Little Lessons

Where Will Our Dreams Take Us?

Posted by Mark Fallon

Oct 12, 2018 5:01:00 AM

Spiral galaxy

“Sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.” – Lewis Carroll

This month began with some exciting news – the Voyager 2 spacecraft reported an uptick in the number and type of cosmic rays it was encountering!

Okay, maybe that’s not exciting news to everyone. But for anyone who’s interested in space exploration, the announcement from NASA points to an imminent milestone. In the coming months, the spacecraft will be the second man-made object to leave the solar system. We will have another messenger among the stars.

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Topics: wonder, dreams

The Opening Act

Posted by Mark Fallon

Apr 13, 2018 5:01:00 AM

Joan Osborne
“Help others achieve their dreams and you will achieve yours.” – Les Brown

A few years ago, my wife and I went to a Joan Osborne concert. It was a wonderful evening with Joan singing some of her classics, some blues standards, and some songs she hasn’t recorded yet. Accompanied only by a piano player (and her iPod), Joan’s sultry and soulful voice still has the power it had in the 1990s.

The surprise of the evening was the opening act. I love opening acts.

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Topics: dreams, goals, support

Dusty Dreams

Posted by Mark Fallon

Feb 9, 2018 5:00:00 AM

Right Hip.jpg
“If one dream should fall and break into a thousand pieces, never be afraid to pick one of those pieces up and begin again.” – Flavia Weedn

30 years ago, this week, a doctor’s pronouncement meant the end to a dream. This month, it happened again.

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Topics: running, veteran, support, success, dreams

Time to Reflect

Posted by Mark Fallon

Jul 7, 2017 5:00:00 AM

beach_sunset.jpg

“There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow men. True nobility lies in being superior to your former self.” – Ernest Hemingway

Summertime.

Trips to the beach. Cookouts and barbeques in the back yard. Vacations filled with adventures. Vacations filled with time spent relaxing and reading.

It’s also the perfect time to reflect on the past and contemplate the future.

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Topics: reflection, dreams, goals

Create Your Own Story

Posted by Mark Fallon

Oct 7, 2016 5:01:00 AM

“You are the storyteller of your own life and you can create the legend or not.” - Isabel Allende

book.jpgGood storytellers know that the best tales have attention-getting beginnings, dynamic middles and unexpected endings.

Regardless of the circumstances, our birth was an amazing experience. One that we had no control over. And we can be sure that we captured the attention of everyone around us.

We may live for 100 years and pass away peacefully in our sleep. Or, fate may decide that our time will come much more quickly. None of us know how our lives will end.

We get to write the dynamic middle. We decide how we’ll face each day. By our actions and attitude, we determine if we are heroes and heroines; or villains, victims or cads. We choose how we will dream, work and love.

No matter your age or situation, the next chapter begins today. Right now – this moment – presents a unique opportunity to change the narrative. To add to the current tale, or change the direction of the plot. Perhaps go completely off the script we’ve been following for years.

Amazingly, tomorrow brings the same potential. As does the next day.

We create our own legend.

We write our own story.

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Topics: goals, reflection, dreams

The Journey Continues

Posted by Mark Fallon

Aug 12, 2016 5:00:00 AM

“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.” – C.S. Lewis

alone.jpgA recent episode of "CBS Sunday Morning" included a story profiling several elite athletes – Dottie Gray, Dixon Hemphill and Orville Rogers. They’re known for winning gold medals and setting records at almost every track meet they enter. However, these runners won’t be competing in the Rio Olympics, as they’re 90, 91 and 98 years old.

Reporter Lee Cowan explained, for these runners, “There is no finish line, just the next race.” They’ll each continue to run races as long as they can. Any thoughts of quitting are shut out by a determination to hang in there.

The story resonated with me on several levels. First, I’m a runner. While I’m not setting any records, I love lacing up my shoes for early morning runs, whether at home or on the road. And I still get excited toeing the start line, even though my only competition is the timing clock.

More importantly, I’m now in my mid-50s, almost 50% older than the median age in the United States. The next marathon I run won’t be my fastest. Those days are over. But I can follow Dottie’s, Dixon’s and Orville’s examples – continue to train, sign up for a race, and do my best.

Their most important examples are about much more than running. It’s about a positive outlook on life and how to approach goals. At a time when most people choose to stop, they’re moving forward. They enjoy the paths they’ve on. They even seem amazed and amused by their own successes.

These are attributes we should all embrace. No matter how old we are, the journey goes on. Not just in our careers or other pursuits, but in our lives. We don’t know where the end lies, but it’s in front of us, not behind.

What’s the current destination of your journey? Is it where you want to go? Or do you want to head someplace else? Is there a challenge you want to chase? Is there a new dream you want to bring to reality?

If you want to change direction, or try something new, then now is the time. You have to decide to take a chance, and take that first step. You can make excuses for not pursuing your passion, or decide to make the attempt. The choice is yours. And that’s true whether you’re 34, or 54, or 74.

As Dottie says, “No matter how old you are, you’re never too old to start.”

(You can see the story on the CBS Sunday Morning YouTube channel).


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Topics: goals, change, dreams

The Time is Now

Posted by Mark Fallon

Jun 3, 2016 5:00:00 AM

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Topics: reflection, dreams

Worth the Price

Posted by Mark Fallon

May 27, 2016 5:00:00 AM

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Topics: goals, dreams

First Footprints

Posted by Mark Fallon

Jan 29, 2016 5:00:00 AM

footprints.jpgTwo roads diverged in a wood, and I –
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
- Robert Frost

Runners are quirky people, and I happen to be a runner. One of my favorite activities is an early morning run after a light snowfall. Not too much snow as to make the traction treacherous, but enough to provide a crisp blanket over the roads – no footprints or tire tracks in front of me. The light from my headlamp transforming the tree-lined streets from common byways into unexplored paths.

During these magical runs, my mind wanders. Many times, I hear the poems of Robert Frost in my head. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening is a natural fit as I watch the houses around me awake. And after all, a runner always has “miles to go before I sleep.”

My favorite poem by Frost is The Road Not Taken. The paths ahead have yet to be trodden on, so I can imagine that I’m the first person to head this way. At least the first person today. For a moment, I’m brave enough to go where few others dare. I’m choosing to be different. For a while.

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Topics: goals, dreams

Your Favorite Little Lessons – Top 10 Blog Posts of 2015

Posted by Mark Fallon

Jan 8, 2016 5:00:00 AM

Over the last year, I’ve shared lessons that I learned about facing fears, taking positive steps forward and embracing our emotions. Some were learned years ago, and some were learned recently. Most of the time, I learned through the wisdom and love of people who have been part of my life – yesterday and today.

I appreciate the support of my readers, and for your comments left here, sent by email and posted on social media . With your help, I’m trying to be a better writer, and more importantly, a better person. Looking forward to 2016 and more little lessons – to learn and to share.

In case you missed them, here are the 10 most read blog posts from 2015:

Four_friends.jpgIn the Company of Friends
Friends are people who touch our lives in special ways.

Airborne!
Confidence is contagious.

Being There
Being there for another person can be the most effective way to show our support and love.

Finding the Answer Within
The world is a wonderful, terrifying, dangerous and amazing place. We’ll encounter problems that we couldn’t foresee and conditions we can’t change.

alone.jpgLife Is Wonderful; Just Not Always Easy
We must decide to recognize what is good in our life, even in the midst of so much that is wrong.

The Loud Silent Voice
Fears can be deceptive. Especially the ones we don’t share with anyone. Including ourselves.

The Power of Not Quitting
You will be successful. But only if you don’t quit.

maine_bay.jpgThe Honor in Your Work
From our coworkers to our customers, how we approach our work affects the results of our actions.

Patience Isn’t a Virtue, It’s a Necessity

Success is the result of hard work over a long period of time. That’s why patience is so important.

Letting Go Isn’t The Same As Giving Up
When faced with challenges, we need to decide when to push ourselves further, when to hold on for the duration, and when to let go.

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Topics: goals, dreams