Face it; all seasons come to an end—even the good ones. The depth of our current plans can determine how successful we will be in the future. When I was preparing to graduate from college, I found out too late that I had a glitch in my plan. The small over site caused me to miss graduating with my class and taking two additional courses the following semester. We all have seasons that end, that's a part of life, but the question is are we making wise decisions today that's setting us up to succeed tomorrow.
3 Wise Keys
1. Focus - Distractions are common when coming to the end of a season. An anticipation of what's next usually takes the primary focus of our attention. Wisdom calls for us to look ahead to see what's needed to be worked on today for the future success we desire.
A great writer once said that the race is given to the one that endures to the end. Starting strong is good, staying strong is better, but ending strong is the best! How you finish is key to your overall success. Continuing to have the proper focus on your end despite the challenges will maximize each moment towards success.
2. Failure - Bad seasons are always something we desire to get out of quickly; however, if lessons are not learned, the unwanted failures will show up in future seasons. We must learn from our past failures and apply them to our actions of today. When farmers have a bad season, they salvage what they can, count their losses, and prepare to succeed in the next season. We must do the same with our failed seasons.
The past is over! You can't change, forget, edit or erase it. You must accept the good by applying it. Accept the bad by learning from it. Take your failures and make them your strengths by knowing what to avoid, what to do, and not to do. Prepare yourself to end your season by applying your learned knowledge into each day.
3. Transition - Coming to the end of a season means that another one is coming. It's like a track team in a relay race. They understand that positioning and timing are crucial for successful transfers. In life, how we position and time our actions today can call for success or failure tomorrow.
Calculate how your actions are positioning you to reach your long term goals. Review your timing to ensure that you are doing what you should at the right time to obtain the results you desire. Be sure to include some key elements for success - honesty, teachable attitude, respect, diligence, self-control, and responsibility. Wisely executing your transition plans will help you end your current season with the best foot forward to start a new season.
Summary - Starting and ending seasons are inevitable for life—work to balance staying focused, accepting failure, and handling transition. Work to successfully conquer whatever seasons you're in, while continuing to keep your next season in view. That's wisdom applied.
Getting everything to work just the way we need it is almost impossible at the right time and in the right way. When wisdom is flowing, our thoughts, words, and actions coincide with our past knowledge and experiences to produce in the present, the best possible outcome. Timing is of the essence to succeed. President Andrew Jackson said, "Take time to deliberate; but when the time for action arrives, stop thinking and go all in." Inputting wisdom at the proper time is one key component to obtaining success.
3 to Overcome
1. Delay - Author William Feather said, "Conditions will never be exactly right. So, if delaying actions until favorable conditions, nothing will happen." It is easy to look at the problems and circumstances all around and come up with reasons why we should not do anything. But applying wisdom calls for us to be able to see our destiny over the obstacles.
Keep your dream in front of you. Allow what you envision to overcome your reasons to delay. Nurture the attractive characteristic that calls for you to act at a specific time with what you have. Gather what you can and confidently move forward. As time progress, you will gain more wisdom about what to do next. Success will only come because you did not delay acting at the right time.
2. Fear - Being afraid of the next step when moving is like a clock that does not want to keep time. It just does not work. David Lloyd Georg said, "Don't be afraid to take a big step if one is indicated." When the opportunity comes, we must not be afraid of failure; it is a part of the journey to success. Take the step over fear and be willing to learn all the way, whether sinking or swimming.
Gain clarity between what is real and what is false. Wisdom is full of truth and utilizing it at the proper time will bring the best outcome. Confront the fear in your life and get-in-sync with where you need to be with your goals.
3. Focus - Sometimes, our synchronization can be out of line because we concentrate on the wrong areas. Catherine Pulsifer says, "Too often in life, we focus on the things we cannot do, which limits us in achieving the success of our goals." Whatever we put our focus on is the direction we will drift.
Work on getting synchronized by focusing on your next task towards your goal. Focusing on proper perspectives will enable you to act wisely. Eileen McDargh said it this way, "Determine your priorities and focus on them." The appropriate focus will help keep you say in sync.
Summary - Timing is key to a successful future. Do not delay moving forward; overcome your fears with clarity; and focus on goal-centered priorities. Right timing requires you to operate wisely at your peak every day.
Wisdom is the ability to take knowledge from the past, have the perception of the future and apply it at the right time, in the right way to achieve the best result possible in the present. To reach our destiny will require us to move wisely. Johann Lavater said, "Call him wise whose actions, words, and steps are all a clear because of a clear why." In other words, we should be certain about the reasons we are in action.
1. Think – Our destiny is wrapped in the thoughts we have today. So it is imperative that we focus on wise things that are rooted in truth in stead of what feels good or seems good for the moment. Formulating our thoughts around a lie will never produce wise thinking.
Establish truth as the pivotal point of all your thoughts. Seek the truth in all your matters, it will save you time and money. In the end your wise thoughts will help you make wise choices when faced with options.
2. Speak – Often our thoughts become our words. So we must make sure that they match. Napoleon Hill said it this way, “Think twice before you speak, because your words will plant the seed of either success or failure in the mind of another.” There is power in our words for ourselves and those around us.
You may have caught yourself saying the wrong thing or talking too much about nothing, I know I have. So I sometimes have to tell myself to "shut up"! In working to be wise try to remember what Plato said, “A wise person talks because they have something to say; fools because they have to say something.” Work to have something to say that's boosting your destiny. That's wisdom in action.
3. Do – True wisdom will bring about true doing. If we are wise we must know that our effectiveness only comes from putting our thoughts and words into action. Nicholas Sparks says “We can say all the right words at all the right times; but in the end, our actions are what people will judge.”
What you do reflects your wisdom. After you have tested your plans and know that its the best possible choice, don't wait, do! Someone said it this way, "Opportunity is knocking, stop looking for it in an out of reach place. It's right there with you now." Wisely prepare yourself and be ready to move when opportunity comes to you.
Summary – Four things never come back: the spoken word, wasted time, the past, and a neglected opportunity. Make your actions wise by thinking it all the way through, not saying unnecessary words, and doing what you say you are going to do - no matter the cost. Be wise in your actions!
What would it take to achieve success in our lives? If we had everything we desired, would we succeed? We often have an image of what success looks like in our minds, but when faced with reality, the journey usually requires more than anticipated. So the question arises, "How do we get wisdom to handle the unexpected challenges of achieving the success we desire? " I read an article that responded this way, "Wisdom comes through pain and struggle. The pain brought on by interruptions disappointments, loss, and failure. This is the long road to maturity and wisdom." The price of true success lies in how wise we become through our struggles.
1. Optimistic – An open mind is one of the first keys to gaining wisdom. Opening our minds to look beyond the problems and staying focused on moving towards the desired goal is a must for success. My wife often says I'm too optimistic because I keep looking for the best in every situation. I feel that we have one of two options with every situation we face, and that is to 1) Look for the best or 2) look for the worst. Either way, we must look for something that's not seen. The chances are often higher than the one we seek.
Expect the best from people, things, and situations around you. Your expectation will put you in a spot to absorb wisdom. Know your values and always be on the lookout for things that will improve you. Being optimistic about life will help you grow in wisdom.
2. Inquisitive – When my children were little, they seemed to ask questions about everything continually. I concluded it's because they want to know how to do it. It's that simple; they gain wisdom of what to do and not to do by asking questions from those that know. As adults, we should continue to be inquisitive about growing in our wisdom.
Be confident in gaining an understanding in the areas that you lack the know-how. Insight can help you change your perspectives and can ultimately position your life to meet your goals. Being inquisitive can start with: What? How? And Why? Seek it out to unlock all the wisdom around you.
3. Humility – C. S. Lewis said, “True humility is not thinking less of ourselves; it is thinking of ourselves less.” One of the most challenging journeys of life is to look inside ourselves. A mirror gives a reflection of what's in front of it. But with our personal lives; we don't stay in front of the mirror enough to see and change the problems. Being humble is a wise step towards achieving success because we can bring our high minds down and our low minds up. Humility brings a balance because we continue to confront and adjust the real us.
Be humble about your strengths and weaknesses. Use your good qualities to produce excellence. Inform others of your shortcomings and solicit good help. Wisdom is being who you say you are and doing what you say you can do. I once heard it said that "humility is strength under control". Being humble is key to being wise.
Summary – In so many words, Anais Nin said, "Life is a process of becoming, a combination of different "states of minds". Failure often comes when we choose to select one "state of mind" for life." Wisdom is being able to juggle the best from different "states of minds" (past, present, and future) to arrive at the best possible outcome. Work to daily promote who you want to become by being optimistic, inquisitive, and humble - based on what's true. Continue to pursue wisdom every day.
The fundamentals of responsibility are based on our personal values. Our development and growth in any area will come from properly responding to what we have the ability to change. Jim Rohn said it like this, "We must take personal responsibility. We cannot change the circumstances, the seasons or the wind but we can change ourselves." It is in our control to set our standards high for ourselves. If our standards are high within us, our words and thoughts will reflect it on the outside of us. Let's work to be more effective and efficient with our lives by responsibly handling our jobs and tasks instead of running away from them.
1. Accomplish– Take on every opportunity to accomplish the tasks before us. No one else should be finishing what we should be doing ourselves. Our excuses and pity parties are not showing a sign of maturity. If the job is to be done by us, we should be willing to learn and master the skills needed to excel.
Learn from and own up to your failures and mistakes. Michael Jordan said, "I failed over and over again; that's why I succeeded." It is not the failure that prevents your success; it's irresponsible with the failures that cause you to be unable to accomplish your tasks. Push beyond your faults and perform the functions that you are responsible for doing. Your success is based on what you've achieved over your failures.
2. Accept– It is said that old habits are hard to break because we don't like being forced to do new stuff. However, if we are going to be successful with our responsibilities, we must accept changes to improve. Abraham Lincoln said, "We can't escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading them today."
Accept what it will take both mentally and physically to achieve the responsibilities connected to your success. Include in your plan a way to handle the inevitable - failures, discouragements, and even your own self-sabotaging thoughts. Being responsible calls for you to handle it all and remain in control.
3. Adamant – To be adamant is the mindset of doing what's required for the goal despite other persuasions. Bodybuilders usually go to the gym with a purpose. They adamantly push themselves to the limits even when they don't feel like it. Being responsible calls for us to be clear about what we have to get done and to be adamant about our responsibilities despite our feelings.
Be adamant about accomplishing your responsibilities even if they weigh you down a bit. You might feel like giving up, but being responsible demands that you don't quit. Find a way to overcome your circumstances and obstacles.
Summary – The fundamentals of responsibility are attainable by you. Take the mindset every day to not give in to irresponsibility by 1) accomplish the tasks that are given to you, 2) accept changes and opportunities to improve you, and 3) being adamant about every step towards your goal.
Hermann Hesse said, "Wisdom can not impart. The wisdom that we might attempt to impart sounds like foolishness to the listener. Knowledge is communicated, but not wisdom. One can find it, live it, do wonders with it, but one can not communicate and teach it." So, where can we find wisdom so that we can live it out every day? I define wisdom as the ability to discern the best from three areas at the same time - 1) what's currently happening, 2) what could happen, 3) and what has happened — then applying that information at the right time, in the right way to achieve the most superior results possible. Useful wisdom requires a strong character that is rooted in sound principles. Let's look at some key elements to unlocking wisdom in our lives.
1. Experience – Like it or not, wisdom is not something we can get from school or buy in a store. Asking for advice or opinion is one thing, but wisdom comes from processing everything we have experienced (successes and failures) and then applying it appropriately to what's before us.
Everybody goes through struggles, but not everyone obtains wisdom from their encounters. Allow your experiences to be filtered with the truth. Know that wisdom is always closely related to truth. When adequately accessed, your experiences can help you make wise choices. Work to process your experiences because it is key to wisdom rightly.
2. Understand - To know the reason behind what's going on is one thing, but gaining that real understanding which brings wisdom requires us to know the real value or motive behind our actions and others. To reach this level of wisdom, we need to have precise purposes and focused goals. Wisdom is shown abroad when we understand our responsibilities first, accept the positions of others, and work together in unity to accomplish the greater good.
Captivate and absorb as much as you can from all the places you can; anytime you can so you can be aware of how to respond to your surroundings. You can make wise decisions when you have a clear understanding of what needs to be done. It's a key to wisdom.
3. Conscience - It's always a challenge to know exactly when to do something and when not to do something. The times when we get it right, we are often called wise. Some accredit their success to their "gut feeling." But I think our conscience reveals our true personal motives. Our conscience is the inner sense that separates right from wrong. If our motives are clear and pushing for what's right and true, we can usually conclude that we are making a wise choice even if it doesn't seem like it at first.
Push to have your conscience directed with pure motives for what's best. Martin Luther King said it this way, "There comes a time when you must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but you must take it because your conscience tells you it is right." Have a clear (truth focused) conscience; it is a key to wisdom.
Summary - Find your wisdom by analyzing your experiences, seeking to understand life, and having a clear conscience all based on truth. Then attempt to apply that information at the right time in the right way for the best results possible in the present. Your wisdom has to be personally unlocked with each situation you face by you. In all that you do, pursue your wisdom!