The Power of Wisdom: How to Use A Simple Concept in Business and Life

The Power of Wisdom: How to Use A Simple Concept in Business and Life


Grandmother talking to her granddaughter about eating cookies in a kitchen.



Empathy, compassion, and impartial judgment are all examples of qualities that wisdom has. Several definitions of wisdom exist, each with its own set of criteria for assessing the characteristics associated with it. Common sense and insight are qualities of wisdom. It's also associated with virtues such as ethics and benevolence. Sapience is an ancient form of wisdom. This word wisdom is not synonymous with divinity.



Faith is wisdom in the sense of trusting or having faith in a higher spiritual power based on belief. A person may possess wisdom and not have faith because wisdom does not depend on one's beliefs but the experience. Beliefs can influence wisdom. This wisdom is about knowing that God is. It's wisdom because it transcends the rational mind and enters into the realm of spiritual understanding. There is that old English wisdom refrain that goes like this: "Be still and know He is God."

Wisdom as a Conceptual Metaphor

The word wisdom has many different connotations tied up in its definition depending upon who you ask and how it is used in the context of wisdom. The wisdom metaphor is often used with knowledge and experience, so using wisdom to measure one's life makes sense if one applies these concepts correctly.

Wisdom can be a powerful tool for anyone who uses it at any age because wisdom has both an emotional component that allows us feel good about ourselves while also having wisdom.

Wisdom is different than intelligence because it does not rely on one's ability to learn new things, but wisdom comes from experience and even wisdom itself can be learned. Wisdom can also differ depending upon how you assess or measure it.


Tell me the difference between wisdom and intelligence?

For example, intelligent traits correlated more closely with confidence performance than personality traits, research suggests. According to recent studies, life experiences are among the strongest predictor of wisdom that can be derived from studies. Wisdom runs deeper than internalized facts in any one area. One can be very intelligent in the bigger picture but lack greater knowledge about life. One might be a great salesperson, but be unable to communicate effectively with your date. One may speak with a lot of big words but may not be able to explain the meaning of a difficult word to your niece. The belief that intelligence is everything vanishes when you leave your parents' house. The examples are endless. You end up respect yourself more when you come from a place of more wisdom. You want to be known as a wise person. Developing wisdom comes from letting your experience guide your intelligence. The Old Testament recounts many instances of men of high intelligence who still proved to themselves and God that they were not wise. 



The wisdom of our ancestors has been passed down from generation to generation. They all know a better way to live life and make wise choices. Wisdom is a concept found in many cultures and religions. It's often used to describe the understanding of life gained through experience and gaining knowledge. True wisdom is acquired over time from living life. Those who are intelligent have knowledge because they have had many experiences: wisdom comes with age, it may come at any time, and it depends on the lessons you've learned. That said, we don't look to younger people for wisdom. Younger people may have developed some wisdom in certain areas. A younger person may have a good marriage and they may be a good example in that area. The same young lady may not have good boundaries with her parents. For example, there is something to be said for doing business in person. To live a good life, a deep understanding of life was needed. Well-being often followed listening to one's elders. Not when the elders and their ideas conflicted with one's spirit. When your grandmother tells you that your boyfriend is a philanderer based on his behavior. That insight comes from her wisdom. When your aunt tells you to learn to code, that's due to her internal good sense. She's teaching you something. That's one thing. When your father doesn't like your boyfriend because he's Korean, that's another situation entirely. That's prejudice based on fear or potentially even a stereotype. Your father is not a wise man just because he's your father. The same father may be a great welder and carpenter, but has an aversion to your boyfriend for whatever reason. Intellectual humility comes from admitting one's failings and working to correct them.


How is wisdom acquired?

Wisdom is a gift that can be received at any time in your life, based on the lessons life has taught you. Why In other words, we may still make foolish mistakes over and over. Sometimes we avoid mistakes through talk. Asking for advice is one way to avoid horrendous faux pas. For example, you were taught how to use a firearm as a child properly. And you never fell under the delusion that deadly weapons were toys to be used in non-life-threatening circumstances. Sometimes talk is not enough to avoid the pain. Sometimes the lesson has to be repeated until the lesson is learned. For example, the cycle of low earning could seem like it's rooted in your beliefs. It could seem it's based on truths. If you have been broke many times over, it could be an addiction. You could have the deluded view that there are few opportunities. This could appear to be the truth. Your specific situation could appear unique It could be you may feel resigned to poverty, which is one the greatest sin ever in some circles. That's based on your emotions. That's not practical wisdom. The practical wisdom would come by asking for help and taking small steps to improve your financial situation and your mindset. As your financial situation improves, you will gather wisdom to help someone who had the same problem. The same principles can be applied for other problems ranging from problem drinking to chronic philandering. Some might say that it's normal to not be an adulterer. Some might say that everyone knows that. One quick gander at an hour of television should disabuse you of such assumptions. Take a look at most political leaders in many countries, for example. We make the mistakes or see the mistakes made and eschew the behavior. Different situations must be experienced. Dating that man with a girlfriend will teach you to judge rightly. Getting nasty texts will teach you lessons that you will not forget.



The truth is that reading and studying are great ways to develop knowledge. The Word is a great source. Belief helps one pick up on the examples in scripture. Many of the stories in the Bible outline what Wisdom, in fact, is about learning from life's experiences and the wisdom we attain throughout our lives. Although knowledge and wisdom aren't synonymous, they may be distinct. Wisdom is a valuable asset that has many benefits: wisdom improves self-understanding; it helps make wise choices in one's life; it enhances emotional intelligence; wisdom makes you more available for today's blessings. Wisdom is built by combining knowledge and experience. Having more life-changing or difficult relationship issues under your belt will aid in making a better decision. Critical thinking skills may also be improved through study.


How do I cultivate wisdom?

Wisdom people combine past observations and opinions into greater nuanced thinking. The ability to challenge or change a state of thought or status quo can be a hallmark of wisdom. Balance is another major component. Socrates stated through Plato that the "unexamined life is not worth living." The examined life is worth living. Wise people typically serve the common good while also helping themselves meet the need in the search for peace between competing demands and objectives. Expert and business leaders say wisdom also enhances the self-knowledge of others which can also help them develop a sense of understanding of others. Understanding others only goes so far. The idea that if I understand, I will automatically achieve success is easier said than done. The idea that if I try I may fail is more likely. On a personal note, I give on a daily basis being a god. I can let luminaries play god. I examine my life and I make a lot of mistakes. I crash and burn. I ask for advice. I fail. I live an examined life and still barely scratch the surface of true wisdom. I am aware of my folly. My philosophy now is to avoid traps as much as possible. 



In today’s world, there are many distractions keeping us from using wisdom as a tool in life and business. It takes wisdom to see these distractions for what they really are. Our thoughts are distractions. Most of them are errant and incorrect. Sometimes they may be quite wrong. Human wisdom isn't as good as God's wisdom. The latter is not accepted wisdom, but the "small voice" that comes from prayer. This wisdom can even be applied to decisions that are made every day at work, in the home, and on a personal level. When you act wisely, it's similar to having faith since wisdom is based on your inner feelings or intuition, which can't always be rationalized. Wisdom also aids in our ability to stay centered when making critical decisions, allowing us to remain stable throughout the process. When the distractions of the world are too prevalent, the best thing is to use principles to make decisions. When you're tempted to act out of lust, find a way to act out of faith. Find a way to act out of love.


How do researchers define wisdom?

A leading theory defines wisdom with "expert knowledge in the fundamental pragmatics of life that allows exceptional insight judgment and advice about complex and uncertain aspects”. The criteria are measured by introducing the hypothetical scenarios and by assessing them. Sociologist Monika Ardelt believes that individuals develop wisdom as personality characteristics that include reflection, compassion, and searching after truth. Psychologist Robert Sternberg defines wisdom as the balance between yourself and others so that action is directed towards the common good. There are also other theories on wisdom like the balance between one person and others.


 A scene of early evening traffic in Manhattan, NY. A cab and some cars can be seen in a backdrop of buildings. There is a traffic light in the foreground.


 How does wisdom differ between cultures?

Culture can affect traits that are judged by good values and education received by individuals. For example, American culture places a greater emphasis on achievement. The added distinction is that individual achievement is of the utmost importance. There is nothing morally wrong with this. Many people have been able to create wonderful lives for themselves and their families leaning on common sense and hard work.

Unfortunately, not all of the successful ones are wise persons. Sometimes, they make mistakes like King Solomon. It might be okay culturally to "get over" on someone in order to achieve business success. It's not standard business practice, but many of the American tycoons people revere have crossed people in business. It's not an American thing to be a scumbag, but it's more culturally acceptable to have "gotten over" in 2021. 50 years ago? Not so much. Were there crooks making lots of money in the early '70s? Sure. Was it accepted in the big picture? No way.

How wise is America currently? How wise is the United States? How much good judgment do people use on a daily basis? How much wisdom do people need to operate in today’s world?

What if I told you that there was a way for us as Americans to use our collective wisdom as one nation to help guide us through these difficult times together? Imagine how empowering it would be for each person in this country - no matter their background -to share their perspectives with one another for constructive debate and discussion. Is this still possible? The answer is yes, but it would involve hard discussions.


 Mt. Fuji is seen from the distance with a summit of one of the temple buildings. Fuji-san is snow capped.


Achievement is important in Japan. Collective wisdom is more important in Japan, however. This wisdom is embedded in Japanese culture.  

Japanese wisdom can be seen through the way that Japanese people work together to achieve success. They are very cognizant of their own wisdom and what it means for them as individuals, but they also understand the importance of using wisdom within a group setting. Using wisdom requires an environment where practical wisdom is valued and wisdom-seeking behaviors are encouraged.

In Japanese culture, it is NOT culturally acceptable to have pulled a fast one. One may have pulled a fast one in private, but that is not something that one would ever share. It would only come up in the context of scandal. This is of course a generalization. In Japan, there is a lot more emphasis on group views. Experience is crucial for the development of wisdom and culture informs you about one's experiences and how they deal with them.

 Japanese people believe that there is an invisible spiritual world around us. They also believe that spirits can be found in natural objects like trees or stones. It's illustrated in many famous mangas like "Spirited Away".

That's not everyone, but those are some of the traditional Shinto concepts that are embedded in daily life. It's interesting how different cultures have very different beliefs about spirituality and religion! This helps to explain the differences in corporate culture and ideas on wisdom.


 Geisha walking past an izakaya in a Japanese touristic city.



There is a lot of saving face that is endemic, which does not reinforce practices that benefit society on the whole. The international situation has not helped the Japanese economy. For example, the job for life need has kept younger sectors of the Japanese population from being able to fully integrate into the workforce. In a great sense, one might say that's completely unwise. In addition, Japan's outsourcing their manufacturing in part to "poorer" Asian countries might have been good for AI producers, but bad for society in general. It might have been bad for a society with a low birth rate. It might have been bad for a society where many men live with their parents way past college age. Was it a good year for the Olympics? Was it a loss for Japan? Time will really tell. Why was it absolutely necessary to host at all with the things going on? Was this good judgment? It's hard to say. There are a lot of opinions out there. The particular subject is best explored another day in another forum.


Japanese student from a high school looking for a book in a library.



Business wisdom is not the same as wisdom in life. You may have a special needs child that needs more care than the other children. In business, this may look like assigning an employee to a better-suited task. An autistic employee may shine dealing with bookkeeping, whereas they may have struggled in the front office. By using wisdom, you are able to get the most out of your employees while being service.

You may also find yourself walking away from deals that many others might find appealing. The opportunity of a lifetime may appear to be a flight-by-night business.

Using wisdom in business means being honest and transparent with clients or customers who have a need that may not be fulfilled by current staff. It also means doing what is best for employees when they make mistakes (ex: taking responsibility) but still holding them accountable for their actions.


An office team is working on a project at a table with their laptops in front of them. The group is composed of half women.




Wisdom in life means taking responsibility for your actions and not blaming others. It also means accepting the consequences of choices you make, whether they be positive or negative. Life wisdom is based on experience and what we've learned from mistakes we have made along the way. Some may say that this wisdom comes with age, but wisdom can be learned at any stage in life. Wisdom also means being honest about feelings and emotions that are tough to express. This may include admitting when you're sad or feeling lonely; not everyone wants to hear this, which is why it takes wisdom to know who should hear such honesty and whom it's best left for. Wisdom is a powerful tool that allows us to be successful in our businesses and life.  

First, wisdom is something that we must gain from our experiences in life. We can't learn wisdom if we don't have any real-world experience to draw from! Wisdom comes from knowledge and having a lot of different types of knowledge allows us to make wise decisions. For example, wisdom might allow an accountant or business owner with many years of wisdom to make a wise decision about saving money for the future.


Middle aged Russian woman in a field is smiling in the breeze.


Second, wisdom is something that we usually gain as we age and accumulate our wisdom from experience! In this way, wisdom truly has been described as "knowledge after much life". 



Logic can be defined as wisdom through rationality, reasoning, intelligence, knowledge, judgment, or quick thinking in its application to truth-finding processes. Logic is very focused on going from point A to point B. It's wisdom because it seeks to find the truth. It is wisdom that leads us from error and confusion into clarity. When we use logic, we understand our conclusions are based on certain assumptions or premises.

In contrast with wisdom though, logic can be used in some cases but not others. Logic only really helps us in the physical world. Logic can't help us know what to do if wisdom isn't always applicable. Logic can help you open a door, or drive to work but wisdom is what allows you to do these things successfully. 

For example, wisdom may tell you that it's best not to open your business on a holiday but logic might say otherwise because you need the money. We may think or feel that there are other ways we could make more money, but we are faced with the course we know-- what we're used to.

Logic may assist you in opening a door or getting to work, but wisdom is what allows you to do so effectively! Using wisdom to make decisions for your business and life will allow you to be successful at whatever it is that you are doing. Being able to use wisdom means being able to make wise decisions, and wisdom is something that we must learn over time.


How can wisdom be taught?

Some scholars conceive of wisdom as a skill that can be taught – by emphasizing critical thinking skills and the importance of reflection, perspective and living experience. Some think a wise person is struggling to share wisdom with others. Socrates believed that individuals are generally wise/virtuous and that people struggle to be good based on contextual factors. Society's teachings make them doubt their own goodness. 


Do hardships make you wiser?

When difficult situations occur, it's hard to learn as it happens. It's hard to see how to be wise. Wisdom is only learned through experience. Researchers suggest that those who can learn the benefits of adversity from it are the people whose difficulties lead to wisdom. People who allow adversity to accelerate change are the ones who see it as opening doors of wisdom.


Tell me the best way to become wise?

Tell the truth to oneself. Tell the truth to others. Repeat this over and over. Wisdom is often viewed as coming from old age. That said, anyone can work toward cultivating it right now. The value of being honest with myself and others is critical but not necessary it makes you more aware of your own mistakes. It also helps you understand your own perspective on the situation and the way that you view things.




Woman's hand with tattoos is carrying flowers.



First, wisdom is something that we must gain from our experiences in life. We can't learn wisdom if we don't have any real experience to draw from! Wisdom comes from knowledge and having a lot of different types of knowledge allows us to make wise decisions. For example, wisdom might allow an accountant or business owner with many years of wisdom to make a wise decision about saving money for the future.

Second, wisdom is something that we usually gain as we age and accumulate our wisdom from experience! In this way, wisdom truly has been described as "knowledge after much life". 

What wisdom is NOT: 

- wisdom isn't a constant factor through life, but rather a skill that can be learned and developed if one seeks it out. Experience is the key to wisdom. It's never too late to discover something new!

- wisdom isn't something that everyone can learn, but wisdom IS available to anyone who is willing to work for it!

Wisdom allows us to make decisions in business and life with confidence. It's often based on what we feel or intuit because wisdom comes from within each of us. Wisdom helps you understand why things are happening the way they are in business and it can also help you understand your own perspective on the situation. Wisdom is something that comes with time. It's not easy but wisdom never is!

We all have wisdom inside of us, so trust yourself when making decisions about life or business because wisdom comes from within each of us... Using wisdom to make decisions for your business and life will allow you to be successful at whatever it is that you are doing. Being able to use wisdom means being able to make smart decisions, and wisdom is something that we must learn over time.

Wisdom has been described as knowledge after much life experience, so wisdom doesn't come easily! However, wisdom can be gained by anyone who seeks it through their experiences in the real world. Being able to use wisdom though, only comes with time and experience. It requires a greater level of intellectual humility than most possess to be able to state: "I'm a fool".

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