1. Adopt an impartial “one and done” philosophy.
If you are going to include any of these laws in your arsenal against the wicked, let it be this. Time and again, I see well-intentioned, compassionate, trusting, and forgiving people allow liars, cheats, and thieves back into their lives based on a simple “sorry” feigned with a touch of earnest remorse.
Look, misconduct is not an accident—it is a symptom. It is an invaluable clue laid out for you on the path to a person’s true character. A lie is symptomatic of a liar. Cheating is symptomatic of a cheater. Stealing is symptomatic of a thief.
People can change. That’s a fact. I write extensively about the possibility and trajectory of change. Diseases—even those of character—can be cured. But you are walking yourself to your own grave if you allow your life to be the purgatory in which sins are expiated.
Never let someone lie to you twice.
Never let someone cheat on you twice.
Never let someone steal from you twice.
It is that simple. No matter who it is, how hard it is, or what was done: one strike and you are out. If they had the audacity to cross you once, understand that they never respected you. The respect and care they showed was a sham; it was a diversion from danger.
Transgress this law and you deserve all hell that ensues. Because forgiving is not the same as condoning; you can forgive the felonies of the most grievous of sinners, but if you allow them back into your life, you are branding yourself with a welcome sign that boasts three salient words: “Do it again”.
Fool me once… sorry, have we met?
2. Develop and reply upon your gut instinct above all else.
I once heard my intuition say, “Run”. I was on a date with a man who was my coworker for some time. All of the women at my workplace warned me against him; but of course, a 20-year old me found the opportunity to be jilted far too enticing to pass up. And I didn’t run.
It is the greatest tragedy of modern society that we have learned to prize conscious intellect over the intelligence of our entire being. Above your shoulders lies your head, which lies to you: it justifies the slights and misdoings of traitors, it tells you to trust that they can change, and it lays a trap for your inevitable demise.
But intuition never lies and is never wrong. Intuition is derived from the totality of your being and the energies beyond your own physical form. I don’t mean this in some woo-woo, new age, metaphysical sense. I mean it in terms of brute science. We perceive on levels that simultaneously transcend and fall below our level of conscious awareness. Our conscious mind (or what many of us would identify as “ourselves”) is aware of only a minute fraction of all that we encounter and perceive.
At any given moment, we are absorbing innumerable clues from our environment, and these clues affect the very expression of our DNA. And to say “trust your gut” is particularly powerful because the gut hosts trillions of bacteria that feed information to our body more than the brain feeds information to us. Put simply, we know things that we cannot know.
On average, women have a stronger intuition than men. The adage, “a woman’s intuition is a man’s worst nightmare” holds more truth than glaciers hold water.
Your intuition is your best defence against danger. First, develop it daily. Intuition-enhancing practices like meditation, silent contemplation, and immediate action will strengthen this latent capacity. Second, act upon its messages without fear. It will never lead you astray.
3. Analyze anything—not necessarily everything—someone does with atomic accuracy.
Did you know that the way someone drives can tell you everything you need to know about who they are and how they are likely to act in other situations?
Well, if you are not inclined to believe that, let me be more audacious: it’s not just the case with driving. It is the same with cooking, cleaning, sex, arguing, walking the dog, closing the bathroom door, and a myriad of other actions. Each action is a microcosm of someone’s character. It’s often said, the way you do anything is the way you do everything. It’s absolutely true. Take it as gospel.
Taking only driving as an example, if someone speeds recklessly, cuts people off, lashes out—look no further, you have hints of a selfish and ruthless individual at hand. Conversely, if someone obeys the rules of the road, courteously allows people into their lane even in thick traffic, never jeopardizes safety when in a rush—you’re seeing signs of an empathetic individual.
Observe anything someone does and observe it well. Scrutinize their actions like a scientist would scrutinize a microbe. Do not let your emotions fool you. Let their conduct create the picture of their character for you. Sit back, observe, and draw your conclusions with total coldness.
4. Be deaf to words and acutely aware of actions.
In keeping with Law #3, you must learn to be totally unmoved by words. People will confuse, contort, and confound you with their words—but intention is revealed by action alone.
The makings of the human mind are a curious thing. We can communicate all manner of malicious lies and be promoted to CEO or president. And we all know this. We see it in politics, in healthcare, in technology—in virtually every domain of economic life.
But we are not so quick to suspect it in our personal lives. We do not see what the people in our lives really are: marketers of their product. Who they are is their product, and they will sell it to you with the most enrapturing promises and performances.
You must train your mind to be deaf to words. Following words alone, you will wind up in all sorts of unfortunate situations. With actions, you will never be fooled.
Why can you exclusively rely upon the information revealed by actions? Well, because people cannot act forever. They can lie forever. But their actions will betray them. Their actions will reveal where their mind really lies; where their loyalty really lies.
Arm yourself with the truth of their actions and you will be protected against any storm that comes your way.