Today I’m going to share the very little I know regarding how one can seek wisdom. Really, I’m sharing a broken version of how I, myself, am going about acquiring wisdom in today’s shattered culture. A time where anything goes and no one really knows… Where truth is opinion and fact being what I believe. Think of this post as more a ‘journal entry’ than a perfected “How to”. I believe most how to statements are experiences anyways, and what better way to learn than through the mistakes of another? I hope that my mistakes and momentary victories can paint a picture, not of wisdom, but how one can begin to seek it. Let us begin…
The first and most valuable step in understanding how to seek wisdom lies in the admission that you presently have none. To gain understanding, you are best accepting that by not having any, it has the potential to be all around you. Gaining knowledge begins with this awareness. I love the way Proverbs in The Bible refers to wisdom as a “She”. A person that you are seeking and desiring to discover, know and be close to. If I am actively pursuing a woman, that would mean that I currently am not with her and likely know only a little about her but desire to know her more. I can seek traces of her qualities from those who have encountered her before I. This would mean getting to know her friends, family, and interests. Going to the places she would go to understand what she likes and how she responds. Giving the qualities I’m learning about her context to the life she lives. She is inviting you and calling out to you. You do not have to stalk her or I would have titled this, how to stalk wisdom. Instead she leaves an open invitation to all called to chase after her. She is less elusive than we imagined and seeking her is the only way to find her. History shows one does not merely stumble upon her but must commit their life to uncovering her.
Applying this principle of “seeking an individual” to acquiring wisdom looks like this: If I desire more of it, I should seek it, those who have it, places that breed it, all while building a life around it. If your current situation doesn’t permit you the opportunity to chase her, change it. Build routines around pursuing wisdom and plan to encounter her. One of the most effective ways I’ve learned to plan for wisdom is to know that I likely will not have it or apply it when I need wisdom most, so I build situations, routines and a strategy for my life when I know I am engaging with wisdom. That way, I can quickly discover her when I need her most.
I apply wisdom by knowing a future version of myself will not have it, so I should do something now in preparation. An example is this, I know in the morning I’m going to likely be too lazy to write in my journal if I have to find it, hunt down a writing utensil and decide where I’m going to sit while pondering what to write. Instead, I place my journal open beside my phone where my alarm goes off, dated, with a pencil sharpened and questions already prepared. I use this same principle in almost all I do. My friends would tell you I am obsessive, and they would be correct. I leave knapsacks half packed so I don’t forget things, I own cell phone chargers in several rooms throughout my house and my car. I have my laptop setup and charged on my desk the evening before I need to wake up and write. I scramble my eggs in batch so I can wake up and eat them cold if necessary. It is wise, I believe, to know the future version of yourself will create and use any excuse imaginable to dodge doing what is needed. I then use that understanding to plan against myself. I plan for tomorrow while it’s still today. I assume I don’t just lack wisdom now, but I will likely face challenges that become obstacles for wisdom tomorrow.
These are just a few small examples that paint a much larger picture. I don’t want to confuse wisdom with being effective, journalling or eating your breakfast. Wisdom is a lifelong pursuit. You are always traveling to and from wisdom, forgetting parts of her character and relearning lost traits. The beginning of wisdom is always the same; knowing you don’t have much wisdom today, and you may not have much tomorrow. The beautiful part is when you know you don’t have something, you have room to desire more of it and you can begin to plan how to find it, asking questions to those you usually wouldn’t ask who might know exactly where lady wisdom is hiding.
10 Steps to Seek Wisdom
- Acknowledge you lack it
- Desire to find it
- Seek those who have it
- Position yourself to acquire it
- Strategize against pitfalls that contradict living wisely
- Remove people who practice foolishness as influential to your life
- Read books of those regarded as wise
- Read the book of Proverbs
- Keep track of wise and unwise choices using a journal and reflect
- Imagine Wisdom as a person you are daily pursuing, then chase her