“Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom”. – Thomas Jefferson
Solomon famously asked for wisdom when he could ask for anything. Socrates’ famous and impactful quips on wisdom such as: “Know thyself”, echoes throughout eternity.
Modern business leaders share their wisdom within the context of their experience and the peoples’ perceptions that they attempt to influence within this fast paced and digitalised world. “If your dreams do not scare you they are too small”, Richard Branson says as one whom not only brings forth his failures and successes to all who cares to listen in the form of wise words, but within the formula of exemplary action.
“Awareness” is taught as an extremely important concept to most Leaders. To simplify the concept of awareness it can practically translate to an increased sense of your own lack of skill as a leader and also being more conscious of your own strengths as a precursor to self -improvement.
The concept of Awareness optimised to its most refined form becomes wisdom. Wisdom is where theory translates to practise and where knowledge “sinks to the heart” as a deep sense of practical experience which is moulded over time.
The author through this article implicitly agrees with Solomon and philosophers such as Socrates in relation to true wisdom being the highest attainment of all. Your attained level of wisdom or lack thereof at any point in your life either brings peace and joy to your relationships or destroys them. A high level of wisdom gives great clarity to your personal vision and the purpose of your business.
Wisdom allows you to help and coach your employees to a higher level of understanding of themselves and the purpose of their work, which in turn is likely to multiply their individual as well as the teams’ performance.
How do I get started on the path to wisdom?
How do I start this journey of attained wisdom especially when I am a young and inexperienced entrepreneur? “The journey of a thousand miles begins with one single step”, the Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu famously said.
When our inexperience melts in the consuming fire of a much wiser and experienced person in your field of business it bodes well for us all that the wise ones too had to start a place of low awareness. The key to their wisdom is that they started and never stopped.
As Tony Robbins often advises his clients, “Start with the easiest and smallest thing that you can think of”, in that way that all too feeling of being overwhelmed as an entrepreneur will immediately start to dissipate.
Honesty is the best starting block to catapult you forward on your journey of the attainment of wisdom. Thomas Jefferson so eloquently stated that “honesty “is the first chapter in the book of wisdom”. Trying to fool yourself and lie to yourself only serves as a distraction from your path and causes a long period of delay in gestation.
Through honest and sincere reflection, I can gain clarity on where I stand in my entrepreneurial journey or as a Leader. By asking a wise mentor for honest feedback on my growth as a person and entrepreneur and building on that foundation by taking action I have taken a strong first step towards wisdom.
Honesty builds character whereas dishonesty can create a desirable image amongst others, but only for a while until that fateful day when the perceptions that you falsely created crumbles as it never had a foundation.
Further building on the foundation of honesty wisdom is slowly and gradually gained by committing to a life of learning that never ever stops. That does not only imply learning from books and courses, but more importantly learning from experiences even bad ones. Willingly be tempered by fire by deliberately putting yourself in uncomfortable yet positive learning situations. Only the ones that bravely venture outside the boundaries of their own comfort zones can ultimately attain wisdom.
Be open to learn from wise mentors as no one ever did it by themselves. Honestly and as objectively as possible reflect on your own behaviours and skills. Hone your skills constantly and refine your talents and one day when you know not, it will appear to be a sudden event when people shall start calling you a “wise one”.