The new year is upon us! Let the resolutions begin!
We all tend to enter a new year with great hopes for one that proves to be better than the year before. We reflect on triumphs and mistakes...and figure out who to blame for the latter. We tend to be reactionary in our thoughts. "I hope 2017 is better than 2016," we might say...as if we are complete products of our environment, only hoping circumstances prove to be in our favor so we don't become victims.
But the truth is...WE have the power...this year and every year...to determine the OUTCOME of our experiences. All we need is a good foundation. And that foundation should be built on two things...wisdom and knowledge.
Now, it would be uncharacteristic of me to begin without providing a definition of each from which to expound...
The ability to think and act using knowledge, understanding, experience, and common sense.
The facts, feelings, and experiences known by a person or group of people.
"Be as you wish to seem." ~Socrates~
Now please understand... I'm not writing this blog to PROVIDE wisdom and knowledge. I'm writing this blog to help us understand what they are so that THIS year...we can take advatage of both to increase the chances of happiness and contentment in our lives. Fair enough? Let's begin...
If I told you I graduated from an Ivy League school, would you consider me knowledgable or wise?
If I told you my wife and I raised 5 children, all with a love for those who are less fortunate, would you consider my wife and I knowledgable or wise?
If I told you I never make a huge decision without first talking it over with my wife, would you consider me smart or wise? (Or trained well? lol)
And here's a great question...what makes a manager a great manager...is it the volume of knowledge the individual has attained through extensive training? The useful individual who knows every aspect of running a store?
Or is it the manager who understands the value of the people who work there? The manager that understands who has what skills? The manager who understands fairness and empathy, but also understands the traps made by employees who do less than their share...but knows how to motivate them?
As I ponder this myself...I have to admit...in each instance...I think it takes a little of both knowledge AND wisdom. (And maybe a little money for the first one.)
But it's AMAZING to me, how many of us would choose one over the other. People whose main goal in life is to go to school, get a good job, make lots of money and live comfortably. I don't judge the goal...that's the American Dream and there's nothing wrong with it if that is what you want...but I believe the problem lies in how we attempt to attain the goal.
We must gain the knowledge necessary to have the skills to work the job and make the money. But we must also have the wisdom to know how best to use the money to our advantage in order to have what we want. Additionally...it takes wisdom to know when something is no longer beneficial and when to let go.
Maybe in the New Year, each of us should look within ourselves and ask ourselves these questions...
As I stated at the outset...it would be foolish for me to pretend what knowledge is useful to you and what wisdom is useful for you. We are each unique. My goal is simply to encourage each of us to see ourselves as PARTICIPANTS on the Big Blue Marble...and not just spectators...as victors not victims. I want us to be knowledgeable enough to recognize what we need to know... but wise enough to understand it's significance in the grand scheme of things.
My hope for each of us this year is that we dig a little deeper to understand...not only ourselves...but how we relate and affect the world around us...I think that MIGHT be where peace and love can be found. Just don't expect it to "happen" to you...because happeniness is based on what happens...but joy is based on how we choose to interpret what happens. We must work to attain it....but don't things mean more when we work for them? My wish for you this year is that you will have hopes for a better year than the last... and that you will consider what you need to DO to get what you hope for.
About the Author
Braden Daniels was born in Saginaw, Michigan and has been writing articles and books for over 30 years.