Little Lessons

Support Your Local Library

Posted by Mark Fallon

Apr 12, 2019 6:04:53 AM

Woburn Library
My earliest memory of my father is the first day he took me to the Woburn Public Library. The trip was special in many ways, and still affects me today.

One feature making this trip special was the fact it was just my father and me. As one of 10 kids, I didn’t get much “alone time” with either parent, especially my father. He usually had left for work before I woke up, and sometimes worked a second job. Our family ate dinner at a large table, with several conversations overlapping. There wasn’t much time for one-to-one talks.

But my parents wanted that trip to the library to be special. I was told the week prior that I had to behave before my father would take me. And I better be on my best behavior when we went to the library. My father’s tone of voice was similar to the one he used before we went to church on Sundays, so I knew this was serious.

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Topics: Reading and Books, mother, father, parents, library

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

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

Reading List – First Half of 2018

Posted by Mark Fallon

Jul 6, 2018 10:07:22 AM

books_and_coffee

My goal each year is to read a book a week. I open a book, divide the number of pages by 7, and calculate my daily reading diet. I also keep a book on my nightstand, reading a few pages before going to sleep. Friends, bookstores and the local library keep the stocks filled.

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Topics: reading list, Reading and Books

The Best Books of 2017 – A Baker’s Dozen

Posted by Mark Fallon

Dec 29, 2017 5:07:00 AM


2017 Books.jpg
Whenever, wherever I travel, there’s always a book in my briefcase. Perhaps a spare in my suitcase as well. Vacations always include stopping at a local bookstore, browsing for something unexpected.

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Topics: Reading and Books

Focus, Not Limits

Posted by Mark Fallon

Sep 29, 2017 5:00:00 AM

book.jpg

“An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.” – Benjamin Franklin

I’m currently reading “Life: The Leading Edge of Evolutionary Biology, Genetics, Anthropology, and Environmental Science” (edited by John Brockman). The book is a collection of essays and conversations by scientists on their understanding of life – from evolution to genetics to the origins of life to the probability of life on other planets.

My favorite chapter is the transcript of a panel discussion on the concept of life. What makes the discussion so interesting is the varied points of views - biologists, geneticists, physicists and evolutionary philosophers. While each scientist had a primary field of study, they were also well-versed in a wide spectrum of topics. The physicist had read papers on genetics, and the biologist had studied chemistry, and so on. Their broad understanding of multiple subjects supplemented their specific fields.

We can learn from their habits. Too often, we allow our focus to become too narrow. Instead of improving our expertise in an area, our self-imposed limits stunt our growth – professionally and personally.

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Topics: friendship, Reading and Books, learning, communicate, growth

Leadership Books That I’ve Enjoyed Reading

Posted by Mark Fallon

Sep 8, 2017 5:00:00 AM

bookcase.jpg

“If a man or woman is fond of books he or she will naturally seek the books that the mind and soul demand.” – Theodore Roosevelt

Recently, a friend posted a question on Facebook – “Mark, What's the best book about leadership have you read and recommend?” That’s a good question, and difficult to answer.

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Topics: Reading and Books, leadership, inspiration, learning

Everyone Needs Sales Training

Posted by Mark Fallon

Aug 4, 2017 5:00:00 AM

Full-House.jpg

"Sales are the engine that pulls the train. Everything else follows." - Harvey Mackay

Last year, I read several books on sales training and even attended a seminar. I'll do the same thing this year. You should too. Regardless of your job.

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Topics: Reading and Books, leadership, selling

You Aren’t Listening Yet

Posted by Mark Fallon

Mar 17, 2017 5:00:00 AM

“Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything.” - Plato

guitars.jpgChristina, my waitress, asked why I was visiting Baltimore. I explained that I was doing advance work in preparation for the National Postal Forum this May. I warned her that there would be thousands of people who work in mail taking over the waterfront for several days.

She laughed and said that she has a small stamp collection. Her prized possessions are her Elvis Presley stamps – both editions. That comment pivoted the conversation to music – and the wide range of artists that Christina liked.

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Topics: Reading and Books, inspiration