Always guard your reputation, even with your life
In your quest for success and power, when you are first establishing it or restoring it, a good reputation, especially one of honesty, is a treasure to be carefully collected and protected. You must strictly defend and protect it; anticipating all eventual possible attacks, either from your rivals or enemies, safeguarding your reputation shall become your main priority.
Once your reputation is established and solid, just make sure not to let yourself get angry or defensive at any possible slanderous comments of your rivals or enemies. That would only reveal your insecurity, not confidence in your reputation. Instead, take the high road, maintain your position, ignore the slanderous and malicious attack and whatever you do, always make sure to never appear desperate in your self-defense.
On the other hand, while displaying self-confidence by taking the high road, this does not mean that you cannot retaliate. An attack on another man’s reputation will always prove to be an effective and potent weapon, particularly when you have less power than your enemy or rival does. Such a more powerful rival or enemy will always have much more to lose than you in a reputation battle. Your own thus-far-small reputation gives your rival or enemy a very small target when he tries to return the fire.
Before going after a more powerful rival or enemy, just make sure to understand and remember this: If you decide to retaliate, this approach must be practiced with skill; you must not seem to engage in petty vengeance. If you do not break your rival’s or enemy’s reputation cleverly, more than often, you may inadvertently ruin your own. Never go too far in attacks like these, for that will draw more attention to your own vengefulness than to the person or business you are slandering.
When your own reputation is firmly established, never use retaliation as a weapon or an answer to the slanderous or libelous attacks of your rivals and enemies. Instead, take the high road and use subtler tactics, such as satire and ridicule, to weaken your opponent, disperse the slanderous and defamatory, while making you out as a charming rogue.
Understand and always remember this: Today, whatever you do or intend to do, a good reputation is critical; appearances are critical and by not caring about how you are perceived, you let others decide this for you. Today more than ever, since we must live in society and must depend on the opinions of others and there is nothing to be gained by neglecting your reputation.
Whatever the situation or the circumstances, whatever you do or intend to do, be the master of your own fate: always make sure to maintain and guard your reputation with your life.