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Knowing Yourself Is the Beginning of All Wisdom

A man stands in the distance with the Milky Way behind as he sees that knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom

The more you know yourself, the more patience you have for what you see in others..”
Erik Erikson.

We are all capable of connecting with wisdom, yet you won’t find that many wise people out there. Why? Because it requires that you be quite honest with yourself. Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom, that’s why.

How can I get there? Knowing who I am, fine. But how do I get there? We will discuss some ideas that help with that. But before we get there, let’s see the nuance of these words: knowledge, understanding, and wisdom.

What is knowledge?

Knowledge is a compound word: know and ledge. This time, we want to know what know means. Based on etymology, we know that know refers to “perceive a thing to be identical with another,” and also “be able to distinguish.”

In other words, the act of knowing has to do with finding out something or recognizing something. 

For example, imagine that someone blindfolds you and gets you into a room. Once there, you take off the blindfold and see chairs, a table, a TV, flowers, etc. You found out, you recognized, there were chairs, a table, a TV, flowers, etc. You know.

Understanding is beyond that.

What is understanding?

Understanding is a conjugation of the verb understand. As it is, it means that you constantly understand something. So understanding is both a process and something that happens to us in time. It means that you are comprehending something.

To understand what understanding is, let’s explore the word understand. Thanks to etymology, we know that understand means “to comprehend, grasp the idea of, receive from a word or words or from a sign the idea it is intended to convey; to view in a certain way,”

Following our example, after knowing where you are and recognizing the place, you understand that you will have dinner soon, that is, based on what you know, you understand the situation.

Yes, understanding is beyond that so wisdom is beyond understanding.

What is wisdom?

Just like it happened with knowledge and understanding, we want to analyze wisdom first. Wisdom is the result of binding wis (wise) y dom (a compound that transforms adjectives into substantives).

So, we want to know what wise is. Wise relates to awareness, sagacious, cunning, prudent, etc. According to etymology, wise means someone who is “learned, sagacious, cunning; sane; prudent, discreet; experienced; having the power of discerning and judging rightly.”

In our example, using your knowledge and understanding, you judge what your next move should be the best for you and everyone around you. After some thought, you decided participating in that dinner is a good idea, so you walked toward the table. You did that because you are confident in your judgment of the situation.

How can I know myself?

Exactly that. That’s the question. Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom because, as you know yourself, you can understand who you are and then be aware of what you judge as good or bad. 

Once you have spotted what’s good and bad for you, you want to ask why you consider them good or bad. You want to know what that tells about your temperament so that you can build the character from it.

Since we already know that we want to know ourselves to begin the journey to wisdom, that is, being aware of who we are to judge our best move based on our gifts, talents, skills, strengths, and the situation in front of us, we can explore some activities that can help us know ourselves.

Your principles

Knowing what your principles are will help you understand why you do things the way you do them, and why you are like this. Because you understand what your principles are, you can judge whether this action you are going to do is good or bad based on your principles.

Which principles can you explore? Whichever you want. Yet, we want to share with you a short list to get you started, ok?

  • Tolerance.
  • Patience.
  • Forgiveness.
  • Seek the good in everyone and for them.
  • Avoid keeping anger to yourself.
  • Do acts of kindness.
  • Love and seek the good for somebody who hurt you and wishes to make amendments.
  • Remember the good deeds of others and forget the bad ones.
  • Be compassionate to others, even to those we consider evil.
  • Manage yourself with honesty.
  • Act with kindness and indulgence toward others.
  • Help people feel regret and avoid resentment.
  • Show mercy and compassion to others, even when you think they don’t deserve it.

So, what’s the deal? You can explore how tolerant you are. What can you tolerate? What’s intolerable to you? Why is that? That’s how you explore yourself using this list. Ask yourself similar questions based on each item from the list.

Your Gift Journey

Can you see now why knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom? Knowing what your principles are is critical for easing the process of making decisions.

However, if you are ready to take a step further, get to know yourself fully, take control of your life and learn about strategies to develop yourself, you want to start Your Gift Journey.

That program helps you explore who you are, and uncover what your gifts, talents, skills, and strengths are. With that knowledge, you can understand what you are capable of creating and gives you the wisdom to share it at the appropriate time and place that is best for you and the people around you.

Do you want to talk a bit more about this with someone? If that’s the case, you can make use of a complimentary call to get any information that you want.