#11: Learn to judge character

Most kids will project out to the world, the interactions and experiences they have had at home. Ideally they would have grown up in a home where love and support is taken for granted.

Our fear is that we have not prepared you for the real world. There are fewer and fewer role models in public life. You will encounter competition, jealousy, backstabbing, betrayal and superficial relationships. In many cases, your need to believe in someone or something higher than yourself will make you vulnerable to being led astray and manipulated.

It can weigh you down, but you also have to prepare yourself to deal with it. It is important to develop a keen ability to assess people and pick out those that are strong in character and principled. You may not find many, but perhaps you do not need many. You do need a framework for who you can trust.

One component of assessing trust is being able to see people as they actually are – uncolored by passion, emotion or rose colored glasses. The behaviors and flaws of people are not hard to identify … most often we look past them because they do not fit our desired version of reality.

Over time, your ability to observe, assess, and bet on people will get better and better. You will make many mistakes, but let each one be a lesson. Once your batting average improves, you will surround yourself with better and better people and that will elevate your life both socially and financially.

I should warn that there is a difference between being a keen observer of human nature and being negative and judgmental. As an observer, you will try to be accurate in your assessments, good or bad. You can still adapt, forgive, and let less than perfect people into your lives. Our objective only is that you are not surprised and hurt in the process.

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