Self-reflection leads to wisdom. |unsplash.com | ale romo

I thought I was wise when I graduated from college in 1971, but life has taught me how unwise I was.

Wisdom is incredibly powerful and can help guide us through life’s many challenges and opportunities. It can help us make decisions, solve problems, and even find joy in difficult situations. But what exactly is wisdom? How can you develop it? And why is it so important? In this exploration of wisdom, we’ll look at what it is, how to develop it, and why you should. We’ll look at some of the key components of wisdom, such as knowledge and experience, and how to apply them to your own life. We’ll also explore why wisdom is so important and how having it can help you navigate life’s ups and downs. So, no matter your age or stage of life, join me on this journey to gain a deeper understanding of wisdom and how you can use it to your advantage.

When you are young, it is important to learn wisdom by studying the wisdom of others. I didn’t know this when I was young, so I had to make all my own mistakes. This is why I am sharing wisdom quotes in my newsletter: you are exposed to wisdom without making mistakes. I believe starts with learning about yourself and being self-reflective. If you don’t know yourself, then how can you be wise?

What is wisdom?

Wisdom is defined as the ability to use knowledge to make effective and appropriate decisions. It’s the application of knowledge, experience, and critical thinking to help you navigate life’s challenges. It’s a way of living that promotes emotional and psychological health. In other words, it’s a way of seeing, understanding, and responding to the world around you that leads to an optimal quality of life. For something that has such a big influence on our lives, it’s surprising how few of us understand the wisdom and how to cultivate it. Whenever we talk about wisdom, we’re referring to deep understanding, a profound knowledge of one’s self and the world, and insight that comes with age and experience.

To show you how unwise I was, let me tell you a story. I grew up as an Air Force brat. My father was an enlisted man, and we barely scraped by. But I didn’t learn much about handling money as I grew up. So, I made poor financial decisions in my early adult life. I didn’t learn to say no and just got another credit card for whatever we wanted.

What are the components of wisdom?

There are three components to wisdom: knowledge, experience, and critical thinking.

Knowledge is the accumulation of information and facts you’ve gained throughout your life. I gained my knowledge by going to college and getting an M.SC. in Electrical Engineering. It includes everything from what you’ve learned in school to what you’ve observed in your daily life.

Experience is the accumulation of your life’s ups and downs. It includes everything from your challenges to the joys and sorrows you’ve experienced.

Critical thinking is the application of knowledge and experience to help you make decisions and solve problems. You’re using critical thinking when you see things from multiple perspectives and analyze a situation with a critical eye. Critical thinking is what helps us sift through the morass of misinformation that is out in public and find our own truth.

It’s important to note that while each of these components is important, they sometimes conflict with one another. For example, you might want to decide based on one piece of information rather than looking at a situation from multiple perspectives. Or you might not want to use the experience to help you decide on the present.

How to Develop Wisdom

There are a few things you can do to develop wisdom. First, consistently read and learn new things. Build a strong foundation of knowledge, and it will help you see the world in new and innovative ways. Reading is a great way to do this, especially because you can choose books that are relevant to your life, interests, and passions. Second, experience life as fully as possible. Challenge yourself, explore new things, and push your comfort zone. Experience helps you grow, adapt, and respond to situations confidently and easily. Third, remain open-minded. Be willing to look at situations from multiple perspectives and learn from other people’s experiences. You might even want to add a condition to your open-mindedness by saying, “I’m willing to be open-minded, but only if it’s authentic and helpful.”

a. Knowledge

To gain a deeper understanding of any particular topic, start by reading books and articles related to that subject. It can be helpful to make a list of topics you want to know more about and a list of books that can help you learn more about those topics. One thing to keep in mind when reading is to read critically. That means you’re reading to gain knowledge and learn how that information was gathered, what assumptions were made, and how those facts were interpreted. It’s also a great idea to regularly review what you’ve learned. This will help you retain the information long-term and apply it to your daily life.

b. Experience

There are a few ways you can gain life experience. One way is to challenge yourself by trying new things that push your comfort zone. Another way is to regularly explore and immerse yourself in new situations. Another important thing to remember is to reflect on your experiences. Take some time to think about your actions and respond to them. Ask yourself questions like: What did you enjoy most? What did you learn? What would you do differently next time? What would you recommend to others?

c. Critical Thinking

You can do a few things to develop your critical thinking skills. One thing you can do is to ask yourself, ” Why regularly?” Why do you make certain decisions? Why do you have certain values and beliefs? Why do you have certain goals? Another thing you can do is regularly ask others, “Why?” You can also try to challenge your own thinking and be open to changing your mind about things. Be willing to look at situations from multiple perspectives and learn from other people’s experiences. It’s important to remember that you don’t want to be critical just for the sake of being critical. You want to be critical in a way that’s authentic and helpful.

d. Creative Thinking

You’ll want to spend time each day focusing on your creative self to develop your creative thinking skills. You can do this by making time for activities you find fulfilling and meaningful, such as painting, writing, playing music, and exploring nature. You can also try to find ways to be more creative in your daily life. You can do this by regularly challenging yourself and pushing past your comfort zone. You can also be open to new and different ways of seeing things. Be willing to see situations from multiple perspectives, and don’t be afraid to try new things.

e. Empathy

Empathy is understanding and relating to another person’s point of view. It’s important to cultivate empathy for a variety of reasons. First, it can help you create new and meaningful connections with others and form stronger relationships. Second, it can help you make better decisions and respond to situations with more compassion and understanding. And third, it can help reduce feelings of loneliness and improve your mental health. One way to develop empathy is to regularly put yourself in other people’s shoes. If you’re struggling with a decision, try to imagine how the people around you might feel. If you’re having difficulty connecting with people, try to put yourself in their shoes.

Why is wisdom important?

Wisdom is important because it can help you make better decisions and solve problems in your daily life. It can help you see situations from multiple perspectives, understand the people around you, and respond to challenges with confidence, creativity, and empathy. And it can help you better understand your emotions and desires and make decisions that reflect who you truly are. Wisdom can also help you feel less stressed and anxious about your life and future. It can help you understand that there isn’t one right way to live your life. Many different paths and lifestyles are all equally as valid. And having wisdom can also help you find joy and meaning in difficult situations. It can help you see there’s always something to learn from life’s challenges.

How to Apply Wisdom to Your Life

There are a few ways you can apply wisdom to your life. One way is to regularly reflect on your life. Take some time once a week or month to sit down, relax, and reflect on your life. Ask yourself questions like: How are things going on in my life? What do I enjoy most? What do I wish I was doing more of? What challenges am I facing? What would I prefer to let go of? What would I like to let into my life? Another way to apply wisdom to your life is to make decisions regularly based on wisdom. When making decisions, ask yourself, “What would a person living with wisdom do?” And lastly, consider reacting to situations from a wisdom perspective.

Several decades later, I can look back and see the lack of wisdom in my life. However, despite that, I was blessed with a loving wife and three beautiful children.