Wisdom is partly defined
as "the sum of learning through the ages; knowledge." It is a remarkable and precious currency that we earn over time. Yet we often take it for granted. How often do you step back and take stock of the sum of your learning -- of your knowledge? I can only speak for myself, and the answer is: not often enough.
Change presents an opportunity for this type of assessment. New experiences and interruptions to routine are opportunities to draw on what you know and be honest with yourself about what you don't know.
A new job, a new child, moving to a new country or region -- all of these changes introduce opportunities for you to reassess your held beliefs and assumptions. They offer you an opportunity to establish a new baseline for not only what
you think, but how
you think. They prompt different questions of the people close to you and unlock parts of yourself you didn't know existed.
Moving across the country twice in under a year prompted me to do a wisdom audit. I thought back on past difficulties and how my mindset was forced to change in order for me to find a way through. I thought back on the limiting thoughts and beliefs I held that made overcoming obstacles more difficult. The audit prompted me to ask new and more vulnerable questions of the people I cared about most. In response, my parents started telling me stories they didn't feel I was ready to hear when I was younger, but that I was ready for now.
Wisdom can be knowledge of facts and figures, but it's also knowledge of emotions, mindsets and habits. My wisdom audit has helped me become more compassionate and patient. I forgive myself more readily. I am less afraid of the ignorance that rests behind my curiosity. The big picture wins out over the small slights and inconveniences more often.
A wisdom audit is not an opportunity to ponder how old you are. Wisdom exists at all ages. Instead, a wisdom audit is an opportunity to find calm and comfort in your capacity to learn, your ability to cope and the strength you've built over time. It's a chance to let go of limiting thoughts and to, yes, be proud that, in at least some areas, you now know better. More important, it's a chance to recognize that you're better prepared for all of the other areas you have yet to discover.