On discovering my values: wisdom

A while ago, I identified my most important values. One which ranks very high on that list is wisdom. I could just stop here and say that wisdom is important to me and that’s it. However, I am losing out on a wide range of interesting questions and insights why it is important to me and how it influences my own behavior.

How did I define my value wisdom back then? I wrote that:

Wisdom means knowledge and knowledge means understanding. Through challenging experiences and my curiosity to learn new things, I will develop myself further. This helps to find my personal identity. I will use my wisdom to help others grow. Wisdom also means being humble.

Wisdom is only the title I gave to a range of categories of values. Interestingly, I paired wisdom and challenge. Moreover, I linked courage and risk & adventure to challenge, and therefore, I linked it to wisdom. I think that when I fail to be courageous at times, I miss out on increasing my knowledge. Of course, I could sit all day in my room and read one book after the other. But that is only passive knowledge. However, there is a lot of wisdom to be gained from first-hand experiences.

Another link I made was between wisdom and personal development. This also includes developing a personal identity which leads to individualism. I think the link between wisdom and personal development is rather clear. The more insights I have about myself and the world, the more I can grow and work on the things I determined to be worth changing. I think the link between wisdom and individualism is not so clear. Of course, we all are and want to be seen as individuals. We often show that with the clothes we are wearing. However, we still orientate ourselves on others, and we also try to fit in. This is nothing bad. I just think that it is easy to not fully live out our individual selves. Trying to acquire wisdom can get you a lot of insights about yourself and you realize more clearly what you want and don’t want and who you truly are. Thus, it helps to differentiate yourself from others. Not in a “I am better than you” or “I am worse than you” type, but just the type where you become aware of yourself.

I also drew some green lines (green means positive link) to creativity and to purpose. I think the more I know, the more connections I can make between seemingly unrelated things and therefore come up with creative and innovative solutions. I also think that the more I know myself, the closer I get to find my purpose. Of course, purpose might itself be a floating element. But, my hope is that knowing myself leads me to identify more quickly in what I find meaning. Acting on that inside is a whole different story though =).

So how does this value influence my behavior?

I try to gather a lot of knowledge. Especially about psychology, philosophy, values, mindfulness and so on. All of these topics can help me with my main goal to understand myself and others. That is the wisdom I seek. My intention is to always try to understand myself and others. I know I still have a lot of black spots and areas and I can tell that I still need to learn. Actually, I know that this will be a lifelong process.

When I see an opportunity to challenge myself, I am more likely to take on this challenge. Of course, I might not see every opportunity and I know that I refuse to take on some opportunities. This is something I still need to get better at.

I also try not to restrain my curiosity. No matter the topic, when I see a spark of curiosity flaring up, I satisfy this need to know more. In general, I constantly educate myself and I am humble enough to know how little I know =). As Aristotle said:

The more you know, the more you know you don’t know.

Have a nice day and take care!

Stephan

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