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The influence of you.

The power of your influence nearly always appears smaller than it actually is.

Just because people don’t always appear to register whatever message you have to share doesn’t mean you should give up sharing it.

If it’s important to you, and your goal in drawing attention to something is for the greater good, then continue to find positive ways to spread that message, regardless of who you think is getting it.

As human beings, we have done some incredibly stupid and harmful things — to each other, the planet, and other lifeforms on it — simply because everyone else was doing it (so it must be ok).

Hivemind and group social dynamics are very powerful and can actively work against sound logic.

So even if your message it is backed by overwhelming evidence, if it is contrary to popular belief means it will most likely be rejected before it is accepted. In fact, a study by Cornell University found that that people are actually biased against creative ideas (and “creative” can basically apply to anything that isn’t considered standard).

So whatever cause you believe in, if it isn’t already popular, prepare for a struggle to be heard.

But also know that there are always those who are open to hearing your message, even if they don’t fully agree with it (and that’s ok), or live by it.

For example, you don’t have to advocate vegetarianism to still be concerned about how damaging the production of beef is to the environment.

As long as you are not being disrespectful or advocating harm to others, those who are at least peripherally aware of your cause may eventually come to realize the value — or at least some of the value — in what you have to share.

And that’s a start.

You can’t change the entire world at once, but you can influence those you come in contact with by spreading your message in a positive way and setting a good example to follow.

But whatever you do, causing intentional harm to others should never be an option.

If your values and the content of your message ring true, they will speak more powerfully than force ever will.

I’ve said it before, “Anger and hate dig holes. Love and kindness move mountains. Choose your motivation wisely.”

Related:

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Your mission, if you choose to accept it…

Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to find an opportunity to give someone *sincere*, positive praise today.

Or tell someone’s boss or manager that the person who helped you (or others) is doing a great job.

Or write a positive review for a product or establishment that you appreciate.

Accentuate the positive.

Related:

The right thing to do

Yes, you will sometimes feel like putting in the effort to make a positive difference isn’t necessarily worth it.

And not everyone cares about the things you care about.

And sometimes you will feel like you are the only one that something actually matters to.

But you’re not.

Never let a lack of recognition of your efforts to make a positive difference get in the way of doing what you feel is right.

Because sometimes, the most effective thing you can do is simply set a good example.

The people who make a positive difference in the world are the ones who keep trying to.

Not for fame. Or recognition. Or personal benefit.

But because it’s the right thing to do.

Related:

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From the comments:

Stephen: Hard not to internalize those with issues who smirk and roll their eyes.

Zero: Agreed. It’s a struggle. Group social dynamics are very powerful.

But I think it’s important to not lose your identity in a crowd — or to the crowd — because you are afraid of standing out.

See also: Why Good People Do Bad Things : Research indicates that being in a group makes some people lose touch with their personal moral beliefs.

Lanes Merge Ahead

“Yes, I see the “lanes merge ahead” signs, but I’m really in a hurry today. Besides, I see those other jerks do this all the time.”

“I know the light is turning red, but I have important things to do.”

“I can’t find a trash can and I’m really tired of carrying this bottle, so I’m just going to drop it. Besides, there’s another bottle on the grass over there.”

“I don’t want to have to walk across the parking lot to throw my fast food trash away, so I’m just going to leave it next to my car. People get paid to clean this stuff up, right? I’m not littering, I’m giving someone a job.”

“I’m not walking another 40 feet to put this shopping cart in a rack. I’m just going to leave it in this parking space. Look at all the other carts in the parking lot. I’m sure someone will take care of it.”

“This thing I found doesn’t belong to me, but it’s kind of nice and I don’t want some thief to take it. So I’m going to.”

When you do things that you don’t like others to do — or wouldn’t want someone to do to you — you set an example for even more people to follow.

Always do the things you want to see more of in the world, not less.

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Related:

Distortion (of truth)

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If you lie (or simply present an exaggeration as the “truth”) to make a point or to “win” an argument, it not only invalidates your argument, it destroys your credibility.

“Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.”

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Accentuate the positive

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Every day you have the power to bring out the best in people simply by sincerely highlighting those things you appreciate about them the most.

Whatever you focus on grows stronger. When you focus on those things you enjoy most about people (and life in general), you not only encourage more of the types of behaviors you like to see in others, you attract more of these types of things into your life.

The same is true when you look for the negative. Not only will you find it, you’ll magnify it.

This is why it’s important to be very deliberate with what you choose to focus on, because it is extremely easy to leapfrog from one negative thing to another until you suddenly find yourself overwhelmed, depressed, or in despair.

This is not to say we should ignore problems — or those traits in others we don’t like — only that when we direct out attention to these things, we remain solution-oriented, not problem focused.

Related:

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Originally published on: Feb 7, 2014 @ 15:41
Republished on: Jun 6, 2015 @ 14:41

How to be a Superhero in Real Life (Part 3)

In this series:

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How to be a Superhero in Real Life (Part 3) by Zero Dean

  • Live a life you’re proud of
  • Be open to new ideas
  • Share your enthusiasm
  • Respect your body
  • Try new things
  • Focus on what you can do, not on what you can’t
  • Let go of what you can’t control
  • Be solution oriented, not problem focused
  • Don’t let others dictate your sense of worth
  • Strive for progress, not perfection
  • Don’t be afraid of failing, be afraid of not trying
  • Focus on what you have, not on what you don’t
  • Forgive yourself & others
  • Let go of your emotional baggage
  • Act with confidence
  • Admit when you are wrong
  • Put things back where they belong
  • Spread hope
  • Make peace
  • Generate joy

Every day.

Related:

How to be a Superhero in Real Life (Part 2)

In this series:

how-to-be-a-superhero-part-2a-zero-dean

How to be a Superhero in Real Life (Part 2) by Zero Dean

  • Be patient with people
  • Lead by example
  • Be tolerant of others
  • Live with a purpose in mind
  • Treat people well, regardless of how you feel
  • Take personal responsibility for your actions & your life
  • Honor your commitments
  • Be brave
  • Appreciate differences
  • Be reliable
  • Be someone you respect and admire
  • Share
  • Let your actions be congruent with your words
  • Live without prejudice
  • Act as if what you do makes a difference
  • Be polite
  • Inspire others
  • Be humble
  • Honor your relationships
  • Be compassionate

Every day.

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