Little Lessons

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

Choosing the Right Goal – And It May Change

Posted by Mark Fallon

Dec 7, 2018 5:01:00 AM

MMF Snowstorm
"When your intention is clear, so is the way." – Alan Cohen

A few weeks ago, I was driving from Brooklyn, New York to my home in Massachusetts. The trip normally takes around 3 ½ to 4 hours. I was starting at 2:00pm, well before rush hour. There was snow in the forecast, so I planned on a 5-hour trip, getting home around 7:00pm.

The snow started before I left the parking lot. The highway was already backed up, and my GPS recommended that I go through Manhattan. I was familiar with the route along the Hudson River, and while it may add a few miles, it probably would be quicker.

And it was. For about 30 minutes. Then everything stopped.

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Topics: goals, reflection, challenge

We All Need a Break

Posted by Mark Fallon

Aug 31, 2018 5:01:00 AM


SunsetBeach

“He that can take rest is greater than he that can take cities.” – Benjamin Franklin

One of my favorite memories from childhood is the time we spent at Hampton Beach each summer. My father’s cousin let us use their house for one week each August. A house on Ocean Boulevard – directly across the street from the beach.

Our days would revolve around the tides. Low tides meant running for what seemed like miles to get to the water. As the tide rolled in, we’d retreat and retreat, eventually abandoning the beach to watch the waves crash against the wall from the safety of the sidewalk.

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Topics: strength, reflection, challenge, rest, vacation

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

No Big Wins

Posted by Mark Fallon

May 11, 2018 6:06:11 AM

Rose2
“Lessons learned by ourselves have a greater value than lessons learned through others.” – Wayne Antaw

Most of us have set goals for ourselves, or our boss has set goals for us. Some of those goals may be simple – lose five pounds, increase sales by five percent, or cut $5,000 out of the budget. Or, the goals may present a great challenge, and are what Jim Collins calls Big Hairy Audacious Goals, or BHAGs.

Meeting these types of goals will translate into what might be considered a “big win”. A bonus. A raise. Or, maybe a promotion.

But what is a “big win”? A bonus is nice, but it will only have a brief impact on your life. A raise is nicer, but even that impact diminished quickly, as we usually find a way to raise our spending levels to exceed our income. A promotion, especially if its significant, will probably have the most lasting effect.

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Topics: improvement, reflection, happiness, little lessons

Having High Expectations….For Ourselves

Posted by Mark Fallon

Apr 27, 2018 5:01:00 AM

package

“Hold yourself responsible for a higher standard than anyone else expects of you. Never excuse yourself.” - Henry Ward Beecher

When looking for something while shopping online, we hit the “Search” button and expect:

The product is in stock.

It can be delivered to our home overnight.

And shipping is free.

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Topics: improvement, hard work, reflection, honesty, challenge

Removing Our Blinders

Posted by Mark Fallon

Apr 6, 2018 5:01:00 AM

Horse Blinders

“We don't see things as they are; we see them as we are.” – Anais Nin

I enjoy joining groups, but I despise being put into a category. Using randomly chosen years to create “generations” splits us into “Baby Boomers” or “Gen-X” or “Millennials”. Or worse, assigning different values to someone because they happen to live in a city, or suburb or farming community. Other people want to use personality tests to assign us a color or letter profile. We’re humans, and not books to be categorized by the Dewey Decimal System.

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Topics: reflection, learning, growth, listen, challenge

Empty Spaces

Posted by Mark Fallon

Mar 30, 2018 5:01:00 AM

 Minaun_Cliffs_Achill_Island

I routinely review my calendar – daily, weekly and monthly. It’s required for me to balance the competing priorities of customer travel, prospect appointments, professional training, and writing. While this is a busy time of year, I noticed something interesting next week – an entire day with no meetings, calls or travel on the schedule.

My first reaction – I need to find something to do with that free time.

I paused and took a moment to reconsider.

My decision – leave the empty space empty.

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Topics: reflection, inspiration, moment, challenge

A Pause to Plan

Posted by Mark Fallon

Feb 23, 2018 5:00:00 AM

snowfall.jpg

“Let’s not make our mistakes in a hurry.” – Dwight D. Eisenhower

Over the next 3 weeks, I’ll be on 12 different flights visiting 5 different cities. My itinerary will include delivering a report to one client, starting a project with another, and delivering a speech to a professional group. At the same time, I’ll be finalizing sales with at least 2 different prospects. We’re also expecting the drafts of our new eBook from the designer.

My personal life is a bit more jumbled. My responsibilities as the executor of my mother’s estate involves dealing with insurance companies, banks, lawyers, and the courts. It’s also time to file taxes, and last year’s goal of being better organized with paperwork wasn’t 100% successful. The doctor’s office just changed my appointment, so now I have to change my business travel plans too.

With all of this in front of me, what should I do first?

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Topics: success, reflection, planning