Little Lessons

Small Joys Become a Lifetime of Happiness

Posted by Mark Fallon

Mar 13, 2020 5:00:00 AM

Dawn
“Think big thoughts but relish small pleasures.” – H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

Sunday night, I walked into a local restaurant to pick up my order of Chinese food. I looked over to the soda cooler, and saw that they were out of lemonade, my drink of choice. The woman at the counter recognized me and grabbed my order. As she rung in the charge, she looked at me and asked, “You’re not getting a drink tonight?”

I explained that they were out of lemonade. She shared that during the off season, that often happens. I live in a town with a lot of summer tourists, and apparently, I’m one of the few people who drink lemonade all year. She then asked if I’d ever tried pineapple soda. I wasn’t even sure what that would taste like.

“Give it a try. If you don’t like it, next week, the entire meal is on the house.” How could I resist an offer like that?

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Topics: reflection, appreciation, positive, people, moment, happiness, joy, little lessons, kindness, wonder, parents, beauty, perspective

Attitude Magnets

Posted by Mark Fallon

Mar 6, 2020 5:00:00 AM

heather blog

“Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful though you have considered all the facts.” – Wendell Berry

It was raining outside the restaurant. When the waitress brought over my lunch, she repeated my order as she put it on the table – “Grilled cheese sandwich and (long pause) chicken noodle soup.”

“Needed my soup on a day like this. “ I replied with a smile.

She looked at the table and added with a slight chuckle, “I see you remembered your milk. Your mother would be proud.”

“Well, I’m still a growing boy!” At which point we both laughed.

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Topics: customer service, leadership, optimism, humor, attitude, positive, people, happiness, joy, little lessons, kindness

Go Bowling – A Lesson From My Mother

Posted by Mark Fallon

Feb 28, 2020 5:00:00 AM

candlepin
For as long as I can remember, my mother belonged to a bowling league. One night a week, she would spend a few hours away from the family and go bowling with her friends. One trophy she brought home on a regular basis was inscribed, “Perfect Attendance”.

When I was little, I never looked forward to my mother’s bowling nights. She protected me from my older brothers and sisters. Without her around, who would make sure we had an equal say on which TV channel we watched? And who would put their arm around us if we were afraid? (Not that I ever admitted I was afraid of anything.)

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Topics: personal relationships, honesty, memories, mother, happiness, little lessons, bowling

A Trip to Coney Island

Posted by Mark Fallon

Feb 21, 2020 5:00:00 AM

cyclone
"A day without laughter is a day wasted." - Charlie Chaplin

PS – There’s a bonus “little lesson” at the end of this post.

After finishing a productive day at a client in Brooklyn, New York, I needed to decompress. I took off my tie, hung the suitcoat in the back seat, and pointed the car due south. To the tip of the island – to Coney Island.

In the late 19th century, an amusement park opened in this seaside resort. There were rides, food stands and sideshows. The Coney Island boardwalk and beaches transformed the peninsula. Every weekend, throngs of people rode the trains from New York City to escape the confines of the tenements.

This was Thursday, not the weekend, so I didn’t expect any crowds. In fact, that was essential to my plan. I was going to ride the world’s oldest wooden roller coaster – The Cyclone.

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Topics: dreams, inspiration, love, story, happiness, joy, little lessons, emotions, wonder, balance

Our Shared Identity

Posted by Mark Fallon

Feb 14, 2020 5:01:00 AM

beach_heart
“I think there is just one kind of folks. Folks.” – Scout Finch (To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee)

It’s common to seek out our “tribe”. Perhaps it’s family, religion, ethnicity or birthplace. We want to belong to a group with a shared identity – the same values, backgrounds and beliefs. We want to feel comfortable and safe.

This natural tendency has been part of our biological and cultural evolution. Our ancestors protected each other from predators. They joined forces to hunt prey and gather resources. Together, they faced down competing groups, attacked other tribes to expand territory, and defeated enemy forces.

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Topics: love, attitude, positive, people, little lessons, kindness

The Pessimistic Optimist

Posted by Mark Fallon

Feb 7, 2020 5:00:00 AM

small scales
“Gloom doesn’t win wars.” – General George S. Patton

Last week, I had lunch with a long-time friend. We’re part of a small group whose bonds go back to high school. Throughout the years, we’ve attended marriages and funerals, sharing laughs and tears. For decades, we had an off again – on again poker game. Recent moves have made those games more “off again”.

The games aren’t about money, with the largest winnings – and losings – are $30 or $40. Instead, it’s about the conversations and arguments. It could be about politics, the education system, literature, or something really important – like which is better: the Marvel Cinematic Universe or the Netflix series? Rarely are minds changed, nor feelings hurt.

At the end of lunch, my friend said, “We need to do this more often. Your optimism is infectious.”

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Topics: hard work, goals, persistence, friendship, attitude, challenge, little lessons, expectations, problem solving, perspective

What to Discard

Posted by Mark Fallon

Jan 31, 2020 5:00:00 AM

trash and recycles
“The things people discard tell more about them than the things they keep.” – Hilda Lawrence

One of my weekly rituals is a trip to the local dump. Actually, the official name is – the “Residential Waste Drop Off & Recycle Area”. In addition to separate bins for newspapers, plastics and cardboard, there’s also containers to donate clothing, small kitchen goods and books. In the back is the compost area for leaves and grass clippings, plus a place for trees, shrubs and bulky items (for a fee).

With a small house, it’s important to keep to a regular schedule. The cardboard from shipping boxes can take up a lot of space. Magazines and newspapers stack up quickly. New clothes need space in the closet, so something has to go.

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Topics: reflection, values, little lessons, emotions, balance

New Love, New Hope

Posted by Mark Fallon

Jan 24, 2020 5:00:00 AM

jaredkristenlove

“Tá mo chroí istigh ionat.” – “My heart is within you.” (Gaelic)

Last weekend, my nephew and his fiancée were married. Their wedding was a wonderful blend of old and new. Ancient ceremonies and self-written vows. Traditional dances and modern songs. A 250-year old inn and videos taken by aerial drones.

Of course, at the center of the weekend was the oldest of emotions – love. Two people publicly committing to love and support each other for the rest of their lives. Family and friends sharing in that special moment.

The ceremony and the happy couple represent more than just a display of love for those in attendance. They represent the power that love can bring to our lives.

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Topics: love, positive, challenge, joy, little lessons, future, social media, beauty, romance

Refilling Our Hearts

Posted by Mark Fallon

Jan 17, 2020 5:00:00 AM

groceries
“Wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks for another day of loving.” – Kahlil Gibran

A friend shared a post about how an ordinary task – bagging groceries – brought back memories of her father. And how much she missed him. In a follow-up conversation, she talked about how much she thinks about him, about the hole that he left behind. She ended with, “I’m okay with that, because he is worth leaving that hole, only for him.”

That phrase stuck with me for days, “he is worth leaving that hole.” I thought of all the holes that have formed in my heart over the last few years. Losing people close to me – people worthy of leaving a hole. People worthy of tears in the middle of the night, or while watching a movie, or bagging groceries.

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Topics: personal relationships, love, memories, mother, people, little lessons, emotions, father, parents, nature

Your Favorite Little Lessons of 2019

Posted by Mark Fallon

Jan 10, 2020 5:00:00 AM

John Wilson
Another year, another 52 Little Lessons shared. Learning to slow down. Learning to listen. Learning to pay attention. Learning to live.

I’m grateful for everyone who takes the time to share my journey and the little lessons that I learn along the way. Your support is essential to my writing, to this blog, and to my next steps forward. Thank you.

Here the countdown of your 10 favorite “Little Lessons” of 2019:

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Topics: reflection, friendship, leadership, personal relationships, appreciation, positive, mother, happiness, little lessons, kindness, help, parents, service, volunteer, nature, walking, quiet

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Our blog helps the reader focus on the little lessons - taking place every day - that will lead to sustainable, long-term success.

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