choose (one's) battles (wisely)

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choose (one's) battles (wisely)

To actively choose not to participate in minor, unimportant, or overly difficult arguments, contests, or confrontations, saving one's strength instead for those that will be of greater importance or in which one has a greater chance of success. As a parent, you learn to choose your battles with your kids so you don't run yourself ragged nagging them. The best politicians choose their battles wisely: if one becomes too embroiled in petty debates, one never gets anything done.
See also: battle, choose
References in periodicals archive ?
I learned to adjust, compromise and choose battles, not to make a big deal of little things.
He added: "Labour is in terminal decline if they continue to deliberately choose battles that ordinary people on the ground aren't interested in.
Experience has shown me that it is wise to pick and choose battles carefully and remember sometimes you might lose the battle, but it doesn't matter if you win the war!
Management is not so much a job of intelligence and textbook knowledge as people skills, the ability to choose battles wisely, and the capacity to maintain the dignity of others even when there is conflict.