Tuesday, August 3, 2010

My Advice: Pick Your Battles

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I got a reminder today of the importance of making good choices. Like deciding that life is too short to fight every battle that comes your way. Yes, today I got a refresher course on the saying 'Pick your battles' ...

Apparently, I committed a faux paus with an acquaintance and got read the riot act via email. I knew I didn't cause her any real harm and making a mistake in this situation truly wasn't a big deal. I tried to apologize and explain my position in a short, sweet and polite response, but it was clear she just wanted to be outraged and indignant about my mistake.

So I just deleted the email and left it at that.

The wiser I get to life, the more I realize that there are just a lot of people, situations and objects that aren't worth getting worked up about or worth fighting over. These fall roughly into the following categories:
  1. Circumstances I can't do anything about or I have no control over.
  2. Affairs that are none of my business.
  3. Stuff that is truly 'no big deal' when compared to really important things in my life like my health, my relationships and my core values.
  4. Incidents that just need to be let go of, because engaging in a conflict over them just isn't worth it.
  5. Disagreements that can't be solved by arguing about them.
  6. Challenges and provocations presented by others that don't deserve a fight, or even a response, from me.
  7. Situations were fighting over opinions, or whether one is right and the other person wrong, just doesn't matter.
What can I say? I am working on letting all the trials, tribulations and turmoil around me roll like water droplets off a duck's back. With so many real, big and important things to concern myself with, I just don't need to get sucked up into other people's drama.

Perhaps Dale Carnegie said it best:

"Any fool can criticize, complain, condemn, and most fools do. Picking your battles is impressive and fighting them fairly is essential".

How do you decide which battles to fight and which to walk away from? Do you think this gets easier with age or maturity? What is your best advice on how to pick your battles?

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What the Fog said...

It has certainly been easier for me walk away from a good battle as I get older. When I was in my twenties I loved to debate and would do it anytime the situation arose. Now? First I decide 1. How strongly do I feel about subject? and 2. How strongly do I feel about changing the other persons mind, defending myself etc.? 3. Is it likely to even make a difference? And almost always now it is easier and wiser to walk away. Great post! Patti

Migrainista said...

I think this does get easier with age and maturity. In my case at least, I think it has gotten easier partly because I don't have the energy for all the battles anymore. It gets easier with the perspective of time to weed out what's really important and what is no longer worthy of your valuable time and energy.

I love your list! Thanks for this valuable reminder :)

Lynn said...

I agree, this does get easier with age. I've also noticed that it gets easier with fibro, too. Sometimes, I'm just too tired to battle, even if it's worthwhile, so I've been given some real-life "help" in learning to choose my battles.

Tazzy said...

The more the diseases get on top of me, the more I choose to walk away. I got stung real bad last year by a so called friend that woke me the hell up quite quickly. Then go behind my back and blab your mouth to mutual acquaintences, unbelieveable. And she counts herself a christian. Oy. Yeah, I pick my battles very carefully. If I can't count on you day to day, your not worth battling. If it won't stop my life from going on, it's not worth it. It has to be something really relevant to my existance for me to want to argue with anyone these days. I'd just assume bring that trash to the dump, dump it and go back to home where all things are done out of love & respect for each other. Tazzy