Thousands of years ago, King Solomon, one of the great kings of Israel, had a dream. He dreamt God came to him and said, “Ask for whatever you want me to give you.”
In his dream, Solomon considered all the things he could’ve asked for. Israel was constantly at war — perhaps he should ask God to destroy his enemies? Solomon was rich and famous — perhaps he should ask for long life to enjoy his splendor? What would he ask for?
But Solomon asked for the one thing nearly every other king before (and after) him never asked:
God smiled upon’s Solomon’s request, giving him long life, wealth, and honor in addition. Solomon then became the richest, most powerful, and wisest ruler in his kingdom’s history.
Most people aren’t concerned with “wisdom.” Like the kings before Solomon, most people are overly focused on wealth, fame, and “being happy.”
But the few who focus on wisdom always end up gaining all that — and more.
Here’s the fastest way to becoming wiser.
When You Focus on Gaining Wisdom, You Gain Wealth and Fame as Byproducts
When you focus on the process, the money/fame/glory comes automatically.
Most people are focused on the wrong things today: wealth, appearance, one-upping someone else. As best-selling author Grant Cardone once wrote:
“Many people think in terms of ‘I have to do what my colleague/neighbor/family member is doing’ instead of ‘I have to do what’s best for me.’”
When you focus on the external, you can’t learn as fast. You’re preoccupied with silly things like “beating the competition” and looking good, not actually learning. The fastest way to become wiser is to focus on the process — that will attract success.
When you place your focus on learning, you’ll become humble and open to correction — such is the process of learning. You try, fail, learn what happened, and try again a little better next time.
Sadly, most people will always focus on the wrong things. When you make “looking good” the goal, gaining wisdom and knowledge rarely happens.
Don’t be like most people. Be unique, be extraordinary. Focus on wisdom, and the rest will come.
“Why waste time proving over and over how great you are, when you could be getting better? Why hide deficiencies instead of overcoming them? Why look for friends or partners who will just shore up your self-esteem instead of ones who will also challenge you to grow? And why seek out the tried and true, instead of experiences that will stretch you?” -Dr. Carol Dweck
Gaining Wisdom Only Takes As Long As You Want It To Take
“The time that leads to mastery is dependent on the intensity of our focus.” -Robert Greene, Mastery
When you’re interested, you’ll do what’s convenient. But if you’re committed, you’ll do whatever it takes.
If you focus on learning, knowledge, and wisdom, you’ll find that the process is hard. It’s full of failure, discouragement, and frustration.
But this is always how mastery has worked. Most people give up quickly in the face of repeated failure. Few people push through what Seth Godin calls “The Dip” and reach extraordinary levels of mastery and expertise.
The truth that most people don’t realize: this process only takes as long as you want it to take. You control your intensity of focus and hard work.
If you practice something five times a day (and actually learn from it, of course), while other people only do it once a month, that means you’ll gain 5 months of experience in a single day.
Within one month, you’ll have the experience that takes most people a decade to learn.
For every day you keep going, thousands of others quit. Think of all the ground you’re gaining on the competition, every single day.
Want to get wiser, faster? Great — you can go as fast as you want. Just focus on learning and creating, every single day. When this becomes your focus, the rest of your life is drawn toward this goal. You’ll start seeing new insights you’d never thought of before. You’ll start trying new challenges you never would’ve tried before.
You can go as fast as you want. Gaining wisdom only takes as long as you want it to take.
You Get Wiser By Doing
Action brings clarity.
Action brings motivation.
Action brings energy.
Action brings wisdom.
I’ve been doing therapy for many years now. My therapist once told me a few simple words that changed my entire mindset:
Right actions follow right feelings.
When you do the right things — regardless of how you feel — you will eventually feel happy, healthy, and whole.
I learned that most people have this backward. They are constantly waiting to feel before they take action.
- Most people are waiting to “feel” like loving their partner before they do.
- Most people are waiting to “feel” motivated before they take action.
- Most people are waiting to “feel” confident before they take a big risk.
But the truth is, the feelings don’t come first. Take the right action first, then the feelings will come.
Action brings everything positive into your life. You will get wiser faster by doing a lot of things — trying new jobs, learning new skills, experimenting and failing. When you follow-through on your actions, you gain everything in return.
“Always remember to follow-through completely; that is the great common denominator of all winners.” -Grant Cardone
The Faster You Do This, The Wiser You’ll Become
As a Christian, I’ve heard that old Bible verse so many times it started to lose meaning for me:
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” -Proverbs 9:10
You don’t have to be a Christian to see the principle: there are smarter, stronger, wiser leaders out there. Learn from God. Learn from others. Become a student of your craft. Be humble, asking for correction and feedback. Listen.
As a Christian, I’ve gained the most wisdom in my spiritual life by submitting to God. I ask my creator how things work. My mentors help, too. Basically, I try to live my life with a mindset of, “I am here to learn. What am I doing wrong? How can I be better? What do you know that I don’t?”
When you ask others for guidance, you’ll get it. You get what you look for. You attract what you are.
Focus on learning from those before you — leaders and masters of the craft. Pray. Meditate. Ask God for help.
Become a student.
“No one becomes noble or good until he lays down the law that he/she is so.” -Frank Crane
I don’t know much about wisdom.
I’m trying. I don’t think I do that well — probably most of the time, if I’m being frank.
But I’ve committed to learning. I have mentors and people in my life that I absolutely go to for guidance.
When I’m unsure of what to do, I don’t let pride or arrogance call the shots (most of the time!). I pray. I read. I learn new skills. I ask people who have been there how to do it. I become a student, in every way I can.
The fastest way to become wiser is simple — focus on learning, not distractions. Commit to being a student. Try, and fail. Try again.
When you focus on wisdom, everything else will follow.