One of the most fascinatingly noticeable things in life is that those who loose their care for their reputation younger than those who don’t tend to be the most successful people in life. At what point in life do we make the transition from caring for our reputation to caring for our character? Early in life? Later in life? Or for some is it never? I know that for me this transition took place, at the beginning of my freshmen year I started to practice this idea because after my middle school carrier I was tired of not being myself and acting how others wanted to me to. It felt like such a fake lifestyle, constantly worrying about how to act and this was not just true with my friends but with my family as well. I decided that it was time for a fresh start and that I would not just go a different way but go a better way instead of taking the rode that would lead me to become popular because popularity is something that I have decided is not the path that I want to take, for one single reason it would not allow me to be who I wanted to.
In the case of my family my sister and father treated me differently during lacrosse season in comparison to any other time in my life. This made me feel good, because I was finally the son and brother to be proud of. This was no way to live especially with family members, because having conditional love given upon me made me feel worse than when I was not playing lacrosse. At this point I decided that I did not want to play lacrosse any more. What I really wanted to do for myself was play Ultimate Frisbee.
I noticed a significant change in who I started to become friends with and the friends that I started to loose after middle school. At first it made me feel insecure about myself that for once I was not part of the popular group, but looking back on it I would not change my decisions and actions that I took to get where I am today, for two reasons, I feel comfortable around my friends now and if I have a problem with them I tell them about it. More importantly recently I have been receiving criticism from many people for my decision to play Ultimate Frisbee instead of Lacrosse but now that my reputation is not my priority, I am not bothered by what others think of me.
The most significant thing that has occurred to me, is that because of my change of beliefs I have become a much better judge of others character and I know how to distinguish a loyal friend from a pretend friend who really only cares about themselves. Living a superficial life and worrying about your reputation is not a life at all, but being concerned about your character will allow you to live a fulfilling life, this I believe.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.