Little Lessons

A Taste of the Past

Posted by Mark Fallon

Jul 24, 2020 4:30:00 AM

teacup
“The past is really almost as much a work of the imagination as the future.” – Jessamyn West

Anyone who knows me knows my love of coffee. Whether it’s from my favorite coffee shop, or Dunkin Donuts, or instant coffee heated over an open fire. No sugar or cream, just hot, black coffee. It’s the perfect way to start the day or end a meal.

Then there are afternoons when my cravings take me elsewhere. To a cup of tea. Now in my favorite teacup, featuring a “Penny Black” stamp. Printed in England in 1840, the Penny Black was the first adhesive postage stamp.

Whenever I drink tea, the flavor pulls memories from hidden corners of my mind. My father and uncle having tea on Sunday afternoons after dinner. My mother making the tea, even though she preferred coffee. My mother-in-law enjoying her cup with a spot of honey. A visit to the Bath Postal Museum to see an actual Penny Black.

The gift of this cup.

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Topics: inspiration, love, memories, mother, story, listen, moment, joy, little lessons, time, father, parents

What We Will Build

Posted by Mark Fallon

Jun 12, 2020 4:30:00 AM

toolbelt
"Do not wait; the time will never be "just right." Start where you stand, and work with whatever tools you may have at your command, and better tools will be found as you go along." - Napoleon Hill

During the shutdown, people have turned to working with their hands as a coping mechanism. Baking bread was popular for several weeks, with people posting photos of their beautiful creations. Several of my friends are using their sewing skills to fabricate clothing and accessories. I’ve returned to my workshop.

My woodworking journey began about 30 years ago when I refinished my mother’s sewing table. It had been covered in soot due to a furnace malfunction. Using hand tools and an old belt sander, I was able to restore it. The best part of the project was the smile on my mother’s face when I delivered it to her house. Her father had been a cabinetmaker and my work brought back happy memories.

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Topics: leadership, love, mother, gift, listen, little lessons, social media, parents

Seeking Hope Amidst Fear

Posted by Mark Fallon

Jun 5, 2020 4:30:00 AM

foggy pier
“In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

Through my small blog , I have a small voice – but I do have a voice. I should use it to speak out against what is happening in our country. To be silent is to be complicit.

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Topics: listen, people, moment, little lessons, silence

Lunch With Your Hero

Posted by Mark Fallon

Nov 1, 2019 5:00:00 AM

TRandWHF
“As you get older it is harder to have heroes, but it is sort of necessary.” – Ernest Hemingway

The 26th President of the United States, Theodore Roosevelt, was born on October 27, 1858. When he was only 19, he lost his North Star, when his father died unexpectedly. Roosevelt went on to be a prolific writer, war hero politician, and world adventurer. He was also the father to six children and died at only 60 years old. He became my boyhood hero when I read a library book about him, and now there are 29 different books about him in my office.

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Topics: family, memories, story, listen, little lessons, father, honor, perspective

The Loud Silence

Posted by Mark Fallon

Oct 11, 2019 5:01:00 AM

www.markfallon.comhs-fshub313793file-2348080298

“The loudest noise in the world is silence.” – Thelonious Monk

It was a 6:00am flight. That meant getting up at 3:30am, driving to the airport, returning the rental car, taking a shuttle bus to the terminal, and then experiencing the joys of security. The cup of coffee made in the hotel room provided enough of a jolt to get me to the gate, but its effects had worn off.

While boarding the plane, I stopped at the entrance to allow the flight attendant to hang up a jacket. She thanked me, and said that I now got to make a decision for the entire plane – should she turn on the boarding music or not?

“Not. There’s no need for any extra noise this early in the morning.”

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Topics: love, listen, happiness, joy, little lessons, nature, balance, silence, quiet

Can You Spare A Minute?

Posted by Mark Fallon

Aug 30, 2019 5:01:00 AM

coffee_tip
“You give but little when you give of your possessions. It is when you give of yourself that you truly give.” – Kahlil Gibran

On Day One of the road trip, I was introduced to a great local diner. Reasonable prices, good service and most importantly, an endless cup of hot, black coffee. Looking around, you could sense this was where “the locals” hung out.

I had an 8:00am conference call Tuesday morning, so I arrived at the diner around 6:45. Sitting at the counter, I enjoyed a plate of eggs and ham, followed by a bowl of fruit. Read the daily news on my smartphone, plus caught up with some friends on social media.

My coffee cup was near empty, and it was 7:15, so I thought it was time to ask for the check. Just then, an elderly gentleman sat down in the chair next to me – passing the 3 available seats along the way. The waitress addressed him by name, taking his order for oatmeal. The coffee was poured without a spoken request.

He turned to me and said, “Good morning, how are you today?”

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Topics: story, listen, people, little lessons, kindness, father, social media, parents

Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

Posted by Mark Fallon

Aug 23, 2019 5:01:00 AM

Boot Camp Letter
“Someone is sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.” – Warren Buffett

“The true meaning of life is to plant trees, under whose shade you do not expect to sit.” – Nelson Henderson

Lately, I’ve been thinking about my parents. A lot.

It started with finding a stack of letters my mother had saved. They were letters I’d sent to my parents when I was in the military.

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Topics: reflection, family, memories, reactions, mother, story, listen, little lessons, father, future, mail, letters, parents

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

It’s Okay to Be Human

Posted by Mark Fallon

May 25, 2018 5:01:00 AM

Umass Shirt

“I think we all have empathy. We may not have enough courage to display it.” – Maya Angelou

In a few days, I’ll be having total hip replacement surgery.

I’m nervous about it.

My rational mind knows that I will probably be fine. I have a good doctor. I will be having surgery in a good hospital associated with a good medical school. I am covered by decent health insurance. I know that I must have the surgery to end the pain and prevent more damage to my body.

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Topics: love, fear, support, listen, emotions

Breaking Bread with Strangers

Posted by Mark Fallon

Apr 20, 2018 5:01:00 AM

breaking bread

“Food for the body is not enough. There must be food for the soul.” – Dorothy Day

Last weekend, I attended a dinner that will remain a treasured memory. An amazing aspect of that dinner – I’d only met 2 of the 7 people in attendance before that night.

Everyone had come to town for the 122nd Boston Marathon. One person at dinner was running, and the rest of us were supporters of her and others we knew taking on the epic course. At first, the reservations were for 4 of us, then 5, and then 7. Friends wanted to include friends, and we all wanted a fun evening.

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Topics: love, groups, listen, people

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Our blog helps the reader focus on the little lessons - taking place every day - that will lead to sustainable, long-term success.

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