My book: What you should know

Note: The following content comes directly from the introduction/description and prologue of my book (still a work-in-progress). As you will see, it is my intention to be very clear about what the book is, who it’s for, and how it’s intended to be read.

It is in this way that I hope the people it is of most value & interest to will find it (and not just anyone I could potentially sell it to). If anything, this content is an anti-sales pitch. Which — like many aspects of this book — is by design.

If, after reading this page you have questions or comments or something isn’t clear, please feel free to contact me.

Check out this PDF to get a sneak peak of how the content on this page is actually presented in my book. Please note that the missing pages (as noted by the page numbers) include the Table of Contents, Foreword, and the Copyright page.

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT THIS BOOKzero-dean-book-not-everyone-will-understand-your-journey



Last updated: June 25, 2016
Subject to change


What this book is

Not Everyone Will Understand Your Journey is a compilation of lessons the author learned on his six-year journey along the path less traveled. This book provides encouragement, food for thought, and strategies to help readers cope with and overcome life’s challenges.

Topics of this book include:

Attitude, gratitude, kindness, confidence, authenticity, tolerance, leadership, success, failure, happiness, living beyond comfort, integrity, health, fitness, wellness, communication, relationships, personal responsibility, and more.

Readers will find that many of the lessons in this book have applications far beyond the primary topic they are organized into.

Who this book is for

It’s not for everyone.

“The shoe that fits one person pinches another; there is no recipe for living that suits all cases.” — Carl Jung

It’s for those willing to work a little harder and go a little farther. Willing to keep an open mind. And willing to think critically.

It’s for those who believe everyone has something to offer, whether they’re an expert or not. Successful or not. Live the kind of life they aspire to live or not.

It’s for those who believe there are multiple paths to success. And that anything worth having is worth working for.

It’s for those who can still hear the whisper of the voice in their head that says, yes, they can change, they’re willing to change, and they’re open to keep pushing forward no matter how many times they fail.

It’s for those who want a breakthrough. Those who are willing to work to get one. And those who know that the only thing that truly stands between who they are and who they want to be is themselves.

This book wasn’t written to appeal to the masses — but it isn’t intended to cater to a specific demographic either.

Not Everyone Will Understand Your Journey has something for everyone, but because everyone is different and at a different place in their journey — including the author when he wrote the lessons that make up this book — what some readers find meaningful, relatable, and relevant to their lives, others will not.

It is entirely possible that many of the lessons contained within the boundaries of this book will not relevant to you because you’ve already learned what they have to teach or you have yet to had a relatable experience. But keep in mind that the value of this book is not in how many of the lessons are relevant to you at the time you read it, the value of this book is in the one thing you read that has the potential to change your life for the better by having read it.

Discipline yourself to slow down when consuming the contents of this book. Sometimes it isn’t the lesson that holds as much power as a single line within it. That single significant line can cause you to make meaningful connections between thoughts, experiences, and concepts in ways you hadn’t previously considered. Those connections can then create insight and that insight has the power to change your life.

Also keep in mind that as your perspective changes in life, so too, will the meaning of the contents of this book. As such, you are encouraged to revisit it at different times in your life.

What this book is not

This is not a conventional self-help book. As such, how this book is designed — and designed to be read — may be off-putting for some people. Be sure to have an idea of what you’re getting into before you buy it (or before you buy it for someone else).

Some key things to note:

  • In an effort to be as authentic as possible, there is a personal element to the book that provides readers with a sometimes intimate or unflattering view of the author.
  • Some of the personal entries contain profanity.
  • This book is not designed to be read quickly or chronologically.
  • The author asks that you think critically, contemplate, and even question the content. Some of it is intended to challenge you.
  • Many lessons are not explained in great detail and don’t always provide the action steps of how to do something.

This is not a how-to book. The greatest value in lessons is often in how they are interpreted and subsequently applied to the lives of those who learn them. As such, the author deliberately doesn’t explain every lesson or concept in great detail. As a result, this allows the contents of this book to be of far more value to far more people because lessons are not explained in so much detail that their application to different circumstances and scenarios is limited.

The value in: “Not everyone will understand your journey. That’s fine. It’s not their journey to make sense of. It’s yours.” is that it means different things to different people — and even different things at different times in their life.

Another way to view the contents of this book would be: If the author attended a six-year class called “Life beyond comfort”, these would be his notes. If you are interested in more elaborate explanations of the topics covered within, there are numerous authors with books that specialize in such things.

The personal element

To bridge the gap between the lessons in this book and the kinds of experiences that triggered them, each chapter begins with a personal element that provides insight into the author’s journey. It should be noted that these entries represent only a small portion of a much broader experience which will eventually be shared in another book.

Please be aware that the personal entries at the beginning of each chapter do not necessarily correspond with that chapter’s theme and those that do are by coincidence.

For your consideration

While this book is composed of content that reflects personal opinions, insights, and experiences — and the author hopes that some of the content challenges you — it is not his intention to impose his views on anyone.

Readers are encouraged to carefully consider the lessons within and adapt the content to their individual needs. If something doesn’t apply to or ring true for you at this time, disregard it.

This is not a book intended to tell readers how to live, but rather points to things that were learned by and effectively put into practice by the author based on his personal experiences. How you connect the contents of this book to your own life is up to you.

But is it any good?

As the contents of this book were created, many of the lessons made their way from the author’s website to social media, podcasts, radio shows, and beyond. In 2015, “Not everyone will understand your journey…” was shared with a combined audience of over 30 million people on Facebook alone. So some of the contents of this book have been seen before in other forms. And as people’s lives have been touched by the author’s work, they’ve often reached out and said so.

So while not all of the content in this book will be relevant to you, it does have the power to change lives because lives have already been changed by it.

Your feedback is welcome

Whether you wish to praise, criticize, correct, or debate the contents of this book in a productive way, the author welcomes your feedback. You can find ways to reach Zero Dean at:


If you find value in Not Everyone Will Understand Your Journey — or better yet, if it makes a positive difference in your life — you don’t have to tell the author, but try not to keep it a secret.

Author’s confession:

The author (me) would like to formally apologize for writing the description of the book in the 3rd person. After making a few attempts at writing this description in the 1st person, the author (still me) had to concede that there must be a good reason that book descriptions are written this way. See, I haven’t lost my sense of humor. ;)


Choose your own adventure

Due to the variety of topics covered in this book, Not Everyone Will Understand Your Journey is not intended to be read from cover-to-cover in chronological order. Instead, readers are encouraged to dip into this book and focus only on content that appears relevant to their life or is of interest at the time. Please be mindful of the fact that reading too much content from this book in one sitting will likely reduce its effectiveness. Also note, that due to how this book is designed to be read, readers will likely find that the print edition is more conducive to dipping into than the digital version.

Contemplate the content

The symbol that divides each entry exists to remind readers to take the time to truly consider the message and meaning within each piece. If you plow through this book without contemplating its contents, it will likely be of little benefit to you.

If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you

As you navigate the contents of this book, always keep in mind that it’s not only meant to motivate, encourage, and inspire readers, it’s intended to challenge them as well. It’s important to understand that the best coaches, the best bosses, and the best CEOs in the world don’t do their jobs effectively by telling people what they want to hear. They make the greatest positive impact by saying what needs to be said, expanding perspectives, and encouraging people to rise to the challenges of life.


Because this book isn’t designed to be read in chronological order, certain facts are occasionally repeated so as to provide context without requiring people to have read where it was originally mentioned. Also note that certain themes involving kindness, attitude, and leading by example are presented in multiple ways throughout this book so as to stress their importance and maximize the impact of the message.


Who is this person?

It’s a question I often ask myself of authors, life coaches, and others who offer advice. While they may have much to offer, I’m always inclined to wonder where they came from and how they know what they know? Did they learn it from experience or take a class or study it in a book? Are they simply recycling other people’s wisdom or are they offering their own personal and independent insights based on actual experience?

The way some people represent themselves, you’d think they sprung from the womb wearing a suit and tie — crying not tears, but words of wisdom. “Yooooou can dooooo it!”

Yeah. That’s not me.

I wish to neither represent myself as an expert, a perfect person, or, frankly, anyone special — and you’ll soon see from the contents of this book that I’m not.

While those who represent themselves in pretentious ways may inspire confidence in some, I’ve found that how people act is a much more accurate indicator of character than how they represent themselves with words, titles, or what they wear.

One of the benefits of just acting with authenticity and letting people come to their own conclusions about what kind of person you are is that it takes no effort on your part. You don’t have to try to convince people of who you are — because who you are is demonstrated by how you naturally act.

So, yeah, I’m not going to tell you who I am.

Let it simply be known that I’ve had my successes. I’ve had my failures. And I’ve learned from both (and if this sounds familiar, it’s because I’m on a journey through life — just like you).

And on my journey, I haven’t once yet met a perfect person — successful, yes. But success is objective — it isn’t about rocking an expensive suit.

(Don’t get me wrong, I can rock a suit and tie, but I’m more of a shorts & flip-flops kind of guy.)

And while some people I’ve met can certainly be considered experts, the people I respect most in the world rarely refer to themselves as such because they recognize that they’re also on a journey from which there is always more to learn.

Catalysts of insight

Each chapter in this book begins with a personal journal entry or rumination written from the road. Each piece is intended to highlight experiences that were often catalysts for personal growth and — eventually — insight.

Some entries — which can be quite raw — are included to reveal personal challenges, frustrations, breakdowns, and contrast between the person who wrote those entries and the person writing this book.

It is my hope by including these entries, they help demonstrate that no matter where a person is in life — and no matter how dark or difficult things may appear — getting through hard times is mostly a matter of hanging on.

Hardships are not only not the end of us, they are often responsible for what become the most valuable lessons of our lives. No matter what the challenge may be, always remember that not only will it pass, there always exists within it an opportunity to become better, wiser, and stronger because of it.

Also, please note that the contents of journal entries do not necessarily correspond with the subject of each chapter. And those that do are only by coincidence.

Labels shmabels

It should be known that I’m not a huge fan of titles or labels. I can see their value in providing information at times, but I also see how they can be used to manipulate people.

Titles and labels are not only used to influence a person’s sense of status, they can also be very self-limiting by creating artificial boundaries. People who associate themselves with an all-encompassing label often have difficulty thinking of themselves as something else.

One is always far more than the label that describes what they do for a living, what they do for fun, or what political party they associate with. And one is always far more than the labels that others use to describe them.

“Motivational blah blah”

And finally, it should be known that it wasn’t an aspiration of mine to be a “motivational person”. It was an accident. The “motivational” label started taking shape shortly after I embarked on the journey from which most of the content in this book is derived.

At the time, I didn’t feel like the actions I took leading up to my journey were particularly inspiring. And frankly, quitting my job during the height of the global financial crisis felt more like an act of stupidity than an act of inspiration. And using my savings to pursue my passions on a cross-country adventure… who does that?

I wasn’t exactly sure what a mid-life crisis involved, but it didn’t seem to me that the actions I took were too dissimilar from those that someone suffering from one would take. Nevertheless, I somehow found myself inspiring people — and I liked it. I just wasn’t sure how I did it or how someone would go about doing it on purpose.

While an aspect of my journey involved intentionally living beyond comfort, I was challenged in ways I didn’t anticipate. And as you’ll see, my journey was almost unbearably difficult at times.

But as I learned to adapt to challenges, overcome obstacles, and get to know myself, I was more easily able to decipher the lessons that my journey presented. And as my attitude evolved, I no longer saw the events in my life as “good” or “bad”, but rather as opportunities to learn something.

Not only did I discover that my journey was spurring my personal development, it provided me with potentially useful material that I could, in turn, share with others. And in sharing what I learned, I was able to continue my mission to make a meaningful impact in the world.

Culmination of content

Please know that as much as the lessons within this book were prompted by personal experiences, nothing is created in a vacuum. The lessons & concepts that make up this book were influenced by or are the natural evolution of existing ideas.

And finally, while this book contains content that reflects personal opinions, insights, and experiences — and I hope some of the content challenges you — it is not my intention to impose my views on anyone. Please adapt the contents of this book to whatever lifestyle that suits you.

For more details and to get an advanced copy…

See the book page.