Think of wisdom and the traditional image that comes to mind is of an old man with white hair, living in a remote mountain village somewhere. But the truth is, anyone can be wise, young or old. Granted, older people have been through things that the younger ones may not have been through yet, but there are older people that actually lack wisdom.
The dictionary definition of wisdom is the quality of having experience knowledge and good judgement – knowledge gained over time and the ability to use that knowledge and experience to make good decisions and judgements.
Here are four steps to becoming wise
1. Learn from your mistakes
This is such an obvious one, and if you’re like me and like to try new things and to take risks, mistakes are inevitable, but it’s all part of the learning process. There is no problem with making mistakes as long as we learn not to repeat them. Why would we do the same thing again if we saw that it didn’t work in the first place? And as good old Einstein once said, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
2. Learn from others other people’s mistakes
Why should you have to go through the pain, embarrassment, inconvenience, etc. of making a mistake that you have already seen someone else make? This could be anything from seeing a loved-one being treated badly by a partner but then starting a relationship with a man with the same character traits. It could be a mistake that you see someone make at work that caused some kind of disciplinary action, and then doing the same thing. Sometimes other people’s mistakes can be the gossip of the month, but instead of judging, how about taking it as a lesson for us not to fall into the same hole?
We should all think about the consequences of our own words or actions. I’ve learned not to make a decision for example, when I’m angry or sad, because that won’t be my head making the decision, but rather my emotions and emotions can be very confusing and can get us into lots of trouble. It’s best to calm down, take some time out to think and then make a decision.
I’ve also learn to think about my dealings with people – how I speak, what I say, whether that person is ready to hear what I have to say, in the way I’m going to say it. Sometimes we’re itching to say something or do something but it’s not always the right time.
4. Work on you
I love to work on my development. I’m always thinking about myself, what I can improve, not just in my career but personally – the way I relate to others, the way I think, how I deal with problems, etc. and this helps me to stay grounded and not to ever think that I’m perfect or have reached the top of my game. There is ALWAYS room for improvement.
So for me, wisdom isn’t perfection, but it’s someone who is willing to grow and develop and help others to do the same.