What is wisdom? Wisdom is what we gain when we learn the hard way. When we tackle something new, we discover problems, challenges, and resilience. This applies to everything. The greatest learning happens when we are struggling.
Sometimes we can avoid the heartache of learning about something we don’t know anything about by reading about a person who is going through the same thing. Other times we stumble across a good piece of advice when we ask others to help us with a problem.
None of us goes looking for trouble. It just sneaks up on us, when we think we are on track or think we have something figured out. We learn that what we thought we knew, we didn’t. Interestingly, we discover that the things we depend on are typically the things that cause the most pain when they break. Think about the last time your car broke down. Totally unexpected right?
Last year I had a huge problem with tires. I went to visit my sister to attend a comedy show in her neck of the woods. While we were on our way, we hit a huge pothole and blew out a tire. A month or so later, coming home from my sister’s I ran over a shock absorber that was left behind by a semitrailer. It blew out two tires simultaneously. Three tires in a matter of months. Not only was it expensive to repair, but an absolute pain in the butt because the second time delayed me for 4 hours. Needless to say, I try to avoid driving through Detroit (because of the horrific state of the highways that run through there).
One of the wisest things I’ve discovered is the beauty of taking little steps each day toward a goal I want to achieve. You’d be amazed how many books you can read in a year by reading one chapter a day. You’d be amazed by how much you can write if you write a little each day. This can be applied to anything you do. I tend to like touching a whole slew of items each day. It keeps things fresh and it allows me to diversify my attention to many things, instead of focusing on just one thing. I do not multitask; I monotask. I focus on one thing at a time, but work across numerous areas each day. I write, meditate, exercise, read, take classes, run errands, and so on. Each task I accomplish contributes to a life-goal or a short-range or medium-range goal. That’s me. You may not like hopping and skipping around. You may not have the time.
When you are setting up your day, evaluate your productivity. Are you moving forward with your goals or spinning your wheels? Maybe you’ve taken on too much or you are trying to focus on something that just isn’t right for you right now. You also have to take into consideration that there will be days you can’t do anything because of outside circumstances. My nephew was in town this last week. He only visits once a year, so I wanted to take advantage of him being here by hanging out and doing things with him. This weekend I’m scheduled for a religious retreat. The retreat starts Friday and does not end until Sunday afternoon. Needless to say, this means that my priorities will take a back seat to this event. This is one thing to consider as well. You have to prioritize what is most important and put some of your daily to-dos on hold to take advantage of rare events that have a greater impact on your well-being.
Today’s article was spurred by the article I have referenced below. Give it a look. It’s a short one and will only take a few minutes to read, but it’s worth it. It caused me to think about wisdom in a new light. We really do gain when times are hard or our schedules are thrown into a tizzy. We have to improvise and adapt. This comes when we have developed the wisdom to realize that some days you just have to “ride the wave”.
Until next time…
Cohut, M. (2018). The road to wisdom runs through hardship study finds. Retrieved from: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/320996.php