“Make sure you know what makes you go forward and hold you back, and choose the path that leads you to wisdom.
While this ‘enlightened’ advice may be easier said than done at first glance, it may be thought that we have all engaged in our unique personal journeys in one way or another. It’s more about being aware of where we have come from, where we hope to be, and what obstacles are still standing in our path.
Unfortunately, inner wisdom is not something we can learn from a textbook, lecture, or teaching. We simply (or not so simply) need to live it.
In his highly innovative 1922 project on senescence, G. Stanley Hall, now regarded as the founder of psychology, associated the development of wisdom on a personal level with the emergence of a calm, meditative, philosophical, objective, and willingness attitude to learn from life’s experiences.
Often, the turbulence of everyday life completely distances us from those characteristics on which we must focus, moving us away from our true identity. But if we take the time to identify the moments that hinder our intuition, we can discover the deepest and most enduring inner connection we seek.
Here are 6 signs that you could be hindering your own wisdom without even realizing it:
You tend to judge a book by its cover.
Having preconceived ideas about the world and all that it encompasses locks the door of the path that leads to personal wisdom. Whether you trust first impressions, blindly follow the ideas of others, or approach life with a closed mind; you miss some of the most beautiful and important lessons just under the surface of things.
Living with empathy – connecting with others and your environment without prejudice – allows you to learn much more from each interaction and experience, improving your personal wisdom. If you open your eyes a little more, the reflections in your mind will follow.
You do not learn from your failures.
When we feel the pain, embarrassment or humiliation of our biggest mistakes in life, it seems to be easier to completely contain our negative feelings than to try to go beyond them. However, ignoring these failures and fostering internalization will only duplicate such facts in the future, giving us a somewhat similar pain – perhaps even worse than before, since we have not bothered to solve the problem the first time.
Practice mindfulness and give free rein to these feelings, however embarrassing they may be. Work on your feelings. Follow these steps, go through them, and learn as much as you can about the process.
You never take the time to take a break and ask yourself why.
“You can tell if a man is smart by listening to his answers. You can tell if a man is wise by listening to his questions.
~ Naguib Mahfouz
Ursula M. Staudinger, director of Robert. N. Butler Columbia Aging Center at Columbia University and pioneer in wisdom studies confirms that you can not achieve personal wisdom if you are not able to surpass yourself.
Look at the world with more hindsight and ask yourself why things are as they are. You do not have to be religious, spiritual or scientific – just curious. “It is necessary to realize that there is a reality that goes beyond here and now,” says Staudinger.
You have poor listening skills.
It’s not just because you hear something that means you’re listening. It turns out to be something incredibly difficult that requires a lot of concentration, but when you are listening, inner creativity seems to feed new thinking and the unexpected wisdom that is in you.
To be able to take advantage of this inner power, which you have not yet come to know, pay attention to people when they speak to you. You will be surprised to see the impact it will have on you and the other person.
You ignore your intuition.
A key element of personal wisdom is to synchronize your actions with your intuition. Whether you are fully conscious of it or not, these “instinctive feelings” are at the root of your existing wisdom that links your ability to sense reason.
There may be a social stigma that prevents these presentiments because of a lack of concrete scientific evidence to support their validity, but it may well be the tool needed to find that sense of balance missing.
You do not understand silence.
“The wise speak because they have something to say; fools because they have to say something.
A recent scientific study found that 67 percent of men and 25 percent of women prefer to give themselves electric shocks rather than sit in silence and be present with their own thoughts. Ironically, our modern culture of communication and constant stimulation has made silence extremely palpable and unnatural, when it is the primary state in which we can cultivate personal wisdom.
You call it “meditation” or whatever, but taking the time to sit alone with your wandering thoughts allows you to explore or find yourself. You will be surprised at everything you can learn about yourself.