Fictional Bank of Reputation

Fictional Bank of Reputation

Fictional Bank of Reputation

This is another type of bank that people should be aware of. Unlike the real life dollar and cents bank with different account, this bank is fictional and relies on the word of mouth of other people. This bank is the Fictional Bank of Reputation. 

The psychological effect known as “anchoring” in which stories are told about you by other people can be skewed based on how good/bad your first impression is also something to keep an ear and out eye out for. Little untruths that are not that big of a deal or little lies can become exaggerated as time goes on in this giant game of telephone and blown up into big problems and deals in the future. This phenomenon can lead to changes in your real life bank account of dollars and cents. 

One psychological problem that arises from this Fictional Bank of Reputation is that it is separate and apart from you as an individual. Much of what we consider to be our reputation is outside of our own control. Other people will form stories about you, a perception of who you are or who you are not, thoughts, feelings, and beliefs about you based on your actions and words. Other people’s psychologies is not your problem or responsibility to solve. However, the basic truth that we as an individual person is in complete control over everything that does and does not happen in our lives can become less true to the fictional banker in charge of our Fictional Bank of Reputation. 

I guess every individual has a certain attitude about their Fictional Bank of Reputation. In the business of politics this fictional bank is pretty much the business of politics and Washington DC. In Washington DC, Sacramento, and elsewhere the individual person’s accomplishments and resume is not that important. When I walked around the Capitol Mall in the early morning hours I noticed a few things about the type of people who were awake and out at 5:00 am. Most of them were runners and joggers and most of the people had their college alumni work out gear on. The shirts usually read: West Point, Naval Academy, AF Academy, Columbia, Yale, Harvard, Georgetown, UVA, USC, Berkeley, Michigan, University of Pennsylvania, Notre Dame, Duke, and Stanford. The conclusion I reached was that Washington DC is run by overachievers and people who did all of the extracurriculars in high school that were needed to get into those schools. It might be an anchoring thing to generalize an entire city and think that the people who metaphorically “Run the Town” in the sense of business and power and prestige are the same people as the people who literally wake up at 4:00 am to go for a run around town. But it also is not that far off from the truth to think that the business of politics at the highest level are usually people who have graduated from the colleges with the highest levels of reputation. 

As I was walking around the Capitol Mall I had somewhat of an epiphany. I realized that I was not seeing people running around with T-Shirts representing their community college or state school. I did not see that many “Sacramento State” shirts on even though many people who run the politics of Sacramento graduated from Sacramento State. I did not see many “Northwestern” T-Shirts on even though I’m sure there are many people in Chicago who have great reputations who graduated from Northwestern. I also did not see any University of Texas or Pennsylvania State t-shirts on the runners in the early morning hours the day after St. Patrick’s Day 2022. The epiphany being is that I may have been the only individual person awake and out there at that hour who graduated from a community college and state school and was carrying a 50 pound backpack full of my clothes. I remembered what my political science 1 professor “Professor Burton” said in one of his lectures at my local community college. 

“I don’t care what college this is or what reputation community colleges may have, an education is an education, and an education you are paying for should be the best education you can get, there is no reason why you don’t deserve a Harvard level education right here, plus you guys are the smart ones and are paying $22 bucks a unit instead of $22 thousand. I have met plenty of idiots with Harvard degrees, and I intend to not have a class full of idiots.”

I learned later on in my education in my upper division classes that the book I was reading from professor Burton in his International Relations class in community college was the one my professor was assigned in graduate school by his professor. 

The point being is that it does not necessarily matter where you get an education so long as you get one and keep a lifelong habit of learning new things and challenging the status quo. A Harvard degree in 2020 by an individual who just goes along with everything and never challenges anything might have a high number in his fictional bank account of reputation, but if that person does not continue to grow and mature then it’s prestige and reputation stops paying dividends at some point. Whereas an individual from a state school or community college who works their tails off everyday at work to earn a reputation as a hard worker and a keeper of secrets has an annuity in the bank of reputation that keeps paying off again and again for years to come. 

Trump’s attitude about his bank of reputation is that he does not really care about rather it is good or bad so long as the bank is constantly active and doing something. He has a volatile unstable fearful fictional bank of reputation that is constantly in a state similar to that of the financial crisis of 2008 where nobody really understands how it works or what it is doing, but whatever is going on is probably not that great. 

I like to think of my Fictional Bank of Reputation as I do my real life bank account of dollars and cents. As of today It doesn’t really exist and it is not doing that much. However, there are different accounts in this fictional bank that could help create a psychological portfolio that could be helpful to others. 


  1. Habits and Routines, having good habits and routines and eliminating the bad habits and routines goes a long way to improving the health of this account. Keeping drinking to a minimum reduces anger and keeps your mouth filter in check. Saying too much about someone else can give you a reputation of being a tattle tale and lead to others thinking of you as untrustworthy. Drinking a lot when socializing can lead to decreased job opportunities in the future. Keeping the good habits of sobriety and a good self care routine will help improve this account. Good people skills/habits/routines is the checking account of this Fictional Bank of Reputation, its what gets used everyday at work and every time you leave your home. 
  2. Personal Development; this is like a savings account in this fictional bank of reputation. The more you read and the more knowledge you consume the more interesting you become and the knowledge goes into your memory bank that you can pull from to try to get real life deals done that help your real life bank account. Also keeping a good diet and exercise plan and in general a healthy lifestyle is also good long term planning which never hurts anyone. 
  3. Personal Relationships & Family; this is the mortgage account in this Fictional Bank of Reputation. An good investment in a personal relationship can lead to marriage and children and being seen as a “family man” which leads to a perception of you as a stable individual who would also be a good person to invest time into because someone else already views you as that. This is a mortgage account on a home that is gaining equity and is going up. On the flip side if you have a series of unstable personal relationships that don’t seem to go anywhere; then you may be seen by other people as an unstable person who lacks ambition or drive and is a risky and unsafe investment. This mortgage account is on a home that is a fixer upper or needs a lot of work to flip to make a profit, it becomes easier to to invest in a property that is already done. 
  4. Hobbies, Traveling, & Creativity. This is a retirement account in this Fictional Bank of Reputation. In the working world these activities can be good stress relievers from a busy and hectic work life on the weekend. They can also enhance your reputation to a degree but the main reason why people have hobbies or travel or connect with their creative side is for the mental health benefits that come from these activities, and these mental health benefits can enhance your reputation and lead to real life dollars and cents being added to your real life bank account. Doing a little each month makes this like an IRA account, it may take some time now to set up and you may have to miss a day or two of work every now and again but the benefits outweigh the costs and you will get more out of it in the long run then what you put in now. 
  5. Gossip. Gossip is like interest or debt in a bank account. Good gossip about the good things you do can be like compound interest that makes your Fictional Bank of Reputation healthier year after year. Bad gossip about the bad things you have done can be like an criminal identity thief who steals your identity and makes it their own running up credit cards and debt as much as they can before dumping it all on you at a future date without you the real life person knowing about it until you try to cash in on something. The sad part is that in this Fictional Bank of Reputation there is not that much you as the individual can do to stop bad gossip except keep doing good and positive things and meeting new people. New individuals don’t need to know everything about your past, we call it the past because we do not live there anymore. We live in the present, so focus on the gratitude and good things in the present and gossip about those things instead. Both you the individual gossiping about other people and the individual being gossiped about will have better mental health if the gossip remains focused on the present and future and not the past. 
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