Little Lessons

The Unhappy Earl

Posted by Mark Fallon

Apr 19, 2019 5:01:00 AM

downton abbey
“I have no right to be unhappy.” - Lord Grantham

Even if you don’t watch PBS, you’ve probably heard of Downton Abbey. The period drama tells the story of the residents of a country estate in England during the early 1900s. There’s intrigue upstairs among the family members as they try to maintain their wealth and heritage. And there’s equal suspense among the staff, as they strive to make their lives better. Both classes struggle with new technology, the impact of World War I, and the changes transforming British society.

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Topics: attitude, happiness, little lessons, emotions, wonder

Support Your Local Library

Posted by Mark Fallon

Apr 12, 2019 6:04:53 AM

Woburn Library
My earliest memory of my father is the first day he took me to the Woburn Public Library. The trip was special in many ways, and still affects me today.

One feature making this trip special was the fact it was just my father and me. As one of 10 kids, I didn’t get much “alone time” with either parent, especially my father. He usually had left for work before I woke up, and sometimes worked a second job. Our family ate dinner at a large table, with several conversations overlapping. There wasn’t much time for one-to-one talks.

But my parents wanted that trip to the library to be special. I was told the week prior that I had to behave before my father would take me. And I better be on my best behavior when we went to the library. My father’s tone of voice was similar to the one he used before we went to church on Sundays, so I knew this was serious.

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Topics: Reading and Books, mother, father, parents, library

What Can I Do About It?

Posted by Mark Fallon

Apr 5, 2019 5:01:00 AM

traffic jam
“There are two things a person should never be angry at, what they can help, and what they cannot.” – Plato

It had been a long day. My brain was tired, and my body exhausted. I knew there were still 90 miles left to drive, but traffic was moving along, and I might make it home in less than 90 minutes.

Until everything came to a dead stop.

As we inched along, I started to think about alternate routes. I calculated that the “best” substitute was at least an hour longer. An alert on my GPS device estimated that the traffic on the current road was delayed about 45 minutes. So, I continued forward.

No good alternatives to a bad situation. Or were there?

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Topics: strength, goals, friendship, attitude, challenge, emotions

The Third Option

Posted by Mark Fallon

Mar 29, 2019 5:01:00 AM

crutches
"Just because we can't find a solution doesn't mean that there isn't one.” – Andrew Wiles

Are you faced with the dilemma of choosing between two undesirable options? Then reject them both, and create a third option.

For example, just a few weeks after moving into my new house, I noticed that the light above the kitchen sink was loose. After taking a closer look, I realized that I would have to strengthen the supports for the electrical box and possibly replace the fixture. However, I realized this late Sunday night, and I had an early flight out to a client Monday morning. There would be time to fix the light when I returned.

Tuesday evening, I was heading back to the hotel when my cell phone rang. It was my wife letting me know that the light above the kitchen sink had dropped from the ceiling and was being held up only by the electrical wires. I guess the light didn’t want to wait for my scheduled repair.

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Topics: success, persistence, reactions, challenge, little lessons, problem solving

People See Our Actions

Posted by Mark Fallon

Mar 22, 2019 5:01:00 AM

pie
"You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make." – Jane Goodall

I stopped at a small diner for lunch. It had an interesting layout, and from my seat at the counter, I could see most of the restaurant. And watch how the waitress interacted with her customers.

First there was the elderly couple. Clearly regulars with a routine that include bantering with the waitress. They probably order the same meals every time and ask the same questions every time. The gentleman even inquired about my food, and whether or not I liked the dessert (spoiler alert – I did).

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Topics: love, kindness, empathy, compassion

Tomorrow May Surprise You

Posted by Mark Fallon

Mar 15, 2019 5:01:00 AM

Sunset1
“I have never started a poem yet whose end I knew. Writing a poem is discovering.” – Robert Frost

Last week, something terrifying happened. After a software update, all of my calendar entries from February 6, 2019 forward disappeared from my calendar. I had synced my android before I realized the problem, so I couldn’t restore from there. After 45 minutes on the phone with Microsoft support, I heard the diagnosis, “I’m sorry, sir, but it appears the update caused the issue, and we can’t restore your calendar.”

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Topics: goals, planning, little lessons, future, wonder, expectations

Seek What You Don’t Know

Posted by Mark Fallon

Mar 8, 2019 5:01:00 AM

supernova
“I am still learning.” – Michelangelo

In September 2014, astronomers discovered a supernova in the constellation of Ursa Major. A supernova occurs when a star explodes, causing it to become brighter than 100 million suns. Typically, a supernova shines for about 100 days before going dark.

This supernova remained bright for over 600 days.

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Topics: Reading and Books, learning, little lessons

Take Heed of the Quiet Rebel

Posted by Mark Fallon

Mar 1, 2019 5:01:00 AM

Bentley Class of 1948

“Example isn’t another way to teach, it is the only way to teach.” – Albert Einstein

In the 1940s, less than 4% of women in the United States went to college or an equivalent institution.

My mother was one of them.

In 1995, only about 15% of people in the United States had email.

My mother was one of them, too.

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Topics: hard work, love, mother, parents, trust

Create Your "Did-It" List

Posted by Mark Fallon

Feb 22, 2019 5:01:00 AM

ToDo List
"Having once decided to achieve a certain task, achieve it at all costs of tedium and distaste. The gain in self confidence of having accomplished a tiresome labor is immense." - Thomas A. Bennett

I’m a man of many lists. Writing topics, speaking topics, long-range goals, short-term goals, prospect lists, customer lists and shopping lists. And of course, the daily “to-do” lists.

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Topics: hard work, goals, persistence, challenge, wins

Accepting Happiness

Posted by Mark Fallon

Feb 15, 2019 5:01:00 AM

snowfall
“Suppose you can get what you want…” – Fortune Cookie

A cold February night in New England, with a frigid wind cutting through the air. The restaurant provided a safe haven from the elements. The company and conversation provided the requisite warmth.

A simple dinner with family and friends. The theme for the evening was happiness, and nothing could change the mood. Not the wait – even though we had reservations. Not the crowd at the bar – it just made us stand closer to each other. The waiter was overly apologetic when he forgot the appetizers, but we were so impressed with the dishes in front of us, it didn’t matter. We did appreciate the free bottle of wine he gave the table.

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Topics: family, happiness