“​I Want To Be A Distiller When I Grow Up!​”

November 12, 2019

“​I Want To Be A Distiller When I Grow Up!​”

May 29, 2023

Before you head to Kentucky for your new life as a whiskey connoisseur, I’m talking about distilling wisdom. It’s a simple recipe: Wisdom is knowledge distilled. And as we move from the age of “knowledge workers” to “wisdom workers,” it’s required that we each learn how to mine our own special brand of moonshine.

Wisdom distills knowledge and information to its essence, which begins, not by adding more to our lives, but by subtracting and dividing until we reach the core ingredient: insight.

Insight arrives at that moment we “crack the code” on complexity, also known as the lightbulb going off, or the “aha moment” when life subtracts itself into order and sense. Of course, we need to create moments that allow this insight into our lives consciously. Running on a beach works for me, so does taking a bath, sauntering through a museum, or Vipassana Meditation (vipassana literally means “insight” in Pali).

I have many friends who regularly recite the serenity prayer, which is as fine a distiller as I’ve ever heard: “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.” Wisdom is about seeing what’s the constant and what’s the variable in life. Focus on the variable as that’s what you can influence.

Wisdom is the ultimate editor in our lives. It sees the wheat and discards the chaff. This is particularly important as we become modern elders, a time in which brain cells die, memory starts to fade, and our mind moves a little more slowly. The antidote is always wisdom—the magical part of life that learns to make more with less.

Go deeper with a workshop, in person or online.

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