I was in Des Moines with long-term friends this past weekend. I laughed to the point of tears several times - this doesn’t happen enough. A lot of our stories we told this weekend were from school days or when we were just starting out. Back then, none of us had anything of value. Our cars were mostly rust, and our existence was pretty much hand to mouth - but we had fun. Back then our entertainment was playing cards, eating bad food, and telling stories. Our concerns were more organic, and most nights we laughed to the point of crying. It was a pretty special time in our lives.
A topic came up at senior leadership today. What does winning look like? We thought about it for awhile and we asked ourselves “are we arguing this point to win or just debate AND/OR does it even make sense to expend the energy?” For example - I could complain about the rain all I want and wring my hands and fret, but it won’t change anything - it will still rain. I liken this to a lot of the things I expend my limited energy on … will screaming at the TV about politics/sports/my opinion on how it should work change anything? Usually “no” is the answer I get back. So if this is the case, then why bother?
The problem for some of us is (… me …) about protecting our (my) fragile egos - we have to win arguments. As I age, the need for me to win is more important than the issue at hand. I feel a need to be right. The desire to argue and debate wins out over whether it makes sense to expend precious energy to do so. Is it worth the fight? Sometimes. If the fight adds grace to the universe, or changes a situation for the greater good or makes us healthier, then maybe. However, if it doesn’t - if it is merely arguing to argue, fighting to fight … perhaps saving energy is not a bad thing.*
Getting back to basics - laughing to the point of crying, telling stories and enjoying each other’s company “just because” is a good reminder of what life should be about. Being cranked up about nothing will only cause unnecessary stress.
*(I’ll try and appreciate more and argue less.)