William Irvine, in interpreting the writing of the Stoics, believes that there are :
A) things we can fully control (largely ourselves),
B) things over which we have some, but not complete, control, and
C) things over which we have no control (fully external)
and that we should spend all of our time in A and B, and none in C.
The A and C bits are logical, but it’s B where we sometimes struggle - when we know we have a little influence, but not enough to realistically effect change without compromising on our core values.
An old boss of mine once said “only fight the battles you can win, and even then, only fight the ones worth winning”. I used to think he meant that we should only fight the battles where the outcome was valuable enough to justify the effort - now I realise that there are some battles where the cost of victory is simply too high….