Little Lessons

Are You Smiling Behind That Mask?

Posted by Mark Fallon

Jul 10, 2020 4:30:00 AM

mask
To help stop the spread of COVID-19, we’ve been asked to adjust our lives. Limiting physical contact, keeping 6-feet apart when possible, and wearing masks. For different people, the changes represent distinct levels of difficulty.

Some people may want to point out that our parents (or grandparents) had it more difficult during the Great Depression and World War II. Others will hold up soldiers as examples to follow for toughness. Still others will hold up medical professionals as proof that anyone who complains are whiners.

My parents remain an inspiration for me. The actions of fellow veterans amaze me. I owe my health to the medical profession.

I still have empathy for people who are struggling with the new restrictions.

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Topics: strength, communicate, attitude, positive, moment, little lessons, emotions, parents, empathy, smile

The Limiting Effect of Myths

Posted by Mark Fallon

Jun 26, 2020 4:30:00 AM

atlas
“Don't be satisfied with stories, how things have gone with others. Unfold your own myth.” – Rumi

Napoleon was short.

Bulls get angry at the color red.

Twinkies stay fresh for years.

There are hundreds of similar myths that we hear repeated. Again, and again. Some have their origins in ancient insults. Others are from a misunderstanding of rituals. And others are just wishful thinking.

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Topics: goals, learning, honesty, running, attitude, people, challenge, little lessons, time

What We Do Next

Posted by Mark Fallon

May 29, 2020 4:45:00 AM

Door keys
“Our thought is the key which unlocks the doors of the world.” – Samuel McChord Crothers

No matter where you live, or what you do, the last few months have been a challenge. Clearly, the people on the front lines of the pandemic have given more than others. Others have lost their jobs or their businesses. Tragically, too many have lost their lives.

The drastic and significant shift to how we live our lives has impacted everyone. For many, that change has felt like a heavy weight crushing their spirit. Not knowing when things will improve has added painful stress to already difficult lives. The restrictions designed to preserve the health of our bodies test the limit of our inner-selves.

There are signs of hope on the horizon. No clear victory yet, but small steps forward in a positive direction. Businesses are cautiously reopening, implementing changes to protect their employees and their customers. There is no “new normal”, there is only a changed world. And our world will continue to change – in ways we don’t yet know.

So, what will we do? What actions will we take tomorrow that are different than what we did a year ago?

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Topics: improvement, love, support, attitude, positive, mentor, thoughtfulness, challenge, little lessons, kindness, empathy, compassion

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

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

Hard Work is Hard Work

Posted by Mark Fallon

Nov 15, 2019 5:00:00 AM

Quincy College Luncheon                   Photo Credit: Quincy College


“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” – Some Silly Person

Last week, I attended a veterans’ luncheon at a nearby college. One of the speakers was US Navy Veteran Allen Lerner, owner and operator of a local Chick-Fil-A restaurant. Allen was offering advice to the students on choosing a career.

“Some of you may have heard the saying, ‘Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.’”. Allen continued, “That’s a myth.”

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Topics: success, hard work, goals, persistence, values, thankfulness, veteran, running, attitude, passion, little lessons

Blending In or Standing Out

Posted by Mark Fallon

Sep 6, 2019 5:01:00 AM

field of flowers
"Every individual has a place to fill in the world and is important in some respect whether he chooses to be so or not.” - Nathaniel Hawthorne

There are about 25,000 residents in my town. It doubles to 50,000 in the summer. There are 6.9 million people who live in Massachusetts, and approximately 329 million people in the United States. The planet Earth is currently home to 7.7 billion humans.

That’s an enormous number, and difficult to comprehend. A large football stadium holds about 75,000 people. Multiply that by 100. Then multiply that by 1,000. And you’re in the middle of those multitudes.

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Topics: attitude, groups, people, little lessons, nature, perspective

The Answers Within are Found Outside

Posted by Mark Fallon

Aug 9, 2019 5:01:00 AM

Bass River Sunrise
“Clearings. That’s what I needed” Slowly my brain righted itself into spaces unused for months.” – Helen MacDonald

Last year brought a lot of changes to my life. I was forced to stop running and had to face my fears when having major surgery. I was fortunate to have an amazing doctor and access to a teaching hospital. My surgery went as planned, and my doctor was impressed with my “quick recovery.”

Of course, what was “quick” for him was “painfully slow” for me. I had followed the pre-operation workout routine and completed the exercises assigned by the physical therapist afterwards. But I didn’t feel as strong as I thought I should. A walk to the end of the driveway and back felt like a 10k run. Not exhausting, but a workout.

The longer the recovery took, the older I felt.

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Topics: improvement, inspiration, fear, attitude, positive, little lessons, future, expectations, beauty, nature, perspective

A Change In Perspective

Posted by Mark Fallon

Aug 2, 2019 5:01:00 AM

bass river beach

"Events don't cause stress. What causes stress are the views you take of events." - Epictetus

The Bass River Beach in Yarmouth, Massachusetts has become one of my new favorite places. A short distance from my house, it’s a peaceful spot any time of year. The island of Martha’s Vineyard is only a few miles away, and acts as a buffer to the currents of the Atlantic Ocean. The silt from the river extends the beach and the shallow water. Even at high tide, the biggest waves are from the boats speeding by the shore.

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Topics: personal relationships, communicate, attitude, challenge, little lessons, problem solving, nature, perspective

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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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