This is a simple question we can all ask ourselves to enable us to access our own internal wisdom. Asking creates a sense of stillness and awareness; even in the heat of a developing situation, where time feels like it slows down a little; you can hear your inner voice, your intuitive response; and it helps give you the clarity and wisdom to respond as needed.
If it’s more relevant for you, substitute the word person with manager, teacher, pilot, parent, sibling, grandparent, woman, man, etc. Any role in life that is meaningful for you.
Each role you have in life, and every situation you encounter requires its own particular style of response – whether it’s to meet social or professional norms; or where an emergency or crisis calls upon years of training or experience, to enable you to respond with speed, compassion and with exactly what is required; and when it is required.
Asking the question enables a pause. It creates space. A fleeting moment which brings you fully into the present and increases your overall awareness. In this moment you may feel like an observer to the situation, you become a little detached and less involved – you gain a bigger perspective of the situation – you are able to understand the potential impacts and consequences of a number of different options. You are able to access so much knowledge in such a short space of time; and now you are free to respond in a more considered way; a more appropriate way; a wiser way.
For just a moment you were maybe able to see yourself and know that you were both giving and receiving advice on how best to act. This is your own wisdom speaking. We all have our own wisdom, we just need to know how to better access it when needed, and trust that our wisdom is right for us at that very moment.
With practice it becomes habit to ask yourself: “What would a wise person do here?” Sometimes a situation arises so quickly; a car crosses the centre-line… That we respond instinctively – and in this instance, we hope that our driving training and years of experience serve us well.
The more we are used to asking the question, and taking a pause from any given situation – the more easily we can access our wisdom. Wisdom can only be accessed when we give it space and time to arise. It doesn’t need much, and often the process starts before we are even aware of it. This is what we often call instinct or knowing: “I just knew what to do and I went and did it”. Knowing starts in our subconscious mind and brings the knowledge to our conscious mind; all this can happen in an instant. Or you can start the process yourself by asking the question: “What would a wise person do here?” Accessing wisdom starts to become second-nature; and soon you may wonder how you managed before…
After a time of using this technique, you may also find you have become calmer, that there is a greater sense of peace in your life. If you want some help to access your inner wisdom, then give me a call!
“Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice." Steve Jobs - Stanford University commencement speech, 2005