Little Lessons

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

When Mistakes Happen

Posted by Mark Fallon

Jul 19, 2019 5:01:00 AM

Foggy Coast

"No one ever choked swallowing his or her pride." - Harvey Mackay

I was wrong this week. Twice. Okay, at least twice.

Because the two mistakes I’m discussing involve clients and prospects, I can’t go into too much detail. But in each case, I underestimated the challenges involved with a project. And both times, I had to admit I was wrong.

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Topics: improvement, values, honesty, listen, little lessons, trust, problem solving

Mind over Matter

Posted by Mark Fallon

Jun 21, 2019 5:01:00 AM

rhodoroot
“Give me a place to stand on and I can move the Earth.” – Archimedes

Once upon a time, I was young and strong.

Throughout high school, and part of college, I worked summers as a landscaper. My boss loved to give me the hardest jobs, because he knew I wanted to be challenged. Dig a hole 6 feet by six feet by six feet – with only a shovel and pickax. Move truckloads of wood mulch with a wheelbarrow. Rip out a tree stump without any power tools.

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Topics: strength, improvement, networking, hard work, reading list, Reading and Books, growth, groups, challenge, little lessons

Start With an Open Mind

Posted by Mark Fallon

May 17, 2019 5:01:00 AM

lake boat
“Inspiration usually comes during work, rather than before it.” - Madeleine L‘Engle

Recently, I delivered a presentation at the National Postal Forum entitled, “Leadership in the Age of Robots: How To Be Better Humans”. My co-presenter was Dr. Sean Joyce, an old friend and dear mentor. We had spent the previous 2 months discussing what separated humans from robots, the evolution of technology and the importance of self-awareness. We agreed on the key points we wanted to address, a general outline of the talk, and a PowerPoint deck to emphasize important ideas.

Sean began the class by warning the audience that we weren’t sure exactly what we would end up sharing. Yes, we were prepared, but the more we worked on the class, the more ideas came into play. How the audience reacted could change what might be called our “script”.

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Topics: improvement, hard work, inspiration, mentor, little lessons

Growth is Uncomfortable

Posted by Mark Fallon

Apr 26, 2019 5:01:00 AM

The_Bench
“So goes discovery: unless you know your own ignorance, you won’t recognize when something truly novel is right before your eyes.” – Nick Pyenson

I don’t know anyone with fond memories of their adolescence. For most of us, it was a period of uncomfortable change. Our bodies transforming into young adults while struggling with new social structures and relationships. But we didn’t have a choice – we could only grow through change.

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Topics: improvement, goals, change, learning, growth, challenge, little lessons, help

Lifting Others

Posted by Mark Fallon

Jun 29, 2018 5:01:00 AM

 

Jacobs Ladder
"I bring you the gift of these four words: 'I believe in you.' " - Blaise Pascal

If we work hard, and are a little lucky, we’ll probably reach our goals. The path may not always be clear, with curves and clouds obstructing our view of our intended destination. We may make a detour, but we continue forward. The journey can be difficult, and take longer than anticipated, but success is ours.

However, true success is about more than what we do for ourselves. We also need to consider what we do for others. Who have we helped today?

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Topics: success, improvement, personal relationships, people, kindness

No Big Wins

Posted by Mark Fallon

May 11, 2018 6:06:11 AM

Rose2
“Lessons learned by ourselves have a greater value than lessons learned through others.” – Wayne Antaw

Most of us have set goals for ourselves, or our boss has set goals for us. Some of those goals may be simple – lose five pounds, increase sales by five percent, or cut $5,000 out of the budget. Or, the goals may present a great challenge, and are what Jim Collins calls Big Hairy Audacious Goals, or BHAGs.

Meeting these types of goals will translate into what might be considered a “big win”. A bonus. A raise. Or, maybe a promotion.

But what is a “big win”? A bonus is nice, but it will only have a brief impact on your life. A raise is nicer, but even that impact diminished quickly, as we usually find a way to raise our spending levels to exceed our income. A promotion, especially if its significant, will probably have the most lasting effect.

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Topics: improvement, reflection, happiness, little lessons

Having High Expectations….For Ourselves

Posted by Mark Fallon

Apr 27, 2018 5:01:00 AM

package

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

Seeking Out Criticism

Posted by Mark Fallon

Jan 19, 2018 5:00:00 AM

alone.jpg
“It's the rare person who will listen to what they don't want to hear.” – Dick Cavett

As a consultant, I’m often hired to evaluate a company’s print and mail operation. We’ll spend several days reading policies and procedures, watching work get processed, and interviewing employees. The goal is to determine:

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Topics: improvement, coach, critique

Patience is a Skill

Posted by Mark Fallon

Nov 10, 2017 5:00:00 AM

slow.jpg

“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