If you truly want to live wisely, you will heed the wisdom of using the wisdom process - and not delude yourself that anything short of that is sufficient!


Levels on the path to wisdom

-10            +10                  +20              + 25 - 35                  + 40 - 99            "100"
   |                 |                       |                         |                               |                      |
Keep              Do                        "Talk             Systematic learning      Achieve understanding   Wisdom
telling             nothing                  it out"           (Good        (Active        Some        Persist
stories           (= learn from        (friend,           course)      complete                        until 
(= justified)       experience)          counselor)                            learning)                        "sufficient"

                                               Not sufficient!
                                               Can't "get there"
                                                   this way!

​Short of "achieving true understanding" there can be some gain, but a lot of potential is left on the table, wasted.  Instead one should persist until one achieves "sufficient" understanding to the point where the cost of the time spent is less than the payoff (i.e. where one has upgraded one's life so much that only high payoff activities are included, meaning that giving up the high payoff activity has more cost than the additional value of learning - at which point it is time to simply do more harvesting of life, probably with some additional learning to fine tune certain things but spending very little time.  See Time Planning For The Happiest Life.)


There are people who know alot.  Perhaps they know alot about how specific things and processes work, but often they are still not yet wise.  And the only final test and conclusive evidence of wisdom is that one gets the results that one want (with those results having been decided wisely before seeking them).  

The "Wisdom Process" includes all of the following.  Know that it is a process of distinguishing what is true and what is not true and what works and what doesn't work, but it is also the process of doing that in a way that you end up with wise answers.  And, when push comes to shove, you must access the wisdom and act wisely, with prudence, with the higher brain fully engaged.

No reflecting = no added wisdom 

Experience does not provide wisdom unless we learn from it.  How do we learn from experience?  We must engage in "harvesting" processes, like journaling and using the whole wisdom process (in the box below). 


Talking something out with a friend, just as the popular literature says, is helpful to "relieve one's discomfort" at the time.  Sometimes, but only sporadically, does it lead to more insights or good decisions.  

Counseling is the next level up, as it adds more self understanding and more insights.

However, neither is "sufficient", as they leave one with a piecemeal approach of unrelated, not fully understood, but somewhat useful tidbits of information.  But they are  mostly "palliative" (relieving the symptoms of the moment) AND not sufficient to cure the lack of wisdom - and its repeated effects on life!!!!  Yes, you do feel better and you have some sense of progress (and perhaps some actual progress), but it causes one to stop short of what it actually takes - this is one of the biggest mistakes that most people make in life!!!

To become truly wise takes much more - sorry!  No shortcuts, no stopping short (and hoping the momentum or magic will make things work)!  As "they" say:  You've got to do "the work" - which means (dagnabbit!) that you've got to go to the level of sufficient completion.   The way you know you have not yet arrived is that your problems (needlessly) keep repeating themselves!



We note what happened and whether we got the results out of it that we wanted and then we seek to know why that occurred and what was missing - and then put it all together (synthesize it, integrate it) construct a wise way of doing it in the future, one that will be implemented.  (There is no other way that works, no shortcuts, no miracles.)

Notice that all of this requires engaging the higher brain, as the lower brain does not have the full ability to reason (and this is one of the things you must know if you are to be a wise person!)

1.  Engage your higher brain 
2.  Reflect on your life, your current experience, what just happened, as soon as you can give it sufficient 
     a.  Notice what's happening in your life and whether you're getting the results you want
          1.  Not noticing = no possibility of changed results
     b. Part of journaling is that it engages your higher brain to reflect on what is going on!  
3.  Write it down.  Define it.  
4.  Check out the facts, see what is actually true.  (Such as the process in "Rational Analysis".) 
5.  Use critical thinking to look at what is happening.
6.  Use the Change Worksheet 

If you think you've learned something, you really haven't truly learned it until you complete the whole process, such as in the Change Worksheet!!     People who end up repeating their unwanted results in their lives do so because they have not "completed" - and knowing that one needs to complete if one wants to get the highest order of workability in life is part of wisdom - a very, very important part.



Byron Katie provides us with insight into making a leap forward in this process.  Before a certain point, she was suffering from depression and some very dark periods. She was stuck in classic "emotional reasoning" and distortions in thinking.  Her sudden realization about how to handle it caused her to exit the depression never to return.  And then, as a "cause" in her life, it became a passion to teach and help others with what she learned to do.  And you'll recognize it, and perhaps say 'of course!', but the key lies in implementing it, in disciplining yourself to actually do it - every time!

Basically, whenever she "felt bad", she'd figure out what she was saying to herself, and then ask "Is it true?"  And she realized that emotional reasoning can come up with the feeling that it is right, so it'll answer "yes, it's true?"   And then she asks the second question, which fully engages the higher brain, "is it absolutely, for sure, true?"  (Is it verifiable?)   If it doesn't meet that test, no matter how sure you are, then you should not give it credibility.  

To be wise here you don't need to know everything about something, you just have to know that you are thinking wisely, part of which is using an effective process - and that part is essential to being wise!!!!!

Wisdom Contents/Links 

Emotional Reasoning - Major primitive thinking that can lead us astray, the very opposite of wisdom. 

Living Life As A Life Champion - Feedback, correction, feedback, correction, of course "noticing" and "testing".

Acquiring Wisdom - Why Bother,? From Whence Does It Come?, What Do You Choose?  

Time Planning For The Happiest Life - Vital To Creating A Happy Life! - If you don't know how to minimize the less important and to get it done and out of the way quicker, you'll have less time for the really good stuff.  And you've got to plan to insert the good stuff or it won't happen. 

Effective Learning To Create The Life You Love