Noodle Expert Michael Morgan discusses learning life lessons both from Jesus Christ and from people in Los Angeles’ Skid Row, and the ways in which preparation is crucial to success.
I would pick Jesus Christ. He turned everywhere he was into a classroom — the Sea of Galilee into a university teaching about abundance and the laws of multiplication; a synagogue leader’s house into a medical training room where he showed his closest students how to throw out fear and disbelief and raise the dead; a mountaintop into an intensive class about love for God and love for one another when he shared with others his Sermon on the Mount. His parables were brilliantly constructed and fit perfectly the thoughts of people less advanced in the wisdom of reality-hacking, but he was not too superior to still teach and speak to them. And he flipped moments of catastrophe and sorrow into powerful revelations that regenerated and moved those most dedicated to his philosophy and science. He taught material far, far ahead of his own time, but it didn’t stop him from fulfilling his mission. I wish to learn how to live what I teach — practically and demonstrably — rather than get stuck on theories and inconsistent practice.
Be prepared. This is the Boy Scout motto, but it has such a deeper practical effect on our lives if we really do prepare before we do anything. Preparation can be very deep and require a lot of our time and effort — but if we focus on preparedness, then our tasks and missions become almost effortless. I have learned that preparation is akin to active faith, which carries the seed of potentiality. Every prepared action has the potential of exploding into a very real, very powerful experience. So, whenever I have a big event I try to make sure I am prepared as I can be. This includes three steps of preparation — mental, practical, and powerful. Mental preparation is about preparing for the worst, identifying erroneous thinking, removing it, and using contemplation, meditation, and affirmations to give me a limitless perspective about the good that is possible. Practical is bringing items, props, or securing relationships and activities ahead of time. These always find a way of making things better — especially when done with the intention of helping and benefiting others before myself. Lastly, the powerful preparation is committing to love no matter what happens. Promising myself to see people through the lens of love and not judging where people are, but rather seeking to understand why and where they are in love. This allows me access to anywhere at any time. Love truly is the key to all good experience.
Skid Row in Downtown Los Angeles. I have learned so much in my interactions with the people there as well as just seeing how a community functions without real oversight or regulation. Plus, all it costs is the price of a metro ride. Cheap and easy. You’d start off volunteering at the Union Rescue Mission, then you’d walk around the block and talk with the local people. Sit down in one of the parks and just observe. Ask people their stories, how they got where they got, and what they are looking forward to. Share your own. The answers will, certainly, surprise you. Their response to your stories may not be what you expect, either.
I spent most of my semester in an HTML5 programming class at UCLA failing. The class seemed too difficult, I had too many self-imposed limitations that said I couldn’t pass, wasn’t a “coder,” and I was too busy with my wife and new baby daughter. I kept putting off assignments and just couldn’t find the motivation to do the work. I was afraid of failing if I tried. Finally, at the end of the class, I decided I wasn’t going to do any of the assignments the way they were given. I was going to frame the class outside of a traditional academic exercise and instead see the coursework as an opportunity to bless others.
One great example is an assignment that was a slideshow using images from a popular movie. I had kept putting off writing thank you cards for all of the gifts we received from those who attended our wedding. So I decided I was going to use this assignment to focus on what I loved and what was important to me and replace all the images and code with those things. This allowed me to turn this assignment into a Wedding Thank You E-Card which was long, long overdue. I then sent it out to the hundred or so people who attended our wedding. Although, according to the syllabus requirements, I failed the class, the teacher was so impressed with my creativity that I went from an F to a B-minus a day before the end of the semester. Creativity pays off more than hard work (some of the time).
My field? My field is 4^2. This is an education framework I have developed through my nonprofit that covers the topics of art, science, medicine, and theology. 4^2 is an energy field that is super conducive for teaching and training advanced, progressive methods for shifting atmospheres and transforming individual and collective consciousness. It doesn’t require a certain status, title, or job description. But it does require that the individual entering into 4^2 embrace the characteristics of the four sides: seer, scientist, healer, and peacemaker. It requires cultivating wisdom for knowing which side is appropriate for which occasion, and knowing what is the right thing at the right time.
My original life path was to joyfully nest in one of these sections and be appreciated and valued in it by those from that section. For instance, I was a successful child actor in multiple film, television, and commercial projects. I fit into the model, and other actors, agents, producers, managers, directors appreciated my talent and attitude and so hired me. But then I was required to experience being a scientist in high-level academic settings. The qualities that Hollywood directors and managers appreciated were not welcome in the academic environments and I had to learn new languages and ways to accomplishing my goals.
After graduating with honors from my university, I was sent as an ambassador to China and taught English there. While there, the same ways of accomplishing good in the academic setting were not understood or appreciated and I had to start all over at learning how to communicate and succeed in a completely new cultural environment. As I traveled to over 40 nations as a journalist, educator, and nonprofit founder, I had to continue learning and changing my approach based on what country and culture I was in. Then, several years later, when I went into full-time practice as a Christian Science healer, available 24/7 to provide spiritual care and prayer treatment for physical and emotional disorders, I had to learn how to listen carefully to each patient’s need — whether they were Mexican immigrants without health insurance, SWAT team members who requested my help at the scene of a crime in progress, or deeply religious people suffering from great physical pain — the solution was different every time.
4^2 is the ability to harmoniously move from sphere to sphere, eschewing fear and dodging mental blocks that keep us from successfully connecting with the solutions to whatever problem is preventing progress. 4^2 is a movement. It is for deliberate learners, leaders, servants of humanity, and those who value freedom above all else and are brave enough to grasp it.
This is not where I thought I would be, but we must follow wherever we are called.