Wisdom doesn’t automatically come with age.
Wisdom doesn’t automatically come with age. Photo Thinkstock

Older, yes, but wiser? Maybe...

AS I write this today, I am turning another year older. And, much as it seems like only yesterday that I turned 30 and still feel that age in many ways, each birthday offers the opportunity for reflection.

These days, I believe that age is just a number and not a true indicator of anything really and yet growing up it seemed to be a constant factor.

The excitement of becoming a teenager, learning to drive, turning 18, leaving school, leaving home, owning my first apartment, always looking forward to the next adventure and the joy of youthful independence.

And then you get to late 20s with 30 looming; moments of dread and feeling old. Once the decade is past, there is a sigh of relief that it wasn't so bad after all. And it seems no different for each decade thereafter, except they seem to come round more and more quickly, but do we become wiser at the same rate?

As time passes and life rolls along, the memory of many past events becomes less accurate, however some of mine are still emblazoned in my memory as though they happened yesterday.

Which ones are they? The ones where I know I could have done things differently, whether it's something I said or did when I shouldn't have, or didn't say or do when I should have, things I would like to do differently, if I could. Sound familiar?

Every event, whether positive or negative, provides an opportunity for us to evolve; they happened to teach us something. Can I change what happened? No. Have I learned from what happened? Yes. Have I applied that learning to my life since? Absolutely.

Recognise that if you are doing the same thing over and over again and getting the same (undesirable) results then it's time to do things differently.

And if you want things around you to change then you must first work on changes within your self (thoughts, beliefs, behaviour etc) and apply what life has taught you so far.

So, to me, wisdom doesn't automatically come with age and it isn't always about intelligence. I have certainly met some very wise young people and some not so wise older/intelligent people.

In fact, my belief is that it's less about intellect and more about what you have learnt and changed through life experience.

We are all works in progress and we are all growing older but are you becoming wiser?

Rowena Hardy is a facilitator, performance coach and partners of Minds Aligned: http://www.mindsaligned.com.au.

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