6 Questions on Wisdom


The following are six interview questions that were asked by Dr. Marc Cooper during the process of creating a Wisdom Council and my responses.

What is wisdom?

Wisdom is difficult to define since it’s intangible, and comes from lessons learned from life experiences and foresight. Wisdom emerges from the core of who we really are.

Wisdom is multi-directional, since it is passed down through generations in fables, stories and myths. It is future orientated when we are concerned about how what we do, or not do, will affect future generations.

Wisdom is also multidimensional, since it encompasses both the practical life and higher spiritual wisdom which is at the core of all religions. Spiritual wisdom resides at the transcendent level on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and is expressed when we go beyond our selfish, egotistical needs and are genuinely concerned about the welfare and well-being of others.


How does wisdom manifest in your life?

I experience wisdom in the work I do helping people make successful transitions through major life changes. When they do personal transition planning, I see wisdom throughout the whole process when they spend time to do introspection and look at their core values to determine what is really important to them at this stage of their lives.

Part of the process involves creating a personal plan for how they are going to live a life of authenticity in all aspects of their lives. A life transition exercise helps people look at major life changes they have gone through and determine what lessons they have learned and can apply to the next major life change they are facing. Recently, I have been asked by postdoctoral researchers at a school of management at a major business college to use these lessons as data points in a research study about wisdom in transitions.


When you are in the presence of wisdom, what occurs for you?

A feeling of appreciation and being blessed that I’m experiencing wisdom from another person. I also often feel a visceral reaction, since wisdom resonates at the very core of my being. I’m also very grateful for the openness and willingness of people to share their wisdom and recognize that they are interacting with me from a position of authenticity.


Why do you think wisdom is not more fully present in the world?

In my opinion, the reason why wisdom is not more fully present in the world is because it’s not valued. Another reason is so many people are spending so much of their time and awareness looking at their smart phones that it has made them “dumb” to what’s really important in life. Focusing our attention on nonstop information does not allow time to think and process, if and how, information can be used to make wise decisions.


What do you think it would take to have wisdom expand in the world?

Simply bringing up the subject of wisdom helps make its presence known. The fact is we are the first generation in the history of mankind to have been given the gift of longevity. Historically, people would die in their early 50s or 60s. Now when people are living healthy active lives, they live into their 70s, 80s and maybe into the 90s. There is an incredible amount of elder wisdom that is being ignored in our society because of ageism.

We also need to change our way of thinking. Rather than an either/or, black or white, I win, you lose mindset, we need a balanced way of thinking which is the thought process for making wise decisions.


What can people do to experience their inner wisdom?

Connect to the inner wisdom of their True Selves by taking the online workshop Freedom To Be Your True Self.


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