There’s a common misconception about wisdom: that it’s reserved for old people who’ve lived long lives.
That couldn’t be further from the truth.
It is a human quality, not just something you learn with age. Anybody can live a wise life. You just need to know what wisdom really is and then live by a few key rules.
Wisdom is about having knowledge, experience and good judgment. You can apply these qualities to your relationships, your career and every other aspect of your life.
The first key thing is to…
1) Build up your life experience
You can’t get wisdom from reading a book or from watching a television show.
You get wisdom from experiencing life and gaining knowledge. Wisdom comes from living long enough to see the consequences of your actions. The best way to gain this knowledge is by fully participating in life.
While you are in the midst of it and experiencing it for yourself, you will get glimpses that are hard to explain. You’ll feel an inner awareness and will have a subconscious understanding of what goes on in the world around you and what to expect in certain situations.
This is where wisdom comes from. It’s about building a connection with self.
2) Learn from your mistakes
This goes hand in hand with building up your life experience. You need to be comfortable learning from your mistakes.
When you’re comfortable making mistakes, you are more inclined to embrace new experiences. This builds up your stock of knowledge.
You’ll also learn more your mistakes than from your accomplishments.
If you can learn to tune in and listen to your inner voice, you’ll find that wisdom naturally arises.
That is, if you…
3) Develop self-knowledge
Self-knowledge means being aware of your strengths and weaknesses. You know yourself well enough to understand how your emotions and thoughts work.
You know where your values come from. You know what is important to you, both emotionally and intellectually.
When you are self-aware, you can take a step back and see things objectively. You can translate knowledge and experience into the kind of wisdom that comes from participating fully in life.
But there’s something to keep in mind. Wise people usually…
4) Realize that “balance” is a meaningless concept…
When we’re young, we learn to divide everything up into simple categories. We see things as “light” and “dark”, “good” and “bad”… We then try to live in “balance” and “harmony”, never really listening to our inner voices.
As we progress in life, we often realize that these categories are nothing more than an artificial way to make sense of things.
And yet, as adults and with wisdom, we are able to break out of this false notion. We can see the world much more clearly and can eliminate endless confusion. We realize that it’s not “light” and “dark”, good and bad, but rather a chaotic mix of everything.
This is where wisdom comes from. It’s about having a larger perspective and the ability to detach yourself from your emotions.
This is because we…
5) Embrace our negative traits
Nobody is perfect. We all have flaws. We can’t escape this.
However, wisdom is about embracing your flaws and finding value in them. Wisdom is about accepting yourself and living with the fact that you are a complex human being, not just one single quality or characteristic.
When we try to pretend that we’re better than we really are, it creates a false sense of security. We create an artificial world for ourselves and create walls between ourselves, others and life itself.
This is a key sign of someone not having wisdom. They try to emphasise only the good side of themselves. They build themselves up with positive thinking.
Wise people have learned to connect with their emotions instead of running away from them. They have learned to understand them, instead of simply being controlled by them.
They know that wisdom comes from…
6) Connecting to life instead of resisting it
Wise people don’t try to resist life and its uncertainties. They fully participate in life and accept its problems and challenges as a natural part of living. They accept the fact that you can’t control everything and that you will be disappointed many times in your life.
If they fail, they don’t see it as a failure. They show self-compassion and acknowledge where they went wrong. They learn from it and try to use it to their advantage the next time.
They know that wisdom comes from accepting your present-moment experience, good or bad, because…
7) Wisdom is about living in the present moment
You aren’t fully alive in a specific moment if you’re constantly thinking about the past or worrying about the future.
You’re not present. You’re attached to your thoughts and feelings, thinking of what you did before or projecting into the future.
Wise people are able to detach themselves from their thoughts and emotions, letting them come and go naturally. They realize that their mind is a tool that helps them understand the world around them, but it doesn’t have control over their lives.
They know how precious life is because they…
8) Value their lives
Wisdom is about valuing your life and all that it has to offer. It’s about realising the significance of every single human being and the importance of love.
Wise people have learned to take their time, to experience life instead of rushing through it. They have learned to appreciate beauty and know that everything in this world has purpose. They have come to understand that everything comes from a higher power, which creates and sustains the universe for its own purpose.
When you have wisdom, you are able to see life for what it really is. You realize that it’s a chaotic, confusing and beautiful mess. You embrace the chaos and accept that every single moment is a blessing.
You know that you can tune in and listen to your inner voice because…
9) Wisdom is about being attuned with yourself
Wise people know how to tune in and listen to their inner voices. They know how to quiet their emotions and focus on their thoughts. They’re able to see the world for what it is, not what they want it to be.
If you can do this, your wisdom is no longer limited. It becomes infinite. It’s no longer a product of your accumulated knowledge and experience, but rather a part of you.
You just listen… You just follow your inner voice wherever it takes you… And the answers simply come out if they are meant to be heard by yourself.
And finally, wise people…
10) Seize the day…
When you are young, you have a lot of energy and enthusiasm. As an adult, though, something happens to that energy and enthusiasm… it dissipates gradually as your life goes on.
You’ll see that every aspect of your life is getting older too: your body, your relationships… It feels like everything is aging with you.
But there is one thing that doesn’t age with time. Your wisdom stays the same. It’s a part of you, and it keeps growing.
…Because they know how to appreciate life and see it from a larger perspective, because they understand how to connect with their emotions instead of running away from them…
How to develop wisdom
If you want to develop wisdom, the best thing is to develop your self-knowledge. One way you can do this is by joining Out of the Box Live. This is the online course by Rudá Iandê.
The course is unique. It’s made up of 7 hours of videos, all available in HD, that you can access at anytime on your computer or smartphone.
Each video is between 5–20 minutes long. They’re all related to wisdom, self-development and transformation. You’ll learn through practical examples what it means to be wise and how to develop wisdom effectively.
You also get the eBook, which is full of practical advice and exercises that you can use immediately in your everyday life to develop yourself further.
What’s even better is that there is a thriving community in the live and interactive sessions. I’m a member myself, and I can personally say that this is a great community, full of kind people who really want to be here. Learn more here.