I’m a proud grandma, and we all cheered on our little guy when he learned how to walk. Anyone who has watched this learning process knows they don’t just get up one day and take off running. He started by pulling himself up on furniture and walking around the edges of the coffee table, which led to pushing anything he could find that would move. He would fall back on his bum, knock his little head, but he kept getting up and trying. Determined to get around like his momma, he practiced and tried again and again until one night he let go of the guiding hand and took a step on his own.
Life – like my grandson’s quest to learn to walk – is full of adventures, disappointments, and accomplishments that can teach the determined soul.
I wouldn’t consider myself old by any means, but I have experienced a bit of life. As a wife of 30 years, mother of 4, and grandmother; I’ve had my fair share of opportunities to help put Humpty Dumpty together again. Life is messy, sticky, unpredictable, surprising, entertaining; and, if we play our cards right, can mold us into a person full of wisdom. In my journey of the last half a century, I’ve learned a few things along the way. Some of those life lessons have come more easily than others, but one constant I’ve come to understand is we always have a choice.
I recently read a study that showed the average adult has over 35,000 choices to make in a 24-hour period.1 As I have contemplated what I have done with those choices over the years, I’ve come to realize many of those choices are associated with a situation, trial or adventure that have helped me collect a smattering of knowledge, insight and yes, wisdom.
Wisdom goes beyond being smart or having just basic knowledge. It is the culmination of experiences that help us become. Become what? You might ask. Well, that is entirely up to us. I have tried to choose learning and understanding over frustration and pain – not in the perfect sort of non-judgmental way – but mostly through trial and error. With a determined desire to try again and again, I have tried to choose wisdom.
With each twist and turn of life, we have one of the many 35,000 daily choices to make.
Will we allow life to dictate who we become or will we take the lessons of life to learn wisdom?
Becoming wise is a choice. Making hard decisions, overcoming trials and teaching our children to be wise is not easy and does not always come naturally. Sharing our learning experiences can inspire determination when things get tough. Just like my grandson that watched and observed before ever trying his first step, we can learn a lot from looking and studying others in similar situations. But it all starts with the first step – choosing if life will teach you or defeat you.
1Hoomans, Dr. Joel, (2015, March 20). “35,000 Decisions: The Great Choices of Strategic Leaders.” Roberts Wesleyan College. Retrieved from http://go.roberts.edu/leadingedge/the-great-choices-of-strategic-leaders