All About Wisdom

Wisdom is one of those qualities difficult to define—because it encompasses so much—but which people generally recognize when they encounter it. And it is encountered most obviously in the realm of decision-making. Psychologists tend to agree that wisdom 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. It can be acquired only through experience, but by itself, experience does not automatically confer wisdom. Only now are researchers beginning to look into the social, emotional, and cognitive processes that transmute experience into wisdom.

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

Peekaboo: Joy Might Just Surprise You

Remembering to laugh is essential. It can’t make the darkness go away, but it does admit the light.

Cultivating the Pasture They Put You Out To

The question is whether any further investment is worth the effort given the lifespan one foresees.
C.M. Coolidge, A Friend in Need / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

Are You a Good Critical Thinker?

A proposal about what it is to be a good critical thinker. And a totally unscientific quiz to test your critical thinking skills.

Norma

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on April 23, 2017 in How To Do Life
A short-short story about the ethics of stealing from the powerful.

18 Tweets on Emotional Health

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on April 20, 2017 in How To Do Life
Sometimes, a bit of advice can be a time-effective source of improvement.
Used by permission from www.zen-buddhism.net

Lessons from Zen Master Grandpa Jerry

By Steve Albrecht DBA on April 19, 2017 in The Act of Violence
Learn to love life's little moments.

How Can We Help a Person to Overcome Chronic Guilt?

By Susan Rako M.D. on April 17, 2017 in More Light
When your patient is suffering from chronic guilt, could it be that something else is really at issue?
Paul Ekman Group

Mottos I Live By

By Paul Ekman Ph.D. on April 12, 2017 in Face It!
Perseverance with the help of three mottos.

Stop Schlepping Through Life

By Colleen Long Psy.D. on April 12, 2017 in The Happiness Rx
A Tip for the graduates...with a little help from Marley.

Face-it Versus Escapist Coping Strategies

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on April 10, 2017 in Ambigamy
Do you reduce stress in ways that increase or decrease your peripheral vision?
Typau at Bigstock.com

Lessons From a Navy Seal

By Susan Noonan MD on April 10, 2017 in View From the Mist
Is making your bed important? The navy seals seem to think so!

The Secret to Stepping Outside Your Comfort Zone

By Andy Molinsky Ph.D. on April 09, 2017 in Adaptation
Scared to step outside your comfort zone? You'll be surprised what you'll discover when you just take that leap.
pexels.com/pixabay.com

The Nixon Health Care Solution

In health care, the past is way ahead of the future.

Thinking Beyond the Third Dimension

By Gayil Nalls Ph.D. on April 07, 2017 in Sensoria
What mathematicians know to be true is astounding, and none of it informs any of the discussions we're having.

Travel Solo, Unlock Your Purpose

Still waiting for that "Aha" moment? Find your life's purpose with an open-mind, courage, and a passport.

The Gift

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on April 06, 2017 in How To Do Life
A short-short story on sacrifice.

Hope

Hope remains, psychologically, a paradoxical mental phenomenon.

Why and How You Should Take Breaks at Work

It’s wise for employers to support brief rest periods for workers, too.

7 Secrets to a Successful Relationship After 50

Do you feel that your partner truly hears you, sees you, and accepts you as you are and that he or she wants the best for you?

Growing Old in Ancient Greece and Rome

Is past prologue? Part 2 of our exploration of aging in past cultures.

How to Really Write a Psychology Paper

Students who write psychology papers often get so caught up in trying to sound scientific, that they forget the fact that they are telling a story for an audience.
Jennifer Bliss, PsyD, LCSW

How and When to Discuss Adoption With Your Child

Are you ready for your child's questions about their adoption? Having confidence and pride in the story of how you became a family is essential to a child's healthy development.

Don’t Get Talked Out of Being the Person You Really Are

By Bella DePaulo Ph.D. on March 29, 2017 in Living Single
What should you do if you find yourself wishing that you were living some other way?

Love It Forward: The Radical Wisdom of Jeff Brown

By Mark Matousek on March 28, 2017 in Ethical Wisdom
Jeff Brown delivers uncommon wisdom—uncommonly well—to his large online community.

52 Ways to Show I Love You: Showing Up

Showing up for performances, events, agreed-upon dates, and in times of need shows love. Your presence can underscore reliability, willingness to receive, and a desire to give.

Why Simple Advice is Often the Best Advice

By Gregg McBride on March 25, 2017 in The Weight-ing Game
No matter how many times we replay past events or decisions in our heads, they are never going to be undone. So the sooner we swallow hard and move on, the better.

Is a Bird in the Hand Worth Two in the Bush?

By Neel Burton M.D. on March 24, 2017 in Hide and Seek
A bird in the hand is worth more than two in the bush, if you don't kill it.

Am I Normal?

Do we ask too much of our lives? The power of defining emotional wellness with wisdom.

The Secret to Happiness

It is easier for us to create a list of what we want the world to give us than it is to think in terms of what we can give back to the world.