Little Lessons

Having High Expectations….For Ourselves

Posted by Mark Fallon

Apr 27, 2018 5:01:00 AM


“Hold yourself responsible for a higher standard than anyone else expects of you. Never excuse yourself.” - Henry Ward Beecher

When looking for something while shopping online, we hit the “Search” button and expect:

The product is in stock.

It can be delivered to our home overnight.

And shipping is free.

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Topics: challenge, honesty, hard work, improvement, reflection

The Work Behind the Work

Posted by Mark Fallon

Jan 12, 2018 5:01:00 AM

“In all things, success depends upon previous preparation, and without such preparation, there is to be such failure.” – Confucius

Sitting at your favorite restaurant, the waiter places a beautiful dish in front of you. How did they create something so wonderful in just a few minutes?

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Topics: goals, hard work

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

A Lot of Hard Work, and a Little Luck

Posted by Mark Fallon

Jul 28, 2017 4:12:00 AM

Flower Bed.jpg

"Nothing worthwhile comes easily....Work, continuous work and hard work, is the only way to accomplish results that last." - Hamilton Holt

A hot and humid Sunday morning in July. Instead of finding a cool beach breeze or shady swing, I was on my hands and knees weeding the front flower beds. Pulling the weeds not only gives the plants more room, the light tilling of the dirt helps the ground better absorb water. After a few sweaty hours, with a cold glass of ice water in hand, I sat and enjoyed the beauty of the hydrangea and lilies.

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Topics: motivation, attitude, hard work

Finding Balance

Posted by Mark Fallon

Jun 30, 2017 5:26:20 AM

Swan Boat.jpg

“I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world. This makes it hard to plan the day.” - Elwyn Brooks White

Last weekend, we treated ourselves to enjoyable getaway in Boston. Our hotel was directly across from the Public Gardens, allowing us to have dinner on Beacon Hill, and enjoy a leisurely walk back. Saturday included a trip to the Museum of Fine Arts, a Red Sox game at Fenway Park, and drinks with friends at the Top of the Hub. On Sunday morning, we awoke to a 10K road race taking place directly below us. The race was a stark contrast to our relaxing cruise on the historic Swan Boats.

Monday morning brought an early morning flight out of Logan Airport to visit a client in the Midwest. They plan on leasing new printers, so we need to analyze their production data and gather current legal requirements. During my “downtime” before dinner, I had some phone calls with a client further west, providing input on some unexpected challenges. I also talked with an association about speaking opportunity in August, and got in a couple of good training runs. All before Tuesday evening.

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Topics: reflection, inspiration, hard work

Your Time of Day

Posted by Mark Fallon

May 12, 2017 5:00:00 AM


I love mornings. Waking up right before the dawn. Listening to the sounds of the world awakening. Hearing the songbirds announce the first moments of light.

I ease into my daily rituals. A quick check of email. Look over my latest writing project. Roll the kinks out of my legs. Pick out a route for that morning’s run.

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Topics: goals, hard work, motivation, running, strength

Taking Care of You

Posted by Mark Fallon

Apr 1, 2016 5:00:00 AM

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Topics: strength, success, improvement, hard work

The Honor in Your Work

Posted by Mark Fallon

Sep 4, 2015 5:30:00 AM

“It may not be my job, but it is my privilege, honor and blessing.” – Mark Case

The Honor In You Work
Mark Case is a teacher and blogger. The above quote is the last line of a recent post he wrote after asking a colleague about how to help students with their social skills. The person responded, “It’s not my job.”
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Topics: success, hard work, inspiration, values

Helping the Helpers

Posted by Mark Fallon

Jul 3, 2015 5:30:00 AM

“True compassion means not only feeling another's pain but also being moved to help relieve it.” – Daniel Goleman

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Topics: strength, hard work

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

Posted by Mark Fallon

Jun 26, 2015 5:30:00 AM

"Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish" - John Quincy Adams

patience is a necessityBack in the summer of 2010, I was training for an ultramarathon. My mileage was progressing nicely, reaching 21 miles on my Sunday morning run. Things were looking good. Until they weren’t.

It started with a nagging tightness above my ankle. The tightness progressed to pain. My leg hurt so much, I had difficulty walking from one gate to another at the airport. It was time to see a doctor.

I was able to get an appointment with an orthopedic surgeon who specializes in sports medicine. He looked at the images from the x-ray and MRI and made the diagnosis – a damaged, but not torn, anterior tibial tendon. We had caught the problem before surgery was required.

The doctor and I talked about my goals. Did I want to continue running, or did I want to take up another sport? I explained that not only did I want to keep running, I wanted to keep running marathons. It was part of who I’d become.

The doctor said that with the right treatment and physical therapy, there was no reason I couldn’t meet my goals. But first, I needed to heal. That mean no running for at least 4 weeks, and then very limited running for the 4 weeks after that. He looked me in the eye and restated, “No running for the next 4 weeks.”

It wasn’t easy. For me, or for the people who live and work with me. But I knew that I needed to follow the doctor’s instructions or I wouldn’t accomplish my objectives. The recovery process would take time. A long time.

It was over a year before I toed the starting line again. But since then, I’ve run 5 marathons and 2 ultramarathons. Patience and persistence paid off.

Recently, I attended a training seminar entitled, “Creating a Successful Speaking Business”. The presenter, Steve Shapiro, is a well-recognized leader in the industry, and serves on the Board of Directors of the National Speakers Association. His level of success is the benchmark most of us in the business strive to achieve.

Steve started with a story about when he began his business. He’d been a vice-president at a national consulting firm, had delivered many presentations, and even had a great video in front of a large audience. He met with a publicist to discuss how long it would take to have a successful speaking business with regular bookings. The answer – about 10 years. If he worked diligently.

How long did it take Steve to reach this level? About 10 years. While persistently working towards his goal. Now he’s able to decide which booking offers to accept, and spend most of his time developing new content for his books and his talks.

It looks like I have a few more years, and a lot more effort, before I achieve my aspirations as a professional speaker.

Success is the result of hard work over a long period of time. Often longer than we expect when we begin our journeys. There will be delays, setbacks and unforeseen obstacles. Sometimes, progress will be so slow, it may not feel like we’re moving at all. Our goals may appear to be further from our reach than when we started.

That’s why patience is so important. We need to be accept the realities of the situation and adjust accordingly. We can acknowledge obstacles, but we can’t let them deter us from moving forward. We must stay the course, and continue the path forward. One step at a time.

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Topics: hard work, goals, persistence