Wednesday, 29 April 2020

How-to Make Wisdom Your Obsession

Solomon made wisdom the obsession and goal of his life.

Names are so important. They create mental pictures. When  you  hear  someone  speak  the  name  of  Thomas Edison, you think of inventions, don't you? Certainly. The name  Henry  Ford  reminds  you  of  automobiles.  The Wright Brothers? Airplanes.

When  Solomon's  name  is  spoken,  people  think immediately  of  wisdom.  Why?  Wisdom  was  the obsession and goal of his life. No other human on earth has ever been remembered for wisdom comparable to his.

Hundreds of years after Solomon's death, Jesus mentioned the wisdom of Solomon in Matthew 12:42. Solomon's  appetite  for  wisdom  was  his  significant difference from other men.

Thousands pursued wealth. Millions craved fame.  Not Solomon. When he requested of God that wisdom be his  greatest  gift,  God  responded  with  a  remarkable statement  in  1  Kings  3:11-13, Because  thou  hast  asked this thing, and hast not asked for thyself long life; neither hast  asked  riches  for  thyself,  nor  hast  asked  the  life  of thine enemies; but hast asked for thyself understanding ... lo, I have given thee a wise and an understanding heart; so that there was none like thee before thee, neither after thee shall any arise like unto thee. And I have also given thee  that  which  thou  hast  not  asked,  both  riches,  and honour:  so  that  there  shall  not  be  any  among  the  kings like unto thee all thy days.

Solomon's success was not a hidden event; it was the talk of the earth.
World leaders begged for appointments with him. His counsel  was  treasured  and  followed.  Moments  in  his presence  became  the  golden  memories  of  a  lifetime  for the greatest achievers of his day. The wealthy brought him unforgettable, unparalleled gifts.

Solomon  sought  the  most  important  thing  possible. Proverbs  4:7  says, Wisdom  is  the  principal  thing. The ancient  writings  teach  that  the  most  important  thing  on earth  is  wisdom.  Solomon  discovered  that  wisdom produces  wealth,  gains  friendship,  and  is  more  precious than gold and silver.

Solomon  was  aware  of  his  greatness  and  even documented the rewards of his wisdom.
Listen to this remarkable review of Solomon's  accomplishments taken from Ecclesiastes 2:4-9.
I made me great works; I builded me houses; I planted me vineyards:  I  made  me  gardens  and  orchards,  and  I planted trees in them of all kind of fruits: I made me pools of water, to water therewith the wood that bringeth forth trees: I  got  me  servants  and  maidens,  and  had  servants born in my house; also I had great possessions of great and small cattle above all that were in Jerusalem before me: I gathered me also silver and gold, and the peculiar treasure  of  kings  and  of  the  provinces:  I  gat  me  men singers and women singers, and the delights of the sons of men, as musical instruments, and that of all sorts. So I was great, and increased more than all that were before me in Jerusalem: also my wisdom remained with me.

Solomon knew failure, which often births wisdom.

He  documented  his  deep  depression  and  wrote  about moments of indescribable pain. He was quite honest about it,  and  never  hid  his  emptiness  and  moments  of  loss.

Therefore I hated life, he said in Ecclesiastes 2:17. Solomon's  father  was  King  David,  the  illustrious warrior and psalmist. David wanted desperately to build the temple himself, but God personally selected Solomon.

First Chronicles 17:11-12 says, And it shall come to pass, when thy days be expired that thou must go to be with thy fathers, that I will raise up thy seed after thee, which shall be of thy sons; and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build me an house, and I will stablish his throne forever.

Solomon  was  the  recipient  of  some  of  the  most expensive  gifts  any  human  on  earth  has  ever  received. One scholar said that when the Queen of Sheba wanted to hear  his  answers to  her  questions,  she  brought  a  gift  of more than $4.5 million (120 talents of gold). First Kings 10 tells us that she came by chariot more than 1,000 miles through  the  mountains  just  to  sit  in  his  presence.  Now, think  about  this  for  a  moment.  One  of  the  wealthiest queens on earth brought a gift of $4.5 million in order to secure an appointment with him.

Why? Because wisdom was Solomon's obsession.

Always Have A Plan B

We all have big changes in our lives that are more or less a second chance. Because many things don’t go as well as we would like them to, it’s a great idea to have a “Plan B.” Having fallback plans can’t help but make you feel better about the  outcome  of  any  situation,  and  it  is  a  common denominator among very self-confident people.

Anyone  who  has  had  more  than  one  failure  in her  life  can  tell  you  that  having  another  path  to  take probably saved her bacon a time or two. I’m a big one for  contingency  plans.  If  you  are  an  entrepreneur,  in the  arts  or  media,  or  you  have  all  your  eggs  in  one basket, a Plan B is essential.

Knowing that if you lose the farm you have a condo you can go to makes you feel safer in the world. I know a number of people who have motor homes, and one of the reasons they do is, as they jokingly say, it’s their “in case” home. During the last big earthquake here in Los  Angeles,  many  people  who  had  them  were  very grateful—and those of us who didn’t were envious.

With the world economy in turmoil, creating some kind of additional income stream is also a good idea. The jeweler who is also a great designer or builder, the computer  geek  who  can  also  teach  school,  or  the  PR person  who  is  a  closet  novelist  can  all  find  a  way  to thrive even if their current position disappears.

Backup  plans  don’t  have  to  be  new  ideas—I continue  to  use  aspects  of  everything  I’ve  ever  done. My days on stage playing guitar have made me a better public speaker, which makes me a good radio host. The energy  I  put  into  songs  and  poems  has  helped  them become columns and books.
The years I spent running my  own  business  give  me  the  insight  to  help  others streamline theirs. 

And all of my experiences have made me  a  confident  and  successful  therapist.  Every  talent and  ability  you  have  can  be  built  upon  and  also  used again.  Not  that  I’d  ever  again  want  to  be  on  a  tour bus with six smelly guys for eight weeks, but if I had to I could still put food on the table by humming and strumming.

There’s  another  potential  upside  here:  Sometimes your  original  plan  and  your  backup  can  work  at  the same time. I still counsel, consult, write, and speak to groups all over the world. In years when the speaking business  got  very  slow  (such  as  after  9/11  and  then the  financial  crisis),  I  spent  more  time  writing  and counseling.

When  there  was  a  lull  between  books, I  put  more  energy  into  my  radio  show  and  business consulting, and did pro-bono events. Having multiple options gives you the sense that, if any one thing went away, you’d have other gigs that would more than fill the gap.

So get a little creative. Look at your past accomplishments and your current talents. A Plan B is only an idea away. By the way, this Plan B thing works in life, but not in relationships. Having a backup mate is only going to erode your current relationship and cause heartache for everyone involved. Enough said.


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