Little Lessons

Finding the Positive

Posted by Mark Fallon

Oct 18, 2019 5:01:00 AM

Bentley Class of 1948 daytime
“You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.” – Jane Goodall

Back in February, I wrote a blog post about my mother entitled, Take Heed of the Quiet Rebel. It was my annual tribute to my first teacher of life’s little lessons. I included stories of her accomplishments, including getting a college degree in 1948. The example of her life remains a guidepost for how I live my own.

A few weeks ago, I received a comment from Liz Baccala on the post. It was the sort of connection only possible in the age of the internet:

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Topics: networking, memories, mother, little lessons, help, social media, parents

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

Sometimes We Need Silliness

Posted by Mark Fallon

Oct 4, 2019 5:01:00 AM

Mussels

"A day without laughter is a day wasted." - Charlie Chaplin

It had been a long day. I was in California to deliver an evaluation report to a client. The day before, I had several telephone/web meetings with clients on the east coast and Midwest – so 3 time zones had to be taken into consideration. The calls began at 6:00am (9:00 in Florida), so I was up at 4:30am to get in my walk, shower and first cup of coffee.

After the meetings, I had a long drive ahead on a clogged California highway. In the late afternoon, a manager from the California client, Alissa, sent an email about lunch the next day. The briefing was scheduled from 8:30am to 1:00pm. They were being thoughtful, and bringing in food. I’m lucky to have clients like that.

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Topics: hard work, humor, positive, happiness, joy, little lessons, time, perspective

Your Choices, Your Values

Posted by Mark Fallon

Sep 27, 2019 5:01:00 AM

small scales
“"Happy, contented people make conscious, careful choices about their life focuses that endorse their individual values." – Gail McMeekin

I believe in goals. Over 25% of the posts on this blog have had something to say about goals. Having an objective helps provide direction and purpose. Of course, we need to make sure we have the right objectives.

Hard work is an important part of our lives. Sometimes the effort is a combination of physical, mental and emotional. We can’t expect accomplishments without labor and sweat. But we also need rest to allow our bodies and spirits to recover.

Success – reaching our goals through hard work and determination – is a great sensation. Knowing that we’ve achieved what we set out to do, that we’ve overcome the obstacles and challenges before us. Winning feels better than losing. However, the obsession to succeed can blind us from what’s really important.

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Topics: success, hard work, goals, reflection, values, honesty, challenge, happiness, little lessons, wins, balance

What You Think You Know

Posted by Mark Fallon

Sep 20, 2019 5:01:00 AM

megatrends cover"A person who won't read has no advantage over one who can't read." - Mark Twain

Earlier this year, I developed a new presentation with my good friend, Sean Joyce. We wanted to emphasize the importance of humanity in a world seemingly dominated by technology. We entitled it, “Leadership in the Age of Robots.”

In one of our planning sessions, Sean brought up the concept of “High Tech – High Touch” proposed by John Naisbitt in his classic book, Megatrends. While technology is part of our evolution, our humanness is an equal partner. We must strive for balance between useful tools and critical connections.

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Topics: Reading and Books, little lessons, social media, parents, informed, knowledge, information

Fast Pace/Slow Pace

Posted by Mark Fallon

Sep 13, 2019 5:01:00 AM

meadow
“The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.” – W.B. Yeats

It was a perfect September day. Warm sun on our shoulders, with a slight breeze cooling our faces. We sat on a bench enjoying an ice cream, a defiant act to the calendar’s declaration that summer was over.

At first glance, the meadow just looked like an overgrown field. The longer we sat, we could see the butterflies roaming from one plant to another, performing the pollinating ballet. Following their flight, we could see the multitudes of distinct colors of the flowers – purples, yellows, browns and so many shades of green.

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Topics: reflection, inspiration, little lessons, time, social media, beauty, nature, perspective

Blending In or Standing Out

Posted by Mark Fallon

Sep 6, 2019 5:01:00 AM

field of flowers
"Every individual has a place to fill in the world and is important in some respect whether he chooses to be so or not.” - Nathaniel Hawthorne

There are about 25,000 residents in my town. It doubles to 50,000 in the summer. There are 6.9 million people who live in Massachusetts, and approximately 329 million people in the United States. The planet Earth is currently home to 7.7 billion humans.

That’s an enormous number, and difficult to comprehend. A large football stadium holds about 75,000 people. Multiply that by 100. Then multiply that by 1,000. And you’re in the middle of those multitudes.

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Topics: attitude, groups, people, little lessons, nature, perspective

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

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