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A very good friend of mine asked me today, "how did you get to be so wise". Well I don't know if I am actually wise or not. I would like to think that I am wiser than I was 20 years ago, and I would definitely hope to be wiser in 20 years than I am today. I was, however also very tempted to ask her if her question was rhetorical, or if she actually did want an answer.
Because the gaining of wisdom IS something that I do consciously work on. I have always been a "big picture" thinker and I have always pondered life's "deep questions”. Trying to understand the “meaning of life” is probably the one thing that drives me more than any other.
So if my friend actually did want to know how to get wiser, here is what I would tell her:
Begin by reading... something.... anything. Start with stuff that holds interest for you and work your way up to the heady stuff, but get your face out of the TV for 5 minutes and read something. And for those who believe that they don't have the time..I have just two words for you... audio books!! Best invention EVER. I have many of them. Listen on the drive to work, whilst doing housework, or my personal favourite, whilst on the ride-on lawn mower. And if you think that you can't afford audio books (which can be found very cheaply actually)... try podcasts. They are free. And finding 10 minutes of an evening to read in bed before drifting off, is in my humble opinion, and excellent practise. I know that flies in the face of most continental wisdom on how to get a good nights sleep, but think of it this way. The last thing that you are thinking about or focusing on right before you drift off to sleep, is the one thing that is foremost on your mind for the entire night. So choose wisely.
Just the fact that you are reading articles on the Hub Garden, shows that I might be preaching to the converted here, but please don’t stop at just Hub articles. They are a fantastic place to start and full of wonderfully useful information, but once you find a topic of interest, investigate it further…. really delve in.
I won't recommend any specific authors here. I think that it's important for you to find what appeals to you, what works for you. But there is such a wealth of inspirational, spiritual, mind enhancing materials out there, the sky is literally the limit. And thanks to the wonderful world of blogging (I recommend you check out Wordpress if you haven’t already)… not only do you have an almost limitless choice of subject matter, but it's also free.
I am currently reading both the Bhagavad Gita and the Tao te Ching (after already reading the Bible and the Koran). Heady stuff! And I won't even pretend to understand all that I am reading, but I read in the belief that on some level, the incredible wisdom contained in such scriptures, will permeate my mind on some level. Now I understand that might be a bit too deep for most of you, but I have been at this for a very long time, and definitely started out with much lighter… and yet still very powerfully inspiring… material.
Even if you aren’t into spiritual awakening like me, there is so much wisdom available in the “self-help” section of the bookstore, which is where I really started my journey. And just the very act of reading something… anything… will help you to become a better writer and more interesting conversationalist. Something that seems to be a dying art in this day and age. I was actually commenting to my husband the other day, how strange it is that in the middle of what is known in history to be the “information age”.. there is still such ignorance and lack of literacy in the world. Crazy! And completely unnecessary.