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

Darwin's Classroom

According to a recent study, having an elementary school education that matches features of our ancestral past has positive and far-reaching outcomes in life. Here is why.

What is Love?

Most view love as the most important aspect in life. Why, then, do we spend most of our lives focusing on something else?

On Dreams and Artistic Ambition

By Ilana Simons Ph.D. on November 16, 2017 in The Literary Mind
We are most creative when we dream. How do we convert that fluidity to waking life?

The Myth of the Self-Made Individual

We should be wary of those who claim to be self-made, who tout themselves as the emblems of accomplishment. These prominent people simply disregard the support they’ve had.

Seeking Self-Improvement? Start with IQ...by Ditching It

By Kevin Bennett on November 11, 2017 in Modern Minds
Many established IQ tests are valid, reputable, and trustworthy, but use caution with free internet tests. Either way, how much should you let a single number affect your life?

Stern

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on November 09, 2017 in How To Do Life
A short-short story about people’s veneer.

Sometimes You Just Have to Let It Go

Is it enough to forgive and forget?

The New Army of Depth Healers

By Kirk J. Schneider Ph.D. on November 09, 2017 in Awakening to Awe
The need for highly attuned, depth psychological facilitators to address the bitter political, social, and psychological divides today could not be greater.

How to Love Someone Again After Infidelity

By Stephen Snyder M.D. on November 08, 2017 in SexualityToday
Couples that stay together after infidelity fall into three categories: sufferers, builders, and explorers.

Utopia

By Graham Collier on November 06, 2017 in The Consciousness Question
The Utopian concept of human consciousness seems extremely foreign nowadays.
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Are You Thinking Too Much?

By Rick Hanson Ph.D. on November 06, 2017 in Your Wise Brain
Our minds are hauled along in a culture without a speed limit – exceeding the limit there's always a price. Pulling out of the mental traffic, it's an act of freedom and wisdom

The Joy of Solitude

By Neel Burton M.D. on November 05, 2017 in Hide and Seek
Loneliness as a subjective state of mind.

Redefining 'Old' For Ourselves

By John-Manuel Andriote on November 02, 2017 in Stonewall Strong
As we ripen like apples in autumn, the resilience we develop by coming out can help us age gracefully.

My New F-U Car

Sometimes "practical" decision making can take away from the passion and excitement in your life. How do you know when to just go for it?

Hype

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on November 02, 2017 in How To Do Life
We’ve become inured and shouldn't be.

Confronting the Extreme Vitriol and Hate in Society

People are so much more complicated than we'd like to acknowledge and not all good or all bad. The wisdom of the famous two wolves parable has quality research to support it.

Is Science a Religion?

By Eric Dietrich Ph.D. on October 30, 2017 in Excellent Beauty
It is common to hear that science is another religion. This view is wrong in all the ways that matter.

How to Learn Critical Thinking

By William R. Klemm Ph.D. on October 29, 2017 in Memory Medic
You can become smarter by learning critical thinking skills.

Disappointment

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on October 26, 2017 in How To Do Life
Advice distilled and honesty radical.

4 Truths about Male Pedicures (That Women Already Know)

By Kevin Bennett on October 23, 2017 in Modern Minds
Why would a man ever get a pedicure? That’s what I always thought until I tried it. Here some things I learned.

What Happens When We Are Too Self-Protective?

By Grant H. Brenner M.D. on October 22, 2017 in ExperiMentations
Reflections on emotional vulnerability and risk-taking.

7 Strengths for 7 Stressors of Today

You don't need a cape to be a superhero.
John-Manuel Andriote

Claiming Our Gay 'Heroic Legacy' in LGBT History Month

By John-Manuel Andriote on October 19, 2017 in Stonewall Strong
Gay men's heroism in the AIDS years redefined what "gay" means. It's up to each of us to claim the power of the legacy for ourselves.

Walking Study Corroborates Hippocrates’s Prescriptive Wisdom

By Christopher Bergland on October 19, 2017 in The Athlete's Way
A new landmark study on walking and mortality backs up Hippocrates' favorite prescription for health and longevity.
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The Free Secret to Happiness

Embracing nature is one of the most powerful healing tools we have.
Chris Kutarna

Questing for Economic Utopia, Part 2

By Chris Kutarna Ph.D. on October 11, 2017 in Age of Discovery
Worried that we're all serving the economy instead of the other way around? You're right, and here's how to flip that logic.

Thoughts on Action Versus Reflection

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on October 11, 2017 in How To Do Life
My answer to a relative's question.
Wikimedia Commons

Questing for Economic Utopia, Part 1

By Chris Kutarna Ph.D. on October 09, 2017 in Age of Discovery
Is this going to be humanity's best century—or worst? How we choose to measure progress will decide.
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When Trust Hits Rough Waters, Flow Like a River

We have an ever-present source of happiness and wisdom inside us, all the time.
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When "Never Mind" Is an Insult

By Shari Eberts on October 05, 2017 in Life With Hearing Loss
Don't say these two words to someone with hearing loss.