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5 Ways Entrepreneurs Can Grow in Wisdom

5 Ways Entrepreneurs Can Grow in Wisdom

The dictionary defines wisdom as the “state of being wise; knowledge of what is true or right coupled with just judgment as to action and having sagacity, discernment, or insight.” Wisdom is also knowledge of what is proper or reasonable, and is gained by having many experiences in life.

The famous King Solomon stated that wisdom is more profitable than silver, yields better returns than gold and is more precious than rubies. Solomon’s perspective of wisdom is my favorite.

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Why is wisdom desirable and so valuable? There definitely seems to be a positive correlation between wisdom and wealth, respect as well as fame.

How does one get wisdom? Can it be found in textbooks or taught in schools? Is it found in experiences or is it passed on? Gaining wisdom is a combination of all the above and a little bit more.

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Want to get more of this precious entity called wisdom? See these time tested and demonstrable principles of gaining more wisdom.

1. Desire and seek it

This is so obvious that it is often overlooked, but the first step to gaining wisdom is to desire it and see its high value. It is pretty much the same way as a merchant values fine pearls and seeks them out. Desire puts you in the state of mind that propels you to seek wisdom and therefore create an enabling environment for wisdom to thrive. Napoleon Hill rightly said, “Desire is the starting point of all achievement. Not a hope, not a wish, but a keen pulsating desire which transcends everything.” Desire therefore leads to the right action.

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2. Get out of the cave

In the Allegory of the Cave, wisdom is depicted by Plato as getting out of the cave and coming to see things as “they really are.” To gain wisdom, entrepreneurs and businesses must constantly step out of their world and study how people are behaving, and how they respond to various stimuli both in the business field and their personal lives. Observation in all its simplicity is only practiced consistently by a few.

3. Intentional thinking

The more we think, the smarter we get. There is a difference between thinking and worrying. Worrying dwells excessively on the problem and gets stuck in the paralysis of analysis. Thinking puts the problem and the solution on the same path. Deliberate thinking is single minded, highly focused and goal oriented. It is training the mind to put a particular subject or situation under rigorous mental scrutiny. Thinking for it be effective therefore needs to be deliberate and disciplined, with time set aside in our daily routine to just think. Of course, we all occasionally get those “A-ha” moments. However, deliberate thinking produces wisdom and leads to creativity. The more we make thinking a habit, the wiser we get. Edward de Bono said, “Intelligence is something we are born with. Thinking is a skill that must be learned.”

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4. Be insanely curious.

This naturally follows from a habit of intentional thinking. Curiosity may have killed the proverbial cat, but it is the fuel of great innovators and brand champions. Leonardo Da Vinci attributed most of his genius to his sense of curiosity. He often roamed the countryside, asking lots of questions and searching for answers to things he did not understand. “These questions and other strange phenomena engaged my thought throughout my life.” Curiosity leads you to asking why, which in turn leads to answers, produces great results and adds to wisdom. Apples have always been falling off trees. However it was only the great and insanely curious English scientist Isaac Newton in 1666 who asked why. Before then, no one had asked any questions. His curiosity and study led to the discovery of the now famous law of gravity.

5. Have a mission mindset & sense of purpose

Plato, the first Utopian thinker, wanted to reform society. He created a special school called the Academy with a singular purpose to create not celebrities but great thinkers and ‘guardians’ who would reform and transform society. Steve Jobs wanted to change the way the world used technology, and in the process make “a dent in the universe.” Bill Gates had a vision of putting a computer in every home. Ted Turner was laughed at when he first thought of an all-news TV channel. For such a tiny woman, Mother Teresa had a big vision to change the world, one person at a time, working with poorest of the poor. We all know about Martin Luther King who had a dream that one day.

We all applaud these individuals and credit them with great wisdom. When you have a mission bigger than yourself, a strong sense of purpose and an unflinching reformist agenda, your wisdom level increases. We all live under the same sky, but we don’t all have the same horizon,” said Konrad Adenauer.

Wisdom then is the deep inner knowing. Wisdom is made up of what we know and what we do not know and embracing the gaps in between. We can all grow in wisdom and, with wisdom, we can each create our own special place under the sky.

More by this author

Dr Phil Osagie

Writer & Public Relations Strategist

5 Ways Entrepreneurs Can Grow in Wisdom

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Last Updated on June 6, 2019

Science Says Silence Is Much More Important To Our Brains Than We Think

Science Says Silence Is Much More Important To Our Brains Than We Think

In 2011, the Finnish Tourist Board ran a campaign that used silence as a marketing ‘product’. They sought to entice people to visit Finland and experience the beauty of this silent land. They released a series of photographs of single figures in the nature and used the slogan “Silence, Please”. A tag line was added by Simon Anholt, an international country branding consultant, “No talking, but action.”

Eva Kiviranta the manager of the social media for VisitFinland.com said: “We decided, instead of saying that it’s really empty and really quiet and nobody is talking about anything here, let’s embrace it and make it a good thing”.

Finland may be on to something very big. You could be seeing the very beginnings of using silence as a selling point as silence may be becoming more and more attractive. As the world around becomes increasingly loud and cluttered you may find yourself seeking out the reprieve that silent places and silence have to offer. This may be a wise move as studies are showing that silence is much more important to your brains than you might think.

Regenerated brain cells may be just a matter of silence.

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     A 2013 study on mice published in the journal Brain, Structure and Function used differed types of noise and silence and monitored the effect the sound and silence had on the brains of the mice.[1] The silence was intended to be the control in the study but what they found was surprising. The scientists discovered that when the mice were exposed to two hours of silence per day they developed new cells in the hippocampus. The hippocampus is a region of the brain associated with memory, emotion and learning.

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    The growth of new cells in the brain does not necessarily translate to tangible health benefits. However, in this instance, researcher Imke Kirste says that the cells appeared to become functioning neurons.

    “We saw that silence is really helping the new generated cells to differentiate into neurons, and integrate into the system.”

    In this sense silence can quite literally grow your brain.

    The brain is actively internalizing and evaluating information during silence

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      A 2001 study defined a “default mode” of brain function that showed that even when the brain was “resting” it was perpetually active internalizing and evaluating information.

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      Follow-up research found that the default mode is also used during the process of self-reflection. In 2013, in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, Joseph Moran et al. wrote, the brain’s default mode network “is observed most closely during the psychological task of reflecting on one’s personalities and characteristics (self-reflection), rather than during self-recognition, thinking of the self-concept, or thinking about self-esteem, for example.

      “When the brain rests it is able to integrate internal and external information into “a conscious workspace,” said Moran and colleagues.

      When you are not distracted by noise or goal-orientated tasks, there appears to be a quiet time that allows your conscious workspace to process things. During these periods of silence, your brain has the freedom it needs to discover its place in your internal and external world.

      The default mode helps you think about profound things in an imaginative way.

      As Herman Melville once wrote,[2]

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      “All profound things and emotions of things are preceded and attended by silence.”

      Silence relieves stress and tension.

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        It has been found that noise can have a pronounced physical effect on our brains resulting in elevated levels of stress hormones. The sound waves reach the brain as electrical signals via the ear. The body reacts to these signals even if it is sleeping. It is thought that the amygdalae (located in the temporal lobes of the brain) which is associated with memory formation and emotion is activated and this causes a release of stress hormones. If you live in a consistently noisy environment that you are likely to experience chronically elevated levels of stress hormones.

        A study that was published in 2002 in Psychological Science (Vol. 13, No. 9) examined the effects that the relocation of Munich’s airport had on children’s health and cognition. Gary W. Evans, a professor of human ecology at Cornell University notes that children who are exposed to noise develop a stress response that causes them to ignore the noise. What is of interest is that these children not only ignored harmful stimuli they also ignored stimuli that they should be paying attention to such as speech. 

        “This study is among the strongest, probably the most definitive proof that noise – even at levels that do not produce any hearing damage – causes stress and is harmful to humans,” Evans says.[3]

        Silence seems to have the opposite effect of the brain to noise. While noise may cause stress and tension silence releases tension in the brain and body. A study published in the journal Heart discovered that two minutes of silence can prove to be even more relaxing than listening to “relaxing” music. They based these findings of changes they noticed in blood pressure and blood circulation in the brain.[4]

        Silence replenishes our cognitive resources.

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          The effect that noise pollution can have on cognitive task performance has been extensively studied. It has been found that noise harms task performance at work and school. It can also be the cause of decreased motivation and an increase in error making.  The cognitive functions most strongly affected by noise are reading attention, memory and problem solving.

          Studies have also concluded that children exposed to households or classrooms near airplane flight paths, railways or highways have lower reading scores and are slower in their development of cognitive and language skills.

          But it is not all bad news. It is possible for the brain to restore its finite cognitive resources. According to the attention restoration theory when you are in an environment with lower levels of sensory input the brain can ‘recover’ some of its cognitive abilities. In silence the brain is able to let down its sensory guard and restore some of what has been ‘lost’ through excess noise.[5]

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          Summation

          Traveling to Finland may just well be on your list of things to do. There you may find the silence you need to help your brain. Or, if Finland is a bit out of reach for now, you could simply take a quiet walk in a peaceful place in your neighborhood. This might prove to do you and your brain a world of good.

          Featured photo credit: Angelina Litvin via unsplash.com

          Reference

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