I was talking to my 15-year-old son about wisdom. It is a topic that seems to have come up with a number of my younger clients whose lives are in transition. They realize they are not the same as they were in high school, university or even in those first few jobs they had and the way they see those past experiences is different. I like to think of it as putting a wide-angle lens on so you get a better view of what was happening. To me that is how wisdom works.
For my son I explained it as Experience + Time + Reflection = Wisdom.
Wisdom is slow. It needs space both in you and time. For wisdom to work we need reflective time… thinking, sensing, mulling. feeling … quiet walks and journals… meditation and big picture conversations. You need to be open to challenge what you think and dig deeper for meaning to become wise. You need to rethink the things you learned to see if they really fit.
Wisdom is more about questions than answers.
When I coach clients I ask who are the wise ones in your life? I believe we need them. Some may be famous folks with beautifully crafted quotes but it may also be the not so friendly neighbour who offers a gem to you if you are quiet enough to listen to the words and the meaning behind them.
If you are the wise one, you can give some gems of your own but not all will be taken with the intent you gave. Everyone is on their own journey. As a coach and wannabe wise one, I believe offering questions that get people thinking differently, more cyclically than in a straight line, is going to help people on the road to finding their wisdom.
Time to slow down and notice.