Where do you search for wisdom?
We read a lot of books here at the office. Leadership, business management, marketing, personal development, and a host of other topics are in our library. These books contain the wisdom of those that wrote them. Experience, mentorship, and research are some of the ways the authors have become experts in their fields.
When others give us advice, are we taking that in as wisdom or are we examining it further?
It’s important for us to understand ourselves and be set in our personal and professional value systems. The book Be Great By Peter Thomas does a great job in explaining how to set values and how to use them to make hard decisions. I’ve talked about values before, so we’ll leave it there for now on that subject. How we need to use them though, is to determine whose advice to follow, and of that advice, which parts to leave behind.
For example, according to my goals and values, I wouldn’t heed the advice of people in business that have a high turnover of employees that are unhappy with the way the company conducts business. I would however take the advice of servant-leaders that support their teams and have a reputation of integrity and honesty. I would also take in the wisdom of thought leaders in marketing and experts in the deeper technical fields that relate to marketing.
It’s important to learn to dissect the advice you’re given and determine whether or not it is in fact wisdom. I will site the list of fallacies. Understanding this can do wonders to help you draw conclusions from what you read, see, and hear. Now, this list is quite lengthy and there is a lot to take in, however if you skim over it, there will be some that stand out. These will likely be the ones that you come across commonly and that you should in fact commit to memory. The Appeal to the Stone for example:
The appeal to the stone is a logical fallacy where a person simply dismisses a claim as absurd, without actually addressing it or showing proof for its absurdity.
I’ve found that there is an associated occurrence regarding wisdom that plagues our society; we assume that wisdom must exist in the famous or the wealthy. In many cases, genuine wisdom goes unnoticed. Your parents or grandparents may not be wealthy or famous, however when you dig deep, you’ll come across immense wisdom that you may have taken for granted for years. On the other hand, highly visible and well-to-do figures in our communities and societies often shape the opinions and minds of those that idolize them. This by its very nature is unwise and unfortunate.