Wisdom, a word we hardly hear in day-to-day conversations, is often thought of as philosophical or something bestowed on the old and experienced. More common related words we hear are clever, intelligent, smart.
Loosely defined, wisdom is the ability to reflect on knowledge and experience and consequently have sound judgement to make good decisions.
Interestingly, famed King Solomon of the bible asked Yahuah (God) for wisdom when he was struggling to govern his kingdom. Yahuah was impressed that he didn’t ask for long life or riches; things most of us would probably ask for if we are honest. King Solomon proceeded to write the book of proverbs, a collection of phrases and sayings that state general truth or are pieces of advice to live a better life. Whether you believe in the bible or not I’d encourage you to read the book of proverbs as it forms a great foundation for understanding and acquiring wisdom.
So how can you pursue wisdom?
I mined through the proverbs and came up with some workable steps:
- Fear (respect) Yahuah (God) – the beginning of wisdom is acknowledging that there is a power at work greater than the limitations of human beings. Reverencing Yahuah is the beginning of wisdom.
- Be teachable – A teachable person is willing to learn from others as wisdom is developed through learning.
- Accept correction – Correction from others is vital as it helps you to address your blind spots, we all have parts of ourselves that we are not aware of.
- Saturate yourself with content that increases wisdom
- Your environment should be filled with people and things that encourage you to be wise.
- Stay away from people that decrease your wisdom.
- Meditate on things that inspire you, this can be books, videos, podcasts, etc.
- Resist the urge to be foolish (as far as possible) – In any given situation wisdom is always there before you; for the most part, it’s that inbuilt still small voice that tells you what the best thing to do is.
- Practice wisdom – Wisdom is like a muscle. The more you use it (demonstrate that you have it), the more it strengthens and grows.
- Build others – adding value to the lives of others is wisdom at work. Be a light to those around you.
- Develop yourself – Acknowledge and work through things that stop you from being wise so that you increase your chances of wisdom.
- Allow spiritual teaching to penetrate your heart – learning from spiritual teachings is feeding and strengthening that still small voice in you so you can better hear it.
- Focus on what lies ahead – Think holistically and strategically, not only about what is happening here and now.
As we make choices, most of the time we inherently know what we need to do, we understand what the best thing to do is and I call that wisdom. Most of the time we disregard the knowing because we figure that there must be a better way; it can’t be that simple we reason with ourselves so we search for answers outside of ourselves. Alternatively, we are overtaken by our ego and a strong sense of self-importance; we then act out of preserving our ego albeit against our better judgement. The more in tune we become with ourselves, the more we are able to hear and trust our knowing and, the wiser we are able to act.