If somebody told your best friend a story about you, would they believe it? That SHOULD depend on what the story is. If you are doing the best you can do to add value to others, and live "above the line" while making progress toward your goals, a negative story about you should be difficult to believe. Here is a suggestion:
Live your life in such a way that if somebody says something bad about you, nobody would believe it.
That is the best version of YOU. Right now, people have an opinion of you as a person, but you can change that. The time required to change their mind depends on which side of the line you LIVE and which side of the line you VISIT. When you LIVE above the line, and you do something negative (below the line), your stellar reputation gets damaged rather quickly. Conversely, if you LIVE below the line, and begin doing good things for people, it may take a LONG time for people to believe that you are capable of greatness, even though everyone is capable of greatness at ANY time. Get started making a reputation for yourself, and just know that how long it takes to make the one you want depends on which side of the line you live on today. Stay above the line every day, be grateful, see the best in people, and add value to somebody every day. It won't take that long to the the Best Version of YOU.
Be a leader today. Do something that other people will want to do. Just make sure that whatever you are doing will add value to others. Be awesome!
Day in/Day out... That is what we do in our default position of life. We get in a routine of actions that seem automatic. We also get in a routine with our attitude. We hold our attitudes about other people, even if we know a little better than that. We may learn something about a co-worker that should change our attitude to a more positive one, yet we work hard to maintain our perception of that person in the same light. Why? We also hold our attitude about our ability in certain areas. "I'm not good at math," is said by a LOT of people who don't agree that math ability can be improved if you want it to improve. The latter is a growth mindset, which we would all benefit from adopting. Here's a thought: think the best possible story about everybody... including yourself.
We interact with people every day. We have no idea what these people do for a living, what they like to do in their spare time, whether or not they have extended families, or anything at all about them. Yet we make assumptions about them based solely on their appearance, and how closely they resemble somebody we already know a "little bit" about. For example, we assume tall girls play basketball or volleyball, since we have tall friends who do. We see somebody driving a luxury car, and we assume they have a significant amount of disposable income. What happens when we see somebody who we "think" is in a lower socio-economic class than we are, and they are driving a BMW, or a Mercedes Benz? We automatically think that they are a free-loader, or that they are cheating the system. How can they drive that car? I can't afford that kind of car, so what are they doing? Probably something illegal! Right? Maybe they are an entrepreneur who does not dress like you expect them to. Maybe they have had the car for a while, and they lost their job nearly eight months ago. Now, they have officially run out of savings, so the only thing they have left is their car, which they are dangerously close to using as a house, too. Is that possible? Sure it is. Just as plausible as either of the other stories. The person you see is either a champion for staying the course, a business owner, or they are despicable. All it depends on is which story you tell yourself about them. Try to choose the story that puts them in the best light. That favor may be returned to you some day. Just remember, regardless of what you think; they have changed nothing...except maybe your perception. Think about that.
It is such an easy thing to say: "I don't have time for that." But what does it really mean? We all have the same amount of time in a day, don't we? So why, then, does it seem that some people are getting more done? Have they figured something out that we haven't? Have they stumbled onto something that helps them be more organized, and more efficient with their time than the rest of us? Maybe... The more likely reason is that they have prioritized their day so that the most important things are getting done, and they are spending very little time (possibly NONE) on things that are not moving them closer to their goals. This is an important point: If you have not identified SMART goals for yourself, you will fall victim to spending time on things that are not helping you be a better person, sibling, friend, student, co-worker, parent, etc. Set a goal, and do something that moves you closer to it every day (prioritize). The next time you hear yourself say, "I don't have time for that," ask yourself this question: Can I replace those words with, "That is not a priority for me right now"? If you can, then by all means, don't do it. Otherwise, change what you are doing to reach your goals and priorities. I remember my son asking me if we could go outside and play catch, and I told him I didn't have time right then. When I asked myself if I could replace that by saying, "Playing catch with you is not a priority to me right now," I realized that he WAS my priority over what I was allowing to get in the way. Say NO to the time consuming activities that are not helping you reach your goals. Stop wasting time on things that have no emotional return on investment. Do something that adds value to others, and adds value to you at the same time. Set your priorities today and every day!