When I Grow Up I Want To Be Wise

When I Grow Up I Want To Be Wise

Last week I started listening to a new podcast (or at least new to me) by NPR called How I Built This. Now before you start assuming certain things about me because I referenced NPR, know that I’m not a vegan and I don’t drink espresso or drive a Volvo. Of course I have no problem with Volvo-driving, NPR folks. I mean, more vegetarians in the world means more steak for the rest of us! Am I right!? (I know that was cheesy. I couldn’t resist.)

On How I Built This host Guy Raz interviews successful entrepreneurs as they tell the story of building their multimillion dollar companies. Each episode is fascinating. If you have an entrepreneurial bent I highly recommend checking out the podcast.

Now hold that thought.

Every day I am intentional about praying for five things. Of course my prayers aren’t limited to these things, I just make them a priority when talking to the Man Upstairs. They are as follows: my wife, my kids, my church, a specific friend of mine, and wisdom.

Notice: every single day of my life, among other things, I pray to be wise.

This isn’t something I’ve always prayed for. It’s been the last six months or so that I began making wisdom a priority in my prayers.

I’m not even sure where the desire to grow in this area came from. I think it started sometime last year when I continually came across gentlemen a bit older than me who carried themselves with a different sort of pace. They didn’t seem to be in a hurry. Their words carried weight. They weren’t bogged down by as much trivial stuff as the rest of us.

Eventually I thought, “I want to be like that when I grow up.”

Now, if you know me you know I’ve got a ways to go in this area. At this point in my life I feel like I’m always in a hurry, my words carry a little weight, and the trivial stuff weighs about a million pounds. So yeah, I’m not there yet… but I hope to be someday.

In my pursuit to grow in this area, I’ve discovered something very interesting: wisdom is not synonymous with book smarts.

It’s fascinating how many of the entrepenuaers on How I Built This were not actually great students. Some were high school drop outs. Some never graduated from college. By the world’s standards, they should not have been successful business people.

Most simply possessed a big dream and a lot of drive. Additionally, some, not all, but some of the entrepreneurs were wise beyond their years. Their wisdom helped to push them past competitors and to the top of their fields.

As I’ve worked to grow in wisdom, I’ve gleaned a few things from those lightyears ahead of me.

A wise person embraces process. 

Everybody wants to have written a book, very few are actually willing to sit down and write a book.

Everybody wants the big payday. Yet, few are willing to embrace the process that leads there.

Process is hard.

Process isn’t fun.

Process is a grind.

Wise people understand the value of the process. The process is necessary in reaching goals.

A wise person is not impulsive. 

Most wise people I know are not impulsive. They are the opposite of impulsive. They aren’t held captive by emotions, allowing feelings to dictate their actions. Rather, they think through responses and next steps. A wise person understands the weight of an unfiltered outburst or less than strategic maneuver and opts to do otherwise.

Intentionality is the opposite of impulsivity. Wise people are intentional in their actions.

A wise person never stops learning.

A wise person knows they don’t know everything but has a desire to know more.

We live in a time when information is available on multiple platforms: books, internet, podcasts, blogs, etc. The wise people I know take advantage of opportunities to gain knowledge.

For years I assumed wisdom was something a person accumulated as they grew older. It was a given; age equaled wisdom. Now I don’t believe that to be the case entirely. I’ve come to believe that wisdom is something a person gains through effort as well as experience.

Is wisdom a value to you?

“If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there.” -Lewis Carroll

Husband to Jenn. Dad to Story, Journey, Asher. Lead pastor at First Christian Church, Canton.

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