If you adopt these 8 habits, you’ll become a little wiser every day

by Isabel Cabrera | January 6, 2024, 12:10 am

We’ve all heard the saying, “Wisdom comes with age.” 

But why wait? Wisdom is not just reserved for the elderly or the philosophers of old; it’s something that can be nurtured in each one of us, every single day.

The truth is, you don’t need a magic wand or a philosophy degree. Becoming wiser is about simple daily habits that anyone can try. 

In this article, we’ll look at eight easy habits you can start right now. They won’t take up a lot of your time, and you don’t need any special tools. Just you, your daily routine, and a little curiosity.

Ready to become a little wiser every day? Let’s dive in!

1) Keep asking questions

You know how when you were a kid, you asked questions about everything

“Why is the sky blue?” “Where do babies come from?” You were curious about the world, and you wanted to learn.

Well, who says we have to stop asking questions as we get older? Being curious is the first step to becoming wiser. 

Here’s what you can do: The next time you’re in a conversation, don’t just nod and smile. Ask a question. 

It could be about the other person’s experiences, opinions, or feelings. It’s amazing what you can discover just by asking. 

However, if you’ll be asking questions, it follows that you should…

2) Listen more

Here’s a problem I see with the modern world: people don’t listen to hear what others have to say. 

More often than not, listening has simply become synonymous with “waiting for their turn to speak.”

Listening is different from hearing. It’s about giving your full attention, understanding what’s being said, and showing empathy

Want to try it? Next time you’re chatting with someone, focus on what they’re saying. Put your phone down, look them in the eye, and really listen. 

You’ll be surprised at how much you can learn and how much closer you feel to the people around you.

3) Read widely

Another habit that will give you a little more wisdom is to read. 

I can’t count how many times I’ve discovered something incredible between the pages of a book. Reading is like a window into different worlds, ideas, cultures, and even into the minds of some of the wisest people who’ve ever lived.

But I get it, finding the time to read can be tough. I struggled with that too, until I made reading part of my daily routine. 

And you know what? You don’t have to tackle a massive novel to get started. Even reading articles, blog posts, or short stories can spark new ideas.

Here’s how you can start:

  • Find your interest: Whether it’s fiction, history, science, or self-help, find something that piques your curiosity.
  • Set a small goal: Start with just 10 minutes a day. You’ll be amazed at how much you can read over time.
  • Join a book club or reading group: If you want to make it more social, join a group. It’s a fun way to stay committed.
  • Use apps or ebooks: If carrying a physical book is a hassle, download an app or an ebook. You can read whenever you have a few spare moments.

4) Reflect on your day

What about the window to yourself? Do you take the time to open it and just sit with the view? 

In today’s busy world, many people don’t have the time to do some self-reflection. But I’ve found it to be an invaluable tool in gaining wisdom. 

After all, as Socrates said, “The unexamined life is not worth living.”

You don’t have to pack up and head to the mountains for long periods of isolation. (Although that’s helpful, too, if you have the time!)

Just a few moments each day can help cultivate the habit of self-reflection. Here’s my quick routine: 

  • Think about one thing that went well today.
  • Think about one thing that you learned.
  • Think about one thing you could do better tomorrow.

That’s it! It takes just a minute or two, but it helps you appreciate the good, learn from the mistakes, and check if you’re living according to your values.

5) Embrace failure

Failure might seem like something to avoid at all costs, but here’s a twist: embracing failure can actually make you wiser. 

I used to be terrified of failing. Whether it was a test, a job interview, or even a new hobby, the fear of failure held me back

But then I realized something. Every time I failed, I learned. Every mistake was a lesson in disguise.

Look, failing at something means you tried, and that’s certainly better than being static and never making mistakes. There’s wisdom in understanding what went wrong.

Think about a time when you took a risk and it didn’t pan out. Sure, it might have been disappointing, but didn’t you learn something valuable from the experience?

The trick is not to see failure as a dead-end, but as a tool for self-discovery. It encourages you to analyze, adapt, and grow. 

6) Taking time to do nothing

Yes, you read that right. Doing nothing. 

In a world that’s always rushing and pushing us to do more, the idea of just stopping to do nothing seems almost ridiculous. But here’s the secret: it can be a path to wisdom.

One of my favorite things to do is to sit out on my terrace and take in the view. No phone, no TV, no distractions. Just me, my thoughts, and the world around me. 

This habit would’ve been unthinkable for me back in my younger years. I was the forever busy type, and whenever I found myself with nothing to do, I would get antsy. I’d feel restless or guilty that I wasn’t being productive. 

These days, though, I’m all about taking my “nothing time”. You know why? 

Because I’ve found that it gives my mind a chance to wander, to think, to reflect. It allows me to notice things I might otherwise miss. 

It’s not about being lazy or unproductive. It’s about consciously deciding to take a break and let your mind breathe. It’s amazing how just a few minutes of doing nothing can spark creativity, understanding, and yes, wisdom.

Next time you feel overwhelmed or stuck, try it. Unplug from the digital world. Just stop and do nothing for a little while. Trust me, it will do wonders for your soul! 

7) Say “I don’t know” when you really don’t

Just like “nothing time”, this one can feel uncomfortable at first. 

Many of us are afraid of admitting when we don’t know something. We want to seem smart and knowledgeable, so sometimes we pretend to know things we don’t. 

It takes humility to admit you don’t know, but this is a vital step to gaining wisdom. 

And believe me, it’s liberating. It opens the door to learning, curiosity, and growth. It’s an invitation to explore, ask questions, and seek answers.

8) Practice gratitude

In practically every self-help book or article about being happy, you’ll find this habit to be in it. 

You see, practicing gratitude might sound simple, but it’s a powerful way to connect with the good stuff in your life. 

It adds to wisdom by shifting our focus from what we lack to what we have. Here’s how this seemingly simple practice can foster wisdom:

  • It broadens our perspective. By acknowledging and appreciating the good in our lives, we can see things from a broader viewpoint, and this makes us more insightful. 
  • It encourages mindfulness. This then helps us recognize patterns in our behavior and thoughts, leading to deeper self-awareness and understanding.
  • It enhances empathy. When we’re grateful, we tend to be more empathetic and compassionate towards others. This is a vital part of emotional intelligence, which is closely linked to wisdom.
  • It fosters resilience. Gratitude enables us to face adversity with grace and learn from our experiences, contributing to our overall wisdom.
  • It promotes humility. Recognizing that our success and well-being often depend on others teaches us to be humble. And as I mentioned earlier, humility is key to wisdom.

In essence, gratitude is not just a feel-good practice. It’s a profound shift in how we see and engage with the world. 

If you find yourself often focusing on what you lack or what could be better, consider taking a moment each day to reflect on what you’re grateful for. It might just transform the way you see the world, as it did for me.

Final word

Becoming wiser isn’t about grand gestures or huge lifestyle changes. It’s about embracing small, daily practices that accumulate into profound wisdom over time. 

Hopefully, this list has shown you that wisdom isn’t reserved for philosophers and scholars. It’s accessible to all of us, every single day, as long as you keep yourself open, humble, and curious.

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