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Written Sunday 03/06/05 by Joseph Rossini

I always found it both fascinating and pleasurable to be in the presence of individuals who possess great wisdom. There’s a lot to learn from wise people and they can save you a great deal of time, energy and provide a clear way to get exactly where you want to go. For the purpose of this discussion, we will define the word wisdom as follows: “the trait of utilizing extensive knowledge and experience with common sense and insight.”

Wisdom is surely not a trait that you are born with. By our definition above, it is a quality that is cultivated over time through seeking and obtaining knowledge; then living through many relevant experiences regarding a specified topic or discipline; and ultimately utilizing both the former and latter mixed with a dash of common sense and the development of instincts. That sounds like quite a recipe containing just the right ingredients en-route to becoming an individual of wisdom.

Unfortunately, many young people get frustrated searching for some instant source of wisdom however it just doesn’t work that way. Professionals in every field must pay their dues and attend some sessions at the school of hard knocks en-route to becoming wise. As one strives to become a medical doctor, all the knowledge they obtain through extensive university studies does not make them a wise doctor. After they go through their boot camp called internship and finally practice what they have learned in class – on real patients with real problems, they might be considered to be at the start of the road toward wisdom. Then after a decade or so of practicing their medical skills and experiencing thousands of patient interactions or procedures – can they begin to be called a somewhat wise medical doctor. We will then reserve the term “medical doctor of wisdom” for those with 25 years of successful experience who perhaps turn to teaching what he or she has learned during their tenure.

Wisdom is not limited to business or social professionals. Wisdom is universal and applies to bricklayers, electricians, sculptors or any other profession. It also applies to sport fisherman, hobbyist, chess players or gardeners. There are no limits to becoming an individual of wisdom in any field or endeavor. It’s a distinction that is an honor to hold.

So why you may ask, do I find it fascinating and pleasurable to chat with people of wisdom? The answer is – for what I may learn from them! As a lifelong student who devotes a great portion of my free time to learning, I enjoy soaking up wisdom from those who I consider experts in their field. As you grow older and hit your mid fifties, you are more often in the company of older and wiser individuals. I am always conversing with professionals I meet from all different professions and disciplines. Many are recently retired from successful careers and have lots of insights to share about their industries and practices. They also have the time to explain details you would never learn in an article or a book. Right from the horses mouth! All I can say is “Wow – what a way to learn!”

One of my goals for creating was to broaden my network and reach out to as many individuals of wisdom as possible. People of wisdom provide a powerful pool of resources to draw upon and their relationships should be nurtured and cultivated. You can’t extract a lot of this knowledge, even if you are willing to pay a high premium for it. After the process of daily learning, I then try to share as much as I can with readers just like you. By doing so, I reinforce the learning process over and over again.

One question for this lesson is “how much time are you investing each month with individuals of wisdom?” If your answer is not much, I suggest you re-evaluate your schedule. Over the last 5000 years, the older generations made it a practice to pass down their knowledge to the young. There were no TV’s, DVD’s and thousands of new titles of books hitting the market each month. Even with all the high tech and information overload we are surrounded by – an individual of wisdom is still a wonderful resource to tap. An effort should be made to devote some of your precious time to engage in conversation with wise people. They can teach you short cuts and provide you with insight that can save you weeks, months and even years of trial and error.

Throughout my life, I always tried to surround myself with the wisest professional advisors I could find. It was not always cheap to do so. However, my advisors helped me make good fundamental decisions and often saved me tenfold of what I paid them in time, effort and real dollars. Don’t skimp when it comes to seeking and utilizing the knowledge and resources of wise people. They can provide shortcuts to obtaining positive results in all areas of your business or personal life, which ultimately can result in more happiness, satisfaction and a better lifestyle.

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