How to stay out of trouble

Sometimes in life, it seems as if trouble beckons on us. It seems as if trouble follows some of us everywhere we go as if we are trouble magnet. Does this name Mario Balotelli ring a bell? In case it doesn’t, it is the name of a Ghanaian-born Italian footballer who is currently plying his trade with the English club side Manchester City. If you are a soccer fan, you will agree with me that the name of this player is always on the news but most times it is all for the wrong reasons.

It seems trouble follows him. His name is not commensurate with his achievement in the game of football. Sadly though, his name is always resonating with scandals, troubles, fines, court cases, beefs, foul plays, fights etc. Another character that shares this same infamous character with Balotelli is Luis Suarez of Liverpool who is often in the news not because of the quality of his game which is always superb, but most times for things like racism and diving…

But luckily for Mario and Luis, they already stars and one thing with stardom is that you can always increase the ohs and ahs associated with your name with whatever you do in the pursuit of the next level of your fame or notoriety.

Granted, Mario Balotelli might never win any award like the World Best Player or something like that because of his behavior off the field but he’s already a star — in fact a god, and that’s that! The truth is that most stars thrive in scandals and some are even encouraged to get more scandalous as it boosts their fame or notoriety!

But we all are not stars. So that means we might not be able to get the easy pass, forgiveness, acceptance or even the sympathy and support that most stars do get from their fans sometimes when they are in deep shit!

But we who are not gods need to watch it. We need to learn how to stay out of trouble because we might shockingly find out that we are on our own when we are in trouble and the shame or consequences of whatever we might have done will become so unbearable and a very difficult pill for us and most importantly, our family members and close friends to swallow.

In this piece, I am going to present to you some the little ways in which anybody can easily and always stay out of trouble person can trouble.

Speak when you are spoken to. Don’t answer more than you are required.

Yes, this simple rule is so easy to follow but yet so hard to keep. People always talk and most times they talk about what they were not asked. People always want to talk. People always want to show off how much they know either because it makes them seem intelligent or simply because it is more of a compulsion.

But wait a minute. Think about it for a while and consider what you are saying? Did anybody ask you all what you are now vomiting? Can you solidly stand behind the veracity of what you are saying?

Questions like this should always be at the back of your mind when you find yourself giving answers to whatever you are asked.

One simple rule that will always help you to stay out of trouble using this method is to always make sure that your replies are just at par with the questions you were asked – no more; no less.

Don’t meddle in people’s affairs.

In other words, mind your business. One funny thing about us as people is that we always find a type of fun in meddling with other people’s business. We always want to know what is going on in their lives.

Sometimes, it is for a good reason but most times, from what I have come to notice, it is just basically to fuel some gossips and well as to measure or compare how much our own life is better than this other person’s.

We are fond of wanting to know so that we will feel good when we find out that this other person has no special thing going for him or her that makes their lives better than ours and if there is, we try to find an angle that will help us pull him/her down.

But the funny thing is that sometimes, in a bid to meddle with other people’s affairs, we forget entirely about how inadequate ours could be and instead of concentrating upon making ourselves a better person, we end up painting everybody black because we are always in the habit of trying to point out how BAD someone is as against how GOOD this person can become.

In the process, we become well-known gossips, fault finders, complainers, hypocrites, ignorant Pharisees, remorseful enviers, home breakers, time wasters, enemies of progress and a whole lot of obnoxious people who find it so difficult to see anything good in other people.

We have to face it. Nobody’s life is all that perfect and sometimes ‘the rich also cry’. One thing we should always bear at back of our mind is that we can also destroy our chances of getting help from people when we meddle in their affairs most especially for the purpose of making a caricature of them with malicious intent because no right thinking person will find it easy to help you in your times of need when s/he discovers whatever damaging things you must have said in his or her back.

Speak less, listen more.

I remember one wise saying that the reason why we have one mouth and two ears is for us to be able to listen more than we speak.

It is so true. When you listen you learn a lot. When you listen you can easily discern what people are trying to say to you. You can even start listening in to most of those things people didn’t even say but their body language gave off.

When you listen more, you find out that you can easily tell who people are and what their various motives could be. I’m not saying you will be right all the time but then you stand at a better advantage to judge or gauge your next move.

Believe it or not, people don’t like it when you seem to one that is always talking. Sometimes you talk; sometimes you allow another person to have the floor.

Remember, our words are like arrows and once they are fired off, they fly forward with the ability to cause damages along its path and you might never know those whom you might hurt with your words and whom will be seething and seeking for revenge.

One other thing you should always note, even a fool appears to be full of wisdom as long as he speaks less.

Be cautious. All that glitters is not gold.

Unless you were born yesterday, you don’t actually need me to remind you of this very important maxim.

Yes, we know that people are seeking to help you but you should also remember that some people also want to see you cry when they destroy you. You might not have any clear enemies but that does not mean that you should let down all your guard. Many people know how to act nice but remember that the keyword here is “act”!

People will come to you with so many nice and mouthwatering proposals in the course of your life. Most of those people will also come with their sweet mouths. One common human weakness I tend to discover is our ability to be so gullible and always looking for someone to trust in.

This weakness can also be easily exploited or manipulated so you should always be vigilant.

When something seems too good to be true, it is often so. So don’t assume because nothing is impossible. Make sure you are double sure.

Remember; look before you leap — into trouble!

Stay on the right side of the law.

In other words, keep your hands clean. This is one rule that can work for everybody. Do no evil. Strive to stay at the right side of the law. Insist that things should be done the way it is stated.

As humans, just like electric current, we normally like the easy way out. Sometimes, these easy ways out involves some underhand practices like bribes, forgeries, evading taxes, nepotism and favoritism, kickbacks.

In the worst forms it could also involves armed robbery, rape, kidnapping and even assassinations.

But if you check it, the common denominator is that they are all forms of crime. What happens to you when you are caught up in three strikes? What do you think will happen to you when you are caught and you are now languishing in jail? Think of all the useful and precious time you will be wasting there? Isn’t that enough reason for you to endeavor to stay at the right side of the law all the time?

I won’t deny it; there might be something pleasurable in bending the law and getting away with it. It gives us as people who are inherently stubborn by nature the superman or superwoman feelings.

Granted, it might favor you this time but what happens when you are at the receiving end? Will you still enjoy it when the corruption and malfeasance you helped in creating comes back to bite you in your ass?

Think ahead and make plans.

This is another way of saying that you should learn how to strategize. A good strategist always thinks ahead and makes plans to accommodate the possibilities as well as the difficulties s/he has identified his plans.

It is like a chess player who has been able to play the game over and over in his head so that the game is won even before it is played. When you embrace the importance or need to always think ahead and make plans, you will also appreciate how productive and a better time manager you will become.

You will not have time for useless time wasting activities which is often the breeding ground for getting into trouble because as the saying goes, an idle mind is the devil’s workshop. Thinking ahead will also enable you to have a very organized life with all the attendant benefits.

Show other people kindness and love.

This is the law of nature which has a very powerful reciprocal effect. If you check it, you will find out that you are more prompt to return the kindness and love that someone shows to you.

What this means is that people who you show love and kindness to will tend to be under some form of obligation to make sure that you don’t enter any trouble.

They will warn you. They will protect you from danger. They will help you. They will see to it that they go a long way in throwing their full support behind you in times of great difficulties.

You may want to say that most of those people might be fakes or sycophants and you might be right but remember that you are still getting some love from them.

Besides, I will always want to believe that most people are rational.

Choose your friends.

Your friends have a lot of influence on you, take it or leave it and some of our friends are even closer to us more than our immediate family members which is why you must choose your friends carefully.

Your friends can make or mar you. Remember, tell me your friends and I will tell you whom you are.

Your friends can lead you into a lot of temptation if you are not strong will enough to resist them or to face the backlash that could come with not ‘belonging’.

It is quite true that your friends are usually there to help you but you have to remember that so many people have been led astray by their friends. So many people have joined cults and fraternities because of their friends led them into it.

Thank God that quite unlike our family members; we have the choice and opportunity to choose our friends.

So when choosing your friends, you should also test their loyalty as well as their ability to keep your secrets plus their ability to be free from envy or jealous of you because a fake friend is even more dangerous that a confirmed enemy.

Read the fine print.

This is where most of us run into trouble. We don’t have the time to read the fine print.

When we are signing some certain documents for some contracts, we don’t have the will to read the carefully worded terms of agreement either out of ignorance or just simple laziness.

I can’t remember the last time I took the time to read those binding agreements which are often printed in very small characters when I am opening a bank account.

When we are clicking on the internet or installing some software, we don’t consider reading that insignificant terms of agreement that could be so binding.

No wonder some lawyers always have a field day in making their cases because there is always a loophole to be busted and it is often caused by our neglect of reading the fine print.