Sexta-feira, 8 de Maio de 2020

What Is Practical Wisdom, Why You Need It and How to Develop It

What Is Practical Wisdom, Why You Need It and How to Develop It

Lottie Miles, M.A.

Posted May 8th, 2020.

practical wisdom.


Many of us sometimes feel a bit lost. We can be paralyzed by decisions and end up feeling emotionally numb. Do you ever feel like you need to reconnect with some inner compass? The answer could be found in developing practical wisdom.
But what exactly is practical wisdom? In this post, we will explore its history. From all the way back to Aristotle to how it is thought of today. After uncovering the virtues of practical wisdom, you will discover why you need it and how to develop it.
Aristotle and Practical Wisdom
Much of our knowledge and thinking around practical wisdom goes back to Aristotle. Interestingly, Aristotle’s thinking went against his teacher Plato. Plato thought that wisdom was not practical but only attainable in the realm of theory and abstract thought.
In Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle outlines how practical wisdom is a moral or intellectual basis for our actions. While similar to the skills of a craftsman (to build a table) or a pianist (to play the piano), practical wisdom is a moral skill, rather than an artistic or technical one. We know what to do and the reasons behind our decisions.
Life, for Aristotle, is a constant stream of choices. It can be when choosing to be loyal to a friend, or how to be just, or how to cope with risk, or when and how to be angry—and making the right choices demanded by wisdom. Practical wisdom formed a significant part of his thinking on ethics. Moreover, it is still hugely influential on our thinking today.

Why Do You Need Practical Wisdom?

Today, much of our society is in desperate need of practical wisdom. Societies are increasingly complex and bureaucratic. Rather than focusing on what we can do ourselves, we tend to follow rules and go through life unequipped. However, as Aristotle suggested, we need wisdom when making choices. Should I take that job? Am I with the right person? Etc.
In the real world, nobody can tell you how to live your personal life. You can follow societal rules or laws set by governments, but these are not the best guides. When it comes down to it, you have to decide. As the decisions you make can have such profound consequences on your happiness and wellbeing, developing the guiding compass of practical wisdom is a must.
The wisdom to answer questions such as these and to live the right way is a practical process, not a theoretical one. It is reliant on our capacity to perceive a situation and to consider what the appropriate response is. We need to know when to act, when to feel, when to desire, and in what ways.
It is not a selfish pursuit. Developing this type of wisdom can be very beneficial to friends and family around you. You’re likely to be a more understanding person, who makes wiser decisions, and is generally nice to be around.
If you struggle with making decisions and are unsure of the ‘right choice’, developing practical wisdom can give you some guidance. It can also help you tap into an inner understanding, often referred to as intuition.


Intuition is nonconscious thinking. Essentially, the brain on autopilot. Viewed by some as being a mysterious process, intuition and its relationship with practical wisdom are gaining increased interest. Our ‘intuitions’ are innate opinions. Whilst some are common-sense, some are sophisticated. Others are particular, general, more firmly held, or some less.
In his study, Robin Hogarth explores the basis for intuition in psychology. It is a normal and important component of thought that has its roots in the processes of tacit learning. It incorporates an appreciation of environment, attention, experience, and expertise. Understanding our intuition is a step on the way to being able to develop practical wisdom.
How to Develop Practical Wisdom?
In their exploration into the topic, Barry Schwartz and Kenneth Sharpe look at the history of practical wisdom and it’s application today. They offer 6 rules to follow to develop practical wisdom:
  1. Fully understand the proper goals of the activity you are engaged in.

    To help yourself or others, it is important to do the right thing to reach these goals.
  2. Improvize.

    To be able to adapt to a given situation and be aware of a changing environment in which strategies may need to change.
  3. Be perceptive, especially of the attitudes of others.

    Remember that social norms may change from context to context. You also need to be aware of these changes to change your behavior.
  4. Build up experience.

    Practical wisdom is something that can be learned and developed. Like all skills, practice and repetition are key to its development. In your daily life, listen to others, be caring, and be loyal. Behave with honesty and a sense of justice.
  5. Be empathetic and understand others’ perspectives.

    Everyone thinks differently and this affects how we behave. Putting yourself in the shoes of another person allows you to understand why they may be acting in a certain way.
  6. Combine reason and emotion.

    This will allow you to understand what others’ emotional signals mean and respond in a reasoned way. It is an educated emotional response to situations.
By undertaking these steps you can start on your journey to develop practical wisdom. Live life every day with consciousness and awareness of what is going around you. The key is experience.
Always try to experience life with your eyes open. Life itself is to be practiced and, with practical wisdom, you can do so in an enriching and thoughtful way.



Lottie Miles


About the Author: Lottie Miles

Lottie Miles is a professional researcher and writer with a passion for human rights. She has 4 years of experience working within the NGO sector and has a Masters Degree in Social Policy. She has a keen interest in exploring ways in which happiness habits can help to improve mental health and wellbeing. In her spare time, she likes doing crossword puzzles, painting and traveling.
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Quarta-feira, 1 de Maio de 2019

3 Interesting Decision-Making Theories Which Explain the Choices We Make ~ Sherrie.

3 Interesting Decision-Making Theories Which Explain the Choices We Make.

By Sherrie.

April 30, 2019


Decision-making theories come are quite useful. When it’s time to make an important choice, there’s no need to delay.
Whether we are familiar with theories regarding decision-making or not, in this day and age, choice is in abundance. What do we want to eat, which sofa should we purchase, do you get a dog or not? Because we have way too many options, it can make choosing much harder than it should be.
Choice is our ability to make decisions when presented with two or more options. When we have more than two options, we must make a choice. This is what the world presents to us. Therefore, it is the truth of how free will works. We can then live and artistically create the life we want to.
So, why is it so difficult? Ultimately, choice represents the sacrifices we must make. We automatically give up something else when we make a choice between two or more things.
This means, if we find ourselves wanting something else next month, chances are that choice will be gone – non-existent. We have to take what we have today, and this depends on what we choose.

Decision-making theories – the basics

Different approaches to decision-making are sometimes called Choice theories. William Glasser founded this term from a book with the same title. According to Glasser, freedom, fun, power, love and belonging, and survival are basic satisfied needs which come from choices we make.
The idea that choices are mostly made by humans, which enhance what we really want, is an idea that’s been around for quite some time. Choice and the psychology behind it is the reason we make the decisions that we do. It’s a subconscious decision that motivates our satisfaction and meeting those satisfactions.

Here are three decision-making theories that will help you to understand the choices you make. It might even encourage you to make better ones!

1. Our emotions connect to our actions

Neuroscientist and professor at USC and Salk Institute, Dr. Antonio Damasio says that our decisions come from visceral emotion. The definition of his theory is that there is a link between “raw” emotions and the part of the brain which governs decisions. He, therefore, concluded that decision making and judgment come from a critical neural circuit.
Damasio concludes that non-rational and rational processes bridge feeling and emotion. If meaning and motivation, would not be possible if emotional input was absent, and decision making could not happen.
Damasio believes that we don’t only base our choices on logic and fact, but also on memories and emotions. This is why we make decisions on unconscious levels. Our intuition guides us.

2. Decisions can be costly – literally!

Does making decisions result in reduced self-control? A study from the University of Minnesota points to yes. The study also showed more procrastination, lack of ability to persist in failed circumstances, decrease in physical stamina, and worsening of arithmetic abilities
Researchers, to conduct the study asked students for help. After dividing into two groups, the teams take on studies much like the others but to understand how choices affect things. Identical product lists were given to all the students in the initial experiment.
A singular group was asked questions revolved around how often, in the past, that the product was used. However, one group was about how often they’d used the products in the past. The same product, with variations, were chosen by the other group. In another experiment, one group answered questions such as this and the other did not.
“Making choices apparently depleted a precious self-resource,” wrote the authors in the conclusion of their study. “This is because subsequent self-regulation is poorer among those who had made choices than it was among those who had not. This pattern became clear in the laboratory, classroom, and shopping mall.”

3. Watch out for bias!

There is absolutely no doubt that our biases affect our choices. However, there is one particular bias that focuses on decision-making theories in many situations.
Loss aversion bias is one such example. No one likes to be left out or miss important things. Fact. However, it isn’t as important to gain something than it is to avoid losing something. This is the way aversion works. The endowment effect shows us through our desire to keep what we have instead of striving for more.
Daniel Kahneman, in yet another study, gave test subjects either an empty mug, nothing or chocolate.  They could trade or choose between two other objects. Half of them wanted the mugs, but those who already had mugs did not want to give them up – about 86% of participants, showing the desire to keep the possessions a person already has.

How to make hard decisions easier

Choices are hard, you see. I guess you understand now. No matter what, some choices you make will always be hard. However, some of these decision-making theories might just help you understand your own choices.
We don’t always have a rational reason to make decisions. They cannot separate from our identity, our location, or what helps us decide what to wear. Maybe we will be able to make wiser choices and help others make proper decisions too, as long as we understand psychological influences and factors that affect our decisions.









About the Author: Sherrie

Sherrie is a freelance writer and artist with over 10 years of experience. She spends most of her time giving life to the renegade thoughts. As the words erupt and form new life, she knows that she is yet again free from the nagging persistence of her muse. She is a mother of three and a lifetime fan of the thought-provoking and questionable aspects of the universe.



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Thanks to: Learning Mind <>




Please respect all credits.

Discernment is recommended.


All articles are of the respective authors and/or publishers responsibility. 


No religious or political belief is defended here. (Investigate yourself)


Individually you can be helped to find your Truth that is different of everyone. 

If you use discernment you are free to research with an open mind. 

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