“In wisdom and knowledge shall be the stability of your times” – Prophet Isaiah
In the last article we identified Spiritual Roots as key for success in life. The second root is the root of knowledge and wisdom. This root gives you anchorage and stability as you navigate your success ship through life. No amount of challenge, storm, caveat, barrier, oppression, depression, suppression or repression can stand against knowledge and wisdom. Really, Sower? Oh yes! I want to share with you an incident that just came to my remembrance as I sat down to write this.
In 2009 the pilot of an Air Bus A320 did a masterful landing of the plane in the Hudson River in the US. The crew and the pilot in particular earned an award after that. The award citation read, “This emergency ditching and evacuation, with the loss of no lives, is a heroic and unique aviation achievement” It was unprecedented in aviation history.
The pilot’s name is Chesley Sullenberger. In an interview afterwards he said something so remarkable I wrote it down, “One way of looking at this might be that for 42 years, I’ve been making small, regular deposits in this bank of experience: education and training. And on January 15 the balance was sufficient so that I could make a very large withdrawal” Wow! This is deep. In other words he had acquired the KNOWLEDGE through education and training, and his ability to make the withdrawal was the intelligible application of this knowledge which is WISDOM. The procedure that he performed after the plane engines had seized requires uncommon levels of calm and self control. This calmness only comes from someone who knows what, why, where, when and how they are doing…in other words someone with knowledge and wisdom.
The Formula For Success
Knowledge, wisdom, understanding and mindset are a continuum, and you need all in order to experience lasting and impactful success. Knowledge comes from the Greek word “gnosis” which means awareness of everything under the sun or familiarity with science (the way things are done). Wisdom comes from the Greek word “sophia” which means insight into reality or the ability to connect the dots and apply knowledge in an intelligible manner. Wisdom informs your actions and decisions. Understanding is “sunesis” in Greek which means a high amplitude of comprehension or perceptual ability. Understanding is also the penetrating consideration which precedes action. The last on this continuum is Mindset, translated “phronesis” in Greek. Mindset is also known as practical wisdom, prudence or fixed mental attitude which predetermines your response to situations. Your mind is set or fixed to do things a certain way. It is a mental model or paradigm embedded in your consciousness which becomes a force which makes you do what you are supposed to do. These four gives us a formula for success as follows: GNOSIS+SOPHIA+SUNESIS+PHRONESIS=GREAT SUCCESS
Let’s prove this hypothesis with our pilot. Chesley Sullenberger gained knowledge (gnosis) about planes and safety through education and training. Using wisdom (sophia) he had insight into reality as the plane’s engines failed, he was able to intelligibly able to use his knowledge within split seconds and under conditions of great instability and panic. His 42 years of experience gave him complete understanding (sunesis) of what to do when things go wrong. He didn’t just ‘ditch’ the plane into the Hudson River. He had penetrating consideration of the options which included going to the nearest airport or force landing before he took the action to land in the Hudson River. 42 years of learning and application of knowledge had built a huge deposit into his consciousness (phronesis). The knowledge and learning had become part of him, and it forced him to do the right thing in a moment of severe test. He is a great success. Hypothesis validated!
But how do I increase in knowledge, wisdom and understanding? To be continued in next article…