“Intelligence is the ability to learn from your mistakes. Wisdom is the ability to learn from the mistakes of others.” – Anonymous
I think about this quote often. I’m not sure if that is the exact definition of both words, but it is a powerful concept either way. Let’s say the definition above is true. Intelligence is critical. People who notice “patterns” more quickly than others and learn from their own mistakes or successes are those we consider intelligent. Over time, by learning from what is occurring around them, they can react more quickly and accurately than the average person.
Intelligent people gather “knowledge” and “ability” through daily life and their own experiences. It takes a certain level of humility to allow your own preconceived notions to be challenged, and let unmitigated information mold your beliefs.
There’s only one issue… life is too short!
It takes too long, and is too painful, to make every possible mistake. Wisdom is Intelligence with even greater humility. Wisdom means you are open to learn from anywhere, anything, or anyone. Ideas do not need to be your own. Other people make mistakes or discover patterns, and instead of ignoring the data because you did not experience it or it was not your observation, the person with Wisdom will absorb the Intelligence of others and make it their own. This allows them a much greater data set of experience, mistakes and successes, and allows them to be even more Intelligent … maybe even Wise.