Life is not a competition

Never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish it. The time will pass anyway.” — Earl Nightingale

Never give up on what you desire in life just because someone else appears to have an easier time getting what they desire or is making progress more quickly than you are.

Remind yourself as necessary that life is not a competition and that some people will always make progress more quickly than others. That’s life.

But your life, your circumstances, and your goals are your own. Don’t let the simple fact that others are working on and achieving their goals deter you from working on and achieving your own.

Always remember that every little step you take towards a goal — no matter how small — is progress.

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every-little-step-you-take-towards-a-goal-is-progress-zero-dean-zerosophy

Parachutes

it-is-those-things-that-make-us-pause-and-evaluate-how-we-feel-about-them-zero-dean

I’ve said it before, if all I do is write posts that simply make people nod yes, then I’m not really doing much to make people think or change the way they look at things.

“It is just that we should be grateful, not only to those with whose views we may agree, but also to those who have expressed more superficial views; for these also contributed something, by developing before us the powers of thought.” — Aristotle

It is those things that make us pause and evaluate how we feel about them — whether we agree or disagree or just want to think about in more depth over time — that really make a difference in our lives.

If we aren’t challenged by something, we aren’t changed by it.

You can see a million of these motivational quotes and pins go by and quickly think “yup!”, but do they really do anything but reassure you of what you already think, feel, or know about something?

“There is no conversation more boring than the one where everybody agrees.” — Michel de Montaigne

It’s the posts that make you go, “Wait. I’m not sure I agree.” or “I hadn’t thought about it like that before.” that really help make changes in your life or your way of thinking.

I should also once again point out that we don’t have to agree on something to get along.

And, if done respectfully, I like to be challenged because it helps me see things from another perspective. I may even update something I wrote to reflect new insights.

“I don’t like to talk much with people who always agree with me. It is amusing to coquette with an echo for a little while, but one soon tires of it.” — Thomas Carlyle

What I write doesn’t always apply to every situation or scenario. And it can’t possibly reflect things I haven’t thought about before.

“Things that I felt absolutely sure of but a few years ago, I do not believe now. This thought makes me see more clearly how foolish it would be to expect all men to agree with me.” — Jim Rohn

That’s where being open to other perspective helps.

“One who is too insistent on his own views, finds few to agree with him.” — Lao Tzu

If all you do is surround yourself with people and things that reflect your views 100%, and you have no tolerance for those who think or act differently, it gives you a distorted view of the world.

“If two people agree on everything, one of them is unnecessary” — Winston Churchill

“Minds are like parachutes they only function when open.”

“You know how advice is. You only want it if it agrees with what you wanted to do anyway.” — John Steinbeck

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Complaining

“Expecting the world to treat you fairly because you are good is like expecting the bull not to charge because you are a vegetarian.” — Dennis Wholey

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Complaining about how life isn’t treating you fairly doesn’t make life treat you any more fairly.

Complaining about how something isn’t going your way, doesn’t make it suddenly go your way.

Complaining about how difficult something is doesn’t make it any easier.

While venting can be a way to release frustration, it rarely yields the sort of results that one is potentially hoping for — especially in regard to whatever it is one is expressing frustration about.

If what you’re looking for is a listening ear and a solution to your problems, then there are more effective ways to communicate.

It can be as simple as saying, “I have a problem and I want to fix it.”

And you might even find that those listening, will actively want to help you.

Because you’re not complaining. You’re looking for solutions.

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From the comments:

Scott: Sometimes though, venting just makes you feel better.

Zero: Sure. Venting can release frustration. But so can simply talking to someone about how you want to solve a problem.

And research indicates the same:

“Angry? You could call a friend and vent. You could punch a pillow or break a plate. Or you could even record a rant on a website like RantRampage.com. Unfortunately, you may be doing more harm than good; research has found that venting actually makes your anger worse.” — Fast Company (Article)

Most people don’t like to listen to people vent or complain. But they are much more open to listening when it’s clear someone is working on solving a problem.

As I say, “there are more effective ways to communicate.”

I think it’s often not the actual act of complaining/venting that makes one feel better — it’s the thought that there will be a resolution because one has moved beyond complaining to the point of working on a solution.

Either with a decision that one is either going to accept the state of things or actually take action and change them.

There’s definitely a difference between sharing and talking about one’s problems without any intention of doing anything about them — and sharing and talking about one’s problems in a way that yields a solution — whether that comes from one’s self or the helpful suggestions of others.

Ultimately, I think it comes down to one deciding to finally accept something or take action to change it.

Although I think the manner in which to take action is the hard part (although I suppose acceptance can be difficult, too).

The persistent drip

Dripping water hollows out stone, not through force but through persistence.” — Ovid

By focusing your efforts and concentrating on doing what you can with what you have, you can prevail over many of the biggest obstacles standing between you and what you want to accomplish.

Whatever your goals may be, even small actions can make a huge difference when performed with consistency and a persistent focus.

Stop waiting. Start doing.

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The journey is the reward

the-journey-is-the-reward-zero-dean

The reward for travel is as much about what the act of experiencing new things makes you think (and feel), as it is about moving from one place to another.

Travel is not so much about the distance between departure and destination as it is about the journey. Don’t assume you have to travel far or somewhere exotic to reap the benefits inherent in the process.

Many people are guilty of failing to explore places that are easily within their reach simply because they take these places for granted or assume they know what they will find when they get there.

They fail to realize that the journey is as much of a reward as the destination.

Go for a walk, a hike, a bike ride. Take a drive.

However you do it, don’t be guilty of not exploring places that are easily within your reach. And remember to remain present for the journey.

Some of people’s best thoughts happen in the shower. Others come from going to places one has never been.

You never know where the inspiration for that next best thought or idea will come from. It might just be down that path you’ve never gone down before.

The reward for travel is as much about what the act of experiencing new things makes you think (and feel), as it is about moving from one place to another.

Originally published on: Apr 12, 2014 @ 15:40
Republished on: May 30, 2015 @ 13:40

The secret of the Fountain of Youth

It’s not so much how many wrinkles or how much hair you have that makes you seem old, it’s how you act.

Enthusiasm and an energetic spirit go a long way in giving one a youthful presence.

“Being youthful is an inside job. Think about what youth is. It’s kids, kids are enthusiastic, energetic, interested, optimistic, engaged, and curious. If you’re not all of those things, you can have no lines on your face and a 32 inch waist, and no one is going to call you youthful.” — Rob Lowe

Nothing makes you seem quite as old and used up like talking about how old and used up you are. And nothing reinforces in your mind how old you are as catering to these kinds of conversations with others.

Perhaps your memory isn’t as sharp as it used to be because you don’t do anything to keep it sharp or make it better.

Perhaps the pain or fatigue you feel in your body is a result of not doing much of anything to combat the effects of aging.

“You don’t stop doing things because you get old. You get old because you stop doing things.”

Yes, perhaps you have to make some mental and physical adjustments as you age, but people can do amazing and inspiring things at all ages.

If you simply resolve that “I am now limited because I’m getting old and that’s just the way it is”, you do a disservice to all the things you could still strive for and accomplish if you only tried.

Old-age thinking and old-age acting leads to “old age” much more than our revolutions around the sun.

Keep this in mind the next time someone wants you to identify with being “old” in a way you don’t necessarily agree with.

You can’t stop the clock, but you can do can do much to naturally combat the effects of aging in a negative way.

The secret of the fountain of youth is not in anything that can be bought. The secret of the fountain of youth is a healthy attitude towards aging.

Whatever your age, there’s always room for one more goal, one more accomplishment, one more way to better yourself and the world around you.

Never give up.

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The mock of shame

We live in a culture that suggests “thinking differently” and standing out from the crowd is a good thing, and yet we are often guilty of poking fun of anything or anyone we come across that is “out of the ordinary”.

Perhaps it’s because anything different is an easy target, a conversation starter, and an opportunity for any of us to make obvious observations…

“Oh my god. Look at that person’s…”
“Look at the weird way they…”

We may think we are being funny, but we often state these observations in a way that is critical — and not complimentary — to the person being observed. The fact that these aren’t the sort of things we would feel comfortable sharing verbatim with the person directly is a clear indicator that they’re being said at that person’s expense.

If you truly do admire independent thinkers and those who are true to themselves, remember this the next time you come across someone or something out of the ordinary. It means someone is choosing to be themselves despite immense pressure to fit in and be just like everyone else.

It takes a great deal of courage and confidence to be one’s true self and — as long as someone isn’t harming themselves or others in the process — it should be applauded, not mocked.

If you truly appreciate uniqueness in others, learn to express it in a positive way. Don’t be the person that says they believe that people should be themselves, but when presented with someone or something different, uses it as an opportunity to make fun of that person.

The qualities that make someone unique should be respected — even admired — not ridiculed.

Unique people often have coolest stories. And it might just be that if you knew the reason behind someone’s display of independence, you’d find it inspiring and worthy of praise, not mockery.

And perhaps that “weirdo” sitting behind a laptop in a cafe for 8 hours a day, multiple days in a row, is a badass with an awesome backstory and you just don’t know it.

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Be patient, be consistent, strive to better yourself…

Be patient, be consistent, strive to better yourself and the world around you, and embrace small victories.

With consistency, small victories become big victories.

One day at a time.

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I’d rather be interesting than normal.

I’d rather be interesting than normal.

I&039;d rather be interesting than normal.

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