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 ?
In a lengthy text message Stava-Murray wrote to Jessica Basham, Madigan's chief of staff, the new lawmaker said that she has "fielded several calls from colleagues seeking to change my mind about my vote that had made me actively worry about retaliation if I didn't 'choose my battles wisely' and if I 'started off on the wrong foot.'"