Wisdom doesn’t come from books.
And it doesn’t always come with age either.
Wisdom comes from within.
Does that mean we should just stop reading books? Throw them all on a big pile and set fire to it?
No, of course not. But the simple act of reading a book won’t make you a wiser person. No matter how wise the author of the book.
What about experience? Surely that must count for something?
Not necessarily. It depends on what you do with those experiences. If you’re merely a thrill-seeking collector of experiences, you won’t learn much.
The centre of the universe
When it comes to gaining wisdom – whether it’s through books, daily life or experiences – the one thing that makes all the difference is… you.
In your own private little universe you are at the centre of all things. And so, the wisdom and the knowledge of others is useless to you, unless you make it your own first.
You are a processing machine. You feed it information and out comes wisdom.
Or at least, that’s the way it should be. Look around in the world and you might be tempted to think most people prefer to be copy machines. They go through life doing as they’re told, or as they think is expected from them. That’s certainly easier, but it doesn’t make you happier.
The only true wisdom is your inner wisdom.
Just remember that this applies to everyone. As a result, your personal truth won’t always match with someone else’s truth. Keeping that in mind will do wonders for your relationship with others.
Too many problems in this world of ours are caused by people fooling themselves into believing that their inner wisdom and personal truth is the truth.
So when I say that the only true wisdom is your inner wisdom, I should probably add “for you” to that statement.
I trust this will keep you from thinking the rest of the world is a bunch of idiots you can safely ignore?
Don’t drown in your own navel
Here’s another risk of self-delusion when you want to trust in your own inner wisdom. How can you be sure you’re listening to the voice of wisdom, and not the voice of your inner idiot?
The solution to that one is threefold.
First of all, if you’re mistakenly following your inner idiot, sooner or later you’ll hit a brick wall. Hard. But a little common sense and some experience should go a long way here.
Secondly, trusting your inner wisdom isn’t the same thing as gazing so hard at your own navel that you become blind to the wisdom of others.
This processing machine that you are should be an open system. Be a sponge. Keep your eyes, your ears and your heart open for the input of others.
Even more so when the views and the wisdom of others hit a nerve with you. Don’t be annoyed, angry or emotional simply because someone else’s personal truth clashes with yours.
It’s perfectly healthy for our beliefs to be challenged every now and then. It’s what prevents us from becoming crazy tyrants.
Thirdly and most importantly, to be able to hear the voice of your inner wisdom it’s essential that you have inner peace.
And that’s mainly a matter of intention, practice and habit. You don’t need to become a word-renowned meditation expert to achieve inner peace.
Simply make the time – a few minutes will do nicely – several times per day to have a special moment to yourself. Use this time to breathe out, relax and mentally go into your sacred space.
Let the dark clouds of your busy mind float off into the distance.
Let the sun shine over the colourful meadow that is your inner peace.
And then let your inner wisdom rise to the surface like cool water from a clear spring.
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