Recently, I wrote about ten rules for life that you can consider if you want to live a life worthy of mention after you pass on. Today, I want to make another suggestion. Aim to have a strong character. I often wonder why people worry so much about their reputations rather than focusing on their character. Once your character is above reproach, you will never have to think about your reputation. This is because the way you live your life will speak for itself. So, if someone says negative things in relation to you, no one will believe them.
According to the Cambridge English dictionary, character is “the particular combination of qualities in a person or place that makes them different from others”. Reputation is “the opinion that people in general have about someone or something, or how much respect or admiration someone or something receives, based on past behaviour or character”. In other words, your character is who you are while your reputation is who people think you are. Sadly, the two are not always the same. I think it is better to actually be of good character than it is to be thought to be of good character.
In my opinion, one of the most important character traits a person can have is that of integrity. Integrity is defined by the Cambridge dictionary as “the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles that you refuse to change”. To me, nothing demonstrates character in someone more than their demonstration of integrity. Some other character traits that I find admirable are honesty, trustworthiness, kindness, helpfulness, fairness, respect for others and humility.
If you genuinely live out these traits in your daily life, you will never have to worry about your reputation. It will speak for itself. The qualities you display daily will be what people know you for. So, when others speak of you, these are the things that they will speak of. Just remember that if your character is impeccable, your reputation will be too. We spend way too much time worrying about what others think or what others will say. In fact we should be focusing on who we are as individuals.
People will always have an opinion. Some will love you and some may hate you for no apparent reason. Ignore the noise and concentrate on being the best version of you that you can be. Just remember, character trumps reputation any day.