Know when to hold them... know when to fold them.
As per the Kenny Rogers song The Gambler you "gotta know when to hold em, know when to fold em". This applies to so many more facets of life than just gambling. Choosing what battles to fight, points to persist with or indeed functionality on a project is important to your own sanity if anything.
I was reminded of this recently when raising what I thought was a fairly nondescript issue with the sourcing of some marketing collateral resulted in a broadside I wasn't really expecting. Within a few minutes I realised that this was a battle there was little point fighting and I should have just sucked it up and moved on yet it would appear I had just poked a bee hive with a stick! I made a hasty retreat and reflected a little whilst waiting for the dust to settle.
In my early days working in a design Studio I was overly precious of things and would battle to the bitter end on what in hindsight were fairly minimal things. I would find myself getting stressed out and almost react negatively to other suggestions on a project which made the whole thing less enjoyable and more of a slog. I found it really hard to take on the suggestions of others if it veered away from my fairly purist views on what we should be doing with regards to web development. Being so belligerent about how we laid out a form or structured some html did little to help my peers and senior staff members embrace new methods I was trying to bring into projects. If anything it distracted from the bigger picture and made it less likely to get any bigger shifts in process taken on board.
As the years have gone on I have learnt to pick my battles a little more wisely, learning when to let something go in order to have a smooth running stress free project. This gives you the energy to really hold your ground when an issue is critical. I can live with design choices that I don't really agree with if as a trade off I get my way with the responsive approach I want to use or let the slightly odd navigation structure go if I make a win elsewhere. As long as the overall result is not negatively affected.
There are going to be times that you have to be stubborn and back your own ability/experience and in these situations now I tend to be like a dog with a bone although I have got a lot better at explaining why we should be doing something a certain way.
I am not sure this a good or a bad thing, is it a case of losing my youthful energy to fight my cause on all fronts or perhaps just the wiseness that comes from experience?
I guess there are positives and negatives but one thing is for sure , I get a lot less wound up about things now than I used to!
And that is why you don't want to spend too much time swimming and snorkelling!
I am sorry Internet Explorer.. this cannot go on!