The below is a newsletter from GoalsToAction.Com. It is being reproduced in its entirety below since I felt it was a very well written piece and Roger Constandse of Goals To Action was kind enough to allow posting the same on my blog subject to it being reproduced in its entirety. Please note the advertisements are part of the newsletter and From The Pulpit is not advertising any products or associated in any way with these products. I however highly recommended the newsletter for these great write-ups on productivity etc.
Goals to Action Newsletter
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Have you ever heard the expression "He may have won the battle, but he lost the war" Chances are you probably have, but maybe you haven’t considered how it might apply to your everyday life.
If you think back very honestly you will most likely remember a number of situations where you "won a battle" but ended up "losing the war" when all was said and done.
If you want to avoid this kind of negative outcome, the key is to be aware and decide which battles are truly worth fighting.
The term for this type of victory is a "pyrrhic victory." It comes from the story of King Pyrrhus and the war that was fought between Greece and the Roman Empire in about 280 BC. During that war, the King launched his men into a battle against the Romans. They ended up winning the battle but they suffered enormous losses. The casualties were so high, in fact, that they devastated his army.
After the battle, King Pyrrhus told his advisors that one more such victory would undo him… He was right, because he was unable to rebuild his army’s strength. This victory came at a devastating cost to King Pyrrhus. He may have won the battle, but in the end,
he lost the war.
Although the concept of a pyrrhic victory comes from a military event, it has many practical implications for your daily life. There are times when you can try to force an outcome to come out the way you want, but create so much damage and chaos in the
process that you end up losing big time. In life, as in war, sometimes it is much wiser to retreat from a fight or even not fight at all rather than to try to win at all costs. Even if you know you are right and the other person is wrong, pushing the point to achieve "victory" is sometimes the worst thing you can do.
The Smart Way to Pick Your Battles
So how do you go about choosing which battles to fight immediately and which to step away from without a fight? Unfortunately, there is no set formula to answer this question, but here are a few common sense guidelines to keep in mind.
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1. What is the ultimate outcome you want to achieve?
Will fighting this battle help you achieve that ultimate outcome or hurt your efforts to do so? For instance, let’s say you are attending a dinner party and the host shares a quote she says is from the Bible, but you know it is actually from Shakespeare.
Should you speak up and correct your host and embarrass her in front of the other guests? Or should you just stay quiet and let the mistake pass without comment?
I think it’s pretty obvious that if you value your relationship with this person, your best bet is to stay quiet.
2. Consider your options and figure out a better way to handle the situation
For example, you and your spouse are at the playground with your children when the two of you get into an argument that quickly becomes quite heated. Should you continue the argument there in the playground where your children and other people will witness the yelling and the anger? Or should you both stop, take a deep breath, and put the argument "on hold" until you return home and can deal with it in a more private manner?
3. Stop to think before reacting
These may seem like rather obvious examples, but you might be surprised at how often these kinds of situations occur and just how often people simply react without thinking about whether a battle is worth fighting or not.
In the end, it is far better to think about long term consequences rather than give in to the urge to "be right" or "make things go away" in the short term.
The next time you are faced with a battle, stop to think before reacting, consider your options, and think about what you are ultimately trying to achieve.
Here are some other resources that you might find helpful:
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Have a great week!
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