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Wisdom Series: Thoughts, Knowledge, and Wisdom

by Jo-Ann Downey

in Mental Clarity & Calmness

Thoughts, knowledge, and wisdom are connected to the mind yet have significant differences in life applications. 

Thoughts and Wisdom

As shared in “Choose Your Thoughts Well”, it is estimated that we have between 12,000- 60,000 thoughts per day.  This range is attributed to factors such as your level of creativity, personal and professional problem-solving requirements, whether you tend to be a thinker, and your career.   

At an average of 36,000 thoughts per day, we have a thought every 2.5 seconds. Clearly, not all thoughts are wise! A good thing to keep in mind.

Knowledge Versus Wisdom

Knowledge is learning or understanding facts and includes observation, study, research, and experience.  Wisdom often arises between thoughts and is typically a new insight or the awareness to apply an insight in a new situation. 

Knowledge is what you already know. Wisdom tends to include fresh thoughts including the understanding that you do not know everything. Wisdom is always available and helpful.

Subtracting Versus Adding

When I stop my personal thoughts including beliefs, expectations, and assumptions the door to wisdom opens.

“To attain knowledge, add things everyday. To attain wisdom, remove things every day.”  Lao Tse

Qualities of Wisdom

Wisdom includes qualities of acceptance, non-attachment, peace, truth, compassion, and stillness. The presence (hint!) of wisdom helps determine which thoughts are helpful in a given situation, or in general. 

Wisdom is not about your personal opinion.  Wise thoughts are for the highest good of all concerned and support constructive personal and professional relationships, including your relationship with yourself. If you are emotional or in a repetitive thought pattern, wisdom will have a hard time breaking through.

Do not believe everything you think, be keenly aware that that you cannot know everything, and be available for wisdom to come through!

You may want to read “There is No Such Thing as a Table for Two”, “Understanding Series: Acceptance & Success”, “Open-Ended Questions Build Relationships”, “5 Reasons to Live in the Present Moment”

photo credit:  jo-ann downey

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