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.