13 things wise people never do (so you shouldn’t either!)

To become physically stronger, it’s understood that one must lift heavyweights.

To become smarter, one must study intensely.

But to be wiser?

That might not be very clear.

Wisdom is often seen as a side-effect of life experiences and a byproduct of age.

While there isn’t a true path to becoming wiser, there are definite paths that could lead towards becoming more foolish: relying too much on what you can’t control or forgetting what really matters in life.

These are just some of the things that the wise — old and young — avoid.

Below are 12 more things wise people never do.

1. They Don’t Lean on Luck

When we want to achieve something, there are two areas where our focus can go to: what’s in our control and what’s out of our control.

We can control our effort, but we can’t control when and where an opportunity for success might appear.

The foolish simply hope for things to turn out well.

They hope their marriage works out or their business to be successful.

They rely on hoping for their big break, without doing all they can do to swing the odds in their favor.

The wise do the opposite.

They understand that, though luck plays a role in success, it’s ultimately not what’s going to guarantee success.

2. They Don’t Place Their Money in One Place

We can feel secure knowing that something as valuable as our money is stored in one place, such as a bank.

We only need to keep track of one place.

Likewise, if an investment opportunity seems profitable, it could be enticing to go all-in with our money.

The higher you invest, the higher you return, right? That’s not how the wise see it.

Although that may be true, placing all their money in one place would only expose them to more risk.

If the bank goes out of business or the investment has low returns, then you would be financially wiped out instantly.

The wise know to spread their money to different banks and investments.

That way, if one goes down, they have others to cover them.

3. They Don’t Try to Change What’s Out of Their Control

“For after all,” the American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote, “the best thing one can do when it is raining, is to let it rain.”

There are many things in life beyond our control that cause stress and frustration.

The traffic jam on the way to work.

The rainy weather on a special day. How others treat us.

The foolish think they can change these things to what they desire.

The wise know that’s impossible.

They understand that there are things in life that are within our control – our patience and humility – and beyond our control.

Focusing on what they can control is what makes the wise so effective in their lives and work.

4. They Don’t Avoid Taking Responsibility

Wise people take responsibility for their lives and tap into their personal power. They don’t let insecurities get the better of them.

I know, it can be difficult in the best of times to not dwell on your insecurities.

But wise people know that overcoming insecurities starts with embracing your strengths.

We all have them, even if we’re not always aware of them.

This is where you start to really tap into your personal power. It’s a process that takes time, but the more you work at it, the stronger you’ll feel — and the stronger it’ll be able to help you.

You see, we all have an incredible amount of power and potential within us, but most of us never tap into it.

We become bogged down in self-doubt and limiting beliefs. We stop doing what brings us true happiness.

I learned this from the shaman Rudá Iandê. He’s helped thousands of people align work, family, spirituality, and love so they can unlock the door to their personal power.

He has a unique approach that combines traditional ancient shamanic techniques with a modern-day twist.

It’s an approach that uses nothing but your own inner strength – no gimmicks or fake claims of empowerment.

Because true empowerment needs to come from within.

In his excellent free video, Rudá explains how you can create the life you’ve always dreamed of and increase attraction in your partners, and it’s easier than you might think.

So if you’re tired of living in frustration, dreaming but never achieving, and of living in self-doubt, you need to check out his life-changing advice.

Click here to watch the free video.

5. They Don’t Waste Their Days

It’s easy to think that we can put off greeting our parents or doing something for a friend in favor of working to earn just a little more money.

But the wise realize something most don’t: tomorrow is not promised.

We have no claim on the next hour.

There are always going to be things that come up, fires to put out at work.

But time with family and friends is fleeting.

The wise know that we can always earn more money.

But time is not something we can earn over and over again, like a monthly salary.

So they make the best use of their time, sticking to what matters to them, every day.

6. They Don’t Keep Replaying the Past

The past can haunt us more than horror movies and haunted houses.

We can be minding our own business when a regret suddenly streams into our minds.

We get caught up in thinking about what we could’ve done better if only we could go back in time.

Then we get lost in the past and it begins disrupting our focus at work or with our loved ones.

The wise, on the other hand, know that the only way to become a better person isn’t to keep revisiting the past to imagine a better outcome; it’s to become better today.

They let go of the past.

What else can they do with what’s done, anyway?

7. They Don’t Spend Too Much Time Daydreaming About the Future

New opportunities are exciting.

We discover new tools to become more productive.

A new gym opens up next to us.

We learn that the person we like likes us back.

Suddenly, our imaginations go with possibilities about how much better we can be.

But getting caught up in wishes and hopes isn’t the same as actually fulfilling them.

While they can be exciting, only action can make it come true. Wise people know not to get too blinded by excitement.

It helps them avoid sitting back, replaying their dreams, and telling people how much better they’re going to be, instead of taking action to become better.

8. They Don’t Forget Their Friends

Wise people understand that time is their most valuable resource. It’s finite.

It’s why they’re more cautious about what is worth spending their time on.

While chasing money and playing status games can seem attractive, the wise understand that such things don’t last.

They value the people they’re with more. That’s why they never forget their friends.

As they climb to the top, they always remember who helped them get there; who stood by them when they were on the verge of giving up on their dreams; who were the first to order their products or to show up at their events.

While they constantly make new friends, the wise know they can never make old ones.

9. They Don’t Forget to Enjoy Themselves

The wise have a clear idea of how short life can be, and how fast and unexpected it can be taken away.

That’s why they won’t bother spending their time in a dead-end job that doesn’t bring them any excitement.

They don’t stay in relationships that are toxic or have no future.

Wise people know that one of the most important things to do in life is to enjoy it.

Waiting for when they’re successful is only delaying their own happiness.

Having fun doesn’t always look the same either.

Some people’s idea of fun is combing through old history books and writing about them.

Others might be surfing or rocking out in a band.

What the wise know is that the most important thing to be doing is to be enjoying themselves.

10. They Don’t Agree to Commitments They Would Rather Not Fulfill

Picture this: your friend invites you to a get-together she’s having with some other people she knows.

Deep down, you’d rather stay home reading or resting, but you also don’t want to be a bad friend, so you go along with it.

Then you spend the next few hours half-heartedly spending time with your friend, with a part of you wishing you were home.

You’ve probably been there before.

We feel foolish when it happens.

So the wise know to be upfront with their friends; their friends deserve their honesty.

If they were really true friends, their friends would understand.

11. They Don’t Stay with Toxic People

Life is too short to be spending time with negative people who bring you down. You probably know a couple of people like that.

They complain more about things than appreciate them.

They always seem frustrated at how slow other people are driving or how dumb people can be.

They spread gossip and share hearsay as if it were truth.

Spending time with these people may neither bring success, happiness, nor fulfillment.

That’s why wise people would rather spend time with those who have a more positive outlook on things.

12. They Don’t Forget to See the Bigger Picture

When something frustrates us, it’s easy to see it as the most pressing issue ever.

It takes over our entire mind and world; we become so stressed that we can’t even see straight.

But wise people understand how to put things in perspective.

They can step back at their problems and ask themselves, “How bad is this problem really?”

The world won’t end just because the shirt you ordered doesn’t match the website, or because the food you prepared wasn’t as good as you thought it would be.

In the bigger picture, these problems are nothing to stress out about.

13. They Never Stop Learning

As wise as they may be, that doesn’t mean they understand everything. They know that there’s always something more to learn.

Being wise and being perfect are not the same thing. They make mistakes too– but learning from them is the secret to their wisdom.

Becoming Wiser

Learning is at the core of wisdom.

To become wiser is to be more open to understanding new things. It’s about asking each problem you face in life, “What is this problem teaching me?”

Maybe the traffic jam is teaching you to be more patient.

The 2nd place award is teaching you to be more humble or to avoid seeking validation from others altogether.

There is no clear step-by-step guide towards wisdom – but avoiding foolishness would definitely be a good start.

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Lachlan Brown

I’m Lachlan Brown, the founder, and editor of Hack Spirit. I love writing practical articles that help others live a mindful and better life. I have a graduate degree in Psychology and I’ve spent the last 15 years reading and studying all I can about human psychology and practical ways to hack our mindsets. Check out my latest book on the Hidden Secrets of Buddhism and How it Saved My Life. If you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Facebook or Twitter.

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