Choosing Battles Wisely: Focus on What Really Matters

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Your significant other says something that they shouldn't have. You have to ask yourself, "Should I engage in this battle and spend my time and energy trying to straighten them out, defending myself and arguing with this person while trying to prove that I'm right?" Even if I win this battle, what am I to gain, what will this fight accomplish?

For instance, that person who cuts you off in traffic and you get upset, you immediately go into payback mode and in turn cut them off. Somehow you allow this event to ruin your whole day. But ask yourself, "what was the benefit of today's action?" You didn't even know the person and minutes later they're not even in your life! So what's the point? Sometimes we get so distracted fighting battles that don't really matter.

We need to choose our battles wisely. Should we be in constant defense mode all the time? We spend inordinate amounts of time upset with others, or various disputes with family. Time is valuable, is it worth expending all of your energy and wasting part of your life? If we keep making the mistake of engaging in every battle that comes along and constantly defending ourselves proving ourselves to be absolutely right, we will not have the energy to fight the battles that matter.

You see, there will always be opposition. Don't let those bad episodes drain your energy. You will need it for the really important stuff like living a good life. Resist the mistake of consistently proving your point, straightening someone out, or trying to change another person's opinion. Listen, we all have real battles that are really important. If you are with someone who doesn't want to be with you, move on. Even if you lose what appeared to be a good friendship, it probably wasn't worth it anyway. Leave the petty battles alone. Save your effort for the important, meaningful and fulfilling things that come your way.

Best wishes,



Hi Angel.

Well written and very perceptive.

Good logic and thought-provoking.


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You're so right. "Don't sweat the small stuff." is something we'd all do well to keep in mind.


Hello Angelicamarie. Thank you for your interesting and thought-provoking posts.

As for this concept, I have found that it is of little use trying to persuade people to take a different view when they are convinced they are 'right'.

One technique I use, is to say that I would like to have an argument with the person, which immediately grabs, their attention because they are already convinced that 'they' will be 'right' - even before the argument begins.

I then hold up a coin and ask them to say what they see. Invariably they say 'Heads',(or tails) to which I reply 'No you don't!'  This becomes the basis for an argument where they are convinced they are 'right'.

I then ask what they think might be the reason for our arguing. (Some have an answer, but surprisingly many don't)

I then turn the coin around and ask them what they now see. Of course they reply 'Tails' (or heads), whichever side they did not see before.

The reason for the disagreement becomes immediately obvious  - that I am seeing one perspective and they are seeing another. and both perspectives are valid.

I then admit to being 'wrong' and disrespectful when insisting that they do not see whatever it was they told me, simply because I was seeing something different. 

This can be emphasised even more by turning the coin so that we are both seeing an edge and we can both describe it in a similar way. Once we are in agreement, I will point out that we are (in fact)  both seeing completely differtent sides of the same coin and the edges only 'look' the same.

The conversation usually proceeds to illuminate the fact that almost all disagreements including wars, boil down to this simple phenomenon of people having different perspectives and convincing themselves that they are 'right' -  to the exclusion of any alternative perspectives, which they convince themselves are 'wrong'.

What a sad world we humans have created for ourselves where we do not have the intelligence or maturity to consider that we might not be entirely 'right' all the time and that other people's perspectives might deserve as much respect as our own.

I have lots of other simple, descriptive techniques for helping people to develop new ways of looking at their world in different ways and redirecting their emotional energy towards more productive ends.

Best wishes



Helio Scorsby and Weirdnewlife: Thanks for your comments and support. It's very much appreciated!

Take care,


How to Manage Ostomy Leaks with LeeAnne Hayden | Hollister

Hello Bill: I can get there, but you always break it down. Thanks for your input and support. Hope you're getting better by the day! Miss you Bill...

Take care


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