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Six Components Of Wisdom

The Wisdom of the Aging Brain by Anil Ananthaswamy

I was digging into the definition of wisdom this week while trying to unpack why we say we prefer X years of experience in a given role.

Behind that requirement is the assumption that wisdom is acquired during years-in-the-seat. Wisdom, per wikipedia, is the ability to think and act using knowledge, experience, understanding, common sense and insight. Time-in-seat therefore is about both gaining experience and understanding, AND becoming more able to apply those along with knowledge, common sense and insight.

Alright then. This article, while titled Wisdom of the Aging Brain, offers a six-category model for rationalizing (and therefore measuring and improving) wisdom, they are per the article:

  • having pragmatic knowledge of life
  • emotion regulation
  • pro-social behavior which would entail compassion, altruism, and empathy
  • knowing one’s strengths and limitations
  • decisiveness
  • acceptance of uncertainty