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!

One step at a time
No. 54
Posted on 9/25/2017 by Mark Hutchinson
I think we can all agree that some days are more difficult than others. Sometimes we feel depleted, broken down, unmotivated and it can certainly create a very unappealing mindset and outlook on life. Fortunately this scenario isn’t always the case but when it does occur, finding a way out of the morass can be very challenging. In today’s world where an unrelenting stream of bad news and tragedy is merely a click or a swipe away it seems easier than ever to be buried in bad before the day really begins. Have you noticed that? For myself I’ve turned off my news alerts to help mitigate the flood. So the quotes today speak to a quiet, yet powerful, source of energy we can tap into when feeling stuck. That is the amazing power of continuing to move forward. However slow,...
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Just breathe.
No. 53
Posted on 9/18/2017 by Mark Hutchinson
Are you the kind of person that each week or month packed with appointments and keeps up a very active schedule? You’re not alone. Sure, there are some young adults out there still sleeping 18 hours a day but many of us have moved into the faster lanes of life. On the up side, we know that being engaged with life and people and applying our energies to many things is a critical part of living a happy and fulfilling life. However, without balance the schedule and activity can start driving the ship of your life. That may not be the kind of pressure and frenzy that life was meant to be. Do you know that type of feeling? It doesn’t feel great. Yet being deeply connected to doing and accomplishing can lead us to this less-than-ideal situation. It is a slippery slope to be sure....
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Compassion in the face of failure
No. 52
Posted on 9/4/2017 by Mark Hutchinson
Have you ever given some thought to how you respond when you discover that the cheeseburger and fries you thought you picked up at the drive-through ended up being a fish sandwich with tartar sauce? Sure you’re disappointed. Maybe shaking a little. And depending on how much you love cheese, perhaps tears have welled up in your eyes just a bit. Bad things do happen to good people. Yet I think most people would let that travesty land squarely in the incompetence category. Those folks at the drive-through were not really out to get you. Right? It does seem like it becomes more difficult to lean that direction when the slight or hurt is coming from someone that we have more than a 30 second relationship with. Did the landscape service guy dump the debris by the side of the house...
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Perseverance and Success
No. 51
Posted on 8/28/2017 by Mark Hutchinson
Sometimes it is difficult to see the progress we’re making. Sometimes we’re pretty sure we’re not making any progress at all. That’s when perseverance comes into play. It is that “keep going” when all signs point to stop. It’s being able to take one more step when all you want to do is fall down. Most worthwhile goals seem to require a lot of work and many times the path to the final result is not very clear. Yet we learn quickly that keeping at some sort of puzzle or hammering away at an obstacle gets us a result in the end. Over time we also develop a sense of how much effort is appropriate to put in to a task and when to give up on a problem that is just not solvable. The quotes today highlight a few of important points about perseverance....
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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...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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