This page features a collection of excerpts from my book. Most people find this page searching for “Zero Dean quotes”.
“Not everyone will understand your journey. That’s fine. It’s not their journey to make sense of. It’s yours.”
“A single act of kindness may seem like such a small thing, but so is the ember that starts a wildfire.”
“Healthy habits harbor happiness. Unhealthy habits hinder happiness. Choose your habits wisely.”
“Refuse to be an extraordinary person trapped in an ordinary life.”
“Don’t let your life goals fall victim to the allure of comfortable routines.”
“Don’t squander your potential living a life that amounts to far less than the one you are capable of living.”
“If you want to be happy, don’t make a habit of doing what unhappy people do.”
“Happiness is not a destination, it’s a byproduct of enjoying the journey.
If you are simply passing time or rushing through life waiting to be happy or hoping to reach some magical milestone, you are missing the point of life.”
“Conventional thinking doesn’t change the world, crazy ideas do…”
“Every little step you take towards a goal, no matter how small, is progress…”
“‘Is there anything I can do to help?’ is a magical question. (Use it often to show you care.)”
“It’s not that we should wish to eliminate all challenges from our lives, but instead focus on developing the strength, discipline, and attitude necessary to effectively deal with each & every one that we encounter.”
“Forgive yourself and others of past mistakes and, instead, put your focus on where it is of most value, what was learned from them.”
“Self-discipline is a key to many doors. Not least of which is one that leads to a better, stronger, and healthier version of yourself.
If the results of your habits don’t make you a better, stronger, or healthier person, it’s time to consider new habits that do.“
“Never stop doing the kinds of things that made you and your partner fall in love with each other in the first place.
Many people make the mistake of no longer furthering their efforts once they achieve what they want. Only to then wonder why they lost what they had.”
What you aim for and where you go in life as a result of striving to meet your goals is up to you.
If you want to make changes to yourself or your life, you can choose to make changes. But to do so means you have to be proactive and awake, not passive or asleep at the wheel.
So… are you awake?”
Every single person on the planet is a work-in-progress.
When you truly know who you are — and who you are in the process of becoming — you will no longer live in fear of what people say or think about you.
And that is a powerful place to be.”
“Integrity does not involve feeding people’s egos in an attempt to manipulate them into getting something you want. Integrity is not being nice with the expectation of reward. Integrity is not preying on people’s weaknesses to meet your own needs. Integrity is not making promises you cannot keep. Integrity is not withholding key information until you have won someone over by fueling their desires.”
“Your ability to listen to and take action based on your inner voice — regardless of how you feel, other influences, or temptations you face — is the key to self-mastery.”
“You don’t get over the fear of doing something by not doing it.
Courage doesn’t come from your comfort zone because courage doesn’t exist without fear.”
“The more that you incorporate things that you truly value into your life — from knowledge to skills to people to activities — the more value you not only bring to your own life, the more value you bring to the people and places you encounter in your life on a daily basis.”
“Most people use the phrases “It’s too late”, “I’m too old.”, “It’s been done.”, “I already know what the answer will be.” or “Why even bother.” as an excuse to give up without ever putting in any effort to see if they are mistaken.
It is a disservice to your life to imagine your limits without ever making an attempt to see where they truly are. The vast majority of people on the planet are capable of achieving far more than they let themselves believe.”
“Your life is a Do It Yourself project.
But if you’re lucky and you’re kind, you might just find a few people who will be more than willing to help you along the way.
Because you would do the same for them.”
“You may not always know what to do, but you can always choose the type of person you want to be.”
“A world that continually caters to making people more and more comfortable creates a world full of people who are less and less capable of coping with — and being open to — even the slightest discomfort or inconvenience.
We need to teach people to be able to deal with the challenges of life, not attempt to remove them all.”
“True leaders don’t waste time trying to convince you of their importance. True leaders will make you feel like you are important simply from their behavior and how they interact with those they encounter.
A true leader is someone that people believe in and want to help without being required to.
True power doesn’t demand action. It inspires it. And true leaders don’t demand respect. They earn it.”
Being weird doesn’t mean everyone will like you. But what’s the point of fitting in if you sacrifice your real self to do it? What’s the point of fitting in when it still doesn’t guarantee that everyone will like you?”
“You can’t measure love. You can’t measure the impact you have on a person’s life. You can’t measure imagination or knowledge or creativity. You can’t measure an instinct or a gut feeling. You can’t measure synchronicity or serendipity. You can’t measure a memory.
You can’t measure some of the most important things that matter most in the world.”
“You have exactly one life to live to do everything you ever wanted. Stop wasting it caught up in things that don’t matter.”
(Excerpt from: We are surrounded)
“Never underestimate the power of a single act of kindness to make a significant difference in someone’s life. Your act may just be the added lift that someone needs to go from falling to flying.”
“We never learn what hidden gems lay along the paths we fear — or are too lazy — to take.”
“What would a stronger, more confident, and even better version of myself do in this situation?”
When you truly give it thought and get an answer, that’s your inner voice talking — and it’s generally a good idea to listen to it.”
But you must stop trying to cheat your way through life by looking — or waiting indefinitely — for the magic pill or shortcut that never comes.
Do what is necessary to get the results you desire, and the discomfort you feel at the beginning of your journey will greatly diminish — or go away completely — if you commit yourself to getting through it without giving up.
Don’t sacrifice the kind of life and health you deserve by catering to your short-term comfort over your long-term goals.”
“Life is hard. And it isn’t fair. And it really hurts like hell sometimes.
But if you focus on what is within your power to change for the better, you can. And you will.”
You are stronger, smarter, and more resilient than you think. You are capable of achieving far more than you believe. You were meant for greatness — like all of those who have achieved it.
But it takes persistence. It takes determination. It takes facing your fears and doing that which is hard & necessary, instead of what is quick and easy. It takes skipping the mythical shortcuts & using your imagination as a map and preview of life’s coming attractions.”
“Being kind without expectation is the truest kind of kindness.”
“Every time you change something unique about yourself in order to be just like someone else, a piece of the best part of you dies.”
“No. Not giving a damn about everything is not the answer to all of life’s problems. That is just another dysfunctional extreme.
A more effective idea? Focus on what you have the power to change and stop worrying about — or trying to change — the things that are beyond your control.”
The reward for being kind is inherent in the act of giving it. Give kindness and do good because you can. Because the world needs more people who do. And there’s no better person to do it than you.”
Hey, so just in case I haven’t made it overwhelmingly obvious in a while, I just wanted to say: “Life is awesome!”, “I’m happy to be here!”, and “I’m eternally grateful for every single day I get another chance to be a positive force in this world.”
You rock. Thank you.
“Everybody wants to be a superhero, but if you’re not already using the tremendous powers you already have to do good in this world, then why would anyone expect superpowers to make any difference?
Use the powers you already have to their maximum potential and you will likely discover that you have more than you need to make a real & lasting positive difference.”
“The alternative to not pursuing your passion is to spend a life following a vicious cycle of doing things you don’t want to do to make a living doing things you don’t want to do.”
“If you have the power to change something that is holding you back, and you don’t, that’s a choice, not a limitation.”
“If you want kindness, be kind. If you want friends, be friendly. If you want help, be helpful. If you want love, be loving. If you want respect, respect yourself.
You will most often get more of the things that matter in life by giving them first than you ever will by trying desperately to get them or asking for them.”
“Your world will change dramatically once you stop giving yourself reasons why you can’t do the things that are holding you back and you start giving yourself reasons why you can.”
“Create an environment in yourself and your life where good things feel welcome, and good things will come.”
Real friends don’t have to agree on everything or like all the same things to get along. Real friends will give each other shit and it doesn’t matter. Why? Because of trust.
Real friends are not afraid of talking to each other when something is wrong. Real friends know that they can always count on each other when it matters (it always matters)…”
Have you ever gone looking for something, only to realize you had it with you the whole time?
It’s like that.”
“Maybe part of the key to being happy doesn’t involve staying disconnected from the part of you that was most familiar with states of true joy & happiness. Maybe it involves being confident and comfortable with your complete self.
Because that person who experienced those states of joy & happiness wasn’t looking for those things.
They were those things.”
“What you say when you talk about others says a lot about YOU.
If you must talk about people, talk about what you learned from the experience and use that to teach others how to beware of similar situations.
Let others make up their own mind as to how to use the knowledge and insight you share.
What you observe with other people isn’t always true. But what you learn from an experience can’t be disputed.
We all make mistakes. It’s what we learn from ours and others that’s important, not energy spent criticizing others…”
“Life isn’t a competition. It isn’t about comparing yourself to others. It’s about trying to be better than the person you were yesterday.
While we may cross paths, the route each of us takes through life is unique. And a step forward is a step forward, regardless how small your stride is or how long is takes you to get somewhere.”
“Stop wasting your time following someone else’s idea of the ideal life.”
(Excerpt from: We are surrounded)
“Who is in charge of your life, your health, your fitness, your education, and your voice in the world?
“You may never know who your actions, words, or creations inspire, but those who appreciate these things you offer to the world are out there, even if they are not always visible to you.
For every person who takes the time to acknowledge the value in what you have to offer, there will always be others who won’t. The lack of acknowledgement does not make what you offer any less valuable — especially if you already believe in and see the value in it (and it is important that you do).”
“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.”
“Don’t fill in the blanks for things you don’t know the true answers to with negative things that you convince yourself are the truth.”
“Why I think you’re awesome.
It’s not because you don’t make mistakes. We all do. That’s how we learn. It’s not because you haven’t occasionally come across in a way you didn’t intend. We all do that, too. It’s not because you’re always friendly, always generous, or always think of others before yourself.
The fact is, we’re all a work-in-progress and no one is perfect.
The reason I think you’re awesome is…”
“While some people are naturally more likable than others, it is a fact of life that no matter how nice, how giving, or how generous you are, not everyone who crosses your path is going to like you.
Not being liked by every single person on the planet is normal. Some people will just naturally “get you”, others won’t.
That’s life. And it’s a good thing, too!
If we were all the same and liked all the same things, we’d never have our beliefs or values challenged. We’d be unthinking automatons (robots) and life would be boring! Contrast in life is a good thing. And it is our differences that make us great and help us to grow.
It may help to remember…”
“There will always be someone better at something than you are. A wise person once said ‘Comparison is the thief of joy’. Don’t let the success of others discourage you from your own endeavors or make you bitter. If someone has done or is doing something you would like to do, let it inspire you and be an indicator that you, too, can achieve great things.
No two people, businesses, or ventures are exactly the same. You always bring unique things to anything you seek to accomplish. There is room for you at the table, too, but you have to take action to get there. Getting discouraged and giving up gets you nowhere.”
“People have the power to change — but often ignore it, because on some level, we take comfort in our self-imposed limitations. People will often set up their priorities in a way that limit what they are capable of — and then they willfully choose to live with that out of habit or of fear that any alternatives will be “hard”.”
Everything we experience in life helps provide us with the perspective necessary to better be able to handle whatever comes next.
When you learn to appreciate contrast and accept challenges as learning experiences, you begin to see the value in all life experiences, not just the “good” ones.”
“The results of your actions speak louder than words. You can read a million motivational sayings to pump yourself up – or regurgitate them to others until you’re blue in the face – but that won’t change anything unless you take action and consistently change your behavior. Don’t just read it or preach it and expect it to make a difference in your life. Knowing something is not enough. Knowing what you should do is not enough. You have to use what you know and take action. This is the ‘DO’ in ‘JUST DO IT!’.”
“You have to have such a strong faith in yourself, your abilities, or your idea(s) that you are able to sustain the effort — and maintain the enthusiasm — necessary to succeed, even when you are inevitably presented with challenges along the way.
Others may question you. Doubt you. Reject you. In fact, studies show that anything that is considered new or different faces rejection and criticism — and is often ridiculed before it is accepted.”
“Always strive to contribute in such a way that you’re adding something of value wherever you may be. It is in this way that you not only make a positive difference in the world, but in your relationships, your work affairs, and any systems in which you play a role.
Because if your presence doesn’t add value, your absence won’t make a difference.”
With a respectful attitude and an open mind, people with conflicting views can help each other grow and learn by assisting one another in seeing the world from a different perspective.
An expanded point of view is a good thing.
No matter how much the media wants to pit one group against the other…”
Today we have more ways to solve more problems and get more done in a single day than have ever existed before in the whole span of history.
Your “lack of time” is not a time problem, it’s a priorities issue.”
“You can choose to look at challenges or difficulties as disruptive and something to dread or you can look at them as opportunities for growth and self improvement, because that’s what they really are. And if you get really good at facing unexpected challenges, then you might even be able to see them as a compliment that the universe is testing you and felt you were ready to handle it — like a coach saying, “You’re ready to take it to a higher level.”
“One of the best gifts anyone can give another person is something that results in the recipient saying, “I’d never thought about it like that before.”
An expanded point of view is a key to many locks you didn’t even know existed.”
“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.”
“Life is hard enough already without blaming yourself for things that are beyond your control. And even when things are within your control, we all make mistakes — it is an essential part of being human — it’s how we learn.
Mistakes happen and there’s no stopping them. “Live and learn” is the best we can do. You can’t change the past, you can only affect the future by resolving to do better next time.”
“You don’t get over the fear of doing something by not doing it.
Courage doesn’t come from your comfort zone because courage doesn’t exist without fear.”
“Who we are today is a result of all the decisions we’ve ever made in life. Whatever we wish to be in the future depends on our present actions. To become who you wish to be, simply determine how that person would act and then, little by little, act like that person.
You are who you choose to be.”
“Whatever you focus on only grows stronger.
If you truly desire a positive change in your life, then focus on what actions you’ll take to change things for the better – don’t dwell on what isn’t going well”
“While you are still waiting to find an easy way (or a perfect time), someone else is already getting results because they decided making progress is more important than making excuses.”
Because if your presence doesn’t add value, your absence won’t make a difference. And if you’re not making some kind of positive difference, that’s not “being awesome”.
So if you truly want to be awesome, always strive to contribute in such a way that you’re adding something of value wherever you may be and to whoever you come in contact with by doing more of what you’d like to see in the world.”
“Stress is caused by trying to have power over things that are beyond your control.”
“Sometimes you just have to suck it up and be your own champion when no one else will.”
As long as it’s not causing harm to yourself or others in some way, don’t let anyone make you feel like there is anything wrong with your personal preferences. Just because someone else may not like what you like, doesn’t make it any less worthy of your affection.”
“Life isn’t always easy — but it helps if you remember that obstacles are placed in your path to test you and help you grow. It is by overcoming obstacles that you develop new skills and ways of handling what the rest of your life has in store for you. If you’d never had a problem in your life, you wouldn’t be very able to deal with… well, LIFE, would you?”
“Help create a perpetual kindness machine by actively helping to support and encourage those who help support and encourage others.”
“If you want something “spectacular” or “extraordinary” — you either have to go out and get it or you have to let it into your life when it knocks on the door. And since it’s not “ordinary” that you want, what it is you desire isn’t likely going to appear just like everything else.
So before you go slamming the door on it, take some time to make sure it truly isn’t what you are seeking. Different does not equal “bad” — be smart, but stop fearing it.
Only change leads to progress. And change means different.
Everything we have is a result of someone who thought differently — and anyone who thought differently and pursued an unusual idea was first considered crazy or strange because of it.”
“Authentic people don’t have to make a show of their success or value to appear successful. The real measure of one’s wealth is not how much one has, but how much one is worth when they have nothing.”
“Your greatness is not measured by how much you’re able to gain in life, but by how much you’re able to give.”
So never stop trying new things. Never stop exploring. Never stop challenging yourself.
It’s your life. Never stop having fun with it.”
“Living life to the fullest means continually reaching out for newer, richer, deeper, life-changing experiences.
It means using those experiences as a means for personal growth and pushing the boundaries of yourself mentally, spirituality, and intellectually for the betterment of yourself and the world at large.”
“Success isn’t just about accomplishment. It’s also about how the things you do in your life motivate & inspire others to do something motivating & inspiring in theirs.”
“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.”
“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.
Pointing out a problem without having a real purpose or goal for doing so is just a complaint. When was the last time you saw someone who enjoyed listening to complaints?
Even just changing your message from, “I have a problem!” to “I have a problem and I want to fix it.” changes your tone, implies there is a purpose for your message, and invites a discussion for solutions.”
“If you’re truly going after your heart’s desires and you truly believe in yourself and what you’re trying to accomplish, then you’re not doing it for others or what they think about it — you’re doing it for you.”
“What you do in your free time determines what you’ll be doing when you don’t have a choice. You won’t get handed the life you want without taking action to make it happen. Everything you do today influences what you do tomorrow — and over time, your entire life.
If you’re not taking deliberate steps towards a specific goal when you have the time, don’t expect that goal to miraculously just happen when you don’t.
You can’t just wish for it — you have to work for it.”
“Your voice is a choice. Always.”
“Everyday we have an opportunity to make our lives fun or exciting simply by using our imagination or changing how we look at things.
Those who constantly rely on external sources to be entertained or amused are missing out on one of life’s greatest cost-free pleasures…”
“You are not a tree. You don’t have to grow where you are planted.”
“No one can make you get fit. And no one and nothing can stop you from getting fit if you truly want to. Your fitness is your choice.”
Help stamp out rampant complaining.
Always focus on solutions and what is within your power to change.”
“There’s no time like the present to start being the person you want to be remembered as.”
“If you want more kindness in the world, put some there.”
“Anger and hate dig holes. Love and kindness move mountains. Choose your motivation wisely.”
“Don’t do to someone else anything that you don’t want someone to do to you.
An eye for an eye only makes the whole world blind…”
“While there is certainly something to be said about being appreciated & showing appreciation on mutually agreed upon and culturally convenient dates, one could make an argument that the most sincere times to show appreciation are those times when a person you care about was simply on your mind and you thought enough of them to take the time to say so.
Not because it was a holiday. Not because it was convenient. But just because it felt right and you truly wanted to do it.”
“While we may not like every aspect of who we are at all times, we are always responsible for how we act, regardless of how we feel. And it is especially those aspects of ourselves that we don’t like that we should work on.
This can include such things as raising one’s voice in an argument (instead of improving one’s argument), snapping at people when one is not feeling well, or escalating a situation when one knows it is exactly the opposite of what they want.
Because they are so engrained, working on these less-than-desirable qualities of character often isn’t a matter of simply making a decision sticking with it. But if one persistently strives for consistency — instead of perfection — one can, over time, alter any of their behaviors to those they consider more representative of the person they want to be.”
“Most of us are our own worst critics. We beat ourselves up when things don’t play out as we planned. It may be disappointing, but that doesn’t mean what happened (or didn’t happen) isn’t of value. We can learn from it and change our behavior — and try again or try something else.
Life is hard enough as it is — we shouldn’t make it even harder on ourselves by focusing on our failures, lacks, or shortcomings. Sure, it’s advantageous to know where our weaknesses are, and to find ways to compensate for them, but to beat ourselves up over not being able to do everything we attempt every time, that’s a waste.”
“Think of those times people made a difference in your life — and remember to tell them. A person’s greatest emotional need is to feel appreciated. Take the time to express your appreciation to everyone who has ever helped improve the quality of your life — even if it was only for a moment and even (especially!) if it’s been a while since you’ve been in touch.”