Your reputation

Your reputation has a center of gravity, inertia, and momentum.

The center of gravity is the expectation people have about how to judge you, and how to judge what you just did or didn’t do, based on their past experiences with you.  It pulls perception of each new thing you do towards that center.

Momentum is the tendency of your reputation to build in the same direction – whatever direction that is – for two reasons.  First, because people want to affirm their biases, so they look for supporting data.  Second because consistently acting in a certain way makes it more likely that you’ll consistently act in a certain way.  (Want to be happier?  Smile more.)

Inertia is the resistance to changes in your reputation, the challenge we all face in redirecting the path of our reputation and, naturally, our own perceptions of ourselves.

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