Little Lessons

The Never-Ending Search

Posted by Mark Fallon

Jun 7, 2019 5:00:52 AM

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“For the meaning of life differs from man to man, from day to day and hour to hour.” – Viktor Frankl

As I was reading Viktor Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning, one thought kept crossing my mind – “How have I never read this book before?”

In college, my major was history, with a minor in philosophy. Additionally, my literature courses included books by twentieth-century existentialists like Camus and Sartre. I was assigned to read Freud’s The Future of an Illusion as part of my capstone course in philosophy. But Frankl? I’m not sure he was even mentioned.

A friend told me he had recently re-read Frankl, as part of a discussion about what makes us human. His passion when describing the book was intriguing. A visit to a university bookstore prompted me to look for Frankl’s works. When my search in the philosophy section turned up nothing, I remembered that my friend is a psychologist. Moving over a few sections, my hunt was successful.

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Topics: reflection, Reading and Books, inspiration, love, attitude, reactions, little lessons

What’s Your Plan B?

Posted by Mark Fallon

May 3, 2019 5:01:00 AM

shirt coffee
"Anything that can go wrong will go wrong; and at the worst possible moment.” – Murphy’s Law

The day started as normal as possible for the life of a consultant. Early morning workout in the hotel fitness center, followed by a light breakfast in the lounge. One last check of emails, then pick up a cup of black coffee in the lobby shop, and I was off in the rental car.

It was a light schedule. A brief meeting with a client to provide an update on their project, then about an hour to drive 10 minutes to my next stop. I was delivering the keynote address at a luncheon sponsored by the local Postal Customer Council. Back to the airport, and back home.

The sound of screeching brakes announced that the car in front of me stopped short. I had plenty of room to stop, but….

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Topics: attitude, moment, little lessons, problem solving

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

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

Dream a Little Dream

Posted by Mark Fallon

Feb 1, 2019 5:01:00 AM

Bass River Boats
“Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast." – Lewis Carroll (The White Queen in “Alice in Wonderland”)

My favorite mornings are when I wake up while still in the middle of a dream. I’ll lie there for a few moments and write my own ending to the story. Depending on the dream, I may fall back to sleep. Thank goodness for snooze alarms!

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Topics: goals, dreams, attitude, positive, challenge

You Get What You Expect

Posted by Mark Fallon

Nov 9, 2018 5:01:00 AM

Paris

"Those who wish to sing, always find a song." – Swedish Proverb

Back in 2007, my wife and I spent a week in Paris for our 20th anniversary. It was everything we expected. It was wonderful.

Before the trip, we conducted a lot of research. We visited our local library and bookstores to get travel guides and map books. Some books were more formal, like Frommer’s Guide, while others were not so formal, like The Irreverent Guide to Paris. We downloaded articles from the internet and reached out to friends and family. We had a lot of information.

With so many sources, some of the advice was contradictory. One person would talk about how helpful people were, while someone else would grouse about snobby Parisians. Americans were beloved. Americans were hated. Speak French if you can. Don’t even bother trying to speak French. What were we to expect?

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Topics: attitude, travel, people, vacation, expectations

Stay Amazed

Posted by Mark Fallon

Sep 7, 2018 5:01:00 AM

Whale Fluke

“The universe is full of magical things patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper.” – Eden Phillpotts

I recently went on a whale watch. Conditions were just right, and we saw about a dozen of these amazing mammals. Several came surprisingly close to the boat, as if they knew we were desperate to get a good photo – especially the iconic fluke as they dived for more food.

This was perhaps the 10th time I’ve been on a whale watch cruise. I’ve been on tours leaving from the tip of Cape Cod, from the Boston Aquarium, the North Shore and Nova Scotia. One boat was even smaller than the leviathans we stalked with our cameras.

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Topics: inspiration, attitude, reactions, positive, wonder

The Glass in Front of You

Posted by Mark Fallon

Mar 9, 2018 3:00:00 AM

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“Being positive in a negative situation isn’t naive; it’s leadership” - Ralph Marston

On most news websites, I ignore the comments section after reading the story. However, the opposite is true for the blog that covers events in my town. The characters who post the most would fit into any novel about a small, New England town. There’s the old-timers who complain about the newcomers, the newcomers who complain about the old-timers, and then there are people who complain about everything.

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Topics: success, goals, attitude, positive

3 Minutes

Posted by Mark Fallon

Dec 15, 2017 5:21:41 AM

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I arrived at the Albuquerque International Sunport (also known as the airport) at 4:40AM on Thursday for a 6:05AM flight. I was surprised at the long lines for check-in. Even the counter for frequent fliers was backed up. I wondered how much time I would waste spending in line. So, I timed it.

3 minutes later, I had my bag tag in hand, and headed for the gate.
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Topics: optimism, attitude, positive

Patience is a Skill

Posted by Mark Fallon

Nov 10, 2017 5:00:00 AM

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“Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

As a young man, I wasn’t known for being calm and serene. I would get upset at real and perceived wrongs, even when they were trivial. I thought I was right in my rage, and was convinced that I was full of what Aristotle called “righteous indignation”. Actually – I was just full of myself.

I drove my car fast, and paid several speeding fines. I made many decisions impulsively, and paid the consequences for poor choices. I was convinced that patience was a “natural” trait, and I didn’t have it.

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Topics: improvement, persistence, planning, attitude, positive