16: ADVERSARIES Know when to fight.

Select your adversaries with care. Never underestimate the ability of an adversary to cause you grief in the future. People will revenge themselves for small offenses as much as for large ones. Choose your fights carefully, even with existing adversaries. Don’t get into a fight unless it is worth it. Don’t get into a fight unless you can win it. If you can get a similar result without a fight, do it. You cannot benefit from a needless fight. Fights are costly propositions even when won. If it is worth a fight, it is worth winning. There is no fight that you can be certain you will win, no matter how disadvantaged your opponent. Don’t skimp and don’t lose. If there was a valid reason to begin the fight, it is unlikely that there exists a cost effective way to lose it.