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

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

Experience Collectors Wanted

Posted by Mark Fallon

Jun 28, 2019 5:01:00 AM

After dinner
“So removed from daily life was the whole experience that when all was rotten to the core, a fine dinner could revive the spirits. If and when I had twenty dollars left to my name, I was going to spend it right here in an elegant hour that couldn’t be hocked.” – Katey Kontent in Rules of Civility by Amor Towles.

I love eating at restaurants. From 5-star steakhouses to local pubs to all-American diners. Perusing wine lists for the perfect pairing to the meal, gambling on a locally brewed beer, or stirring a thick milk shake with a long spoon. And most importantly, desserts – made-to-order souffle, crème brulee or lemon-meringue pie.

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Topics: personal relationships, love, family, memories, passion, marathon, travel, people, happiness, little lessons

Dining Alone

Posted by Mark Fallon

Jun 14, 2019 4:38:43 AM

burger dinner
"All man's miseries derive from not being able to sit quietly in a room alone." – Blaise Pascal

Because of my job as a consultant, I spend a significant amount of time away from home. Business travel isn’t glamorous, it isn’t miserable, it’s just part of my job. I’ve been a landscaper, a trash collector, a waiter and a soldier. Put into the proper perspective, life on the road isn’t that bad.

I’m fortunate and have wonderful clients. We’ve shared dinners that are more like a gathering of friends than a corporate event. Exchanging stories, including some “tall tales”, that bring smiles and laughter to the table. We create memories, not close business deals.

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Topics: reflection, Reading and Books, memories, travel, story, people, little lessons, emotions

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

Choose Wisely

Posted by Mark Fallon

Oct 26, 2018 5:01:00 AM

1930s radio
This little lesson occurred 10 years ago, in 2008. I share it today to honor my father, Bill and my friend, Tim. Saturday, October 27, 2018, would have been my father’s 94th birthday, and next month represents the one-year anniversary of Tim’s passing. I think of them often.

Recently, my father was telling a story about his boyhood. He and his brother had walked 5 miles to the next town to listen to the radio broadcast of President Roosevelt’s inaugural address. That’s Franklin Roosevelt, not Theodore Roosevelt (my father’s not that old).

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Topics: friendship, learning, memories, reactions, control, little lessons, father

The People Around You

Posted by Mark Fallon

Oct 5, 2018 5:01:00 AM

jondamerryandme

“The people who make a difference are not the ones with the credentials, but the ones with the concern.” – Max Lucado

This time of year always brings a lot of travel. Many companies want to finish projects before the year-end, so that means more onsite visits. In support of Postal Customer Councils, I’ll visit 6 states in 3 months, delivering keynote addresses and instructional classes. Between Labor Day and Thanksgiving, I’ll be flying at least 10 out of 12 weeks.

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Topics: personal relationships, love, memories, travel, people

Listen to Your Elders

Posted by Mark Fallon

Sep 21, 2018 5:01:00 AM


1930 Cord

“Memory is the one paradise out of which we cannot be driven.” – Sacha Guitry

We were admiring the 1930 Cord on display at the museum, when we heard a voice say, “You know, the classic color was yellow.”

We turned to learn more from our new guide. “Oh yes, Cord was known for their yellow cars. Do they have the engine hood open on the other side? They were beautiful machines. Really ahead of their time. Did you see the one out in the car show? Retractable headlights. In 1930.”

“My husband had the chance to buy one once. $2,000. Which was a good buy. They sold new for $2,900. It was either buy the car, or date me for the next 3 years.” – said with a twinkling smile.

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Topics: memories, story

The Slings and Arrows of Life

Posted by Mark Fallon

Aug 17, 2018 5:01:00 AM


waves on rocks

“Learning is a gift, even if pain is the teacher.” – James Garner

About 40 years ago, a baseball hit me in the mouth. I wasn’t a fan in the stands but playing shortstop when a line-drive was hit right at me. I was a terrible athlete and a worse baseball player. My dentist performed a root canal to stop the pain and save the tooth.

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Topics: learning, memories, reactions, challenge, joy, emotions

Searching for the Best

Posted by Mark Fallon

Jul 20, 2018 5:01:00 AM

burger dinner

“The best things in life aren’t things.” – Art Buchwald

It’s common to see signs in restaurants declaring “Voted Best Restaurant of 2018” by the readers of the local newspaper or regional magazine. The restaurant may only be a local pub with 10 tables and 5 booths, but it’s “the best”.

I’ve had people ask me for “the best hotel in Boston”. Before answering, I ask questions – How many people? Any children? What do you plan on doing? What time of year? Will you have a car?

A friend asked me “what’s the best book on leadership?” The closest I could come to answering the questions was to write a blog post with a list of 25 books that had a significant impact on me.

“Best” is a very personal term. The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines “best” as “superlative of good: excelling all others.”

Excelling in what?
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Topics: reflection, Reading and Books, values, memories, emotions