In the previous post we defined wisdom as the ability to see the big picture. (As we will see it goes far beyond simply seeing the big picture, although that is the foundation.) Then we began discussing the first two steps to obtain it: 1. Defining your values and ordering them and 2. Setting goals and ordering them.
Step 3. in obtaining wisdom is to now take your list of priorities and goals and take a look at them EVERY morning BEFORE you begin your day. This constantly reminds you to see things in perspective.
- 3a. It's always a good idea to evaluate your priorities (see previous post) and goals lists and ask yourself, "Are these the noblest of priorities and goals that I could possibly have? Are these really what is important? In the whole scheme of things, are these the really important things?" Make sure everything has congruity and that it will bring you the most satisfaction. If you need to change anything then do it at this time. If you are satisfied with your lists as it is, then...
- 3b. If you haven't already, break your long term goals down into more specific attainable intermediate goals by asking yourself how and when you will obtain them. Write them down.
- 3c. Begin dwelling on these list and lay out your day according to them. Make out your "to do" list according to the priorities and goals lists and what you want to accomplish in your life.
Step 4 in obtaining wisdom is to raise your level of consciousness. Become conscious of everything you do. In laying out your priorities and goals you are already well on your way with this step. Become conscious of everything you are doing. When something distracting comes along ask yourself, "How does this affect the big picture? How does this fit into my values and priorities?" If it has no relation to them, then you can just dismiss and continue on with the direction you want things to go. " Will this matter next week, next month, year or next decade?" is another good question to ask. With these questions you will easily be able to see what is important or what is simply urgent, but has no real importance.
Step 5 in obtaining wisdom is to focus on value. Before doing something, ask yourself, "Does this provide value?" "Does it provide value to those I love, the world or to me?" Will it make a real long term difference?" Really, if you have laid out your priorities well, this one has already been answered for you ahead of time. But, if a situation arises and you are wondering what to do, this is another great question to ask.
Step 6 is to train your mind to think about consequences - good or bad. When trying to decide whether or not to do something ask yourself, "How will this action affect that or what will it lead to? If I choose to do that, what will be the outcome? What will be the consequences of this action?" Will it produce good results or consequences or will it produce negative consequences that you will have to live with for the rest of your life? In other words, look at it from every angle and determine what the outcome will be.
For more information:
Refer to Jonathon Meade's post on urgent verses important matters at Pick the Brain and/or read Time Power: The Revolutionary Time Management System That Can Change Your Professional and Personal.
As someone who used to be the most indecisive person in the whole world, I enjoy learning new questions to ask myself....What questions do you ask yourself to help make wise decisions?