My father taught me an extremely valid life lesson when I was twelve: Pick Your Battles.
ďDonít be like me, and learn once youíre forty that you donít need to win every argument or get your way all the time. Learn it while youíre young to just pick you battles. Some things are worth fighting for, like love and respect, while others arenít really worth it, like what youíre going to eat for dinner. Learn the difference, because it will make life a lot easier.Ē
I never forgot that lesson. He was right - it definitely has made my life easier.
My partner questioned me about it the other day, asking why I always just Ďlet things goí instead of sticking to my guns. I simply told him that it didnít really matter who drove, or who cleaned the kitchen. It didnít really matter if we left the house ten minutes after I thought we should. It definitely didnít really matter if we watched this movie or that one.
ďYouíve seen me when I stick to my guns, itís over things like communication and discussing problems. I almost bully something out of you if I think itís important enough. But those little things, they arenít worth the argument.Ē
Imagine how much less stress and tension you would have in your life if you didnít argue over who did the dishes? Or what time you were to meet somewhere? Or who showered first?
The little arguments you have daily over non-consequential things are the real stressors. You wouldnít go to work annoyed if you didnít argue over who took the car and who took the train. You wouldnít get frustrated if you didnít argue with your partner over who should put the kids to bed. You wouldnít be in a mad mood if you hadnít argued with your friend over where we should eat for lunch. Those little things turn into big things when you argue about them.
Imagine what it would feel like if you didnít worry about any of that stuff?
I am as stubborn as they come over the things in my life that really matter to me: family, deadlines, love, communication, respect, friendships and money. The minute someone questions any of those things, I attack them like they're an army of ants that have invaded my kitchen. There are some things in life that no one should question you about, and those are the battles you choose to fight. The minute anyone questions my relationship, I fight for that. Whenever anyone decides that writing isnít something I should choose to do with my life, I fight for that. When someone attacks one of my friends, I fight for that.
However, for the little things: like what movie we should see, or who should put the rubbish out? These are life events you donít need to fight for.
Letting the little things, is what I believe to be one of the keys to happiness.
My partner is now learning, at the age of twenty-eight on what it really means to let go of things that really arenít a big deal at all. It has only been a month of him giving this a shot, and already he is more positive and happier. If he can do it, being by far one of the most argumentative and stubborn people - then most certainly anyone can. You just have to remember to only fight for the things that are truly meaningful for you. Forget all the little things that can bring you down on a daily basis. keep going.
I can guarantee that you'll have more energy, and a more positive outlook if you let go of the little things.