Little Lessons

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: expectations, attitude, vacation, people, travel

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: positive, reactions, attitude, inspiration, 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: goals, attitude, positive, success

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: attitude, optimism, 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: attitude, improvement, persistence, planning, positive

The Little Things

Posted by Mark Fallon

Oct 20, 2017 5:00:00 AM

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Topics: attitude, positive, friendship, persistence, thankfulness

Sincerely Positive

Posted by Mark Fallon

Oct 6, 2017 5:03:00 AM

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“Life is a shipwreck but we must not forget to sing in the lifeboats.” – Voltaire

It’s not the best of times. Hurricanes and flooding destroying homes on islands and on the mainland. Dozens killed and hundreds injured in a horrific attack on concertgoers. The opioid crisis continues unabated. Tense international disputes involving nuclear weapons. Divisive domestic political fights on a wide range of issues.

And those are just the topics dominating the headlines.

Often lost in the storms are the private struggles of so many people. Parents raising children amidst an uncertain future. Adult children caring for aging parents suffering from mental and physical impairments. People quietly grappling with problems only their loved ones understand.

In each of these stories we encounter heroes. People showing up with boats, supplies and food. Strangers throwing themselves on top of others, offering their own body as a shield from the bullets. Survivors using their status to raise awareness and funds. Individuals who decide to get out of bed, and push through another day of challenges.

Life is tough and difficult and beautiful and precious.

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Topics: optimism, attitude, change, inspiration

The Illusion of Control

Posted by Mark Fallon

Sep 15, 2017 5:00:00 AM

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“The hotter things get, the more important it is to keep your cool.” – Harvey Mackay

My flight was scheduled to depart at 8:50am. While the airport is only 18 miles away from downtown Chicago, the drive can easily take an hour, sometimes longer. I scheduled for the shuttle van to pick me up at my hotel at 6:30. I was outside at 6:15, and 5 minutes later the van pulled up. This was going to be an easy travel day.

The driver had to pick up passengers at 3 other hotels, with the last person boarding at 6:50. This was later than my plans, but I stayed calm. Plenty of time, and there were some amusing conversations between the driver and the passengers.

When we reached the highway, the morning traffic jam was in full swing. As we crept along, you could feel the anxiety rising in the van. Some people had flights earlier than mine. The driver checked his navigation system, and it said we should get to the airport by 7:55.

A half-hour later, we heard the system announce we would arrive at 8:00.

Shortly after that, the voice said that another 10 minutes of delay had been added.

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Topics: attitude, goals, reactions, control

Problems Don’t Get Easier – Until They’re Solved

Posted by Mark Fallon

Aug 25, 2017 5:03:00 AM

 

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Topics: goals, attitude, hard work, motivation, success

Switching Things Up

Posted by Mark Fallon

Aug 11, 2017 5:00:00 AM

coffee cup deck.jpg“Great things are done by a series of small things brought together.” – Vincent Van Gogh

About 10 years ago, I began running marathons. One of the elements of training is the weekly “long run”. For me, a long run is between 12 and 20 miles. That translates into 2 to 3 and a half hours of running. Now that I’m 55, those runs can take a lot out of me.

Until recently, I almost always completed my long runs on Sunday. I often travel on Mondays, so I had a built-in rest day on my calendar. I’d leave the house around 6:00 on Sunday morning, returning around 9:00. After refueling, stretching and recovering, it would be close to noon. That meant it was time to start reviewing my calendar and packing for the week.

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Topics: inspiration, change, attitude