Saturday, July 29, 2006

Reputation v/s honor

Some famous musician said "If I do not practice for a month, my audience notice it in my performance. If I do not practice for a week, my family notices. If I  do not practice for a day, I notice."

"If you do not manage your reputation, someone else will."

"You have to blow your horn from time to time. Lest someone will use it as a spittoon."

First quote by Bujold is a truth. If we are looking for honor, self respect etc., it better come from within. Otherwise, we will only become more and more insecure trying to find stability on something that is always changing.

Second quote by famous musician is a good quote to remember why things, which we know we must do but do not do, force us to feel guilty. There is no need for your audience to notice. You yourself will notice and feel miserable for having avoided what you should have done. Just imagine the sense of relief that follows once you do the task that you despise.

"You do not dislike things because they are boring. They become boring because you dislike them." "When you change the way you look at things, things you look at change." So, it is a matter of trying our best to change our attitude towards things we naturally do not like to do. Nothing to feel bad about it. Everyone has a list of things they love to do and excel and also have a list of things they do not like to do. If you are a rare lucky person, your vocation is your vacation. For rest of us, we need to plug along on things that we don't like to do. One way to escape from the drudgery is to become so good at something that people do not think of anyone else when they think of the tasks you are good at. That way, you are always busy with what you love to do. "Specialists know more and more about less and less." Choice of specialist v/s generalist is up to you. Both have advantages and disadvantages.

Third quote about having to manage the reputation fearing that someone else will do that for you is more from insecurity. James Carville Democratic strategist wrote a book titled as such. You do not have to take slander without reaction but a lot of mud thrown is not worth comments or dignifying. Biggest dilemma of people just coming into limelight is how should they react to criticism in the media. Reaction should be proportional to worth of the criticism. No point in reacting to tabloid trash. People who read them read for mere sensationalism and do not care about the validity or they do not care about you. If criticism appears in a reputable media, then it is worth reacting to. They do not publish something without validation and if proven wrong they will make it up to you. If you find it is a valid criticism, then confessing it up and making sure that it appears in that same reputable media goes a long long way in establishing your reputation. Although you are confessing up, people excuse a genuine mistake. If you have problems with dishonesty etc. then hard luck. Confessing up does not help much. Then you hire lobbyists such as Carville, Dick Morris and have them put spins on your side.

Fourth quote about spittoon is funny if not anything. Yeah, you have toot your horn from time to time. Otherwise people who really matter are way to busy to care for you. Old culture of mentoring and taking responsibility for your career development are more or less gone or are there in companies which are dying anyway. So, even if you do not toot your horn, do not become so careless about your reputation that someone will have chutzpah to spit in  it.


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