Choose Your Battles
We all have our battles. As a people, we can have our challenges with our kids, our friends, maybe family members, or at work, in school or sports things. Conflict, disagreements, and challenges happen every single day for almost every person, and one of two things happens. We either insert ourselves into it or we ignore it and move forward. Sometimes we need to insert ourselves into the situation, and sometimes we need to move forward and not expend our energy or emotions on it. Maybe it’s at work and someone isn’t carrying their weight, or maybe they are creating chaos through gossip or their actions or inactions. Or maybe someone at work or in your family is saying untrue things about you. Or is our child not acting appropriately at school and getting reprimanded as should be but manipulating the situation at home. Or is it a sports situation and your child isn’t performing up to the level possible and it’s creating a challenge. Whatever the situation may be, we all have them every day.
Choosing to speak or not speak is a delicate opportunity and one must answer some questions first before we insert ourselves into the situation.
#1. What is my responsibility in the situation? Is this problem occurring due to any of my actions or inactions and why?
#2. Is there a healthy path forward in which the truth can be pursued? Can we do what is right or achieve what is best?
#3. Are we more interested in “winning” or “being right”, than the pursuit of truth and what is best?
#4. Am I willing to truly listen to others more than I am interested in talking?
#5. Is there a moral or ethical aspect to the situation that is violating your core values?
#6. If you are in pursuit of the truth, what is right, or a just cause, is the other person or people ready and willing to receive the message humbly, and ready to make a change or make a difference for the truth, what is right, or the just cause.
#7 Do I have the talent, ability, or skill set to help in the conflict or situation?
There are more and other questions we need to ask ourselves in many different situations, but these are a good start for us. But we must think about what is our responsibility in any situation. We must always be in pursuit of the truth and what is best or right. If we are concerned about always “winning” or “being right”, then pack your bags and go home. Don’t engage. If we can’t listen to others and are more concerned about our voice, then pack our bags and go home. We must be able to stand on rock-solid ethics and morals convicted to stand on what is right or just while working to change what is wrong or unjust. And most importantly, as I have learned over the years when your heart is in the right spot, and you have a passion for helping others achieve bigger things then typically possible for them it takes energy, passion, and motivation only a few holds. The other aspect one learns over the years, when trying to take people to places or heights never achieved before, is that the other person or people must be ready for the message.
There are battles every day, and if someone isn’t ready for the message, stop fighting the battle. If they are ready to pursue truth, what is right and just, stop fighting the battle. If they are more interested in “winning” or “being right”, stop fighting the battle. And if you are any parts of these, take a humble look inward. Some people only want to fight and not create forward movement. The purpose of battle is to reach the mission of the goal. Going to battle with a fool is a losing proposition. Some people battle to battle. They don’t battle to achieve a goal, a purpose, the truth, or what is best or right. Nor are they interested in listening. Pick your battles by answering the questions above before engaging. If we do those things, we will find ourselves in fewer battles. We may also find ourselves with a smaller, more positive life-changing inner circle taking us to places we have never been!