Little Lessons

Eat Your Vegetables – A Lesson from My Mother

Posted by Mark Fallon

Mar 1, 2018 10:01:00 PM

As most of my friends will tell you, I’m not a fan of green food. I won’t get upset if a pea or an asparagus spear touches my steak, but I don’t order salad as a meal. In fact, I almost never order salad with my meal.

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Topics: motivation, planning, mother

Problems Don’t Get Easier – Until They’re Solved

Posted by Mark Fallon

Aug 25, 2017 5:03:00 AM


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Topics: success, hard work, goals, motivation, attitude

A Lot of Hard Work, and a Little Luck

Posted by Mark Fallon

Jul 28, 2017 4:12:00 AM

Flower Bed.jpg

"Nothing worthwhile comes easily....Work, continuous work and hard work, is the only way to accomplish results that last." - Hamilton Holt

A hot and humid Sunday morning in July. Instead of finding a cool beach breeze or shady swing, I was on my hands and knees weeding the front flower beds. Pulling the weeds not only gives the plants more room, the light tilling of the dirt helps the ground better absorb water. After a few sweaty hours, with a cold glass of ice water in hand, I sat and enjoyed the beauty of the hydrangea and lilies.

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Topics: hard work, motivation, attitude

Celebrate Small Wins

Posted by Mark Fallon

Jun 23, 2017 5:00:00 AM

“Celebrate any progress. Don't wait to get perfect.” – Ann McGee Cooper

When building project plans, I always highlight milestones – important events that mark key phases. Traditionally, milestones are used to measure progress towards the goal. I also use them for something just as important – a reason to celebrate.

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Topics: goals, motivation, attitude

Power from Positivity

Posted by Mark Fallon

Jun 2, 2017 5:00:00 AM

“Dwell on the beauty of life. Watch the stars, and see yourself running with them.” – Marcus Aurelius

newtons cradle.jpg

For centuries, people attempted to create a perpetual motion machine – a device that once started, would keep running forever on its own energy. Designs were drafted and models were built by scientists and charlatans alike. After all, doesn’t Newton’s First Law state than an object in motion will continue to stay in motion unless acted upon?

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Topics: love, optimism, motivation, attitude

Your Time of Day

Posted by Mark Fallon

May 12, 2017 5:00:00 AM


I love mornings. Waking up right before the dawn. Listening to the sounds of the world awakening. Hearing the songbirds announce the first moments of light.

I ease into my daily rituals. A quick check of email. Look over my latest writing project. Roll the kinks out of my legs. Pick out a route for that morning’s run.

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Topics: strength, hard work, goals, motivation, running

The Benefits of a Positive Attitude. Or Did You Get Your Cherry on Top?

Posted by Mark Fallon

Apr 14, 2017 5:01:00 AM

"There is little difference in people, but that little difference makes a big difference. The little difference is attitude. The big difference is whether it is positive or negative." - W. Clement Stone

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Topics: inspiration, humor, motivation, attitude

The Journey Has Only Begun

Posted by Mark Fallon

Mar 31, 2017 5:00:00 AM

“I am not going to advocate ... the abandoning of the improved modes of travel; but I am going to brag as lustily as I can on behalf of the pedestrian, and show how all the shining angels second and accompany the man who goes afoot, while all the dark spirits are ever looking out for a chance to ride.” - John Burroughs

Hands_In_The_Air.jpgTen years ago – April 2, 2007 – I began running again. I was turning 45 that year, so I decided to mark the occasion by running the Army 10-Miler in Washington, DC. It was a lofty goal, as I struggled to complete a 2-mile run at a 12 minute-per-mile pace. Two great friends – Ken and Brian – agreed to provide advice and support as I prepared for the race.

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Topics: goals, motivation, running

What Can You Do When Pushed?

Posted by Mark Fallon

Mar 24, 2017 5:00:00 AM

"Sometimes the best helping hand you can get is a good, firm push." - Joann Thomas

2ltFallon.jpgI had passed the physical fitness test, including the dreaded pull-ups. Now, all that stood between me and U.S. Army Ranger School was the Combat Water Survival Test, or CWST. Three stations – swim the length of the pool, jump blindfolded from a diving board, and remove my weapons harness while under water. And holding onto my rifle the entire time.

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Topics: goals, inspiration, motivation

Motivating Yourself

Posted by Mark Fallon

Dec 16, 2016 5:01:00 AM

“Only you can make you happy.” - Marty Martinson

solo boat.jpgAs leaders, we look for ways to motivate our employees. We read books and attend seminars on how to get the most out of the people who work for us. We try different techniques: positive feedback, recognition for a job well done, and encouragement.

But what about the one person whose motivation has the greatest impact on your team – what about you?

Keeping yourself motivated isn’t something to be left to chance. It’s a responsibility that you should take seriously, and work on continuously. Motivating yourself includes focusing on your goals, finding inspiration from others, and having fun.

With your many tasks and responsibilities, it’s difficult to maintain a positive attitude. It’s even more challenging when you lose focus on your goals. Take time to think about the results your hard work will bring.

For projects, keep a visual reminder of the project’s objective. The reminder could be a drawing of the product being developed. A graph showing the dollars saved to date. Or a calendar showing the launch date of a new service or software.

For your day-to-day work, long-term goals may be harder to visualize. My desk is covered with photos of friends, family, and places I’ve visited. There are thank-you notes, awards and souvenirs from races. And there are empty spaces waiting to be filled. My work today will create those future memories.

Each day, take a few minutes to review your goals. Look at the reminders you’ve created that reflect your achievements. Start meetings with a statement about the purpose of the project. Give meaning to tasks by relating them to the overall objective.

When your goals aren’t enough, try to find inspiration outside of your workplace. Your inspiration may be from people you know, people you’ve never met, or even people who’ve lived in the past. Others have gone through struggles as tough, if not tougher, than what you’re facing.

Surround yourself with positive people who want you to succeed. Develop relationships with mentors and coaches who’ll provide guidance and encouragement. Use social networking sites to create a virtual support circle. Remember that you’re not alone.

Read books and attend presentations by leaders in your industry. Discover how they overcame their challenges and their methods for reaching their goals. Create a library of books and speeches that resonate with you. Sometimes just glancing at a book cover will bring back a passage that holds special meaning.

Don’t limit your reading to business experts. Consider biographies of historical figures from the recent and distant past. Fictional characters are another excellent source of inspiration. Not just action heroes, but people who find a way to get the most out of life.

Sometimes, you just need to get away and re-energize. Everyone should pause now and then to have fun. Even at work.

Having fun doesn’t mean procrastinating, or failing to meet a deadline. It means setting aside time to distract your mind from the project or other challenges. Find an activity that will make you laugh, or at least put a smile on your face.

Happiness has an invigorating effect on the mind and the body, freeing you to overpower resistance and challenges. Taking pleasure in your life helps you appreciate your hard work.

When you’re not focusing on your problem, you can be open to new ideas or solutions. When you’re having fun, you can find inspiration and return to your work with a renewed focus on accomplishing your goals.

Motivating yourself. It’s an investment in success.

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Topics: inspiration, motivation