Wisdom is a deep understanding and realizing of people, things, events or situations, resulting in the ability to choose or act to consistently produce the optimum results with a minimum of time and energy. It is the ability to optimally (effectively and efficiently) apply perceptions and knowledge and so produce the desired results.
All great wisdom begins when we realize we don’t know as much as we think we do. Too many people believe they have it all worked out, and that they already know everything about the world and how it works. This is nothing more than a surface level of understanding and it is by far the biggest mistake people make time after time.
If I told you that you have a subconscious mind for example, no doubt you would reply by saying you already know this. But this is where the problem lies, we never get below the surface level of understanding because we never contemplate, probe, analyze and ask how this fact can, and does, have a major impact on how we perceive our environment. To know we have a subconscious mind is too simplistic, we need to delve a lot deeper to gain a clearer understanding to what that really means.
We can read a book once and understand it, but to read it again and again will give us a greater understanding because of the brains filtering process. We do not take in and consciously hold onto all the information at first glance. When you think you have it all worked out, you could not be more wrong. Always be open to new ways of seeing things, never think you have enough knowledge on any given subject because you will be closing the mind off to future learning. Always be willing to learn more than you already know and always keep an open mind.
Below I will list 25 of the best quotes on wisdom that I have come across over the years. I hope you like them and more importantly, I hope they resonate with you enough to get you thinking in the right way. Thinking you know something is nothing compared to “knowing” you know very little.
1)… “Help us to find God.”
“No one can help you there.”
“For the same reason that no one can help the fish to find the ocean.” ~ Anthony De Mello.
2)… Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson.
3)… What you are aware of you are in control of; what you are not aware of is in control of you ~ Anthony De Mello.
4)… Good nature is worth more than knowledge, more than money, more than honor, to the persons who possess it ~ Henry Beecher.
5)… He dares to be a fool, and that is the first step in the direction of wisdom ~ James Huneker.
6)… If you believe the doctors, nothing is wholesome; if you believe the theologians, nothing is innocent; if you believe the military, nothing is safe ~ Lord Salisbury.
7)… Ignorant men raise questions that wise men answered a thousand years ago ~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
8)… In seeking wisdom thou art wise; in imagining that thou hast attained it – thou art a fool ~ Lord Chesterfield
9)… Wisdom tends to grow in proportion to one’s awareness of one’s ignorance ~ Anthony De Mello.
10)… The greatest obstacle to discovery is not ignorance – it is the illusion of knowledge ~ Daniel J. Boorstin
11)… The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing ~ Socrates
12)… To be satisfied with a little, is the greatest wisdom; and he that increaseth his riches, increaseth his cares; but a contented mind is a hidden treasure, and trouble findeth it not ~ Akhenaton
13)… Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that ~ Martin Luther King, Jr
14)… It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer ~ Albert Einstein.
15)… Everything is based on mind, is led by mind, is fashioned by mind. If you speak and act with a polluted mind, suffering will follow you, as the wheels of the oxcart follow the footsteps of the ox. Everything is based on mind, is led by mind, is fashioned by mind. If you speak and act with a pure mind, happiness will follow you, as a shadow clings to a form ~ Buddha.
16)… To a disciple who was forever complaining about others the Master said, “If it is peace you want, seek to change yourself, not other people. It is easier to protect your feet with slippers than to carpet the whole of the earth.” ~ Anthony De Mello.
17)… A writer arrived at the monastery to write a book about the Master.
“People say you are a genius. Are you?” he asked.
“You might say so.” said the Master, none too modestly.
“And what makes one a genius?” “The ability to recognize.” “Recognize what?”
“The butterfly in a caterpillar: the eagle in an egg; the saint in a selfish human being.” ~ Anthony De Mello.
18)… I have come to believe that the whole world is an enigma, a harmless enigma that is made terrible by our own mad attempt to interpret it as though it had an underlying truth. ~ Umberto Eco
19)… We learn wisdom from failure much more than from success. We often discover what will do, by finding out what will not do; and probably he who never made a mistake never made a discovery. ~ Samuel Smiles.
20)… Believe those who are seeking the truth; doubt those who find it ~ Andre Gide.
21)… The great teachings unanimously emphasize that all the peace, wisdom, and joy in the universe are already within us; we don’t have to gain, develop, or obtain them. We’re like a child standing in a beautiful park with his eyes shut tight. We don’t need to imagine trees, flowers, deer, birds, and sky; we merely need to open our eyes and realize what is already here, who we really are – as soon as we quit pretending we’re small or unholy ~ Bo Lazoff.
22)… Too bad that all the people who really know how to run the country are busy driving taxi cabs and cutting hair ~ George Burns.
23)… It is a thousand times better to have common sense without education than to have education without common sense ~ Robert G. Ingersoll.
24)… When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years ~ Mark Twain.
25)… “Tell me,” said the atheist, “Is there a God – really?”
Said the master, “If you want me to be perfectly honest with you, I will not answer.”
Later the disciples demanded to know why he had not answered.
“Because the question is unanswerable,” said the Master.
“So you are an atheist?”
“Certainly not. The atheist makes the mistake of denying that of which nothing may be said… and the theist makes the mistake of affirming it ~ Anthony De Mello.
Words are indeed powerful tools and I love nothing more than short insightful quotes, phrases and statements by some of the world’s great thinkers. Thank you for reading and feel free to add some of your favorites in the comment box below. If you liked this article then how about sharing this page with others.
Have a wonderful day, thanks again for stopping by.