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Necessity of Wisdom:

Popular belief suggests we gain wisdom through life experience—and with everything we’ve been through over the past year, we should all be brilliant sages, scholars and savants. But interestingly, wisdom has depth and nuance that is worth understanding—because it can be developed. Perhaps most importantly, it can be put to good use in our work and lives: making decisions, sustaining success and reinforcing relationships.

Wisdom isn’t reserved only for the elderly or the aged. Contrary to popular opinion, anyone can be wise based on their characteristics and skills—not just their years of experience. It’s more typical for the wise to be more senior, but it’s not a prerequisite.

In addition, wisdom tends to be correlated with less loneliness and it is also related to our biology. In a fascinating new study from the University of California, San Diego, researchers found a healthy gut microbiome (characterized by phylogenetic richness and diversity) was associated with higher levels of wisdom as well as compassion and engagement. Wow.

Wisdom is more than just knowledge, of course. It is the application of knowledge and the discernment that comes from perspective. This saying sums it up well, “Knowledge is knowing what to say. Wisdom is knowing when to say it.” Knowledge is required for wisdom. After all, you must have a foundation on which to build. But it’s possible to have knowledge—book smarts or awareness of something—without the judgement that goes along with how to use it.

There are plenty of reasons you need wisdom—and the first reasons are happiness and fulfillment. When you make wise decisions, you keep your immediate needs in mind, along with holding long-term perspectives. This is key to making choices that bring you joy. In addition, wisdom allows you to make better contributions to your community by balancing your needs and boundaries with those of others.

Wise people also pave the way toward greater fulfillment in their work because they can discern the best way to handle everything from relationships with colleagues to judgements about their customers—all important to effectiveness at work.

Developing Wisdom

Previous research from the University of California, San Diego, makes it fairly straightforward to understand, build and develop wisdom. There are five key elements:

Consider others.

One of the main components of wisdom is a sense of empathy toward others. It is altruism and the ability to co-operate. It makes sense: When making decisions and deciding on courses of action, the wise person thinks about how their actions will affect those around them. Since none of us live in a vacuum, this ability to consider the community, the connections and the bridges around you is important. In addition, wisdom is always about making decisions in context and understanding how any choice will affect not only ourselves, but those around us.

Manage yourself.

Another element of wisdom is the ability to regulate emotions. As you seek to develop your wisdom, be aware of yourself and actively reflect on your own state of mind, opinions and attitudes. Then, be able to make choices about what you share and how you appropriately control your emotions. In addition, the wise are typically authentic. In our world of curated identities—where we put only our best faces forward through social media—those who are authentically themselves set a wise tone for their relationships.

Seek diversity. 

Those who research wisdom suggest it is associated with a tolerance of diverse values, but it’s probably even more than that. Wisdom demands ongoing learning, and this can only come from true openness to different points of view and a belief we don’t already have all the answers. Wise people also have a sense of humility, realising their point of view is not the only one and appreciating how much they don’t know. As the quote from Sockman goes, “The larger the island of knowledge, the longer the shoreline of wonder.” Wisdom demands asking questions and listening to expand understanding, appreciating all that is unknown.

Embrace uncertainty.   

Another element of wisdom is the ability to deal effectively with ambiguity. As humans, we crave clarity and certainty, so the maturity of wisdom allows us to work through this natural inclination and find ways to make judgements, take action and be constructive even without much clarity. It's similar to agile expertise, in which small steps and incremental improvement allow for continuation on a journey—in which we aren’t stagnating or falling behind—making steady progress despite ambuigity.

Take a long-term view.

Wisdom is also built through the ability to put aside short-term gain to make decisions that serve for the longer horizon—investing in yourself through additional schooling for development of your career or avoiding the additional cupcake in favor of the dress you want to fit into for your daughter’s wedding.

Be aware.

While wisdom can sometimes be the purview of older or more senior members of our community, it is also helpful perspective to apply to our work—no matter what our age. Whether you’re seeking to make better choices in business or for your community, a little wisdom can go a long way.

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Seek it, to get it! 

Being wise is a good quality. It means we have a combination of knowledge and experience coupled with just enough compassion, good judgment, humility and willingness to share with others. Sounds like a winning combination? It is, especially if you want to succeed in life.

Why is wisdom important?

Most of us don’t think of ourselves in terms of being particularly wise. We credit such honors to our favorite fictional characters like Gandalf, The Lord of the Rings, Charlotte, Charlotte’s Web, Atticus Finch, To Kill a Mockingbird, Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter, and Yoda, Star Wars, or people like Oprah Winfrey, Albert Einstein, Mother Teresa, and Mahatma Gandhi. However, each of us harbor bits and pieces of wisdom. As we cultivate our wisdom, we strengthen our contributions to the collective success of society.

How can you become wiser? 

Gaining new wisdom is an ongoing process of discovery. According to Aristotle, “Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.” Therefore, to embark on your quest for a wiser you, challenging yourself to:

  1. Experience new opportunities: It’s impossible to gain wisdom when you close yourself off to new possibilities. Get out of your comfort zone and try new things. Put yourself into situations to learn and grow. You might consider going to places you have never been before, engaging in skill building activities that are new to you, and participating in novel social events. Change it up and see where it takes you.
  2. Open your mind to diverse perspectives: Set aside your biases and be receptive to different concepts and points of view. Develop a sense of curiosity as you observe the world from different angles. Don’t base your perspective on the popular opinion or what is comfortable for you. Let your mind be a judgement free sponge for innovative ideas. Be humble as you encounter new learnings and experiences.
  3. Approach new people: Get out and meet new people from diverse backgrounds and cultures. Put forth the effort to listen and learn from them without inflicting your own preconceived stereotypes and judgements. Foster conversations that include sharing yourself with others as well as learning more about them. As a perk, focus on cultivating new friendships.
  4. Develop a thirst for learning: Concentrate on learning new things every day. Make it a point to take classes, read books, listen to educational podcasts, watch documentaries, and search the internet for thought-provoking insights. Given the volume of fake information out there, strengthen your critical thinking skills as you actively investigate a problem or situation from multiple perspectives.
  5. Draw upon the wisdom of others: Find wise people to become your mentors. They might include a teacher, spiritual leader, family member, special friend, or someone at work. Identify what makes this person wise and carve out time to engage in meaningful dialogue with them. Soak in their knowledge and experience and apply their wisdom to your life.
  6. Admit and learn from your mistakes: One of the best ways to gain wisdom is by learning from your own mistakes. Whenever you make a mistake, own up to it, stop blaming other people, and start making it a teachable moment. Your best teacher is your last mistake if you take time to learn and grow from it.
  7. Share your wisdom with others: As you gain experience, knowledge, and good judgement, believe in your own wisdom and be willing to communicate it with others. In today’s world, very few of us will reach the highest order of being wise, but all of us can and should contribute to the collective wisdom of the crowd in all venues of life. So, dare to inspire humanity by becoming a wiser you.
We are made wise not by the recollection of our past, but by the responsibility for our future. - George Bernard Shaw

Improving on Your Habits

Intelligence may be somewhat innate, but wisdom can most certainly be learnt. Here’s how to wise up at any age.

Wisdom vs Intelligence

Although people value intelligence—understanding, reasoning, the ability to learn—they also respect wisdom, or the knowledge and experience that we accumulate over a lifetime. Cognitive scientists call the former “fluid intelligence,” which does reduce somewhat during adulthood, and the latter “crystallized intelligence,” which generally improves with age.

In some ways, wisdom is like beauty: we value it, we desire it, we know it when we see it, but it is nearly impossible to pin down such an ethereal quality. But researchers have tried—and here’s what they’ve found.

The Definition of Wisdom:

In the late 1980s, the Berlin Wisdom Project at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development defined wisdom as having:

  • Intellectual knowledge
  • Factual knowledge
  • Superior judgment
  • Excellent problem-solving skills
  • The ability to learn from experience
  • Humility
  • Emotional resilience, or the ability to rebound from a setback
  • Openness, or the maturity to be comfortable allowing the world to see you as you really are
  • A deep understanding of human nature, including empathy for people who are different or from other cultures

Don’t have all these qualities? Almost everyone has the capacity to become wiser, especially if you strengthen these six habits that the wisest people all share in common. 

They work at being social.

Studies show that people who stay connected to others demonstrate higher levels of wisdom than those who are more isolated. Make an effort to join a new club, reconnect with far-flung friends on Facebook, or invite an old friend or new co-worker for coffee. Next time you’re at a party or gathering, single out someone who’s standing alone and strike up a conversation. People generally love to talk about themselves; you, on the other hand, have a harder job: to listen closely. Don’t miss these words of wisdom from people who have led a full life.

They practice being open-minded. 

Wisdom involves being able to understand all sides of an issue without letting emotions or personal feelings get in the way. Being open-minded means finding empathy and realising that everyone has a life story that influences their actions. During the course of every day, make a note of the issues that bug you, and take a moment to see them from the other side.

They’ve learned how to say, “I could be wrong.”

A wise person understands that it is impossible to know everything and that life is capable of taking unexpected turns. Recognising your errors can lead only to greater wisdom, and admitting that there are times when you could be mistaken will go a long way in solidifying your reputation as someone whose advice can be trusted. As the Roman philosopher Cicero said, “Any man is liable to err; only a fool persists in error.” Check out these words of wisdom that geniuses tell their kids.

They switch up what types of books they read.

While current events are important, both fiction and nonfiction books can help you expand your worldview and allow you to explore new ideas and points of view. Mix up your bookshelf: Read histories, biographies and memoirs, funny reads, fictional books that expose you to new cultures and eras, and books that present a point of view or make a case about certain aspects of health/science, politics, and other subjects.

They tap into their self-knowledge. 

You’ve learnt a lot just by being alive, but have you taken the time to review all that you’ve learnt? Try this exercise: write down your three biggest failures and three greatest successes. For each, review the events that led up to it and what lessons you took away from the experience. Look for patterns. This is not a time for regret or pride; the goal is to look at each experience, good or bad, as more fuel to enrich your wisdom. 

They read the news. 

You cannot make balanced choices unless you understand world circumstances and the experiences of others. If you don’t already read a daily paper or news online, start by going through a single front-page article from a major respected news source, such as The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, or Washington Post, from start to finish, every day. Don’t just scan or skip around it; read every word. Eventually, try to get through the main articles of a full newspaper every day.

Signs of Ignorance:

Ignorance is the lack of knowledge or understanding. Ignorant people are either unaware or uninformed. Sometimes we are ignorant because we did not know there was a need to learn something. Other times, we are ignorant because we have chosen not to learn something we need to know. In The Bible, the Lord says, “My people are destroyed from lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also reject you.” Willfully rejecting knowledge that God wants us to have is sinful ignorance. While unintentional ignorance about earthly topics is understandable, intentional ignorance about spiritual matters can lead to eternal destruction.

The Bible makes a distinction between ignorance and innocence. We don’t have to be ignorant of the fact of sin; in fact, we can be highly informed about sin yet remain innocent of it. But we should all be ignorant about the practice of evil. “Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret.”  Jesus warned us, “I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as lambs to decide your own destiny.


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Benefits of Wisdom:

If you have ever come across a difficult question or problem that is beyond your human reasoning or ability and someone by his wisdom helped you to answer the question or problem, you probably have seen the benefits of Wisdom in practical terms. Life in it's totality is pure mathematics and you need wisdom to scale through it. I often say that most people don't have a money problem. Their problem is a Wisdom-Problem. When you don't know the right thing to do to make money, your problem is not your location. Your problem is lack of wisdom. Unfortunately, when you present money and wisdom before some people, many of them will choose money and leave wisdom. That's because they don’t know that wisdom can bring all the money they will ever need in life. Money without wisdom has no future. If you put a million dollar in the hand of a foolish man, he will still be broke after few months. Of a truth, wisdom is better than rubies and everything you can desire under the sun cannot be compared to it. It is better to get wisdom than silver and gold. Wisdom is better than weapons of war. The bible says,

O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgements, and his ways past finding out.

1. Wisdom gives you protection. 

One of the benefits of wisdom is that it defends and protects a man from every harassment of life. A man who doesn’t have wisdom is defenseless and open to attack from the enemy. When you have wisdom, you already have the solution before the problem comes. Wisdom puts the answer in your hands before the question arises. A man of wisdom is forever equipped and well-defended for any challenge in life. How does wisdom protect a man? Wisdom helps you to see danger when it is far and hide yourself. Wisdom helps you to know when to speak and when to keep quiet. This invariably spares you from unnecessary argument and trouble. Wisdom protects a man by helping him to know good and wrong and to do good and stay out of trouble. The same way money protects a man from insult, that's how wisdom Shields a man from shame and embarrassment in life. The bible says,

For wisdom is a defence, and money is a defense: but the excellency of knowledge is that wisdom giveth life to them that have it. Eccl 7:12

2. Wisdom helps you to reign on earth.  

One of the benefits of wisdom is that it helps you to reign in life. By redemption, every child of God is ordained a king and the system through which we reign on the earth is wisdom. I don't believe there is anyone born to be a failure. Every one of us is created to be great in life and we all have a potential for greatness hidden inside of us. But the height of greatness each one of us will attain to depends on our individual wisdom. Your level of wisdom determines the level of success and greatness you will experience in your calling or field in life. Nothing reigns on the earth without wisdom. Kings don't reign on earth by common sense alone. No, there is a limit to what you can achieve or become through common sense. You need wisdom to reign on the earth. Check every brand or genuis who is controlling the market today, you will discover his secret is wisdom. The bible says,

By me kings reign, and princes decree justice.

3. Wisdom guarantees family peace. 

One of the benefits of wisdom is that it guarantees family peace. Most of the marital crises in many families around the world are caused by lack of wisdom. It takes wisdom to build a happy and successful relationship and marriage. Do you know some things that cause misunderstanding in the home are things that wisdom can handle, not prayer. You only need prayer when you abuse wisdom. It is wisdom to lose an argument and win your partner and relationship. It is wisdom to keep quiet when you are offended and angry. Wisdom tells you that there is no place like home. So no matter what happens, you put family first above friends, business and money. Wisdom is the true building block for a successful marriage and family. The bible says,

Through wisdom is an house built, and by understanding it is established. 

4. Wisdom helps you to make wealth. 

Another benefit of wisdom is that it brings wealth. It is not sweat that brings wealth. Wisdom is the mother of wealth. Any Where you see wealth, it always exist in a crude form which only the wise can recognise. Take crude oil, gold and other minerals for instance, their raw state doesn't look like money. A foolish man can see raw gold and walk away without touching it. But when wisdom meets opportunity, it becomes wealth. Wisdom turns time into money. Wisdom turned animal skin into shoes, bags and clothes and sell them for money. Wisdom turns sand and cement into an estate. Anything that wisdom touches becomes money. The end point of wisdom is wealth. Bible says,

Riches and honour are with me, yea durable riches and righteousness. 

5. Wisdom gives you direction. 

One of the benefits of wisdom is that it gives you direction. You can’t be stranded in the journey of life when you have the wisdom of God. Wisdom shows you where to go and how to get there. The end of confusion is an infusion of wisdom from above. Without wisdom life remains a mirage. Wisdom helps you to know who you are and what you are sent on earth to do. Wisdom helps you to discover the path you are born to take. It is wisdom that shows you the route to your destiny. The treasures of God are hidden in earthen vessels, it takes wisdom to discover purpose, pursue and fulfill it. The bible says,

Wisdom is profitable to direct. 

6. Wisdom brings grace.

Another benefit of wisdom is that it brings grace. And grace simply means God in the race. Wisdom compels the hand of God to help a man. Anywhere you see wisdom, that’s where you will see help from God. God doesn't waste His resources on fools. The more stupid someone is, the more he will fall from the grace of God. One act of foolishness can disconnect a man from the favor of God. Think about King Saul, Sampson and Ahab. They lost their spiritual position, grace and anointing by one act of foolishness. It takes wisdom to walk with God and enjoy His grace. The bible says,

She shall give to thine head an ornament of grace. 

7. It brings Honour.   

One of the benefits of wisdom is that it will bring you into honour. Wisdom takes a man out of the pit and makes him to sit with kings, governors and presidents of nations. If you need honour, get wisdom. Wisdom took Jacob from being a mere servant of his Uncle to having his own flock. Wisdom catapulted Joseph from being a prisoner in Egypt to a Prime Minister in a foreign country. Wisdom is to maker of kings. You can't have the wisdom of God and end up in shame. The bible says,

She shall bring thee to honour, when thou dost embrace her.  

8. Wisdom brings promotion. 

Promotion does not come by bringing other people down. You don’t need to blackmail anyone to rise up in life. Wisdom brings promotion in every area of life. It is God that lifts men. God can't give a man what is beyond his capacity to handle. Many people are on the floor in life because they don't have the wisdom required to go up. Wisdom lifted Solomon from a nobody to the king of Israel. You can't have wisdom and won't be celebrated in life. The bible says,

Exalt her, and she shall promote thee.

9. It leads to glory.

The end point of wisdom is glory. You can’t carry the wisdom of God and won’t be glorified in life. The glorious life in Christ is only possible by walking in wisdom. Only the wise will inherit glory. It takes wisdom to make heaven. Remember the parable of the wise virgins. Lack of wisdom will make many people miss the rapture. Only the wise can discern the signs of this time. The bible says,

A crown of glory shall she deliver to thee. 

10. Wisdom brings creativity. 

Another benefit of wisdom is that it brings creativity. And creativity is the wisdom of turning ideas into reality and raw materials into finished products. Innovation and technology take wings from creativity. And wisdom empowers them all. Wisdom helps you to find out new ways and new approach of doing things. With Wisdom you don't photocopy others, you bring innovation to your wealth of information and experience. Wisdom helps you to create new things. The bible says,

I wisdom dwell with prudence, and find out knowledge of witty inventions. 

11. Wisdom guarantees long life. 

One of the benefits of wisdom is that it gives long life to them who have it. Lack of wisdom can send one to his early grave. A wise one sees danger coming and hides himself .The bible says,

My son, forget not my law, but let thine heart keep my commandments. For length of days, and long life and peace, shall they add unto thee. 

12. It is the capital for every godly venture. 

The capital you need for every godly business is not money, it is wisdom. The first thing you need to start your business, ministry or career is wisdom. The bible says,

Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding. 

13. It gives victory over evil forces. 

The devil plays by tricks, it is the wisdom of God that humbles him to his knees. Nothing paralyzes the tricks and tactics of the devil like the wisdom of God. Get wisdom if you need victory over all evil manipulations and operations. The bible says,

To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God. 

14. Wisdom brings good leadership. 

One of the benefits of wisdom is that it helps leaders to give good leadership. Without wisdom, you cannot be a good leader. It takes the wisdom of God to become an effective and godly leader. It was wisdom that distinguished Solomon from other kings in his time. The Bible says,

By me Princes rule, and nobles, even all the judges of the earth. 

15. Wisdom prevents violence and war. 

Another benefit of wisdom is that it prevents violence and war. With wisdom, we can enjoy peace and tranquility in the society. If our leaders will tread with wisdom, no one will ever hear the drum of war in our nations. Many violence and wars are caused by unwise actions and foolish aggressions of men.

16. Wisdom brings fame.

Wisdom breeds fame. You can’t have wisdom and won’t be famous. Every wise man ends up extraordinarily famous. God gave Solomon wisdom and his fame went all over the nations of the earth. Wisdom will announce you in your job, business, career and ministry.

17. It guarantees good management.

You don’t need to grow big to manage well, you need wisdom to manage well. Folly is a waster but wisdom preserves the little available resources. Wisdom does not spend it all, it saves for the rainy day. Good management is not a function of attending Harvard Business School. It takes wisdom from God to become a good manager.

18. It brings the fear of God. 

Another benefit of wisdom is that it helps you to do those things that please God. It takes wisdom to respect and reverence God in everything you do in life. Wisdom will clothe you with the fear of the Lord. Wise people fear God, only fools say there is no God.

19. Wisdom brings vision.

Wisdom begets vision. Where a foolish man sees adversity, a wise man will see opportunity. Wisdom helps you to see progress in a problem. The bible says,

The wise man’s eyes are in his head, but the fool walketh in darkness. 

20. Wisdom brings commendation from God and man.

Another benefit of wisdom is that it brings the approval and commendation of God and man. When you walk in wisdom, you will be praised, commended and approved by God and men.

21. Wisdom leads to Success. 

It is not hard work that leads to success. It is wise and smart work that brings success. The major difference between successful people and failures is wisdom. Don’t waste your time and energy doing foolish works. If you want to succeed, you need wise work. Wisdom leads to success. The bible says,

The labour of the foolish wears every one of them, because he knows not how to go to the city. 

22. Wisdom makes you relevant to your  generation.

Another benefit of wisdom is that it makes you relevant to your generation. When you have wisdom, you will become the most sought after among your equals. Everyone who has a difficult question will come to you for answer. You become a solution giver to the problems of your time. The bible says,

And all the kings of the earth sought the presence of Solomon, to hear his wisdom that God had put in his heart. 

23. Wisdom brings favour from God and man.

Thank God for your labour. But one day of favour is worth more than a lifetime of labour. It is not your skin colour, body shape or your location that brings favour. It is Wisdom that gives favour before God and man. The bible says,

For who find me find life, and shall obtain favour of the Lord. 

24. Wisdom helps you to interact with unbelievers without being negatively influenced.

Salvation is not just an escape route into heaven. It is also a Green card to live on the earth to influence people for God. You don’t need to lock up yourself in your room to avoid interacting with sinners. You will always meet unbelievers at the school, place of work, market, etc. Wisdom helps you to interact with unbelievers without being negatively influenced by them.

25. Wisdom will help you to make heaven at last.

One of the benefits of wisdom is that it will help you to make heaven at last. God is revealed in the Bible as the only wise God. Do you think this wise God will live together with a foolish son? No, I don’t think so. Heaven is prepared for the wise. The Bible says,

The wise shall inherit glory and remain blessed.

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