With the internet – data and knowledge are at our fingertips. Research papers are available online. Summaries and opinions are readily searchable through any browser. Universities have vast libraries that you can subscribe to – many of them for free. But is all this information giving us wisdom?
What is wisdom? Where can you acquire it?
“We don’t receive wisdom; we must discover it for ourselves after a journey that no one can take for us or spare us.”
Wisdom is not something that you acquire through reading or studying. It is not something you can purchase.
It is learned by living, through experience and doing and feeling.
What wisdom have you learned so far in 2019?
What is your journey of discovery this year?
At DiscoverYourPathU we believe:
Every life can teach and everyone can grow.
This includes learning wisdom.
4 steps to attaining wisdom
I identify four simple steps for attaining wisdom – the kind of wisdom that will take you from thinking and learning, all the way through to action. Because knowledge without action is not true wisdom.
Go into the silence
Wisdom is calm and serene. It is simple.
“To attain knowledge, add things everyday.
To attain wisdom, remove things every day.”
We get so busy learning… new information… new articles to read… the latest show to watch… bombarded constantly by “new” and “improved”.
It is easy to get overwhelmed and simply devour knowledge. But is all that knowledge and learning transforming your life?
When you are “triggered” by the world – do you react? Or do you respond?
Are you known for your wisdom? Or for your explosive temper? For your emotional responses and outbursts?
Can you trust the inner you for a tirade? or for gentle silence & deep inner wisdom? Are you calm? Or a storm?
Does your monkey mind badger you constantly with thoughts and judgments? Or does your mind slip gently and easily into line with a compassionate heart to remind you that “this too shall pass”?
True wisdom can be found in the stillness.
Removing all the non-essential. Stilling and calming the mind.
Take a moment.
Focus on your breath – balancing your in-breath with the out-breath.
Easily & effortlessly – just breathing.
Listen to your heartbeat – can you hear it in your chest? your temples? notice it in your hands or toes? feel your heartbeat in your belly?
Remove all distractions.
Sit in the easy silence.
Connect with Wisdom.
In the stillness – the calm – what wisdom can you hear?
Wisdom – listens with compassion
“What wisdom can you find that is greater than kindness?”
When we lead from the heart – we lead with compassion.
Compassion for yourself.
Compassion for others.
This is true kindness – loving your neighbour AS YOURSELF.
Your heart is made to connect – connection with yourself. Connection with others.
As you begin to really understand that relationship – the self-care and caring for others, allowing yourself to be filled with affection, warmth, and love of the heart – you will find that life is truly rich and wonderful!
The wisdom to know that kindness starts with taking care of yourself so that you can take care of others.
When you are wise and compassionate, you will be willing to inquire when you find something that you don’t know. You will be willing to put ego aside – because it is more important to gain knowledge than to be thought by others as all-knowing. Children – in their knowledge that they don’t know – ask.
How many times in a row can a child ask “why”? You are probably angry and frustrated long before they are satisfied with the answer! Have you stopped asking questions?
What questions should you be compassionately asking that would allow you to explore your inner wisdom? How can you better connect with others by asking the right questions?
Wisdom – is knowing yourself and others
“Knowing others is wisdom,
knowing yourself is Enlightenment.”
The only person that you can change and work on is YOU. You are responsible for how you respond and what you do.
But, as we already intimated when looking at compassion, there is so much more to wisdom. How can you know yourself if you only focus all your attention on your mind – mindset, thoughts, and completely ignoring your feelings, emotions, and desires? How can you know yourself if you are ignoring your needs, your safety & security, your self-preservation & core identity?
If I look at wisdom from the perspective of mBraining (Soosalu & Oka), we start with the heart:
- what am I feeling? Acknowledge those emotions
- what do I want or desire? How would I like to feel as I work my way through this?
- what might be my desired outcome?
- who do I need to connect with? Which important relationships are impacted by my choice?
- what do I value in this exploration and choice?
Ensuring that the how-we-choose-to-move-forward not only feels good but is also “a good idea”, brings in logic and analysis. This logic is often missing from hair-brained schemes started by the heart!
Looking from the perspective of our feelings, desires and wants is only one part of the picture. Likewise, if I tried to solve this only from the perspective of “what do I think” or “this is just a mindset problem“, I would be missing opportunities for wisdom to emerge.
Finally, checking to ensure that this meets your needs – proceeding safely and securely – is essential. Your decision-making process should overcome any obstacles or fears that may appear along the way!
How can you be certain that you are putting your time and knowledge to proper use? Wisdom is something that emerges and evolves, as you get to know yourself and others.
What if you could be certain that this is the best option FOR YOU? Not necessarily the best option for the person next to you – but YOUR best option. Wisdom is when your thoughts, desires, words & actions all align – living the best version of yourself in the world.
Wisdom – takes us from “knowing” to “doing”
“Logic is the beginning of wisdom, not the end.”
Spock, Star Trek (Leonard Nemoy)
Most of us live in our heads – what I think, my ideas, my monkey mind chattering at me, how I judge myself…
The human mind is amazing:
- logic and problem-solving tasks
- orienting through time & time sequence processing
- detailed processes
- verbal or non-verbal expression
- spatial – shapes, global holistic processing
- understanding metaphors & similies
- music and tonal processing, facial recognition
- memory & retention
And yet, all of this is simply the beginning – not the outcome. When we allow our mind to run the show, we find ourselves overthinking, over analysing, playing the devil’s advocate, judging ourselves.
But a truly wise life is one that is actioned – happening, with intention. It is organised and operational. It is achieving the life goals and dreams that align with our purpose and passions.
It is only when we accept that Wisdom emerges when we align and are coherent with our feelings, emotions, passions, and desires – lead by our heart – and putting all of our wonderful thought processes and logic at the service of this heart, that we begin to see wisdom emerge.
Moreover – knowing is not enough – we have to DO.
It is when we take that knowledge and convert it into action, that we see wisdom emerge.