choose your battles

I debated for a while whether I wanted to share something so personal and something so “off” the topic of social media marketing and business. However – attitude is business. How you look at life effects how you work; it effects your effort and it effects your relationships with clients and co-workers. Have you ever worked with someone who is really happy? How about someone intensely passionate about what they do? In a world that will be driven by the ability to collaborate and work together – how we relate to one another and how we relate to the bigger world will definitely be a key factor in the success that we achieve.

Personal revelation, can lead to business revelation. I can’t tell you how many times that was true for me. Being happy and more at peace with myself changed my attitude toward other people, which allowed me to better deal with situations that I previously let overwhelm me in my career.

So, please excuse me getting just a bit personal. The lesson was well worth it.

We’ve all heard the popular saying, “Choose your battles wisely.” There may have been times where I was able to successfully walk away from a battle once or twice, but it wasn’t a philosophy that I brought forward 100% of the time. More like 5%. Looking back – I had the opposite outlook. The minute I felt justified to pick a battle, I did. The moment I knew I had every right to say something, I did. The moment I knew my argument was logical, level-headed and reasonable, I picked the battle.

I’m not quite sure why this particular lesson stuck last night. Perhaps its because I want certain things to change so badly, that I more fully understand that my outlook that needs to change too. Or perhaps it’s just that this situation called for a different approach, and the fact that I struggled with that approach made the lesson REALLY sink in this time.

I was ready to pick a fight last night after being upset for about the 50th time over something that ultimately kept happening between a friend and I, but for the life of me, I couldn’t pick the fight. I couldn’t tell him I was upset. Though I was angry, upset and felt justified in saying something, I also knew that there were other things so much more important that he needed to focus on. It’s the downfall of caring for others. To mean you care, you must do the things that show you care. To be appreciative, you must show you are appreciative. Though I’ve said these words dozens of times before – I knew I had much to improve when it comes to my decision making in turning my words into actions. I couldn’t mean that I care or that I appreciate someone, yet sit there and risk a fight over an argument we’ve already had and gotten past 49 times when I KNEW there were other things that needed his attention. I knew he wouldn’t entertain it – but that was beside the point. What did it say about me as a person, that I knew what he was going through, and yet – I chose to even send him fighting words?

I decided to choose not to pick this battle. I decided to let it go. I was frustrated and upset and my mind was in a million places, but for the first time that I can really consciously remember, I decided to choose a different reaction. Instead, I went in the opposite direction. I offered up a few polite words and forced myself to go to sleep so I stopped thinking about it and woke up in the morning fresh.

I started thinking back to all of the times where, I wish I chose to have a different attitude. There were times in my career that I picked battles I shouldn’t have. There were times with friends and people I cared about, that I picked battles simply because I could. Letting go of that battle last night highlighted all of the battles I probably shouldn’t have picked. It made me realize that, in the end – in the really big picture – some battles work themselves out. Ask yourself, in the grand scheme of things, does this really matter? What GOOD is going to come of this? What BAD could come of this? And if you can’t really find a good answer – maybe it’s a battle you shouldn’t pick.

We don’t always need to battle change, sometimes change just needs to be embraced.

We don’t always need to battle people, especially when we know that doing so could be major steps backwards.

We don’t always need a comeback for everything – especially when you know the only thing it will lead to is personal guilt.

We don’t always need to BATTLE OURSELVES. Choose to act in a way that represents who you want to be. If you define yourself as being open-minded, don’t be closed off to new ideas when they are presented. If you define yourself as being caring, take every opportunity to show it. If you want to be cooperative, don’t fight every request that comes your way. If you want to be appreciative – make sure you vocalize the times you are appreciative! If you want to be thoughtful, find ways to show how much you think. People may always question it, criticize it, ask you to stop – but if stopping is only going to cause you frustration choose not to battle yourself.