You don’t have to wait for acceptance or permission to do great things


If one is to fulfill their potential in life, it’s important to realize that nearly all new and original ideas, products, and causes face rejection, criticism, and even ridicule before they’re accepted.

In short, even the best, brightest, and most beneficial ideas, products, and causes have critics.

You can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world, and there’s still going to be someone who hates peaches.” – Dita Von Tease

A study by Cornell University even confirms this. Researchers concluded that that people are actually biased against creative ideas (Why great ideas get rejected (99u article) — based on the Cornell Study : PDF).

Nearly every great accomplishment in life requires a person to act boldly and take action on the ideas that one believes in order to not yield the power of one’s potential to the fear of rejection.

When acting on your creative ideas, always keep in mind that you’re not doing what you’re doing for the critics. And regardless of how good your idea is, there will nearly always be someone in the world who hates it.

Don’t hesitate to do something simply because you are afraid of how it will be received.  Just do it. Don’t worry if everyone doesn’t like it — or even understand it at first.

You don’t have to wait for acceptance or permission to do great things.

If you truly want to make a positive difference in the world, start now — and correct your course as you go.


“If I care to listen to every criticism, let alone act on them, then this shop may as well be closed for all other businesses. I have learned to do my best, and if the end result is good then I do not care for any criticism, but if the end result is not good, then even the praise of ten angels would not make the difference.” – Abraham Lincoln


“There is only one way to avoid criticism: do nothing, say nothing, and be nothing.” – Aristotle


“They disparage one who remains silent, they disparage one who talks a lot, they disparage one who talks in moderation.” — Buddha quoting a saying (from Dhammapada)




The problem with problems.

The problem with problems:


Easy to find, easy to create, and easy to spread.

The world is full of problems. So why be the person that feels the need to highlight them wherever you go? There is no glory in it. There’s no reward. It’s the easiest thing in the world to do, so why take it upon yourself to be that person?

When people want bad news, all they have to do is turn on the television. After all, there are stations devoted to it 24/7.

“The news media are, for the most part, the bringers of bad news… and it’s not entirely the media’s fault, bad news gets higher ratings and sells more papers than good news.” — Peter McWilliams (reposted from: Day 184: A tough pill to swallow.)

“But I must point out the problems so they get fixed!”

If all you’re doing is pointing out problems — problems with the government, problems with the economy, problems with your job market, problems with customer service, problems with the environment, problems with [insert any number of countless problems here], are you really doing anything to effectively alleviate those problems? Or are you simply taking it upon yourself to point out problems and hoping that someone else fixes them?

Pointing out problems doesn’t fix problems. Solutions fix problems.

There is a difference between drawing attention to a cause that needs attention, and simply pointing out problems. Causes are solution-oriented, not problem-focused.

Read moreThe problem with problems.

Rejection is neither an indication of value or talent


Rejection is neither an indication of value or talent. Remember that. 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. Many people are simply not very good at recognizing talent or value. It doesn’t mean you won’t eventually find an audience that will.

Consider JK Rowling, author of the Harry Potter series. Rowling’s earnings from the sale of books, movies, and merchandise is estimated at over 1 BILLION dollars. The Harry Potter brand is valued at over 15 BILLION dollars. Rowling’s book releases shattered sales records, and yet…

When Rowling submitted her Harry Potter manuscript to the first twelve publishing houses, it was rejected by each (wikipedia).

I think millions upon millions of adoring fans are thankful she didn’t give up. I think she is, too.

Just something to think about the next time you face rejection.


There are many things in this world that you are not responsible for…

There are many things in this world that you are not responsible for (and have no control over). Your health, diet, education, attitude, inner peace, happiness, and how informed you are (are not among those things). Those are a reflection of choices you make every day.



[anonymous]: i would take health off this list. i understand that our choices can shape our health in some ways, but not in all ways. many people suffer from diseases they did nothing to cause or contribute to. otherwise, i’m with you!

Zero: I’m inclined to leave it, and here’s why:

No one chooses to get sick, but the vast majority of diseases are caused by diet (controllable), stress (controllable), willful association with things that are known to have adverse effects on health such as smoking, drinking, hazardous work environments, etc (all controllable).

Yes, there are ALWAYS exceptions (and always exceptions to pretty much any quote or concise piece of advice, but then they wouldn’t be easily digestible). It is rare one can offer a simple bit of advice and have it apply to everyone and every situation without exceptions.

But for the vast majority of people who can read this post, this applies.

It does not apply so much to people who cannot read or live in a third world country. Or people who are incarcerated. Or people with mental issues or chemical imbalances or have suffered from severe trauma. Or children who are born into sickness or are afflicted by disease very early on it life. But then, I’m not speaking to those people and wouldn’t expect them to read this.

For what it’s worth, this is only meant to be somewhat encouraging and reinforcing to the people who do read what I write. “You’re right, I do have control over what I eat. I will eat better.” or “You’re right, I do have control over my fitness. I will exercise more.” or “You’re right, I do have control over my education. I will pick up a book or watch some educational videos and start learning about something that interests me.”

For those that I think it will be most useful to, are the ones I think it will probably piss them off to read it.

“I didn’t choose to get fat.” or “I can’t run because my knees hurt, so how do you expect me to exercise?” or “I’m not happy because my life sucks.”

I think much of the world would rather blame others for the state of their health or their lives than take personal responsible for it.

It can be difficult making that switch — not everyone wants that kind of responsibility or to make that kind of effort.

But as one quote goes, “The truth with set you free. But first it will piss you off.”


You are responsible

Your health.
Yes, you are responsible for it and there is something you can do about it.

Your diet.
Yes, you are responsible for it and there is something you can do about it.

Your education.
Yes, you are responsible for it and there is something you can do about it.

How informed you are.
Yes, you are responsible for it and there is something you can do about it.

Your attitude.
Yes, you are responsible for it and there is something you can do about it.

Your inner peace.
Yes, you are responsible for it and there is something you can do about it.

Your happiness.
Yes, you are responsible for it and there is something you can do about it.

This is not a complete list.
(And yes, I’m responsible for that).

The point is, these things come down to a choice. The choice to begin taking an active positive role in one’s well being.

I think it’s a worthwhile one.


When you truly want to get to know someone better

“What do you do?” is a dull question that often leads to a dull “I’m a [job title]” response.

No one is ever just a [job title].

When you TRULY want to get to know someone better, try:

  • “What’s your idea of a dream job?”
  • “What are you passionate about?”
  • “What did you want to be when you grew up?”
  • “What would you try if you knew you would not fail?”
  • “What sets your soul on fire?”
  • “What’s something you would love to do, but haven’t yet?” and “Why haven’t you?”

No is ever just a job title. - Zero Dean

Tao of Zero: Positive Feedback Folders

Today we’re going to talk about positive feedback folders.

Have you ever hit a rough patch in life (personally or professionally) where you feel like nothing is going your way?

Perhaps you’ve hit a creative block, are dealing with some kind of rejection, or you’re just having a difficult time connecting with some of the things that are important to you.

And to make matters worse, perhaps you get a bit down on yourself and you start focusing on the negative. Maybe even asking yourself why you even bother.

This is where a positive feedback folder can help.

What is a positive feedback folder?

Read moreTao of Zero: Positive Feedback Folders

Be a candle. Spread some light.

“A thousand candles can be lit by a single candle and yet not diminish the first candle’s light. Happiness (or hope) is never diminished by being shared.” — Buddha

Sometimes the world may seem like a dark place, but there is more good in the world than any of us can possibly imagine.

Negativity gets more press, but there are far more people performing acts of love and kindness in this world than those few who seek to disrupt it.

These countless individuals are beacons of hope who often perform deeds without notice and without any expectation of anything in return, but no act of kindness, no act of bravery, no act of love, no act that instills hope in others is ever wasted.

So let your light shine.

You may never know when you are a beacon of hope or a source of inspiration to others, but it matters.

It always matters.

Be a candle. Spread some light.

With love.



Be a candle. Spread some light.

Project warmth. Appear approachable. And remember to smile.

Project warmth. Appear approachable. And remember to smile.

“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.” — Leo Buscaglia



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