So you want to be wise? And you want to be wise as soon as possible? And how about the shortest path to get there? Yes, Yes, Yes!!! That’s what we all want. We want to be as smart as possible, as quickly as possible, and get there as soon as possible. The shortest distance between two points is a straight line, and you’re still reading this post because you want the straight line to wisdom.
Well, this is the most direct path I know to wisdom. It’s only three steps, but you have to take them. Let’s take a look at the three steps so you can get started…
Step 1: Figure Out What You Want Wisdom In
What do you want to be considered wise in? Where is your passion? Do you want to know everything there is to know about plumbing? Maybe you want to know everything there is to know about building a computer. Or perhaps you want to be well versed in general life knowledge. The first step is to figure this out. Once you figure out what you’re targeting, you can get to acquiring it. Remember, the hardest target to hit is the target you don’t even have.
Step 2: Learn Everything You Can About It
Once you know what you want to learn, you have to learn everything you can about it. It has to be a study!!! Watch shows and documentaries about it. Read books and articles about it. Surround yourself with the people and places that know the most about what you want to be wise about. Be childlike…be curious. Assume you know nothing, and that everything and everyone you encounter is a new opportunity to add to what you know. You want to absorb everything you can, trying to gather as much information as possible.
Step 3: Practice, Practice, Practice!!!
Once you’ve gathered enough information, now you have to put what you’ve learned into practice. Just learning about something, seeing it, and being around it won’t make you wise. Wisdom comes when you can take what you learn, apply it, tweak some things, and apply it again. The wisdom is in the experience…in the doing. Wisdom comes by applying what you know, looking at the outcome, and then doing it again. Repetition and iteration is key.
As you apply what you’ve learned, and get the hands on experience, pay attention to what works and what doesn’t. Why did something work? Why didn’t something work? Is there a better way? Be curious about everything you do, and when you think you’ve done it all, look for more things to do.
Gaining wisdom in any topic is not a secret process. It’s not something only the sages know. It’s as simple as taking these three steps and sticking to them. The problem comes when people get bored with a topic after taking these steps. They feel like they’ve reach the last step and they’re done. Wisdom comes from gathering all the information you can, applying and experimenting with that information through practice, and then gathering more information. It’s an iterative process to wisdom. You just need the fortitude to keep going when you think you’re done.
Figure out what you want to be the best in, the wisest in. Be a sponge and absorb everything you can, being as humble as possible, and willing to learn from anyone or anything that has information. Then get to work putting that information into action, experimenting, iterating, and doing the hands-on work. This is the path to wisdom. It’s no secret, but it does take work.