Mondays With Mark


Looking for a spark of inspiration, a note of encouragement, or need a moment for self-reflection? Find all of our Monday with Mark moments here!

Healing & Recovery
No. 50
Posted on 7/31/2017 by Mark Hutchinson
What does it really mean to recover from an injury or tragedy or other difficulty? Everyone suffers in some way or another during their lifetime. Some recover quickly and continue on. However, for some, it seems as if the process of recovery didn’t even start and they are stuck somehow. Do you know anyone that fits that description? I met a man yesterday and I wondered what sorts of hardships and hurts had taken him down to where he was. His watery, blue eyes were tired from decades of pain and he struggled to remain in control of himself while we spoke. I asked about his story and how he came to be here, barely able to sit, hunched over and yet trying to connect with others. I helped him get a cup of water. He couldn’t really even summarize how life had brought him to this...
Read more...

Lean On Me : When You Lend A Helping Hand
No. 49
Posted on 7/10/2017 by Mark Hutchinson
Many of us like to be very independent and sometimes it’s difficult for us to accept a helping hand from others even when we really need it. Maybe it’s a belief we hold or perhaps a bit of ego floating around, but if you’ve walked enough miles on this earth you’ve probably fallen down hard at some point. When you were down and had nothing left to pull yourself up did you appreciate the support that came your way? I hope so. The support we get when we really need it is a wakeup call. It is the big, flashing sign that says“Pay attention to the impact of this action!” Can you think of a time when you were deeply touched by the support of another person? Once you’ve had that kind of experience, it becomes more difficult to ignore the needs of...
Read more...

Soaking Up Solitude
No. 48
Posted on 6/19/2017 by Mark Hutchinson
Sometimes life is so hectic, and persistently so, that we rarely have time just for ourselves. This “alone time”, or solitude, is more valuable then we might think at first. Sure you probably need to unwind, relax, cool your jets and get refreshed but solitude is more than just a lack of pressing things to do and the proximity of a comfy couch! I like to soak up solitude. It is a hugely valuable opportunity to recharge, and perhaps more importantly, to realign your internal compass with where life is taking you. When your mind quiets and the hubbub around you dies away then many things become more clear naturally. This process of seeing ourselves can be a bit scary sometimes because we don’t always like what pops up. Some folks work hard to avoid solitude just for that...
Read more...

Where Do Ideas Flow From?
MWM #47
Posted on 6/5/2017 by Mark Hutchinson
There is a bubbling and a swirling and then random connections form a web and then… POP - You have an idea! The human mind is truly an amazing mental factory and it is always cranking out ideas. Some ideas that come to us are relatively mundane like“I left the milk out on the counter… and that’s going to be bad.”Or sometimes they can be really big ideas that change the world like“What if I could harness lightning?”Then other times they land somewhere in between like“People will definitely pay $2.50 for a cup of good coffee!” Ideas let us test out a vision of the world which allows us to avoid costly mistakes and also to plan beyond our next meal. However, we learn pretty quickly that our own ideas can be very precious to us and...
Read more...

Endurance : A Human Quality
No. 46
Posted on 5/22/2017 by Mark Hutchinson
Your ability to endure hardship, difficulties and frustrations is a far more magical power that it might seem on the surface. In fact, endurance is not just found in the realm of gritty, seasoned soldiers or high performance athletes. It is an essential core you’ll find inside those people around you that always get things done, don’t make a big deal about it, and have high goals set for themselves. In an anthropological documentary I recently watched, the film maker hit directly upon the same idea as our second quote above. That the incredible endurance of humans allows them to overcome harsh realities of the environment and also to dominate other creatures that would otherwise be favored with the odds makers in a cage match. I watched a group modern African hunters just...
Read more...

An Evolution of Thinking
Posted on 5/15/2017 by Mark Hutchinson
Being flexible in a physical sense is something we understand to be healthy for us and helps us to avoid injury. Yet the idea of mental flexibility is not often discussed, much less practiced as we grow up. Many people develop a rigid and immobile view of how the world works, how things are, and this type of mindset leaves very little room for discovery or personal growth. Malcom’s comment provides a very nice context for this idea of the evolution of thinking. He was a man with very strong convictions. His impact on the world left no doubt of that. However, even in his strong belief there was the ability to flex enough for new information to come in and expand his own understanding. Eventually this caused a shift in his direction and belief. Brian Greene highlights another...
Read more...

The Magic of Excitement
Posted on 5/8/2017 by Mark Hutchinson
I think we’ve all had an experience or two where our enthusiasm for the activity was very high. If you recall one of those episodes, how did it turn out for you? How did you feel about the activity? And what was the outcome? There is almost a magical quality within our excitement for something.An enthusiastic attitude seems to line up our resources in such a way as to give us our best performance and usually a great experience. I bet you’ve seen some examples from the other side of that particular coin too. When you have no excitement for an activity, even if it simple to accomplish, it becomes painful drudgery and the outcomes are often not our best work. Facing bigger or more complex problems becomes a non-starter for us. On a scale of one to ten, where ten is the most...
Read more...

Creating Amazing Possibilities
Posted on 5/1/2017 by Mark Hutchinson
Many people don’t think of themselves as creative. It is certainly easy to point to individuals that create amazing things and say “Wow, that is a really creative person!” Yet many of us, when we do create things, still don’t consider that we are actually being “creative.” Why? I think Steve Job’s quote above highlights one aspect of that hesitancy to claim ourselves to be creative. Many times the creative results doesn’t compare, in our own minds, to other greater leaps that we’ve seen or experienced. But where does it say that creativity is one and the same as uniqueness? A blade of grass growing in the spring sun is still a creation but certainly not unique when compared to its zillion siblings. The obvious result of the next step...
Read more...

Investing in Giving
Posted on 4/17/2017 by Mark Hutchinson
Are you a giver? Often giving is seen as being nice or caring in our society. Maybe even as a weakness in some circles. I love Rockefeller’s quote above because it takes a little different view of the act of giving. Giving is an investment. Of course Rockefeller is well known for his massive wealth - over $330 billion at his peak (in 2007 dollars). What is a little less well-known is that he spent that last 40 years of his life investing in giving (he lived to age 97) – mainly in education, medicine, and research. For him, giving was a way to build and create. He also gave his time. He taught Sunday school at his church and occasionally did the janitorial work. Why would the richest man in modern history do janitorial work? By giving, he invested. He believed it. He lived...
Read more...

Rituals, Habits, or Traditions?
Posted on 4/3/2017 by Mark Hutchinson
The word tradition is defined as passing customs or beliefs from generation to generation. I was also considering the words ritual and habit. Often these last two words are used to describe those frequent activities that make up what we do and, perhaps even, who we are. The daily effort it takes to make the choices we want to make and balance the challenges that confront us is not inconsequential. So I wanted to talk about what we do each day to improve ourselves, but the word habit takes it further than a conscious effort. Habit suggests that it is already built in. Ritual isn’t quite the right word either as it is heavily colored by religion and perhaps overtones of compulsive behaviors. So, even though tradition is not entirely the correct word, I do like some of the ideas...
Read more...


Want to share the joy? Click an icon below to share Mondays with Mark with your network.



Past weekly inspiration:

Mondays With Mark | mondayswithmark.com | 503-525-9500
PO Box 2310
Copyright © 2017 Mondays With Mark and VisionSite. All rights reserved.  Sitemap | Links