Lesson # 34: You may lose the battle, but you can still win the war.

Imagine this; You’re at the grocery store heading for the check out aisle with a full cart. Coming from the opposite direction is an old lady who also has a full cart and has noticed that you are finished shopping as well. She stares you down and begins to pick up her pace. Realizing that this woman is actually racing you to check out, you feel your heart race, your palms grip the cart, and you begin to trot to the check out line. Seconds away from what will most likely result in a full head on collision, you find yourself slowing down and conceding. You have chosen to lose the battle and the old woman slides into home without even nodding her head in appreciation.
Scenarios similar to this happen all of the time. Whether we are cut off while driving, or arguing with our kids, we are confronted with the emotionally charged decision. “Do I go for this or not?” Before going to war, it is important to consider a few things: 1. Will there be consequences to my actions? 2. Did I contribute to the problem in any way? 3. Is there a better way to deal with this? If the answer is “Yes” to any of these questions, then it is smarter to wipe off the war paint and choose to take the higher road. In other words, pick your battles.
Picking your battle is more of an internal war, one that you wage on your temperament, pride, and instinct. We want to seek justice and defend ourselves, but we choose to wave the flag and claim defeat instead. The aftermath- elevated heart rate, muscle tension, and sailor mouth, are short-term effects that are annoying, but manageable (Find a happy place). The long-term effects are much better.
Once the deep breathing and counting to ten has tamed the beast, a new feeling brushes off the dust of the battlefield and holds its head up high. It is a sense of maturity, of confidence, of pride. Mastering the skill of making good choices in the face of adversity helps increase self-confidence, which, in turn, decreases the negative effects of future battles. It allows you to say, “I can totally take you down, but I choose not to.”
Next time you feel the call to combat, stop and think: Is this a battle worth fighting? If it is, best of luck to you. If not, snap that rubber band on your wrist, take a deep breath, and know that it’s not the battle that counts, it’s the war and you are
winning.

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