By July 7, 2011 9 Comments Read More →

The World’s Wisdom on Your Side

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“You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.” — Inigo Montoya, The Princess Bride

In the knowledge age, what you don’t know can hurt you … and wisdom is a good thing.

Sources of Insight is about getting the world’s wisdom on your side.  How?  By drawing from great books, great people, and great quotes to find the wisdom of the ages and modern sages.  By looking for those timeless truths, and nuggets of wisdom you can use.  And by testing paths, and finding the patterns and practices that work for real-world problems, in real-world scenarios.  And by sharing and spreading the insights from best-selling authors to help people “stand on the shoulders of giants.”

But what is wisdom?

I had to look it up to make sure it means what I think it means.  I grew up with the idea that knowledge is knowing what to do, and wisdom is doing what you know.

Here is a straightforward definition of wisdom from an online dictionary:

“The quality of having experience, knowledge, and good judgment; the quality of being wise.”

Here’s how Merriam-Webster characterized wisdom:

Knowledge, insight, judgment.

Here is what Wikipedia had to say on Wisdom:

“Wisdom is a deep understanding and realizing of people, things, events or situations, resulting in the ability to choose or act or inspire to consistently produce the optimum results with a minimum of time, energy or thought. It is the ability to optimally (effectively and efficiently) apply perceptions and knowledge and so produce the desired results.”

I find the Wikipedia description the most inspiring.  It’s like when I found out that an early form of inspire was “to breathe life into”.

At the end of the day, it’s wisdom in action that helps us make the most of what we’ve got, and to lead a better life.

Photo by oedipusphinx.

9 Comments on "The World’s Wisdom on Your Side"

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  1. alik levin says:

    I totally love the wikipedia’s definition of wisdom.
    keywords are:
    * consistently
    * effective and efficiently
    * optimum results
    * minimum time, energy, or thought

    whoa!

  2. Wisdom is learned through time and experience. The wise listen, embrace, let other do all the talking and learn from their mistakes.

  3. Beautiful post!! Wisdom in the greatest gift we can ever receive!

  4. A lovely way to weave a web of quotes on wisdom. I concur that Wikipedia’s definition is indeed valuable, yet “to breathe life into” is the metaphor that will stick with me.

  5. Hi JD, wisdom is an interesting thing. They say that some are wise beyond their years and others still fail to become wise despite all their age and experience. It’s exciting to think we can take short cuts and learn from others to give ourselves an advantage. Otherwise we’d all be back to square one with each new birth and humanity would never really advance. So appreciate all your wise tips:)

  6. Lance says:

    Two words in there that I find really moving: “deep understanding” . Love that, and that’s something that I gain being here in this space. You have created a real resource for wisdom…

  7. JD says:

    @ Alik — Good words for great results!

    @ Jonathan — That reminds me of an old proverb, “The fool speaks, the wise man listens.”

    @ Elena — Thank you. I have a new appreciation for the power of wisdom.

    @ Jimmy — Inspiration + Wisdom are powerful forces to have on your side.

    @ Annabel — It sure is interesting. On one hand, it does seem like we have to start from scratch each generation, without a way to Vulcan mind-meld. On the other hand, it’s like a fresh start and a re-think. The wild card is how well we leverage the short cuts and wisdom of the ages, so we move up the stack.

  8. JD says:

    @ Lance — Thank you. I’ve always found that deep understanding is the counter-intuitive path to simplicity and effectiveness. It has a snowball effect too.

  9. Hilary says:

    Hi JD .. love the post and the comments .. wise words here .. something that could be added …. ‘continuation’ to learn – we never stop acquiring and adjusting that wisdom: knowledge, insight, judgement ..

    Thanks – Hilary

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