My first thought was to title this article “avoiding foolishness” however that would be insinuating that foolishness can be completely avoided, which would make us perfect… and since perfection is something none of us have fully achieved, I would be setting you, my reader up for failure… hoping to accomplish something that cannot be accomplished in this world. Therefore, if we can learn how to remove foolishness from our lives and make the removal part of our skillset that we employ regularly, then we can reduce the times and the seasons of foolishness, since we would be making better decisions.
One common thread throughout the living skillfully series of articles is to look at each subject through the four lenses of skillful living (resource, communication, connection, and relationships). These four concepts give not only foundation to living skillfully, they also provide a value and as stated a lens for which to see how we navigate these skills to live better, bigger, fuller lives… all which funnel into creating a legacy.
First, we must define what foolishness is. According to Webster, foolishness is a lack of good sense, judgment, or discretion. Interestingly enough, the Wiki™ page on foolishness expounds upon this concept using a myriad of words… enough to incite a moment to look at it and at least wonder.
The Skill of Resource
Remember that resources are gained through people, places, and things. This is where we pick up our fist thoughts on foolishness. Sometimes it stems from the way we were brought up, the people that we hung around with during the formative years that perhaps set us on a path that included making regularly foolish decisions. The resources we have at our fingertips provide countless opportunities and avenues which can help us make better decisions.
The Skill of Communication
Knowing what causes our foolishness brings great peace when it comes to communication. The more time we invest in communicating with others the greater chances we have of not doing or saying something foolish. Communication reduces effort – the effort to be something or someone we aren’t. Communication increases understanding. The more we understand the more knowledge we gain. The more knowledge we gain, the greater our wisdom is. As wisdom increases, foolishness decreases.
The Skill of Connection
As communication increases, so does connection. The deeper connections we gather throughout life, the easier it is to reduce foolishness. This is true because we all have this innate desire to please other people. Left unchecked, this pleasing mentality will increase foolishness, but maintaining a check and balance system, our connectivity will self-regulate our foolishness.
The Skill of Relationships
The result of reduced foolishness, increased communication, and deeper connection comes in the form of better relationships. As authenticity and vulnerability increase in our lives, the relationships around us begin to grow. That growth comes with a mutual (often unspoken) responsibility to see the best in the other person. Not that someone else has or takes responsibility for your actions (or lack of actions), but that other people begin to spur you to greater living. The closer the relationship, the more vested interest we have in seeing that other person succeed.
Now, there is some healthy foolishness that we must have in life. Starting a business, a new relationship, what ever the endeavor, sometimes we have to look a little different to make a difference. Calculated risks are not what we are talking about. Foolishness that is the opposite of wisdom… knowing the ‘right’ way or path… is what is at stake here. Learning how to reduce our foolishness makes us more real. The more real we become, the better our lives become. The better our lives becomes, the greater impact we will have. Let’s impact the world today!