Personal Stories: Fighting the Right Battles
Even if you've built a great support network for yourself, you still have to choose your battles carefully. Temujin, a Friend of Disqovery, shares some of his insights in this personal story. You can also read his earlier blog post on breaking free.
Fighting the Right Battles
It was early in the morning, He opened his window and shouted “You won’t even let me in asshole!?” I thought that he was backing into the parking spot to park when in fact he was trying to get out, it would have been easy to tell if he turned on his signal. I was tempted to roll down my window and shout back, but I didn’t want to escalate the situation and waste my energy.
It was late in the afternoon when my boss told me that I would have to share the work on a project that I have spearheaded for a long time with a new person that has less experience. That night, I agonized over how I should react. Is it worth it to tell my boss that I want to be the lead at the risk of not looking like a team player or should I just let it go? The next morning, I took a stand and let him know that I would like to maintain the lead since I know the project better.
I would have regretted being too passive on this issue and do not regret spending the time and energy to think of how to properly assert myself. My boss said that he himself would be the lead and that I would be the primary subject matter expert. I was satisfied with my manager’s answer and decided that I would not risk aggravating him and wasting my energy by bringing up the issue again. My ultimate goal is to get into business school and spending too much effort on politics can be draining – my resume is already impressive as it is so my efforts are better spent acing my graduate exam.
We are all human beings with a finite supply of mental, physical, and spiritual energy. Which battles will you choose to fight? Which challenges will you choose to engage?
As I move forward in my journey, I am learning that I should be fighting for a better future and enjoying a sense of peace instead of getting caught up in the meaningless squabbles of daily life. Now I've started asking myself the following questions:
- When I win this battle, what do I get?
- Is this a battle worth fighting?
- Is this really even my battle?
- Does this battle really get me closer to my goals?
While it is easy to ask myself these questions now, I know that applying this wisdom will take years to perfect and that I will naturally have new stressors as I mature. Stressors such as getting married, buying a house, having children, and raising a family. There are potentially hundreds of things that can upset us and drain our energy on a daily basis, but knowing which situations to disregard and which to focus on is a skill.
So sit back, reflect, and ask yourself: “Am I fighting the right battles?” - Temujin