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Your Morning Cup of Inspiration

“For wisdom is far more valuable than rubies. Nothing you desire can compare with it.”  Proverbs 8:11

Most of us don’t aspire to be wise. We aspire to be wealthy.  We aspire to be successful.  We aspire to be loved.  But attaining wisdom typically isn’t on anyone’s bucket list.

But we should be seeking wisdom. Wisdom gives us the ability to make good choices.  It allows us to interact more successfully with other people.  It gives us a better perspective on our challenges.  Wisdom truly is the key to happiness.

Below are six things that wise people do. Consider how you could apply these approaches to your life:

  1. Wise people continually strive to improve their lives, but they also are happy where they are today. That sounds like a contradiction, doesn’t it? But wise people understand that life is a journey. If you are only happy once when you’ve achieved your goals, you’ll spend most of your time being unhappy. You have to enjoy the whole experience of life – envisioning your goals, working toward them, and seeing them come to fruition.
  2. Wise people balance doing for others with doing for themselves. People who only do things for themselves lead very unhappy lives. That is because you can’t live selfishly and have good relationships with other people. But by the same token, you cannot be happy if you sacrifice every bit of your time to others. We all need to take time to replenish our mental and physical energy. Otherwise, we become frustrated with the very people we are trying to serve. So it is important to attain a balance between meeting the needs of others and meeting our own needs.
  3. Wise people always do their best, even when no one is looking. Our true character isn’t based on what we do in public. That is only part of who we are. Who we are is based equally on what we do when no one is looking. So if I want to be an individual of high ethics, I need to do the right thing no matter what, even if there is no reward, recognition or accolade. Wise people hold themselves to a standard of excellence all the time.
  4. Wise people take responsibility for their own happiness. There a lot of people who go through life unhappy. They are unhappy with their jobs or their spouses. They are unhappy with where they live or their career. The problem is that once we become adults, we are responsible for our own happiness. So if you don’t like your job, look for a new one. Take online classes so that you can get a better job, or so that you can move into a different field. Or figure out what you need to do to improve your current job. The same holds true for your marriage. If your marriage is unhappy, do what you can to transform it into a satisfying relationship for both you and your spouse. If your spouse isn’t willing to do his or her part, then end the marriage. Don’t stay and be miserable. Marriage is a two-way street. If two people aren’t both doing what it takes to make it work, then it isn’t a marriage, except on paper. Bottom line: Take responsibility for your own happiness.   Don’t blame anyone else if you are unhappy.
  5. Wise people pay attention to what is good about others, and ignore the bad. In every relationship there is good and bad. It is important to pay attention to the good things other people do. We do that by expressing our gratitude to others. We also do that by complimenting others when they do something well, or for their good qualities. However, paying attention to the bad behavior of others is a waste of time. The best thing you can do when someone is behaving badly is to ignore them and carry on. Pretty soon they’ll figure out that if they want your attention, they need to act properly.
  6. Wise people speak and act with compassion instead of judgment. It is easy to judge other people. As human beings, we are all so imperfect. Identifying the flaws of others doesn’t take brains. What takes intellect and maturity is to look at the mistakes and bad behavior of others through the lens of compassion.  And we need to remember our own imperfection.  As Jesus said, “Why do you see the speck in your neighbor’s eye, but do not notice the log in your own eye?” Matthew 7:3.

This week, consider bringing more wisdom to how you approach your life. Remember that a wise approach to your relationships, habits and work is the most effective route to a life of happiness.

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