The Secret Decoder for Wisdom

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Wisdom is the soundness of act or decision based on knowledge, experience and good judgment. 

What I love about this definition is that wisdom isn't a gift that only the Dalai Lama has or old people have.  It is an act or decision which means wisdom is in the world!  Wisdom moves things forward through actions and decisions.  

The definition also gives you the quality of Wisdom.  Soundness.  Soundness means stable or solid.  You don't spin on wise decisions or actions because they are solid.  

I also love that soundness indicates, sound.  Soundness is transmitted and heard.  Wisdom transfers from one being to another.  

I was sharing this definition of Wisdom at my Machu Picchu Wisdom Council.  Explaining it as I've done in this blog post.  And then, inspired by that magical place, this sentence fell out of my mouth.

Wisdom Isn't Wisdom Until It's Shared

WOW!   Pause for a second and let that sink in!

Wisdom Isn't Wisdom Until It's Shared

With that settling in your soul, let's continue with this powerful definition of wisdom.  

Wisdom is the soundness of act or decision based on knowledge, experience and good judgment.

This definition tells you HOW to acquire wisdom by gaining knowledge, acquiring experience and applying good judgment.

Do you want to decide and act with wisdom?  

Well, go get it!

Knowledge.  Wisdom comes from learning deeply and continuously.  Do the research.  Know the roots of words you use.  Deeply understand the causes you support.  Don't carelessly retweet and repost!  Does a wise person neglect to research data sources before passing along influential information?      

Experience.  Wisdom comes from experiencing the world.  Go out and have life-altering experiences.  Allow a child's smile or pretty butterfly or the sweet smell of a fresh rain change the trajectory of your day.  Reflect and learn from your experiences.  Build life skills.  If you can't learn something fast enough to move forward, access first-hand experience by hiring a coach or advisor who can guide you through the experience you lack.  

Lakota scouts of the Great Plains had a very important role.  They would leave the tribe and search for buffalo.  When they reported back to the tribe, they were asked how many buffalo they saw.  No guessing or estimating.  They reported EXACTLY what they saw.  The tribe trusted their LIVES on the accuracy of the scout's report of his first-hand experience.  

Accumulate valuable experiences and SHARE generously.

Good Judgment.  Wisdom means learning from decisions, both good and bad.  To make wise decisions, discern from diverse options.  Missing critical options with a narrow focus or limiting beliefs may make life simple, but not wise.  

Diversity and Inclusion, then, are critical in making wise decisions and taking wise actions.  They stretch our thinking and stretch our core being!  Does a wise person ignore the complexity of a person's situation before they pass judgment?  No.  And we are seeing that happen all too often in our world today!

Finally, let's look at the word, Decision.

Do you know the root of the word decide?  Think of all the words you know with the root word of -cide in them.  

Alarming, isn't it?!?

-cide comes from Latin, to kill.  To de-cide means to kill off.  Yes, the word decide literally means to kill off options.  From this simple definition of Wisdom, you can make a wise decision or take a wise action with these simple steps:

  • Do the Research (Knowledge)
  • Gather Relevant First or Second-hand Experience (Experience)
  • Consider Diverse Options (Good Judgment)
  • Analyze Past Decisions, Both Good and Bad, to Choose (Sound Decision)
  • MOVE Forward Without Looking Back. No Regrets (Sound Action)

No looking back.  No regrets.  Won't THAT feel GREAT!

That's Wisdom in Action, my friend!

Shine Boldly.  Share Generously.  And Change the World for Good.


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