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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.


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.

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.

As one year ends and another begins…

As one year ends and another begins, let us move forward with an open mind, an open heart, and enduring hope for the wondrous possibilities that lie before us.

But let us do so wisely and without blinders on.

Because although the year ahead may be great, it will not be without its challenges. We will be tested in ways we cannot foresee. But with every challenge comes an opportunity for us to demonstrate our strength, patience, tolerance, and resolve.

Every surprise that the coming year has in store for us is an opportunity to show that we’ve grown. That we’re stronger. And that we are ever bridging the gap between the person we are and the person we wish to be.

Let us remember that it is through the process of overcoming challenges that we develop strength. And that every time we face temptation, heartache, friction, or failure it is an opportunity for us to act in ways that we can be proud of.

No matter what life has in store for us, let this be a year of love, encouragement, and forgiveness — of others and ourselves.

Let it see us act bravely, boldly, and taking consistent action towards our goals. Let it see us correct our bad habits and add to our good ones — making us healthier, happier, and more capable of living the kind of life we desire. Let is see us push forward into the new year knowing that we are not only capable of handling every adversity that lies ahead, we can do so in a way that makes us better.

And because we know that life isn’t always easy, let us remember to not just be there for those that we know, but also for those that we don’t.

Happy New Year.

Zero Dean