Forty years ago, I was in graduate school at Duke University, in over my head, learning as hard and fast as I could to catch up to my classmates. It paid off – I earned my Ph.D. four years later.
It was the most intense period of learning in my life. I remember thinking from time to time, “What are the most important things I’ve learned? If I could learn anything, what would be at the very top of the list of things to know?”
Wisdom is truth to live your life by, thoughts that can guide you to make the best decisions, find joy and fulfillment, take advantage of opportunities, and overcome the challenges and the adversity of life.
My conclusion: wisdom belongs at the top of the list of things to learn.
I’ve been collecting wisdom ever since, thousands of quotes that have guided my life. I share many of these quotes in the Strong for Parenting program. I also post several of these quotes every day on Twitter. And I post them on my Pinterest board, “Quotes to Inspire Parents.”
While collecting these quotes through the years, I was always painfully aware that I didn’t start paying attention to wisdom until I was over 30. It would have made a big difference if I had had access to wisdom as young person.
Teens aren’t stupid. They can handle wisdom. In fact, they need wisdom – the more the better, in my opinion. I think adults should be sharing more of this with teenagers than they do. With more wisdom, maybe kids would make better decisions, and fewer of the kind of mistakes they’re famous for.
This is why I have this other Pinterest board, “Power Thoughts for Teens,” thinking that parents might share some of it with their kids.