Wisdom is a quality that isn’t reserved for elders and the aged.. Wisdom is having an accurate view of the world, both the world we see and the world we don’t see, and how it works coupled with just judgment as to action. Regrettably, It’s much more common to view the world through distorted glasses.
Our prejudices, biases, hurts from the past, and misconceptions taint our perception. We’re driven by habit and polluted by our past experiences. It’s very challenging to strip all of that away and perceive the world accurately. It can take a lifetime to reach a high level of wisdom. However, with conscious attention, anyone of any age can increase their wisdom.
It’s not necessary to live alone in a cave or become a Buddhist monk to reach a state of wisdom. All that’s really required is to pay attention and observe your thoughts.
There are many advantages to wisdom:
- It’s impossible to feel jealous, offended, or have other negative emotions if you’re wise. With wisdom, you know that your feelings and emotions are yours. What other people feel or may say are about them, not about you.
- You no longer feel the need to impress anyone else. You come from a place of authenticity. If that means you’re unlike others around you, so be it. You can be who you are without taking anything away from anyone else.
- Simple things become much more enjoyable. Eating an orange or going for a walk is as satisfying as driving a Ferrari. The most successful person isn’t the one that has the most. It’s the person that’s happiest and most satisfied with what they already have.
How does one become wise? It’s quite simple, and not easy. It does require consistency, awareness and attention.
Use these strategies on your journey to wisdom:
- Meditate. Meditation is a primary tool to wisdom. Buy a book or join a local group to learn how to meditate. Meditation isn’t complicated, but it must be done with a high level of expertise in order to get the most out of it.
- Pay attention. Notice your thoughts and feelings as they arise. If you’re sitting in traffic, annoyed that you’re going to be late for work, notice the feelings and consider the origin. What are you feeling? Why? Are your feelings helping in any way? Have you always responded this way in similar situations? Would a child respond the same way?
- Play the role of the observer. It’s not enough to pay attention. Strive to be objective and non-judgmental in your observations. Imagine you’re a stranger observing the situation with nothing to gain or lose. Be dispassionate. Notice the rise and fall of your emotions without getting involved. Be a scientist.
- Be totally responsible for your life. Recognize that you are creative and each moment you are creating your life with your thoughts and emotions.
- Learn from mistakes. Really there are no mistakes. As humans, we don’t always get the outcome we intended. Take responsibility for any wrong turns and learn from them.
- Let go of the past. If you’re still upset that your dad walked out on the family when you were six, holding onto that hurt is stopping your innate wisdom from blossoming. Being dispassionate about negative experiences from the past are half of the challenge to wisdom. Let them go.
There is a perception that wisdom comes with age. Wisdom comes with awareness and consciousness. It comes with being honest with yourself and with others. There are wise people of all ages. Know the difference. A teacher once told me that some elders are wise and some elders are just old people. It’s always a choice.
Start your journey to wisdom today!