I have decided to put myself up for distinguished professor. There, I said it. The secret is out. Someone else nominates you, but you have to do a substantial amount of of the work yourself.
I don't feel very distinguished from the inside, most of the time. I don't think most people think of themselves that way, even semi-arrogant people such as me. I always expect people to say, "Ha, so you think you are distinguished!" Yet if I look at my cv from the outside, as though it were someone else's, then I am more impressed with myself. A third perspective is when I read something I have written in the past and no longer remember writing it. Then I can experience the semi-objective frisson of thinking the guy I used to be had something to say.
From inside I just feel like the average bookish college professor. I am not impressed because that's just who I naturally am. Everything I do just flows naturally from the fact that I was the kid reading more books than everyone else around me.