The decision to seek wisdom

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This is week two in the series exploring the book The Seven Decisions by Andy Andrews.

The second decision is to seek wisdom.

Here’s a quote from the book:

“Seeking wisdom is not the same as gaining knowledge: Knowledge is a precursor to wisdom. Wisdom includes an intuitive element, an insight gained from personal experience that serves us as we make choices in our lives.”

There are three ways of seeking wisdom that are outlined in the book.

Read

Active reading of good books, with highlighter in hand allows us to learn from people we would otherwise never be able to have a conversation with.

I recently listened to a Cal Newport podcast where he talks about going deep with self-help info (and he broadens the definition of self-help literature). He outlined a path for working our way up from short videos that may contain self-help, to books that are fairly easy to read, to more deep and difficult books. Those may include the Bible and/or writings by philosophers, such as the stoics and theologians, such as C.S. Lewis or Thomas Merton.

Andy Andrews also recommends reading the biographies of great people in history in order to learn from their lives.

The deeper we go in our reading, the more insight and wisdom we can glean.

Choose good people to be around

Having a good friend group is not only good for our kids, but also for us. It’s been said that we become like the five people we spend the most time with.

We want to have people in our lives who encourage us to grow and who are on a growth journey themselves.

Andy Andrews introduces the idea of creating your personal board of directors. He says “these are people who are smarter than you, are more skilled than you, and have more fruit on the tree in key parts of their life.”

There’s no need to tell people they’re on your personal board of directors, but these are folks that you can go to when you want advice on something specific or to just learn from in general.

You may have people for specific areas of your life, like parenting or marriage, or work etc.

Live a life of service to others

This section kind of surprised me, because I wouldn’t have thought of serving others as a way to seek wisdom.

But the book lays out the idea that when we decide we’re going to serve other people, that leads to us needing to be a better version of ourselves in order to effectively serve.  It requires us to work to solve our own problems, so that we can help other people as well. And it may lead us to be around other, wiser people who are also serving others.

How do you seek wisdom in your life?

Share in the comments below.


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