All About Wisdom

It can be difficult to define wisdom, but people generally recognize it when they encounter it. Psychologists tend to agree that it involves an integration of knowledge, experience, and deep understanding that incorporates tolerance for the uncertainties of life as well as its ups and downs. There's an awareness of how things play out over time, and it confers a sense of balance.

Wise people generally share an optimism that life's problems can be solved and experience a certain amount of calm in facing difficult decisions. Intelligence—if only anyone could figure out exactly what it is—may be necessary for wisdom, but it definitely isn't sufficient; an ability to see the big picture, a sense of proportion, and considerable introspection also contribute to its development.

Recent posts on Wisdom

The Psychological Roots of Our Current Hypocrisy Epidemic

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on February 21, 2017 in Ambigamy
We find it hard anxious work to seek the wisdom to know the difference between what to constrain and what to set free. Hypocrisy is the easy alternative to that hard work.
DepositPhotos/VIA Institute

5 New, Short Mindfulness Activities

By Ryan M. Niemiec Psy.D. on February 21, 2017 in What Matters Most?
One of the most popular mindfulness activities is referred to as "the mindful pause." Now, there are 5 variations for using this popular practice!

In Defense of Duty

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on February 19, 2017 in How To Do Life
Duty and responsibility have lost stature to autonomy and creativity--Alas.

Inspirational Quotes from the 45 U.S. Presidents

Need a dose of inspiration? Here are quotes from the 45 U.S. presidents to motivate and encourage you.

Marital Infidelity: Existential Uncertainty in Spades

By Susan Rako M.D. on February 18, 2017 in More Light
"How can I ever trust my husband/wife again?"

Hungry? No You're Not! A Working Example of the I-M Approach

By Joseph A. Shrand M.D. on February 16, 2017 in The I-M Approach
Ever been told you are wrong when you know you are right, or felt like your point of view is not respected? This is happening now in the USA with potentially devastating results.

Hungry? I'll Feed You! A Working Example of the I-M Approach

By Joseph A. Shrand M.D. on February 15, 2017 in The I-M Approach
Ever feed someone? This simple kindness can have a long-lasting effect. The four domains of the I-M Approach are explored when a little boy asks his mother for a snack.

Finding the Meaning of Life Today

By Andy Tix Ph.D. on February 15, 2017 in The Pursuit of Peace
We may want to make our "mark" on the world, but the greatest sources of meaning and significance may be found in little moments throughout daily life.

How New Year's Resolutions Succeed or Fail

Why change is so hard and why it doesn't have to be.

Are You a Stretcher or Are You A Chaser?

The answer to this question holds the key to leading a happy and successful life.

How to Free Yourself from What You "Should"​ Be Doing

By Andy Molinsky Ph.D. on February 11, 2017 in Adaptation
Is compliance stifling your passion? It may be time to make a change.

You Control No One but Influence Everyone: the I-M Approach

By Joseph A. Shrand M.D. on February 09, 2017 in The I-M Approach
We could all use a road map to understand our own lives and the lives of others. The I-M Approach is a simple tool that unifies us all as doing the best we can.

Recommitment Vows and Honeymoons Part 1

Every marriage has three components, mine, yours, and ours. This refers to the vows that underlie the foundation of the relationship


By Gary Klein Ph.D. on February 08, 2017 in Seeing What Others Don't
Anticipatory thinking is the way we imagine how unexpected events may affect our plans, alerting us to potential threats. But what are the dysfunctional tendencies that block it?, used with permission.

The Knowledge Curse

By Steve Albrecht DBA on February 05, 2017 in The Act of Violence
How do you handle people that "know it all" and won't shut up about it?

Thoughts on Grof, Epilepsy, and Mysticism

By David Dillard-Wright Ph.D. on February 04, 2017 in Boundless
The boundaries between neurological disorder and mystical experience cannot be mapped neatly.

Mirror, Mirror On the Wall. Mirror, Mirror, Neurons All

By Joseph A. Shrand M.D. on February 04, 2017 in The I-M Approach
We mirror the emotions of other people. What happens when that emotion is fear?

Is Hope Good or Bad?

By Neel Burton M.D. on February 04, 2017 in Hide and Seek
Hope, said Aristotle, is the dream of a waking man.

Should Psychologists Diagnose President Trump?

After reflection, discernment, and consultation with peers, professionals must act in ways that are consistent with their personal and professional ethics for the greater good.

How Do You Deal With Disappointment?

Your choices make a difference.
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The Path to Peace of Mind

In order to master our thoughts rather then being slaves to them, we must first identify the patterns and thought processes we’ve developed.

4 Keys to Increase Your Happiness As You Get Older

By Andrea Brandt Ph.D. M.F.T. on February 01, 2017 in Mindful Anger
The road to happiness often requires curiosity, openness, and flexibility. But, remember, you're not over the hill; you're at the top of the mountain.

What Would You Say to Your 16-Year-Old Self?

If you were writing a letter to your 16-year-old self, what would you say? What lessons have you learned in life that you might share with a much younger version of yourself?

Is APA Ruining Clinical Training?

Extensive requirements leave little time to reflect.

Happiness Needs an Invitation; Misery Barges In.

Joy and pleasure are, instead, excellent guests and, as such, they wait for an invitation. You have to open the door to life’s best moments; you have to invite them in.

Trumping Fear

By Joseph A. Shrand M.D. on January 28, 2017 in The I-M Approach
Did the 2016 Presidential Election make you sad, angry, afraid, and stressed? We can use our knowledge about brain science to help each other through this. It's all about respect.

Neil Gaiman and Process Philosophy

By David Dillard-Wright Ph.D. on January 27, 2017 in Boundless
Neil Gaiman's novel American Gods provides a diversion, but possibly also some insight, into this fractious and upsetting time.

Why I'm Going on a Vision Quest in Death Valley

By Gregg Levoy on January 24, 2017 in Passion!
Vision Quests are for anyone seeking initiation into a larger life. Here's the Letter of Intent I was instructed to write about why I signed up for one in Death Valley in February.

What Would Gandhi Do About Trump?

By Gleb Tsipursky Ph.D. on January 23, 2017 in Intentional Insights
The science of wisdom, as inspired by Gandhi, provides insights on what to do about Trump.

The Silenced Majority

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on January 21, 2017 in How To Do Life
To avoid Civil War II, we must encourage moderates to speak up.