Little Lessons

Why This Time is Different

Posted by Mark Fallon

Aug 16, 2019 5:01:00 AM


mark-dolores-aug-2019
“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.”
-Robert Frost

In January, my wife and I made what we hope is our “last move”. With an eye to the future, we bought a small house with everything on one level. We remodeled the bathroom with an emphasis on “universal design” – meaning easy access, a walk-in shower with bench, and grab bars.

The last few years, we have lost close relatives, including our parents. That meant cleaning out houses with decades of accumulated belongings.

It was exhausting. Not just physically, but emotionally. We don’t have children. When we died, did we want to add this burden to one of our nieces or nephews?

So, we decided to take a different path.

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Topics: inspiration, little lessons, parents, service, volunteer, empathy, walking

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

Don’t Fear the Four-Letter Word

Posted by Mark Fallon

Jul 26, 2019 5:01:00 AM


love sign

"Wherever you go, go with all your heart." – Confucius

Last week, a couple of my friends were having a tough time. One was facing a health scare, and the other’s mother passed away. We shared some long phone conversations. Each call ended with “I love you, brother.” And the response – “I love you too”.

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Topics: inspiration, love, learning, support, growth, happiness, joy, little lessons, kindness, father, parents, compassion

The Never-Ending Search

Posted by Mark Fallon

Jun 7, 2019 5:00:52 AM

www.markfallon.comhubfsimagessupernova
“For the meaning of life differs from man to man, from day to day and hour to hour.” – Viktor Frankl

As I was reading Viktor Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning, one thought kept crossing my mind – “How have I never read this book before?”

In college, my major was history, with a minor in philosophy. Additionally, my literature courses included books by twentieth-century existentialists like Camus and Sartre. I was assigned to read Freud’s The Future of an Illusion as part of my capstone course in philosophy. But Frankl? I’m not sure he was even mentioned.

A friend told me he had recently re-read Frankl, as part of a discussion about what makes us human. His passion when describing the book was intriguing. A visit to a university bookstore prompted me to look for Frankl’s works. When my search in the philosophy section turned up nothing, I remembered that my friend is a psychologist. Moving over a few sections, my hunt was successful.

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Topics: reflection, Reading and Books, inspiration, love, attitude, reactions, 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

Your Favorite Little Lessons of 2018

Posted by Mark Fallon

Jan 4, 2019 5:01:00 AM

Whale Fluke

What a year! 2018 brought a lot of changes for many of us, myself included. The closing of my running career has opened up new paths, new opportunities, and new outlooks on life.
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Topics: goals, inspiration, love, learning, appreciation, challenge, little lessons, kindness, help

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: inspiration, attitude, reactions, positive, wonder

Empty Spaces

Posted by Mark Fallon

Mar 30, 2018 5:01:00 AM

 Minaun_Cliffs_Achill_Island

I routinely review my calendar – daily, weekly and monthly. It’s required for me to balance the competing priorities of customer travel, prospect appointments, professional training, and writing. While this is a busy time of year, I noticed something interesting next week – an entire day with no meetings, calls or travel on the schedule.

My first reaction – I need to find something to do with that free time.

I paused and took a moment to reconsider.

My decision – leave the empty space empty.

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Topics: reflection, inspiration, moment, challenge

Your Favorite Little Lessons of 2017

Posted by Mark Fallon

Jan 5, 2018 4:54:00 AM

Tim and Me.jpg   WHFPAFBeach.jpg  Eric and Me.jpg

The events of 2017 were a reminder of the importance of the people we let into our lives. In the most significant moments – whether in mourning or celebration – it’s the people around us who make a difference.

The journey continues. We can’t go back in time, so we must move forward. Thanks to the support of so many friends, I’ll continue to learn more little lessons. And write about them here.

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Topics: goals, friendship, inspiration, love

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: change, inspiration, optimism, attitude