Question from a Reader: Paul, what do you think the difference is between a wise person and a smart
In short, a wise person knows how to be smart. In other words, you can have all the knowledge in the world but if you don’t know how to put it to efficient and productive use, what good is it? It’s the same as having books and not reading them. A room full of books only offers so much until you begin to pull them off the shelf and go through them.Wisdom is a deeper insight that allows you to apply your smarts. Some people have a natural disposition to it in spite of how much “smarts” they actually have, for others, it comes with time and experience.
If you want to develop wisdom there are some things you can do:
Practice reflection - take time to think of your circumstances, your actions, and also reflect on the way you think about things. Are you in control of your emotions? Do you have a grand strategy for your life? Reflect on on these types of things; the things that make you you and the things that you encounter from your job to your family to your relationships.
Journal - not only does this give you an opportunity to reflect but also a record of your thoughts. It will force you to slow down and this will give your mind time to put together better thoughts about what it is your thinking and writing about.
Read - read history, philosophy, the Bible, biographies of great men and women.
Find a mentor - wise people beget wise people. Find someone who is wise and learn how they think about things and how they approach circumstances and life. Learn how they cope with tragedy and how they build relationships.
Plenty of smart people die angry and unhappy. Learning wisdom is important, it will help lead to a life well lived.