You should never worry about what other people think about you.
Most everyone already knows this is true, even though it is easier to say than to do.
Which is why sometimes, I believe, it helps to use other people as an example as to how we should live our own lives.
Louisiana State University head football coach Ed Orgeron is one of these good examples. Despite all the criticism and insults levied at Coach Orgeron throughout the years, on Monday he got the last laugh when he led the Tigers to an undefeated season and a college football national championship.
I was in Memphis when Coach Oregeron was leading the Ole Miss Rebels a decade ago, and I remember him being mocked constantly for both his deep Cajun voice and his boisterous enthusiasm for the game. He was characterized as a clown. He was called dumb as a rock.
It was brutal the way some of the local radio personalities portrayed the man. I especially thought it was not fair to make fun of his voice because that was just what he was born with.
Yet, despite all the mocking shots fired at Coach O, I don’t remember him ever getting upset about it once.
Coach Orgeron has always appeared to be a man comfortable in his own skin. Why should he let the thoughts of someone who he does not know affect how he feels about himself?
Coach Orgeron’s ability to shrug off those who don’t matter is something we can learn a lot from.
Another lesson we can learn from Coach Orgeron is to keep the faith and keep believing that if we work hard and do the right things our day will eventually come.
As a young ruckus-raising young man growing up in the Bayou, Orgeron got into his fair share of trouble. But, he now says overcoming these obstacles helped him keep a positive attitude about life.
It is why after he was fired from Ole Miss after the 2007 season, he did not stop believing that he could be a successful football coach.
It is also why he did not give up when the University of Southern California did not promote him to the full time head coaching position after he did a pretty fine job as the interim coach six seasons ago.
Despite things not always working out the way we want them at first, we have to try and be like Coach Orgeron. We have to keep working hard. We have to keep the faith, and we have to believe that one day we will reach our own personal mountaintops.
David W. Healy is sports editor of the Delta Democrat-Times. He can be reached at email@example.com