Pick Your Battles Carefully

As you might know, I’m an advocate of creating a life map. I believe creating a life map can help you see the big picture of your life and its overall direction. It can help you plan your life effectively.

From reviewing my life map, there are two lessons I learned.

The first one is that I can only accomplish a few significant things in a year. I might aspire to do a lot, but I can only accomplish a few of them.

Like it or not, your capacity is limited. You can’t do everything. That’s why it’s important that you pick your battles carefully. You need to think it through before committing your resources (time, energy, or money) to something. If you try to do too much, you will either accomplish nothing or end up with a bunch of mediocre things. Ask yourself: Is it worth doing? Is it worth fighting for? Weigh the options before you make your decision.

The second lesson I learned is that significant undertakings usually take a multi-year effort. This blog, for instance, has been on its seventh year. That’s why, when planning what to accomplish this year, you need consider it from a multi-year perspective. Is it something that you are willing to commit a multi-year effort to? Is it something that you can keep building on year after year?

Think long term and think it through. Then pick your battles.

Photo by Paul Bica


  1. We become that which we do – so, without picking your battles carefully, you cannot guide your growth. Nicely done, well-written my friend.

  2. Long term goals with good milestones is the way to go. With really big goals you needs absolute focus, like you’re climbing a mountain. You have to concentrate and not be distracted from singular focus. Other times when we’re exploring what to do next then many short goals can be a good form of experimenting and testing of ideas.

  3. I find good values in finding this long term goal, yet at the same time i find it does change perspective if I plan it out way towards the future. I do however find that setting short-term goals in the midst of that long term goal helpful because I find it achievable.

    I like the idea of the life map and setting the goals on a semester kind of basis, but what if you start to change plans even after thinking it through, for example, you might want to write a book, but eventually you find that you’re time is better off.

    What do you think of such a situation ?

    • Hi Nasri,

      The life map is mainly for the past, for things that have happened. It helps you see the big picture of your life. That way you can plan your future more effectively.

      For the future, I do have long-term goals, but I remain flexible in the details. I know that things could change along the way. I remain open to new possibilities while still keeping the big picture in mind.

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