All About Wisdom

It can be difficult to define Wisdom, but people generally recognize it when they encounter it. Psychologists pretty much agree 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

Where Are You From? It's a Complicated Question

The question is ambiguous. Depending upon what the questioner wants to know, it can mean a number of different things, but where you are right now can only be understood in relation to where you came from and where you are going.

Connect, Act, Evolve

What is today's non-religious approach to community?

Mama Bliss

Mama Bliss, a stellar Portuguese water dog, provides mothering in the most surprising way.

When Is It Wise to Confess?

By Sheila Kohler on May 03, 2015 in Dreaming for Freud
I remember telling my poor children their father was in Bruxelles when my ex- husband was off with his mistress. My intentions were of the best, of course. I hoped to spare my little girls the suffering of knowing of their father's infidelity, which he finally confessed to them much to my ire. But I'm not sure my silence was ultimately helpful to my children.

A Spiritual Life with a Psychology to Match

Spiritual people, spiritual psychology: hope for the future.

Nuclear Weapons R'Us - Not!

It takes wisdom, compassion and courage to lay down weapons and offer friendship to those we have formerly mistaken as enemies.

How Is Education Becoming Irrelevant - Education vs Learning

By Po Chi Wu Ph.D. on May 01, 2015 in Jacob's Staff
What's wrong with the way we think about education? How are corporations dealing with Millennials? Do you feel that the significance of what you know is decreasing at an exponential rate? How can we cope? How is the Knowledge Economy fundamentally different from the Industrial Economy? What are the implications of a Sharing Economy?

Finding Silver Linings in Hard Times

By Juliana Breines Ph.D. on April 30, 2015 in In Love and War
Major negative life events, such as the death of a loved one, the dissolution of an important relationship, or the diagnosis of a serious illness, can be painful and isolating. But these experiences can also sometimes bring about unexpected positive changes.

Wisdom From a Psychopath?

Research by Dr. Kevin Dutton shows that psychopathic traits may be appealing to individuals, but are harmful for communities.

The Greatest Mind in Psychology That You Don't Know

By Todd B Kashdan Ph.D. on April 30, 2015 in Curious?
We lost a great one last month. Learn and read about his work.

Adventures in Allergy

When patients say they are "allergic" to something, they do not necessarily mean the same thing that doctors have in mind when they use the word. And vice versa.

The Contradictions of Cliches

By Steven Mintz Ph.D. on April 28, 2015 in The Prime of Life
What common clichés reveal about the popular psychology of our time.

Pardon Me—Or Else!

By Rebecca Coffey on April 27, 2015 in The Bejeezus Out of Me
Haters gonna hate. Forgivers gonna live longer.

The Wisdom of Our Elders

Good news: we can employ ordinary measures for mood improvement and to fight against anxiety, depression, and stress. My conclusion from working with nursing home residents is that feeling better does not usually require a miracle, just careful management of the mundane elements of our lives.

What Is Confirmation Bias?

People are prone to believe what they want to believe.

Revisiting “Be Here Now”

Being here now is a term that is often misunderstood. Rather that use spiritual practice to avoid feelings, what would it mean to embrace our feelings?

Wishful Thinking

By Eyal Winter on April 22, 2015 in Feeling Smart
How we can ignore facts we don't like.

Making Our Mark

By Michele Wick Ph.D. on April 22, 2015 in Anthropocene Mind
Imagine if change were as simple as having people contemplate the mark they want to leave on the world.

Life Lessons from My 100-Year-Old Grandmother

The inspiration for this week’s blog is the 100th birthday of my beautiful grandmother. She has been an ongoing reminder in my life that all things are possible when you believe in yourself, and it's never, ever too late to grow, change, or create a new life chapter.

A Palestinian Gandhi

By Izzy Kalman on April 21, 2015 in Resilience to Bullying
Where are the "Palestinian Gandhis"? Ali Abu Awwad is a one of them, and there are more. However, we don't hear about them, and their effectiveness is limited, because the media are more attracted to violence than nonviolence. Thus, rather than helping promote peace, reporters unwittingly encourage violent activism.

If the Earth Spoke, Would We Listen?

By Pythia Peay on April 21, 2015 in America On The Couch
It has often seemed to me that the only way humankind will change in time to avert its headlong course toward environmental destruction will be through the emergence of a new myth. Gary S. Bobroff, a Jungian-oriented psychologist, has devoted his life to studying the emergence of just such a history-changing myth: the emergence of . . .the phenomenon of crop circles.

Please Let Me Act out on My Sugar Addiction in Peace

By Anna David on April 21, 2015 in After Party Chat
Those who consider themselves sugar addicts but then quit never tire of lecturing other sugar consumers about the dangers of that white powder. Why can't they just let us leave us alone with our cookies?

A Dream of Decapitation

By Robert J Landy Ph.D. on April 20, 2015 in Couch and Stage
Two drama therapists discuss a dream about a beheading and an attempt to restore life. In doing so, they recount two mythological stories, one about the Golem of Prague and the other about a simple journey home. Through their dialogue they seek to understand the meaning of healing.

Why We Get Such Dumb Advice About Love, Money and Health

Does not every teenager already know you should comb your hair and look for a kind, suitable partner? What kind of dumb advice is this?

The Structure of Scientific Revolutions

By Vyv Evans Ph.D. on April 20, 2015 in Language in the Mind
What accounts for the hullabaloo surrounding the publication of The Language Myth. Is Chomskyan linguistics a form of intellectual fundamentalism? And is language science in the throes of a paradigm shift? It's certainly beginning to look that way!

Lovely Me

Amy loses weight by squarely facing her emotional eating patterns and envisions living the life in the body of her choice.

Motor Activity Improves Working Memory in Children with ADHD

A new study suggests that a majority of students with ADHD could perform better on classroom work, tests, and homework if they were allowed to sit on activity balls or exercise bikes while learning.

The Art of Friendships: Lessons from David and Goliath

By Todd B Kashdan Ph.D. on April 17, 2015 in Curious?
I have been thinking deeply about the importance of friendships. This is not the first post I have written on the topic. Here are some thoughts, extending the story laid out in Malcolm Gladwell's last book, David and Goliath....

12 Ways to Reduce Your Stress

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on April 16, 2015 in How To Do Life
These tactics have been effective for my clients...and for me.

Feeling Financially Overwhelmed?

By Michael F. Kay on April 16, 2015 in Financial Life Focus
Life is busy and maybe even overwhelming at times.