Monday, April 14, 2008

A Look at True Wisdom and How to Obtain it Beginning Today!

I would like to thank my readers for their loyalty and their comments. You are what keeps me going, keeps me writing. You make it all worth while!! My apologies for dropping off the face of the earth for the last week....

I got word last Wednesday, that a good friend, teacher, and mentor was in the hospital. We were so fortunate to be able to see him Wednesday night before he passed from this earth on Thursday morning. It has been a time of much grieving and a time of rejoicing as he has now gone home.

I really cannot stand to think about where I would be now without him. He taught me more about life in the short time I knew him than probably I have learned in all the rest of my life. I am overwhelmed with gratitude to God that He gave me the opportunity to know him and learn under him. Much of what I write about I learned from Ron, either directly or from one of his students who is following in his footsteps. Now, I will begin focusing more specifically in the future on the things he taught.

I have written a tribute to Ron that will be posted sometime in the near future. I have submitted it to be posted on the website of the program that Ron started. As soon as my friend Gary posts it there I will provide the link for you to read about this great man of men.

So for now, I thought I would focus on the topic of wisdom, since my friend Ron was one of the wisest men I have ever known....

Have you ever wanted to just be really wise and know all the answers, but thought wisdom was just too far away? I sure have.... Before my friend's death, but especially after his death, I began to think about what wisdom is. Ron had it down perfectly it seems... Often it seems so far away from me, but the question is, "Is it attainable by anyone? If so, how?"

As I looked at Ron's life I asked myself, "what made Ron so wise?" What is wisdom? My husband and I discussed this topic over dinner the other night.

Here was my husbands response:

He said that "wisdom is the ability to see the big picture." As I thought about that it made perfect sense. Ron could always see the big picture. Well, at least once he was taught to see it and focus on it. As I looked at what I knew about the first part of Ron's life I realized that no, he didn't always see the big picture. I realized that he had learned it. That was comforting to me because I pondered the thought that it could be a natural talent and not necessarily attainable.

Yes, wisdom can be learned. It is a skill that can be learned. However I believe it takes much effort and practice and concentration. It's not for the half hearted. It probably takes a lot more practice for some than others. Some seem to pick it up easier than others.

Ron taught that seeing the big picture is part of a positive attitude. You can't have a positive attitude if you're caught up in the details of problems. Seeing the big picture requires you to step back and see things in perspective, in the whole scheme of things. When you do that you are able to be more positive about steps you take to find a solution to the problem.

So how do I learn wisdom? How do I learn to see things in perspective? These were the next questions I asked myself.

1. Being wise and seeing the big picture requires you to first define what is important, your values and priorities as I talked about in my previous article. You must define them clearly and specifically and then you will be able to make wise choices based upon what you have said was important to you. If you don't know what is important then you really don't have a big picture. Your life will be filled with meaningless overwhelming problems that you can't solve.
(I know from previous experience.)

However, when you have your priorities in order, you will be able to see how everything fits into your priorities. Is the problem you are facing really that big? Is a good question to ask. If God and family are very important to you and the microwave blows up, sure it will be disappointing. But, in the whole scheme of things how important is it really?

2. Next in line, in order to see the big picture, is to set some goals. (As we continue our discussion next time you will see why this step is so crucial in obtaining wisdom.) My favorite book, Time Power: The Revolutionary Time Management System That Can Change Your Professional and Personal is by far the best information I have ever seen on goal setting. It's system is the only one that has ever made sense to me. Make your goals in line with your priorities and not in conflict with them. Goals should include every aspect of your life and be numbered in order just as you did with your priorites. They should match up and not conflict with your priorities. Goals should include every aspect of your life - spiritual, mental, family, social, health, recreation, professional, etc. What is most important?

It is easy for me to look at my friend Ron's life and see what was most important to him and what his goals were. He lived it every day of his life. God was most important to him, people were next. Going to Heaven, representing Jesus, and helping as many people as he could to find peace in their lives, remove emotional pain and come to know who God really is (both in his lifetime and afterward) and help them go to Heaven were his obvious goals.

Next time, we will take a look at how and why these steps bring about wisdom as we bring in some more steps. It's so hard for me to stop writing.... I am so excited about these posts. It is eye opening to me to reflect and write on these things as I know it will be for you to read and learn....

For today, make a list of your values and goals and prioritize them.

To my friend Ron, your life lives on....

What have you learned about wisdom in your expereince?


shilpan said...

Jennier -

Great post and awesome tribute to Ron. Well deserved for the person of his stature. On wisdom, it means inner insight. I infer that as my ability to explore my own virtues and by learning them I seek knowledge of outer world.


Jennifer said...

Thank you Shilpan. The real tribute I will post a link to soon...

I like your definition of wisdom as inner insight. It is definitely insight. Kind of seeing the the world from the inside out?? Or do you mean the other way around?

Barbara Swafford said...

Hi Jennifer,

I'm sorry to hear about the loss of your friend Ron. He obviously touched your life, and because of that, you'll never be the same.

To me, wisdom comes with age. We go through life, make mistakes, learn from them (hopefully), and pass those lesson on to others. We know that all of our actions (good or bad) have consequences,so be begin to think before we act. We also begin to see mistakes others may be making, see those consequences too, and can also learn from them.

As we age, we begin to see the bigger picture and have passed the "me-me" phase. We learn it's not all about us, but if we can leave this world a better place.

Your friend Ron did that. He left on impression on you and many others, and for that his legacy will live on.

Jennifer said...


Thank you so much for your thought provoking response and for your kind words about Ron.

You are so right (and wise), in that wisdom does come with age. Well said! It's funny though that some older people just don't "get it" as well as others.

I only hope that I can really see that bigger picture of life every day now (and help others see it as well) before I'm 80 years old :).

Again, thank you so much for your insight. You seem like one that I could sit at your feet and learn a lot from.

Barbara Swafford said...

Hi Jennifer,

How sweet you are.

No, wisdom doesn't always come with age. I have been fortunate to know many wise people in my days. I also learned to listen early on (my older siblings always "took the floor"). I carefully listened to what my elders were saying, and avoided a few mistakes (in life) by following their advice.

Your friend Ron touched your life in a way that has taught you to pass it on. You're doing a great job sharing what you've learned.

Have no fear...I'm following you in my reader. You can run, but you can't hide. :)

Jennifer said...

@Barbara, :) I have no intention on running or hiding, but I'm so happy you are following my journey!

You brought up an excellent point... listening. I think that makes a person very wise - keeping the mouth closed and the ears opened. That will make a good post.... That topic was actually in the plans already - sometime in the future....