Healthy habits harbor happiness.

Zero Dean

Author | Photographer | CG Artist | Filmmaker

Don't wait to appreciate

Don’t wait to appreciate

It is perfectly acceptable to be proud of your progress on the way to your goal. You can enjoy your journey before you reach your destination. And you can be grateful your life as it is, plot twists and all.

Don’t wait to appreciate.

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Don't wait to appreciate

Meaningful travel

 

Meaningful travel

In the modern world, it’s relatively easy to go almost anywhere. Checking a box off a list doesn’t make it meaningful.

It isn’t the number of countries you’ve been to that make you interesting, it’s the meaningful experiences you’ve had, the lessons you’ve learned along the way, and the stories you have to share that do.

If your impetus to travel is just to tick off boxes, rather than to seek out meaningful and life-changing experiences, you’re kind of missing the point.

It’s not the number of places you’ve been to or how far you’ve traveled to get there that actually matters, it’s what made your journey meaningful along the way that does.

Have the courage to be different

Have the courage to be different

It’s better to have the courage to be different than be the type of person who makes fun of people for having the courage to be different.

One reflects strength & bravery, the other reflects weakness & fear.

If you’re different, be proud of that shit.

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Integrity isn’t only for when life is easy

Integrity isn't only for when life is easy

Remember that time you lost something and didn’t think anyone would return it… But they did.

And you were so grateful for that.

Perhaps it gave you a bit more faith in humanity?

Be that person the next time you find something that isn’t yours and it’s possible to return it to the rightful owner (or to someone who can).

Because if you do take something that isn’t yours and claim it as your own, what you’re essentially saying is that you’re fine with other people taking your stuff when you misplace it.

Integrity isn’t only for when life is easy. It’s for when life is hard. It’s for when you face temptation or your values are challenged.

“A person’s true nature is revealed at times of the greatest adversity.” — Daisaku Ikeda

Integrity doesn’t take advantage of another person’s misfortune for one’s personal benefit. Integrity lends a hand.

What you do and how you act when you are challenged and put to the test says a lot more about you and your true character than what you say or do when life is easy.

Find something that isn’t yours? Maintain your integrity, show your true character, and do the right thing.

Your decision to think right, choose right, & do right will rarely if ever be the easiest course to follow.” — Thomas S. Monson

Originally published Mar 25, 2015

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Doing Good

doing-good-zero-dean

Being a do-gooder does not mean you have to be some lame watered down version of yourself. It doesn’t mean you can’t have an edge or act boldly. And it doesn’t mean you have to do all the same conventional good things as everyone else.

People who want to donate to charity can do that. People who want to volunteer for causes or join groups can do that, too. And there’s nothing wrong with any of these things.

People who do these things are awesome. And the world can always use more people doing them. But there’s also nothing wrong with finding your own unique ways to make a positive difference. Making someone’s day better for having been a part of it, that’s what matters.

Making someone laugh or smile. Giving someone a funny story to tell. Providing encouragement when it’s needed. Appreciation. Gratitude. Friendship. And providing not just a voice to those who need it, but a listening ear as well. These things matter. And are as equally needed in the world.

Being a do-gooder is about having a positive impact on the world around you and making people feel good.

It doesn’t matter how you decide to do it, just do it.

And when you make a positive difference, you won’t just see it, you’ll feel it, too. Because one of the fastest ways to feel good about yourself is to be genuinely good for someone else.

And there’s nothing lame or uncool about that.

So do your good in your own way. You never know when whatever good you offer in whatever way you offer it, is exactly what someone needed.

Originally published on: Jul 20, 2014

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Something worth striving for

Something worth striving for

Imagine if everywhere you went you felt the love of those who were grateful for your existence. Imagine if, with everything you tried, you felt the support of those who want you to succeed.

Would it change how you act? Would it change what you strive for?

While we can’t control others, we can control ourselves. We can be someone who actively encourages people with love, appreciation, and gratitude. We can help combat the criticism and negative judgments that those who are just trying to live fulfilling lives are frequently forced to face.

While we can’t change the world in an instant, the time it takes to lend our support, encouragement, and positive energy to people who can use it can change not just a person’s day, but their life. And while it’s not always easy to change someone’s life for the better, it’s something worth striving for.

One of the least expensive, but most valuable gifts

One of the least expensive, but most valuable gifts

One of the least expensive, but most valuable gifts you can give anyone is genuine appreciation.

Always be mindful of opportunities to show appreciation to those you care about. You’ll never know how valuable your sincere appreciation can be until you take the time to express it.

In a world of critics…

In a world of critics...

It is entirely possible to help people without criticizing them or what they do. It is entirely possible to have a disagreement without being disrespectful. It is entirely possible to teach and guide people without abusing them.

There is no shortage of critics, haters, or people who complain about things that they don’t like. There is, however, a severe shortage of people actively encouraging what they do.

Encouraging what you’d like to see more of is a far more elegant and positive solution than constantly complaining about or criticizing things that you don’t.

If your method of “helping” people often involves making them feel bad, you may want to reconsider what it means to be helpful.

In a world of critics, be an encourager.

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Where’s your respect?

Where's your respect?

One of the most significant aspects of living a happy, healthy, and fulfilling life comes down to respect.

Respect for yourself, your body, and your goals. Respect for other people, their property, and their beliefs. Respect for your time and other people’s time. Respect for your relationships, your community, and your environment. And countless other things.

Nearly every important aspect of life deteriorates without respect.

Where is your respect (or lack thereof) reflected in your life?