| 1046 words

There are certain social feelings and attitudes towards me I would really enjoy. It's possible that I'm being kind of unrealistic when I imagine some of this, maybe I've seen a few too many Dreamworks movies, but it's really fun to think about. If I had to put it in one word, I'd think it boils down to some form of respect.

So I want to be respected. What does that mean?

Not in the abstract sense, as you would a monarch. I don’t want people to bow down or fall silent in my presence. I definitely don’t want any of the so called kind of respect that means they withhold all criticism and do whatever they can to avoid offending me. That sounds more like fear, and is the opposite of what I’m thinking of.

Maybe something more like a role model - that’s more similar to the idea I’m imagining. Someone who people genuinely look up to, without external pressures. Still though, that description feels a little bit impersonal. People look up and idolize celebrities in ways that I wouldn’t want.

Maybe a role model plus a friend? Getting closer. I want people to listen and pay attention when I speak, because I mean that much to them, but also I want people to feel entirely free to not have to listen when I speak. Role model also kind of implies some seniority, whether in age or experience, but I’m not only thinking about those relationships. I feel like it’s possible to have this kind of position and respect with everyone.

Think about how Roosevelt put it: speak softly and carry a big stick. It's another way to capture that idea of unspoken respect. You hardly have to even open your mouth because your aura is just so powerful that people know it's in their best interests to listen to what you have to say. Still though, I don't want to lean so hard in that direction that it starts to become fear.

If I walk into a meeting room, I don't want people to fall silent because I'm so much more important or powerful that my opinion matters more than theirs. When I open my mouth, I don't want them to fall silent because I could impact their career and they need to stay on my good side. However, it would be kind of cool if people fell silent because I have a reputation for good, well reasoned ideas that they want to hear.

It's also kind of like the phrase people use in competitive games - to respect your opponent. This essentially means taking them seriously; not underestimating them. You don't have to like your opponent, and many don't. However, no matter what, you have to respect their skill and what they've achieved because they'll beat you if you don't.

idk, is this all getting a little bit egotistical? Or maybe it's just generic; part of this just comes down to being liked, and of course everybody wants to be liked. There's nothing special about that. Then again, there's other parts that are different.

I want to be discussed. I'd like to impress people, make them wonder how I do what I do. I don't want people to feel intimidated or anything, but it would be cool to be admired.

You know, the more I describe this the more it sounds like the standard kind of being liked that it feels like everyone wants. Maybe there's nothing too unique here after all.

It’s interesting how, as a try to figure out what I mean, I at least realize this is an entirely new role to inhabit. It’s something that fundamentally can’t be achieved while you’re a child, and so it's something you have to grow into. There’s no way that I could attain this kind of respect when I was younger, and I don’t even know if I’m fully ready for it now. I do notice some changes though.

It's nice when people notice that I've been taking on more responsibility, that I'm capable, so they in turn trust me with more. It's kind of nice when the doubts and questions about what I can do slowly peter out, and then go away entirely. I like it as my work gets notoriety, and more people associate my name with someone they can trust. It can result in more work, sure, but it's also a nice feeling.

It's kind of funny, but sometimes cartoon supervillains hit the kind feeling I want. They have the notoriety to turn heads when people hear their names, but it also helps that they're not actually evil. I guess that's a big part of what I'd enjoy: notoriety. Not straight up fame like a movie star, that would be too much for me. However being notable and respected in some niche area like academia or a hobby group. That would be incredibly cool.

I guess maybe that's a goal I could work towards. I feel like it shouldn't actually be that hard - consistent effort over a long period of time will almost certainly pay off. It's hard to imagine that failing. If I want this to be related to work I could probably even go to conferences and get people to pay for it.

I guess the cool thing about living in the internet era is that it helps make this kind of fame possible. You can be incredibly well known and respected in various subcultures but be completely unknown and unassuming in real life. Now that's a situation that sounds fun; I bet the contract between the two would make everyday life amusing. Not all notoriety would work like this; if I was the CEO of a company I bet word would get out, and I don't know if that's desirable.

I guess the biggest decision is what area or field to start building up some clout in. No better time to start than today.