Wisdom is a powerful quality to have in your daily life. What is the meaning of wisdom: the quality of having experience, knowledge, and good judgment; the quality of being wise and using your experience, knowledge and good judgment to take the right action or decision that supports the situation.
Why Is Wisdom Important?
Wisdom helps each of us make the right decisions for ourselves. When we are in sync with our needs and understand what is happening in different situations, our choices provide us with a satisfying life.
Characteristics of Wise People
It’s challenging to define wisdom in that the quality includes many different aspects that work together to come up with a perspective that allows a person to decide about people, places or things.
- Compassionate – tolerance, consideration, kindness, recognizing the humanity in all of us.
- Good Listener – stops thinking and instead provides full attention to the person who is speaking. It’s a challenge not to want to react, and yet, after practicing the listening skill, you find life more interesting with many possibilities that weren’t there before.
- Humor – jokes are great, though humor isn’t all about jokes. It’s looking at the many experiences we have in life and realizing the absurdity of many of the situations that we where we are serious. It’s light-hearted and the ability to laugh and share it with others.
- Open to Learning – ask questions and be open to new thoughts or experiences to come into your world.
- Problem Solver – an orientation that every situation has several potential solutions and be willing to find the best one before you respond.
- Quiet time – spending time with one’s self and thinking through issues or creative pursuit.
- Respond vs. React – reacting is immediate, whereas respond is stepping back and taking into consideration different aspects of a situation before deciding what the best way to handle it is.
How Do You Gain Wisdom?
Wisdom is a quality that you work to build, and this allows you to create a life that supports your well-being and those of others. Sometimes you hear people saying that a person has an “old soul,” which indicates they are wise. This person approaches life with more respect and understanding. People who acquire a thoughtful view on life, usually are open to the following:
- Step out of their comfort zone and try new things and meet new people.
- They think things through, so they respond more appropriately to the situation.
- Understand that giving to others is part of life and there is plenty to be shared by all.
- Take the time for daily learning.
- Make it a habit to listen carefully to others before responding.
- Learn to be compassionate to one’s self and others.
- They don’t get weigh down by mistakes; instead, they see them as opportunities to learn.
Advice is not necessarily wise as it is based on our beliefs that drive our words towards others. If we want to share our wisdom, we need first to stop and listen to the other person. Listening means blocking out our advice, sitting with the person, listening to their words and their nonverbal communication. Then you can decide if what you have to share is of value to them.
We all have many experiences that provided us with a way of thinking, which may or may not serve us, yet we freely share out thoughts without listening to the other person. When we quickly respond to others, without giving thought to what we are saying, this is reacting and not responding.
I just did that recently, when I didn’t stop and evaluate what I wanted to say to the other person and just expounded on my thinking. In retrospect, it was not helpful advice, and it was a mistake and one that I can learn from and change in the future.
Before sharing advice,
stop listening to yourself and start listening to the other person.
What do you think wisdom is all about? Do you consider yourself wise? What areas do you think wisdom is helpful? Wisdom is about using your experiences, knowledge, and intuition to access how to best respond. Where do you stand with this brief definition?
Women’s Group Topics
If you have ever been with a group of women, there is more talking about ourselves than listening to others. I recognize this when I moved and had to make new friends. I spent more time listening to new people than my old friends as I was busy sharing my thoughts.
Women give advice freely though we always need to check it to see if we are listening to the other person or just sharing our thoughts. We may take one thing they say and run away with it and not listen to all of the person’s feelings which can make a difference in our response.
Talk about wisdom, how it plays in your life. Do you feel wise and if so where does it show up.
“To fully enjoy the ‘richness’ of our lives, we need to stop long enough to visit with ourselves.”
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Small Steps to Change