Pick your battles, now there’s some good advice. . .
In this crazy world it seems we are called to fight battles every day, on the streets, at home, at work, even in our own head (my personal favourite, since I like to come prepared). It’s important though to know when to fight and have a clear idea of what it is you’re up against. Focus on the significant issue, not the insignificant.
But how often can we be certain of the significance and magnitude of a problem? Is there a concrete way to distinguish between important and unimportant issues? One of my biggest fears is to wake up one day and realise that all the problems I deemed small and unimportant have merged into a massive insolvable issue. It hasn’t happened so far, but. . .
That’s why I try to find the root of the problem before attempting to deal with it.
It can actually be a fun process: Put yourself in the investigator’s shoes; gather the clues, make assumptions, ascertain the facts and try to put the pieces of the puzzle together. And as any self-respecting investigator, you should have your sidekicks. I usually assign that role to my family, my friends or my colleagues who, depending on the issue at hand, often offer invaluable advice and sometimes the imaginative solution.
Once you know what the actual problem is, decide on the best tactic and move ahead. Personally, I find it more productive to choose tactics that eliminate the possibility of failure – not the brisk, super-hero confrontations with unpredictable results. If we are to see ourselves as generals, leading the way in everyday battles, we might as well be great generals.
”Battles are won by slaughter and maneuver. The greater the general, the more he contributes in maneuver, the less he demands in slaughter.”