Wisdom doesn’t come quickly…

“Patience is the companion of wisdom.”

Saint Augustine

As I reflect on this quote I am reminded of this verse, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:9

In today’s “I want it all now” world patience seems to be a diminishing virtue. Everything in life seems to be a single click or web search away and because of this we tend to expect wisdom to be immediate and instantaneous. I can’t think of anything that I have achieved with ease that I value nearly as much as those things I have had to work hard for and pursue with patience and diligence.

What are you pursuing diligently?

Say “no” to non-essentials…

“The wisdom of life consists in the elimination of non-essentials.”

Lin Yutang

I have been on a journey to simplify in life and focus only on the most essential and important things. It is incredibly challenging for me to do, but has been very enlightening and clarifying. Definitely not saying that I am wise, but that I can see and have great appreciation for this wisdom.

It is interesting to see how much time we spend doing things that truly aren’t essential. There are so many things in life that are competing for our attention that saying “no” can be truly liberating. I will say that doing so takes more discipline and intentional focus than I would have ever thought possible. But it is worth every tough decision.

What is the one thing you should say “no” to today?

Wisdom is applied knowledge…

“It is the province of knowledge to speak, and it is the privilege of wisdom to listen.” 

Oliver Wendall Holmes

The older and more experienced I have become in life the more I have learned to value great questions. Great statements can be profound but they don’t create the opportunity for change and growth the same way a great question does.

What I love about a really great question is that it gives one the opportunity to listen and gain both knowledge and perspective. If you think about it, if you focus on gaining knowledge you can just have more information. If you listen and ask questions you can gain both knowledge and wisdom. With wisdom being the distinct ability to apply the knowledge you have learned.

What are the right questions to ask that focus not just on gaining knowledge but on gaining wisdom?

The most important variables…

“Talent is God given. Be humble. Fame is man-given. Be grateful. Conceit is self-given. Be careful.”

John Wooden

This is probably one of my favorite quotes. It states so clearly the danger of this world if you remove just two key variables. Humility and Gratitude. Without either you are going to go astray.

Why do you have your God given gifts and talents? Is it to serve others or serve yourself? If you have fame then how are you using that fame to serve others or impact the world? I would argue that if you aren’t using your gifts to serve then you are treading dangerously close to the definition of conceit.

The minute you believe you are better than someone else, that your life has more value or meaning than another person you have lost your way. My Dad used to tell me that “everyone puts their britches on the same way in the morning. No person is more important or deserves better treatment because of their role or wealth.”

How do you guard against conceit and selfishness?

Seek wisdom, or risk being a fool…

 “Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.”
 
Proverbs 13:20 ESV
 

We are product of the people we spend time with, the things that we watch and read, the groups that we associate with.  This quote applies both to the people we spend time with, and the things that we choose to watch and read.  

I love to read and to learn new things that challenge my beliefs and perspectives.  Reading is a great way to get outside of your own perspective and find wisdom from others; it’s another way to walk with the wise.  In my mind not reading and seeking new information is the same as choosing to be a companion of fools.

It doesn’t mean you have to read to excess or try to read a book a week.  Just pick one book, and walk with the wisdom that is being shared.  You don’t have to agree with all of it, in fact you probably shouldn’t!  But pick one book that interests you and commit to reading 15-30 minutes per day.  

Seek wisdom.  Seek knowledge.  Seek to learn from the wise.  Or you will run the risk of being one of the fools mentioned above…

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