Little Lessons

The Unhappy Earl

Posted by Mark Fallon

Apr 19, 2019 5:01:00 AM

downton abbey
“I have no right to be unhappy.” - Lord Grantham

Even if you don’t watch PBS, you’ve probably heard of Downton Abbey. The period drama tells the story of the residents of a country estate in England during the early 1900s. There’s intrigue upstairs among the family members as they try to maintain their wealth and heritage. And there’s equal suspense among the staff, as they strive to make their lives better. Both classes struggle with new technology, the impact of World War I, and the changes transforming British society.

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Topics: attitude, happiness, little lessons, emotions, wonder

The Third Option

Posted by Mark Fallon

Mar 29, 2019 5:01:00 AM

crutches
"Just because we can't find a solution doesn't mean that there isn't one.” – Andrew Wiles

Are you faced with the dilemma of choosing between two undesirable options? Then reject them both, and create a third option.

For example, just a few weeks after moving into my new house, I noticed that the light above the kitchen sink was loose. After taking a closer look, I realized that I would have to strengthen the supports for the electrical box and possibly replace the fixture. However, I realized this late Sunday night, and I had an early flight out to a client Monday morning. There would be time to fix the light when I returned.

Tuesday evening, I was heading back to the hotel when my cell phone rang. It was my wife letting me know that the light above the kitchen sink had dropped from the ceiling and was being held up only by the electrical wires. I guess the light didn’t want to wait for my scheduled repair.

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Topics: success, persistence, reactions, challenge, little lessons, problem solving

Tomorrow May Surprise You

Posted by Mark Fallon

Mar 15, 2019 5:01:00 AM

Sunset1
“I have never started a poem yet whose end I knew. Writing a poem is discovering.” – Robert Frost

Last week, something terrifying happened. After a software update, all of my calendar entries from February 6, 2019 forward disappeared from my calendar. I had synced my android before I realized the problem, so I couldn’t restore from there. After 45 minutes on the phone with Microsoft support, I heard the diagnosis, “I’m sorry, sir, but it appears the update caused the issue, and we can’t restore your calendar.”

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Topics: goals, planning, little lessons, future, wonder, expectations

Seek What You Don’t Know

Posted by Mark Fallon

Mar 8, 2019 5:01:00 AM

supernova
“I am still learning.” – Michelangelo

In September 2014, astronomers discovered a supernova in the constellation of Ursa Major. A supernova occurs when a star explodes, causing it to become brighter than 100 million suns. Typically, a supernova shines for about 100 days before going dark.

This supernova remained bright for over 600 days.

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Topics: Reading and Books, learning, little lessons

Old Dog, New Shoes

Posted by Mark Fallon

Jan 25, 2019 5:01:00 AM

slippers
"The purpose of learning is growth, and our minds, unlike our bodies, can continue growing as we continue to live” – Mortimer Adler

For decades, I’ve disdained slippers. They seemed like an unnecessary piece of clothing. Either I wore shoes – dress shoes, work boots, running shoes – or I went barefoot. Having something “in between” would just take up more room in my closet.

My outlook changed with my hip surgery last summer. In addition to needing a cane, I would have difficulty bending over for weeks. That would make tying my shoes a challenge. Walking barefoot wasn’t recommended, so I had to find slip-on shoes – slippers.

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Topics: change, Reading and Books, fear, growth, little lessons, expectations

Honor is a Full Time Commitment

Posted by Mark Fallon

Jan 18, 2019 5:01:00 AM

Sboro memorial

"You cannot dream yourself into a character: you must hammer and forge yourself into one." - Henry David Thoreau

I was having breakfast with some fellow veterans on Saturday morning. The previous week, we had shared emails about some modifications to the memorial in the center of town. After several rounds of messages, it was clear an in-person discussion would be better. Plus, who doesn’t like getting together for breakfast?

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Topics: veteran, little lessons, honor

An Expotition to a Memory

Posted by Mark Fallon

Jan 11, 2019 5:01:00 AM

Poohsticks

“Some people care too much. I think it's called love.” ― A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh

It started with a visit to the Museum of Fine Arts to see their special exhibition – “Winnie the Pooh: Exploring a Classic”. It was a weekday evening, but there were plenty of people in line to enjoy the displays of original letters, drawings and early editions of the books that introduced the world to Christopher Robin, Pooh, and their captivating cohorts.

The ages of attendees spanned the generations. Not only were there people my age, but people old enough to be my parents, or children, or grandchildren. Different languages and accents could be heard sharing laughs and smiles in front of the displays. Even crusty old men took a moment to play Poohsticks on the bridge – just as they have for over 90 years.

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Topics: love, memories, mother, little lessons, parents

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

The Joke I Didn’t Post

Posted by Mark Fallon

Dec 28, 2018 5:01:00 AM

book
“A gentleman is one who never hurts anyone's feelings unintentionally.” - Oscar Wilde

My social media feed was filled with posts on a contentious subject. Both sides of the political spectrum were accusing the other of not taking them seriously. People had created memes using cool graphics and witty wording.

Posts built upon posts, until all the arguments looked silly. I started to do my own research on the subject. Thanks to the power of the internet, I was able to reach back decades, and then centuries. The more I learned, the sillier the current situation seemed.

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Topics: reflection, reactions, positive, people, little lessons, social media

Diets for Our Minds

Posted by Mark Fallon

Dec 21, 2018 5:01:00 AM

TR Citizen Book
“People often say that motivation doesn't last. Well, neither does bathing – that's why we recommend it daily!” – Zig Ziglar

I recently listened to a podcast interview with Ta-Nehisi Coates, the journalist and author. During the interview, Mr. Coates talked about his decision to shut down his Twitter account and leave that social media platform. The constant barrage of negativity was impacting his writing. He explained, “If I don’t exert control over what comes in, I will in no way be able to exert control over what comes out.”

That’s a key point – what we absorb impacts what we generate. The internet and social media have helped further democratize the distribution of information. More people are able to express their views to more people than ever before. However, that means a long with the good, there’s a lot of bad.

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Topics: reflection, positive, thoughtfulness, little lessons, good, social media