Wisdom Is a Prerequisite to a Successful Life

Wisdom Is a Prerequisite to a Successful Life

Wisdom is a prerequisite to a successful life. In order to develop and grow wisdom a person must actively pursue it. One powerful way to pursue is to observe and study people who are renowned for wisdom in your field of endeavor. Reading writings about them, if possible hearing them speak and whatever other means to observe and study their ways of doing things could go a long way to establishing a level of wisdom that would otherwise take many years to establish. For example the renowned Napoleon Hill went around interviewing numerous successful businessmen and in a relatively short time was able to distill their wisdom to use in his own life and profitably share with the world in his own book, “Think and Grow Rich.”

In Evansing we see the ongoing wisdom Edwin gained from his sessions with Percival:

“The next morning, Percival and Edwin met to see about strengthening some of his internal moral structures.

Percival began, ‘Moral frameworks are strengthened by consistently making the right choices. As a consequence, no matter what the circumstances are, we continue to make the right choices. This means we must make right decisions, even in seeming little things. For if we haven’t established a mindset of how to deal with what appears to be the minor areas of life, we will have no moral reserve to draw upon when major temptations come upon us.’

‘This talk of strengthening is a bit premature in your case, Edwin. Due to the deplorable lack of proper parental guidance, the moral structures weren’t put there in the first place. You can’t strengthen what isn’t there. So therefore, we need to develop in you what should have been deposited in you as a child. Not a small thing. You have had no problem with being faithful to Greer, because you have been so smitten by her. And because she has always been nearby except for short absences. Then the circumstances changed, so you weren’t naturally protected. Now you were on your own. Without an internal compass as to how to respond to an interested attractive woman, you were pretty much at the mercy of what your hormones and emotions wanted to do. We must establish in you such a rock solid, non-negotiable sense of loyalty to Greer. This is so no matter how justified you are feeling, or how rough your circumstances, or how appealing the woman, you will stay the course of marital fidelity.’

‘Okay, so how do we do this?’

With that the two men spent the rest of the morning delving into Edwin’s early years. This resulted in some more snotty-nosed embarrassing weepy episodes but also greater freedom for Edwin. To top it all off, Percival proclaimed some blessings over Edwin. These were designed to create for Edwin new levels of wisdom in his relations with women.”

Once again we see the value of a wise and trusted confidante to provide Edwin with much needed wisdom. The process of growing in wisdom can take a variety of paths.

Sometimes wisdom comes from following a path that one finally realizes is not the path they want to be on anymore. In the case of Edwin he had been on a path of being a warrior raider which left him feeling unfulfilled, poor and friendless. Edwin experienced awareness that there was a different way to live and he acted upon it. This was wisdom. When we experience awareness it is a new form of wisdom that is being birthed provided we act upon it. Wisdom is the wise use of knowledge. In other words a person must apply the knowledge represented by awareness and do it in a way that is the best possible use of that knowledge.

In Evansing there is an encounter between St. Patrick and Edwin that gives additional insights about wisdom:

“As Patrick and Edwin walked back toward the Evansing line, Patrick shared with Edwin greater and greater insights about his future. He told him how he would eventually become a great king over all of Ireland. In order for him to be successful he must have a heart passionate in his pursuit of Wisdom and Understanding.

“How do I grow in wisdom and understanding?” asked Edwin.

“Learn to listen and truly hear what is being said. It is easy to think we hear, but often there are influences which affect the way we hear.”

The passionate pursuit and learning how to listen are essential aspects in growing wisdom.

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Joy Empowers Living Above the Line

Evansing - Heart of the Irish Kingdom Book Cover Evansing - Heart of the Irish Kingdom

Joy is an emotion that we all desire to have as a dominant state but it often eludes us because of life’s circumstances that get in the way. It doesn’t have to be that way. We can take control over our joy. We don’t have to wait until it just comes on us.

First, we need to know why it is important to us and therefore why it essential for us to make an effort to maintain joy as our normal state or as I heard one speaker say, “joy is meant to be our default setting.” Joy has a great therapeutic effect on our bodies, minds and of course on our emotions. We are physically, mentally and emotionally healthier when we are in a state of joy. I don’t mean it has to be some ecstatic state, it can be subtle yet it is there, a strong sense of well-being which can be characterized as joy. It enhances the function of our physical bodies and our minds function at a sharper level. When we are joyful we are easier to be around and our relationships flourish. When we are joyful we perform our work at a higher level with greater creativity and greater attention to detail.

What is a key to joy? Passion about life is a key to joy. Read the interchange between Greer, Princess of Evansing and Kerris, Crown Prince of Alder:

“So tell me what makes you think you would be good for Athandra? I need to tell you right now she has a zest for life, which could shake your world. She is a rather unusual girl in the degree and wide range of things, which she feels passionate about. So if you want to connect with her you will need to grow in your capacity to be passionate, first and foremost about her and also about life. She loves life. Even though life can be difficult, there needs to be a mindset of embracing difficulties as times of growth. They force out or at least if we allow them to do so, force out to the surface the true self existing deep within us. Passion requires our true self to be visible and engaged with the world.’

Kerris looked amazed at this young woman not much more than a girl who shared this truth he knew to be great wisdom. ‘Wow if I can tap into being consistently passionate there is nothing I can’t do and I know that my life will shift from being a bore to being a joy. So how do I get there? How do I become this focused lover of life?”‘

Subsequently Kerris is introduced to Percival who helps him identify a major reason for his lack of passion:

“That evening in Kerris’ quarters the two men talked about various things Kerris remembered from his childhood. They seemed to have an adverse effect on his capacity to enjoy relationships and life in general. One of the things which seemed to come up as a big issue concerned the matter of performance. All his life Kerris had been rated on the basis of how he did things. Seldom did he feel like anyone celebrated him for being Kerris, beautiful just for being here and alive. He felt like being the perfect Crown Prince was all that mattered to people.”

Getting off of the performance treadmill is not easy if that is where you have been for a long time, but it is essential for a true sense of well-being. We all need to know we have value apart from what we do. If we don’t, everything in life is just another part of the pressure to perform. It will exhaust and drain our souls of any capacity to be passionate about life. There needs to be a simple joy in just being who we are.

One insight that recently came to me was how every aspect of our current lives are an integral part of our lives and are meant to be embraced as meaningful and related to as having redeeming properties which make them valuable. When we do this it shifts our perspective from considering certain activities as a waste of time or simply as an irritation to be endured to one where we appreciate each role in our lives as an essential element and therefore to be embraced and enjoyed. As a result we will have a greater level of focus on the task at hand. This then leads to at least some element of passion which increases our performance level and ability to enjoy even the most mundane of activities.

Stirring up our hope is a vital way to increase our passion and consequently our joy. A very effective way to stir up hope is to be grateful. As we express gratitude for what we have it turns on a light inside us which leads to joy.  When we do our lives from the perspective of gratitude and anticipating good things it adds lightness to our day. Like we are expecting a happy surprise.

Another key aspect of creating and maintaining joy is having a long term perspective on our lives. Certainly it can be difficult to live in a state of joy if we are unduly impacted by the ups and downs of everyday life. One moment it seems great and only getting better. Next moment something unexpectedly bad happens or perhaps in some ways even worse, life keeps droning on in a mundane way without the exciting breakthrough we are hoping for. Whatever it is, we need to know these momentary experiences can change by a single phone call or new idea. The important thing is not to let our current situation block our ability to keep our eyes on our anticipation of long term good in our lives. In other words joy empowers our ability to live above the line. Often adverse circumstances, if we allow them to can become important building blocks in our character creating the long-term success we are longing for. As long as we have breath there are undreamt possibilities still available to us. Maintaining a joyful anticipation is a necessary key to accessing those possibilities.

When we are in a difficult place being joyful may even seem ludicrous. It is in times like those that joy is especially important to keep our morale up and maintain our capacity to perform at high levels. Have a read of Habakkuk 3:17-19 from The Message Bible:

Though the cherry trees don’t blossom

and the strawberries don’t ripen,

Though the apples are worm-eaten

and the wheat fields stunted,

Though the sheep pens are sheepless

and the cattle barns empty,

I’m singing joyful praise to God.

I’m turning cartwheels of joy to my Savior God.

Counting on God’s Rule to prevail,

I take heart and gain strength.

I run like a deer.

I feel like I’m king of the mountain!

Even though the writer paints a very dismal set up circumstances he is yet “turning cartwheels of joy.” I find this a fascinating passage as it is an example of supreme determination to do whatever it takes to regain joy. I can’t physically do cartwheels but I can do my version of cartwheels which stirs up a connection with joy. I will twirl my finger as though I am doing cartwheels. For me it ignites my joy because it connects me to this passage. Often a physical action can be used to stir something up in us. In this case it’s joy. Each one of us needs to find what we can do to activate our joy. Looking at amusing pictures of grandchildren doing silly things or getting on our bicycle and going for a vigorous ride are other examples of physical actions we could do to regain our joy. Whatever we do it is important to do something and not just resign ourselves to a state of not being in joy. As we consistently stay in joy, life’s abundance and prosperity will be released into our lives.

Get joyful and live above the line. When you do, life’s abundance will be released to you. When we are joyful our lives, and especially our relationships flow more easily. We tend to perform our work with greater enjoyment and success. In the book “Evansing – Heart of the Irish Kingdom”, the characters demonstrate an attitude of joy even in the midst of travail. Their joy facilitates greater success in their responses to situations of terror and dismay.

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Living Above the Line

Evansing - Heart of the Irish Kingdom Book Cover Evansing - Heart of the Irish Kingdom
Glen Klassen
Ancient manuscript

Ancient manuscript

Life is a mystery. It has all sorts of unexpected twists and turns. Many of these happened outside of our control. They were experiences foisted upon us by others and seeming chance events. However many of these twists and turns also came as a result of our own choices and actions. The outcome of these choices and actions ultimately form our life. A life of reflecting with satisfaction on how it has turned out, or a life of tormenting regrets.
Most people never realize they do have a choice as to the life they experience. They believe things just happen to them and are beyond their control. Consequently they blame bad breaks, bad people, bad economy etc. This in coaching circles is known as living below the line. The attitude of blaming influences outside of themselves leads to excuses and even denial. The result is a life of feeling helpless and hopeless. The individual who lives below the line has no sense of control over their life experiences. This results in an unhappy life with only a small portion of their potential being realized.
People who are living above the line know they are essentially in control of their lives. They recognize there will be events outside of their control. They also know by increasing their capacity to participate and be present in life they can increase the odds in their favor of putting into motion forces that will work to their advantage and even minimize the effects of those seeming unfortunate occasions.
The objective of “Evansing – Heart of the Irish Kingdom” is to empower people to get above the line and if you are already above, to stay above. You could actually use the principles in this novel to coach yourself above the line.
Happy coaching!

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