The struggle to achieve

Anyone who has ever struggled to achieve something great knows that the journey to accomplish worthy goals is often fraught with hardship. They know that great tasks may sometimes appear improbable — or even impossible — before completed.

And, finally, they know that there is far more value in attempting great things — and learning from the experience — than there is in never trying.

“Be bold and courageous. When you look back on your life, you’ll regret the things you didn’t do more than the ones you did.” — H. Jackson Brown, Jr

Listening to sage advice from experienced individuals who wish to help you is one thing, entertaining criticism and fear mongering from people who have little understanding of what you want to do is another.

Not everyone will understand your journey. That’s fine. It’s not their journey to make sense of. It’s yours.”

Refuse to engage with those who try to scare you from going after what you want in life by pointing out all of the things that could go wrong or how weird what you want to do is.

“Freedom lies in being bold.” — Robert Frost

Know that, more often than not, the people who try to deter others from going after their dreams are those who fail to have what it takes to go after their own.

If you truly believe in what you’re trying to accomplish in life, don’t be overly concerned with those who don’t.

Anyone can take the easy path, follow the crowd, or do nothing. Refuse to entertain criticism from those who do.

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Crossing paths with an idiot is not an excuse to also act like an idiot.

Excerpt from:

Crossing paths with an idiot is not an excuse to also act an idiot.

Crossing paths with an idiot is not an excuse to also act like an idiot.

How you handle yourself is your responsibility. The less you let others control your emotions, the happier you will be.

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Friends and enemies

Working through a problem with a 3rd party is one thing. Speaking badly about another person simply because you don’t like them is something else entirely.

If you wouldn’t say it to the person you’re speaking about, then perhaps it’s not the sort of thing you should be saying to someone else in their absence.

And if you’re not the kind of person who would stick up for a friend being spoken poorly of when they’re not present, then perhaps it’s time to consider what it means to be a friend.

Real friends may give each other shit — and often do — but they also don’t let others speak poorly of their friends in their absence.

Having integrity means sticking up for what you believe in even when it isn’t easy. And sometimes this means refusing to take part in conversations aimed at putting people down.

Learn to let people make up their own minds about others without trying to bond by creating a common enemy.

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A magical question

Excerpt from: Is there anything I can do to help?

"Is there anything I can do to help?" is a magical question.

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“Is there anything I can do to help?” is a magical question.

(Use it often to show you care.)

See also: Is there anything I can do to help (if so, contact me)

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Don’t attribute to intentional rudeness…

Excerpt from: The good, the bad, and the rude

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Don’t attribute to intentional rudeness what can easily be explained by a lack of self-awareness and social skills.

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Relationships & teamwork

Excerpt from: my book series

From acquaintances to best friends to married couples, all great friendships involve teamwork.

Teamwork sits alongside trust, communication, and tolerance as a building block of the best relationships.

Teamwork is not “What can I get out of this relationship?”, it’s “What can I bring to this relationship to make it better?”

Teamwork is the combined commitment to overcome obstacles. It’s support. It’s encouragement. It’s working together.

It’s rising to the challenge of bettering yourself for the benefit of the whole. It’s providing the support & encouragement necessary to help others better themselves and succeed in their endeavors.

Whether it’s providing a kind word, sincere appreciation, a listening ear, or something else entirely, never stop trying to add value to your relationships.

Never underestimate the power of teamwork.

Never stop asking, “What can I do to make this relationship better?”

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Airing of grievances

“Most people spend more time and energy going around problems than in trying to solve them.” — Henry Ford

If a disproportionate number of the conversations you have with people involve complaining or highlighting things you don’t like, it might be wise to consider either accepting the things you can’t change, changing the things you can, or both.

Stress is caused by trying to have power over things that are beyond your control.”

Whatever the case, unless you are explicitly invited to express your ongoing dissatisfaction with people, places, or events in your life and have a goal of working through and solving your problems, there’s a very good chance no one actually enjoys listening to you complain.

Learn to let go of the things you can’t change and move on.

Inner Peace begins the moment you choose not to allow another person or event to control your emotions.”

It’s remarkable what better things there are to focus on and talk about when you remove the habit of complaining from your routine.

Talking about our problems is our greatest addiction. Break the habit. Talk about your joys.” — Rita Schiano

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From the comments:

Shannon: Is there a difference between venting and complaining?

Zero: I would say it depends on what one’s definition (and manner) of venting is.

Research shows venting tends to perpetuate the problems because it provides what appears to be a momentary reprieve, but it *changes nothing*.

You either change the things you can by actively seeking to solve the problem or you accept what you cannot change and move on.

*Some* people’s manner of venting is actually solution-oriented problem-solving.

“Angry? You could call a friend and vent. You could punch a pillow or break a plate. Or you could even record a rant on a website like RantRampage.com. Unfortunately, you may be doing more harm than good; research has found that venting actually makes your anger worse.”– Fast Company (from this article)

Some people can vent in a productive manner.

My original post is mainly about chronic complainers. There are people who have a disproportionate number of conversations that are simply complaint sessions with no intention of looking for solutions or making changes.

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Taking things for granted

From your relationships with people to the environment to modern day conveniences, the things that are most often taken for granted in the world require effort and energy to simply maintain them, let alone improve them.

Take the time to think about what it would be like if the things you appreciate most in the world became scarce or went missing.

Take the time to think about what you might be taking for granted.

And then take the time to express your gratitude for these things.

Not only will it give you a greater appreciation for the things you take for granted, it’ll remind you that there are people and places in the world where those things no longer exist or never did.

And as a result, not only increase your appreciation for what you have, increase your desire to maintain or improve upon it.

There’s a saying, “You don’t know what you’ve got til it’s gone.”

Be sure you take inventory.

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Talk is cheap.

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How do you show people that you mean what you say? That you can be trusted? That you have a good heart and character?

The key is in the word “show”.

You show who you truly are by what you consistently do. And when your actions are congruent with your words.

Talk is cheap.

Don’t just say you care about something. Don’t just say you believe in a cause or a way of life.

Take action and show it.

And remember to show what you believe in when it matters, not just when it’s in your own best interest.

The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good.” — Samuel Johnson

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