“No One Ever Became Wise by Chance.”

May 29, 2022

“No One Ever Became Wise by Chance.”

May 29, 2023

These words tumbled out of the Stoic philosopher Seneca’s mouth more than 2,000 years ago. Today, they’re an important reminder that pursuing wisdom is a choice, and it’s often the result of a skinned knee or a bruised ego. In other words, our current difficulties create our future discernment.

For those of you who are devoted Wisdom Well readers, you’ve probably heard me talk about “My Wisdom Book” before, but we have a lot of newer readers, so I want to introduce them to this idea as well.

At age 28, when I was struggling as a young CEO of my boutique hotel company, I repurposed an empty diary into My Wisdom Book. Each weekend, I would reflect upon some of my greatest lessons of the past week (mainly relating to my career or leadership). Afterward, I’d dutifully add a few bullet points, reflecting on what I had learned from these lessons. Many decades later, I realized that this weekend ritual was a way for me to metabolize my wisdom for the sake of a sagacious future.

You can do the same. I bet you have an unused journal in your home. This coming weekend, pull it out and jot down a few sentences about three or four different circumstances you encountered during the week, including how you handled them (even if you made a mistake or two) and what you learned from them. At MEA, we call this “cultivating and harvesting your wisdom,” which, as we get older, is so much more important than accumulating knowledge.

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