You don’t have to be Gandhi or Mother Theresa to think wisely. We can all tap in to that place within ourselves if we try. Being wise can save us a lot of heartache and negativity in our lives. And who wouldn’t want that? Here are 10 ways you can think like a wise person:
1. Think before you speak.
Like you haven’t heard that one before! I’m sure most of our parents told us that when we were children. It’s something you probably know you should do, but may find difficult. One of the principles of communication is that “Once you say it, you can’t take it back.” Sure, you can try. But whether the other person will believe you is another story. So before you open your mouth to say something, make sure it’s something you would be proud to post everywhere on social media. If it’s something you might regret later, then maybe it’s better if you kept it to yourself.
2. Realize there is never a ‘right time.’
“When I get a better job,” or, “When I graduate,” or, “When the kids are grown.” These are all common statements that are probably uttered by millions of people every day. But you will always be able to rationalize why it’s not the ‘right time.’ There is no time like the present. So, the best time to do anything is now. Take that first step toward your goal. Waiting will only make you older, not wiser.
3. Balance self-interest with the collective good.
In relationships, there should be a balance between “self” and “other.” I view it as a continuum. At one end of the spectrum you have the very selfish people. At the other end you have the selfless people. And most of us are somewhere in between. Yes, you should care about your own needs. But you should also care about other people’s needs too. It’s a balancing act that can be achieved if you try hard enough.
4. Put things in perspective before you jump to conclusions.
Emotions always run high when people are upset. While it’s natural to do that, problems can occur when you engage in conflict with another person before you calm down. As I said in point 1, you need to think before you speak. But if you’re too caught up in your anger, you’re not going to think clearly. So take some time to calm down, put everything into perspective, and then review the facts not assumptions when you can think more logically.
5. Don’t blindly accept the status quo.
Just because everyone does something doesn’t mean you have to. I’m sure you’ve all heard of the “bandwagon” effect. It’s the phenomenon that occurs when people act like lemmings and blindly follow the crowd. Instead, if you want to think like a wise person, step back from the crowd and observe. Ask why they are doing this. And ask yourself if you truly want to do it – or even if it’s advisable to do so. Many times it’s not. Bottom line: think for yourself.
6. Keep your power – don’t let other people’s negativity upset you.
Wise people realize that they are always in control of their thoughts, feelings, and actions. Most people let others’ behavior affect them negatively. As a result, they let that negativity permeate their lives and make them miserable. Instead, let their bad behavior roll off your shoulders. If you get angry, then they have won. Own your power and keep your happiness by not allowing them to change you for the worse.
7. Don’t act impulsively – have a purpose and a goal.
Being spontaneous can be fun … if you’re going on vacation or playing hooky from work one day. (Not that I’m suggesting you do that!) But in life, acting on impulse can lead to regrets. If you don’t take the time to think things through, you might create problems. Wise people use a combination of their logic and intuition to come up with the best decisions possible.
8. Accept other people for who they are.
Let’s face it, most people try to change others. Why do we do that? It’s really pointless. I admit there was a time in my life when I tried to change others, too. But it doesn’t work! People are who they are. If you don’t like them, then you have the choice to leave the relationship, spend less time with them, or change your attitude. Accept who they are. You want to be accepted for who you are, right? Well, then live by the Golden Rule and give others the same respect.
9. The cover may be pretty, but the book might not be.
What I mean by this is that the “outer person” may not be the same as the “inner person.” Wise people don’t get blinded by charm, personality, or looks right away. Conversely, they are also not turned off by anyone who is not beautiful or charming on first impression, either. In other words, they take the time to get to know people and judge them on their inner self, not who they appear to be. Trust me, there can be a huge difference!
10. Don’t judge others – try to understand them instead.
Above all else, truly wise people don’t judge. They practice empathy. Empathy is truly putting yourself in another person’s shoes and trying to see the situation from their point of view. That doesn’t mean you have to agree with them. But it does mean that you need to recognize the fact that “perception is reality.” Thinking like a wise person might seem difficult. However, all you need to do is train your mind and control your emotions. Easier said than done for many people, but it is possible to think wisely with practice. The more wise we all become, the happier the world will be!