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Silent appreciation is easily confused with silence

Silent appreciation is easily confused with silence.

If someone has done or is doing something that you appreciate, respect, or admire, take the time to acknowledge it in a meaningful way. It is an extremely easy and effective action that amplifies good feelings & positivity and helps to ensure that the things you appreciate continue.


Complaining vs Encouragement

You can be someone who looks for and complains about what they don’t like — or you can be someone who looks for and encourages the things they do like. One of these things will nearly always leave you feeling better than the other.

You can wish that more people did a certain thing — or you can actively begin showing appreciation to those who already do. And once again, one will nearly always leave you feeling better than the other.

The fact is, how we approach and seek to overcome problems can leave us feeling better or worse. Combating a negative situation with more negativity is rarely effective. But seeking ways to fight negativity in a positive and empowering way often is.

Encouraging the types of things and behaviors we want to see more of not only leaves us feeling more empowered than complaining does, it helps set a positive example for others to follow. This, in turn, helps to create more of the type of people and behaviors we want to see more of and less of the type of people and behaviors we don’t.

Encouragement is extremely powerful in that it not only nurtures the people you give it to, it nurtures the very thing you are encouraging. And this, in turn, brings into the world more of what you would like to see.

• • •

And remember:

1. It’s ok to show appreciation for things that you feel should be or are relatively common. People love recognition for the good things that they do.

  • You can thank someone for returning their grocery cart to the carousel
  • You can thank someone for cleaning up their mess in a public place
  • You can thank someone for holding the door for someone else
  • You can thank someone for any positive action you see them perform

2. Perception isn’t always reality. Just because you think someone appears successful or isn’t the type of person (or company) that could use positive feedback doesn’t mean your assessment is accurate. When everyone assumes their feedback won’t be significant to the people (or companies) they give it to, few people provide feedback. So instead of the perception that someone is being buried with praise, the opposite is true.

The point is, always take the time to show meaningful appreciation for the things that you like regardless of how “liked” you think they are.

Silent appreciation is easily confused with silence.


Social proof vs social media

Always remember that social media responses are not an accurate representation of people’s actual interest in your offerings. Users of social media platforms are always working against mechanisms that are intentionally kept a mystery.

Be very careful about using the response to something you or someone else posts as an indicator of its actual value. Lots of quality content goes unnoticed. And lots of crap gets promoted. Social media systems can easily be manipulated to make one thing appear more valued or popular than another.

Every platform has algorithms that are designed for the host’s benefit, not your own. And as long as there is a financial barrier between who can afford to pay for views and who cannot, it will never be a fair system based on the quality of the content.

• • •

People can pay for all the things that can make them appear valued, popular, desirable, and successful. People can pay for views, pay for likes, pay for followers, and pay for engagement.

And all these things become part of a psychological phenomenon called social proof. And social proof can easily be leveraged to influence people to act and behave in ways that they wouldn’t if they knew the reality of a situation vs. what marketers and others want them to perceive to be true.

Social proof can also deter people from pursuing a chosen path because they get discouraged when they compare the results they’re getting with the results that someone else appears to be getting. It may simply be that someone is paying for those results. And even if they’re not… as I wrote in It’s your life and your path — keep going“Remember, you’re living your life and walking your own path, not someone else’s. Just because someone else is making progress towards their goals is no reason for you to stop making progress towards your own.”

And as I wrote in Rejection“If you believe in what you have to offer, then don’t stop offering it simply because some of those you offer it to reject it.”  It may not be that what you have to offer is being rejected or ignored at all — it may just be that it is going unnoticed or hasn’t reached the right audience yet.


A way forward


Always seek ways to make progress in some area of your life even when you come to a standstill in another. Often, the key to making progress on one path can be found by making progress down another.

There is nearly always a way forward even if you have to take a step back to get there.

Opportunities await those willing to put in the effort.

Keep going.


Little by little


A little lie is still a lie.
A little abuse is still abuse.
A little racism is still racism.
A little bullying is still bullying.
A little infidelity is still infidelity.
A little nepotism is still nepotism.
A little negativity is still negativity.
A little immaturity is still immaturity.
A little narcissism is still narcissism.
A little name calling is still name calling.
A little discrimination is still discrimination.
A little sexual assault is still sexual assault.
A little mental instability is still mental instability.
A little disregard for the environment is still disregard for the environment.

Evil doesn’t just show up and announce itself as evil. It might even look like something good at first. And it will certainly try to convince you that it is. But little by little it works in ways that end up having major negative consequences if you continue to turn a blind eye to the damage it’s doing in what it wants you to believe is in your own best interest.


Be mindful of your time

Be mindful of where you invest your time. Try to focus more on things that add value and less on things that simply make moments go by.

Time is one of the few things in life that we can never get more of. Be diligent in determining when it is in your best interest to avoid situations & activities that do nothing but put off things you could be doing that actually make a positive difference in your life (or someone else’s).

Remember, by changing your priorities you change your life. When you prioritize your time to those things that add real value to your career, your education, your relationships and your mental & physical health, your life responds by giving you more of the rewarding things that you seek and less of the negative things that you don’t.

You have exactly one life to live to do everything you ever wanted. Stop wasting it caught up in things that don't matter.

Above image is an excerpt from: my book series

It’s your life and your path — keep going.

Always remember to keep your eyes on your goals and the steps you can take to achieve them. Focus less on what you don’t have or what you can’t do or what others are doing.

Yes, it can be difficult not noticing what others are up to or how “easy” some people seem to have it or how successful they appear. Just know, perception isn’t always reality. And if you do notice others, then use what you see as motivation to push forward.

Remember, you’re living your life and walking your own path, not someone else’s. Just because someone else is making progress towards their goals is no reason for you to stop making progress towards your own.

Change your strategy if you have to and take time to rest if you must, but don’t stop. Every little step you take towards your goals is progress. Keep going. ~ #ZeroDean @zerodean.official



Above image is an excerpt from: Comparison is the thief of joy — from my book

Achieving personal goals series:



The future should be something we all look forward to.


Just because an abuser feels justified being abusive and has a vocal support group doesn’t excuse their actions or make them right.

It can be difficult holding your ground in the shadow of forces that seek to stifle logic, tolerance, honesty, and common sense, but it’s important that you do. This is especially true in a chaotic political climate.

If those who are meant to represent us are not leading us to a better and brighter future, it is important that we elect those who do. The future should be something we all look forward to, not just a select few.

Regardless of our ethnicity, cultural background, political or religious beliefs, or sexual preferences, our leaders should inspire us all to be better people, better to each other, and better for the world.

On Kindness & Disrespect

You can be a kind person and still be the kind of person who yells profanity at the car that cuts you off in traffic. Being kind and not tolerating bullshit are not mutually exclusive. Being a kind person doesn’t mean you can’t verbalize your disapproval for disrespect.

Crossing paths with idiots is never an excuse to act badly and you should always strive to set a good example, but it doesn’t mean you have to stay silent or put up with abuse.

Sometimes the biggest favor you can do someone is to stay calm and speak the truth. And sometimes that truth is, “You’re being an asshole and here’s why…” At other times it may mean not giving your time and attention to someone who doesn’t respect it.

You don’t have to be perfect. You don’t have to be a Zen Master. And you certainly don’t have to tolerate bullshit. Just lead with kindness and always do your best. Even when others are not at their own.

Diminishing the effectiveness of negativity

In a world of negativity, every positive act you perform, no matter how small, not only helps to set a good example, it helps to diminish the effectiveness of those who spew hate and negativity.

If you want to do some good then literally do some good. Make a positive difference in someone’s life. Do the things you wish more people would do.

What you do for people and the moments and memories you help create can literally change a person’s life (including your own).

It’s OK to be concerned, angry, and upset about the state of things. It’s OK to speak out against hate, intolerance, and injustice. It’s OK to stand up for what you believe is morally right. Just be sure that when you do so, you do it in a way that has a positive impact and doesn’t just add to the negative energy that you oppose. Convert your positive (or negative) energy into positive action. Lead by example by performing actions that you can be proud of no matter how you are feeling.

Make sure children and adults alike can see that there is far more to the world than the things that get shown in the news. That there is far more good in the world than hate. And far more people wishing to create something beautiful than those who wish to destroy it.

Some people may be beyond reach, but there are still countless individuals of all ages and all walks of life in the world that could use the guidance of your good example.

Don’t ever let your disapproval for anyone or anything turn you into someone you don’t want to be.