A few months ago, various people, presumably in response to Jordan Peterson’s book, came up with their 12 rules for living. I could do the same, but instead my co-author Charley Hooper and I wrote a whole book on it: Making Great Decisions in Business and Life.

So rather than give some of the main points from that book, I’ll give a rule that I see frequently broken. It’s one that if people followed, they would often do better. In a way, it’s a version of one of the rules we talk about in the book. In the book we say that for any choice, you should ask yourself “What is your objective?”

Here’s the new version:

In any conflict or controversy, always keep in mind what you are trying to achieve.

In other words, remember your goal.

This seems obvious. No, this IS obvious. And yet I see it broken all the time and I find myself often tempted to break it.

I’ve been in conflicts where I start to think that it’s important for the other person to realize that he is wrong. And this is often when he has already agreed to give me what I want or he seems close to that agreement. Am I more likely to get what I want by having him admit that he was wrong? Not in my experience.