then hobbled down to GNC and bought the product called “Pollyspittle” because you were curious. You took it home and then you chose not to use it. It seems counter-intuitive, but the reality is lots of people do that. It’s the next piece of behavior that is mind boggling and counterproductive.

You hop on your computer and dash off a nasty-gram to the manufacturer saying, “This stuff couldn’t possibly work,” and add how disappointed you are. What’s wrong with this photograph? You judged it in your head.

No one’s claiming that you are not entitled to an opinion. We all have them. But when you put the onus on someone else because your untested belief won’t allow you to take the recommended action, whose problem is that?

This type of head judging has no bearing on IQ. You could be Mensa material or dumber than a stump and still be guilty of this practice.

Know-it-alls are goalpost movers. Once you disprove their objection with factual data, they move on to another objection without acknowledging the one you just countered. This is a never ending game that leads nowhere – especially to any results.

If you like arguing, engage a Know-it-all. If you’re attempting to help them, refer them to someone else because they are incapable of learning anything new from you.

Know-it-alls say “NO” to it all. Their thinking is more solid than concrete and the only thing that changes their mind is an explosion of their belief system. It often takes a tragedy to gain their attention and that’s very sad.

“Yes” is a prescription for “No” but getting someone to take it for the prescribed time is a timeless challenge. If you recognize that you say “No” more than “Yes,” there is hope for you if you act on that recognition. Just begin to adopt the belief that to learn more, you have to know less.

All the best,

John



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March 20, 2020

Answers

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Morgan @ 6:47 am

Nariman mesharrafa DvuXquZ134w unsplashDo you like short or long answers? I like both depending on the content.

To the question, “Do you want to go to that new Thai restaurant?”, I prefer “yes” or “no,” not a soliloquy as to why or why not.

Yet, I prefer giving and getting longer answers when shorter answers shut the door to what is possible.

Men, particularly, have been conditioned to give instant answers, but those answers often lack substance and depth. We have been taught that we have to know, and know now! But we don’t often know, but speak anyway.

I have come to find that more substantial answers come from an evolving, solving process. By that I mean, there is some meandering down unexpected trails that is necessary for a more fulsome answer to emerge.

Please don’t confuse this with I call “Old Lady Talk.” That’s when you are a poster child for disjointed blather. “Well, we went to lunch at the mall. Oh, and I remember when malls were the place to go on dates. Which reminds me, I once dated an acrobat who had long nails . . .” and on and on it goes down endless, dead end trails. Men are just as capable as women for dishing out this cornucopia of word salad.

I find that fuller answers are a result of evolvement. It’s an exploration of possibilities that goes down many trails, each contributing to a more impactful answer. It’s my experience that an impatient person, to their detriment, will not participate in this process and answers will remain elusive for them.

You’re probably not going to get a short answer from me when your question is more than superficial. And I don’t want an answer from you that doesn’t explore your depth. Instant answers can be Googled; Substantive ones need to be fleshed out.

If you’ve ever written an essay with a specific goal in mind but in the writing of it you ended up someplace else, you have an idea of what I’m referring to as an evolved answer.

If you’re looking for instant answers to complex questions, you’ll have a grocery bag full of pithy quotes but have nothing in there to nourish your soul.

The long and short of it is this: Explore your depth more often, especially if you want real world answers.

All the best,

John



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March 16, 2020

Creatures of Habit

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Morgan @ 6:04 pm

Eri panci N AbqawK 9E unsplashThe human race is made up of creatures and our habits.

Habits are patterns of thinking or behavior. To me, the words “habit” and “pattern” are interchangeable. I refer to these structures as “habit patterns.”

Many have bought into the concept of “breaking” a habit. You would make more money investing in snake oil. Habit patterns are self contained and are isolationists. The answer to changing them or outgrowing them is outside of their border – somewhere where they never travel.

Breaking a habit just makes the habit more multi-faceted and it remains contained in the same space with no room for learning or growth.

Outgrowing a habit pattern cannot be done while staying inside the patterned structure. To achieve new learning, we have to follow the advice from a pretty smart fellow: Albert Einstein. “We cannot solve our problems with the same level of thinking that created them.”

So how do we get outside the box?

First, recognize that you’re in one. The amount of justifying that we do about what we do has to cease in order for us to recognize that we are hemmed in.

Once we recognize that we are locked in by our own doing and stop making excuses for it, we are at the threshold of change.

Next, in order to step through to the other side, we have to interrupt, not break, our pattern of thinking or behavior while it’s happening. Every time we interrupt a pattern, we go to a different level of consciousness where options become more visible. When we stay inside of a pattern, there are no doors or windows and the answer to our problem is just outside the walls but we can’t see it.

Patterns are blinders as to what’s possible. They narrow our vision and we miss seeing countless opportunities.

I remember reading years ago that actor Tommy Lee Jones said he worked at being optimistic. He specifically said, “I’m convinced that optimism creates possibilities.”

Be optimistic that an answer is on the other side of your pattern. You don’t have to break it, just interrupt it. That interruptive action creates osmosis, allowing you to seep through the walls of containment and enter the world of creativity where possibilities are endless.

All the best,

John



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March 10, 2020

Problematic Situation

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Morgan @ 7:38 am

Debby hudson o UnUppPdIk unsplashHere’s a nugget of observation from The Grasshopper: “A situation becomes problematic when we add meaning to it.”

A situation is raw reality; it’s what happens. An apple falling from a tree is a raw reality. “It fell on me, so I could appreciate gravity” is an interpretation of the event.

It’s the interpretation that causes problems. When we “omen-ize” reality, we add meaning, and that creates problems.

To illustrate The Grasshopper’s observation, let me give one of my favorite examples from the music world. It’s a few lyrics from singer/songwriter Van Morrison in his song DOMINO.

There’s no need for argument

There’s no argument at all

And if you never hear from him

That just means he didn’t call

The word “problem” could be substituted for “argument” and the message wouldn’t change. The word “means” in this context translates to “outcome,” not a sign from above.

A similar definition of “meaning,” is contained in a teaching from NLP (Neuro-linguistic programming): “The meaning of the communication is the response that you get.”

This is a long way of saying that we create more problems than we solve when we add meaning.

Pulling petals from a flower and saying, “She love me, she loves me not” may be a way of interpreting reality, but the outcome is a problem: another “blooming” idiot who pulls apart a naturally occurring situation looking for meaning.

All the best,

John



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March 6, 2020

The BIG Con

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Morgan @ 8:37 am

Metin ozer oek14gIKdRI unsplashThe BIG con works best on those who can be “played.”

I’m pretty sure we all know what a con job is, but we may not be aware on whom it is the most effective. We hear about scams targeting senior citizens, or televangelists extravagantly spending their donor’s money on themselves. Those are the cons that make the headlines.

But under the radar is the BIG con. It’s played on people who are too stupid to think they’re too smart to be played.

It’s our hubris the players are playing on.

Back in my radio broadcasting days, we had a sarcastic remark we made to other broadcasters about the content of some of the questionable ads our management chose to run: “It must be true; I heard it on the radio.”

People trusted in the things their “friends” on the radio said. But that trust eroded over time because the advertising, over-the-top claims became the norm rather than the exception.

So we began to think that we could tell “shit from Shinola.” That ability lasted until the explosion of social media.

We have bought into the concept that we now can’t be played, but the new, aggressive, purveyors of propaganda play on that pride. Look for headlines and ads that begin something like this: “Are you stupid enough to believe that . . .?” Or “You know the real truth about . . .” When you see statements like this, or hundreds like them, prepare for the wooly eye covers they present next.

You’re stupid enough to be conned when you believe fervently that you can’t be.

Cons are the norm rather than the exception on social media. Be on the lookout for anything that ties too neatly into your prejudice or point of view. Calibrate your BS detector so someone doesn’t put one over on you.

If you just said to yourself, “I’m too smart to be conned,” it will be easier for them to convince you to buy their magic wand.

Buyer beware!

All the best,

John



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