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Wearing a cape is optional

Wearing a cape is optional

You don’t need superpowers to stand up for what you know is right, maintain your integrity, or be a source of encouragement.

You don’t need superpowers to take the time to truly listen to people, keep your word, or live with honor.

You don’t need superpowers to lead by example or be the change you’d like to see in the world.

And you don’t need superpowers to see that there’s nothing stopping you from doing any of these things.

Wearing a cape is optional.

Originally Published on: Sep 8, 2014

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Talk is cheap

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How do you show people that you mean what you say? That you can be trusted? That you have a good heart and character? The key is in the word “show”. You show who you truly are by what you consistently do. And when your actions are congruent with your words.

Talk is cheap. Don’t just say you care about something. Don’t just say you believe in a cause or a way of life. Take action and show it. And remember to show what you believe in when it matters, not just when it’s in your own best interest.

The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good.” — Samuel Johnson

Originally published December 6, 2014

Friends and enemies

Working through a problem with a 3rd party is one thing. Speaking badly about another person simply because you don’t like them is something else entirely.

If you wouldn’t say it to the person you’re speaking about, then perhaps it’s not the sort of thing you should be saying to someone else in their absence.

And if you’re not the kind of person who would stick up for a friend being spoken poorly of when they’re not present, then perhaps it’s time to consider what it means to be a friend.

Real friends may give each other shit — and often do — but they also don’t let others speak poorly of their friends in their absence.

Having integrity means sticking up for what you believe in even when it isn’t easy. And sometimes this means refusing to take part in conversations aimed at putting people down.

Learn to let people make up their own minds about others without trying to bond by creating a common enemy.

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Assclowns and bad news

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We give assclowns and bad news the most press and then wonder why there is so much bad news and so many assclowns in the world.

Don’t support what you don’t want to see more of. Encourage what you do.

Lead by example.

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The “perfect” candidate, cause, or product

From personal relationships to business to politics, the person who isn’t afraid to be themselves, make mistakes, and even challenge you, is generally acting with far more integrity than the person attempting to do, say, and convey all the right things in order to win your affection, support or business.

Beware those afraid to show their human side or the work or thought process that led to whatever they’re saying or selling.

It’s probably wiser to consider wisdom from a wise & imperfect person — that acts like a real human being — than it is to take wisdom from a “wise” & “perfect” person that acts like a robot.

The former suggests authenticity. The latter suggests someone trying to hide their true self in order to come across as something that they’re not.

It’s one thing to have the answers, it’s another to have earned them from experience.

Don’t fall victim to those seemingly perfect people or products that cater to your ego or sense of self-worth in order to profit from your patronage.

No one in this world is perfect. There are only people who pretend to be.

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Propaganda

If your source of news has a consistent opinionated narrative, it isn’t news, it’s propaganda.

True news delivers the details without spin.

It should be up to individual audience members to make up their own minds based on the information provided and not have opinions marketed to them in order to promote a particular agenda.

Stories can be easily altered by repeatedly focusing on a single point, perspective, or person or by not sharing or airing key details.

Learn to recognize when you’re being mislead, misdirected, and manipulated by the media.

Remember to fact check and don’t rely on only a single source of information (or meme).

Know that there is always more than a single side to a story and that repeatedly stating something doesn’t make it true.

Refuse to let the media pit you against people or causes you know nothing about except what they’ve told you.

Form your own opinions, don’t let your opinions be formed for you.

“How many legs does a dog have if you call the tail a leg? Four. Calling a tail a leg doesn’t make it a leg.” — Abraham Lincoln

prop·a·gan·da
noun
1. information, especially of a biased or misleading nature, used to promote or publicize a particular political cause or point of view.

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Integrity and independent thinking

Gathering data to make an informed opinion is one thing. Simply waiting to agree with the crowd is something else entirely.

Being yourself and maintaining your integrity means standing up for what you believe to be right and true whether it’s in the company of a crowd or not.

Fear of self-expression is a form of self-imposed slavery.

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Punctuality

Consistently being on time is the product of proper planning, personal discipline, and a respect for other people’s time.

Making a habit of being late demonstrates none of these things and is often a sign of patchy priorities and selfishness. Habitual lateness says, “My time is more valuable than yours.”

Learn to be reliable and a person of integrity by adopting the discipline necessary be on time.

“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.

When you increase (or decrease) your discipline in one area, it increases (or decreases) your discipline in all areas that require self-control.”

The excuses that often accompany one’s tardiness often demonstrate priorities issues and not unavoidable problems leading to inevitable lateness.

Learning to be on time will not only reduce unnecessary stress in your life, it will earn you respect from those who know they can count on you to be reliable.

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Sincerity

There is a big difference between saying or doing something kind because you feel it is expected of you out of politeness and saying or doing something kind because you truly mean it.

When your true intention is kindness, don’t just go through the motions. Be kind like you mean it.

Even with simple social standards like saying “Please”, “Thank you”, and “You’re welcome”.

“Please”, “Thank you”, and “You’re welcome” are magic words, but they lose much of their power when expressed as a reflexive gesture as opposed to being communicated with sincerity.

Know that people can not only hear the difference when you speak with or without sincerity, they can feel it. So if you’re going to take the time to express things like “Thank you” and “You’re welcome — and you truly mean it — don’t just say the words without putting some thought & feeling behind them.

Take the time to express kindness like you mean it by speaking your words clearly and sincerely. Use your eyes, your voice, your body language, and your actions to reinforce those words.

For example, it’s not “Yup.” that follows “Thank you.” It’s “You’re welcome.”

It should be obvious, but “Yup” and “You’re welcome” do not even come close to meaning the same thing.

You might be surprised as how much of a difference it makes when it’s completely obvious to others that you mean what you say.

It feels better for everyone because it is better for everyone.

Sincerity is huge.

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