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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:



“That’s just the way things are.”

Abuse. Aggression. Disease. Dishonesty. Disrespect. Unrest. Corruption. Cronyism. Loss of freedom and privacy.

The longer we tolerate things that we find unappealing or unacceptable, the more normal they seem and the less those things shock us.

This is how “I can’t believe it.” becomes “That’s just the way things are.”

Making progress usually leaves people feeling better, not worse. By failing to pay attention to the direction life is leading you, you are far more likely end up in a place you don’t want to be.

Just because it sounds good doesn’t make it true

Just because it sounds good doesn’t make it true. Always seek the whole truth, not just the version that pleases you.

Remaining closed to factual evidence that contradicts what you believe doesn’t make the truth less truthful, it simply supports a distorted view of life based on limited information, half-truths, or outright lies.

People are often content to believe lies as long those lies fit the narrative they wish to follow.

Always remember that people naturally seek evidence to support what they already believe. It doesn’t make them bad people. It does, however, make them impressionable to those who use this fact against them.

People are happy to root for the bad guy if the bad guy repeatedly reaffirms what they already believe. It doesn’t have to be true. It just has to fit the narrative they already believe.

When seeking the truth, be sure to consider evidence that challenges your beliefs. Otherwise, it isn’t the truth you seek, it’s simply confirmation of what you already believe.

When compassionate souls sit silent

It is a sad day when compassionate souls sit silent and leave unchallenged abuses and acts of aggression out of fear of losing friends that are only their friends as long as they remain silent and hide what they feel.

If someone is going to abandon your friendship because you feel empathy and compassion towards others, believe in human rights, and are against discrimination, lying, and abuses of power, then they really aren’t the kind of friend you want in your life anyway.

A true friend will never insist that you hide who you are and how you feel.

Don’t make excuses for the monsters in your life

People will often go to great lengths to ignore obvious warning signs, red flags, and common sense in order to have what they want to believe fit the narrative they wish to follow.

They will even do so at their own peril.

They believe so strongly that they are right that they are blind to all that is wrong. All the while, their condition worsens and the life they want crumbles.

Addiction. Domestic abuse. Obesity. Stress. Debt. Self-injury. Eating disorders. Political ideologies.

Don’t make excuses for the monsters in your life. Don’t normalize them. And certainly, don’t ignore them. Because sooner or later you’ll see what you’ve been blind to.

Better sooner than later.