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Step Three: Develop

March 26, 2012

Opening to Wisdom




If I asked you how you developed your wisdom, I might get a blank stare. Most likely you didn’t enroll in Developing Wisdom 101 in high school and few popular TV shows or movies demonstrate the path to a wise life. Or perhaps you would nod sagely as a student of wisdom quoting profound books and wise teachers.

Either way, studies show that most of us want to be wiser. Leading researchers, like Robert J. Sternberg,  worked to identify the nature of wisdom and the circumstances leading to its development and expression. Sternberg links wisdom to increased high performance, creativity, and intelligence.

To develop wisdom we must first be able to recognize behavior as being either wise or unwise. In ordinary life, we judge things people do or statements they make as wise, average, unwise, or downright foolish.

Seldom a topic of conversation in most households, it’s up to us to develop the distinctions, skills, practices and partners that extend and support our wisdom.

  1. Decide for yourself – what is wise behavior? What is unwise? In yourself and others – keep a journal – notice what you consider the defining difference.
  2. Look for wise people and invite them into conversation. Choose someone to be your wisdom partner at work and another in your personal life. Invite a partner who keenly listens and mirrors back to you the many ways you are wise. Hopefully they are open to you giving them the same gift in return.
  3. Gather a Wisdom Circle. (Mine is valuable to me! They help me remember how I am wise when I forget. We ask each other just the right questions to provoke more intelligence, broader perspectives, and insightful answers from the beautiful wise voice of our intuition.)
  4. Read a range of books, attend programs (taught by both women and men) to learn new paths to refine your access to and daily use of your wisdom.
  5. Discover daily personal and professional practices that work for you (there are many throughout this blog)  to strengthen, extend, and express your wisdom. Once you find them – do them. Sadly, the idea of the ideal does not equal results.
  6. Choose to trust your inner wisdom as complete, right, and beautiful. Ask, listen, and act. Develop your Wise Self.

Setting up your own wisdom development program would be advantageous to both physical and emotional well-being throughout your life. Discover for yourself your path and what it takes for your wisdom to flourish.

Wisdom incorporates 4 core human functions: Cognitive, Affective, Pragmatic, and Spirituality. Through self mastery into a personal maturity we can continue to develop wisdom and wise ways of acting and leading throughout our lives.

Blessings on your journey,


“Wisdom is a metacognitive style plus sagacity, knowing that one does not know everything, seeking the truth to the extent that it is knowable.” Robert J. Sternberg

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