Become wiser, more experienced and better
Become wiser, more experienced and better

Is wisdom associated with experience and years? Is wisdom and knowledge the same thing? Solving difficult life problems and the ability to act in difficult situations.

In all cultures, wisdom is associated with experience and is based on knowledge gained in the past. But are wisdom and knowledge the same thing? Now young people are actively pursuing higher education and using the media. Before you know about anything, they will already find everything on the Internet.

André Aleman, a neuropsychologist and author of The Retired Brain, is sure that wisdom is more about solving complex life problems and the ability to act in difficult situations, so that age opens up very tempting prospects for us.

What is wisdom

At all times, in every culture there were people who were perceived by their fellow tribesmen as keepers of wisdom. Usually they were gray-haired elders, valued for their religious and philosophical knowledge and experience. They gave the rest of the answers to the main questions of life.

But how can a person be wise, whose brain cells die off, and the level of attention and concentration decreases? To answer this question, we must first define what wisdom is, and see if it actually appears with age. If so, we will have to correlate this fact with the observed changes in the brain.

Wisdom from life experience. 35 wisdoms of life
Wisdom from life experience. 35 wisdoms of life

To try to establish what people mean by wisdom, one researcher developed a special questionnaire. It was filled by over 2000 readers of GEO magazine. Many of the answers featured: the ability to understand complex issues and relationships, knowledge and life experience, introspection and self-criticism, acceptance of the interests and values of another person, empathy and love for humanity, the desire to improve, humor.

While humor is generally not regarded as an essential ingredient of wisdom, a sense of humor is indispensable for self-knowledge - a necessary ingredient in true wisdom. Jeanne Louise Kalman, a French woman who lived for 122 years, was distinguished by her wit. On her 120th birthday, the journalist, somewhat hesitantly, expressed the hope that he would be able to congratulate her next year.

“Why not,” said Kalman. "You look pretty young."

We consider people to be wise if they are able to give good advice in difficult circumstances, and their judgments are harmonious.

The brain, positivity and learning of the elderly

Four parts of the brain are related to wisdom.

First, it is the ventromedial prefrontal cortex, which is involved in emotional relationships and decision making.

Second, the outer part of the prefrontal cortex (technically, the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex), which is responsible for rational thinking and defining problem-solving strategies.

Third, the cortex of the anterior cingulate gyrus, which fixes conflicts of competing interests and separates rational thinking and emotions.

Finally, the striatum, located deep in the brain, is activated by stimuli associated with reward.

Tibetan Monks' Wise Advice for All People
Tibetan Monks' Wise Advice for All People

Research has shown that older adults are more focused on the rewards that follow good decisions than the negative consequences of making mistakes. This means that they focus on finding the right answers more than preventing mistakes.

If you want to teach a 75-year-old to use a computer, it’s better to focus on what they do well than constantly point out mistakes or remind them that things are done differently.

Do not hurry

Not all of our mental abilities deteriorate with age. Many of them (including language skills, logical reasoning, general knowledge and spatial perception) remain practically unchanged. And older people do well in certain tasks compared to their younger counterparts.

Paradoxically, perhaps all this is the result of slower brain activity, as a result of which older people are less impulsive.

And since it takes them more time to make a decision, they receive more information, on the basis of which they make a choice. In addition, seniors use both hemispheres, which helps to achieve excellent results.

The older the wiser?

Is it true that we get wiser with age? Unfortunately, not all of us. At any age there are people whose thoughts and actions cannot be called wise, although this does not mean that they have not become wiser. Wisdom is life experience, our ups and downs. But it is very difficult to measure it.

Dream visualization rules to help attract success
Dream visualization rules to help attract success

According to one study by German scientists, if you challenge people and ask them for optimal solutions, most seniors will do no better than middle-aged people. Some older people, just like middle-aged people, will not tackle complex tasks that require specific solutions. This is because such a process involves short-term memory and executive functions (such as the ability to plan and empathize).

While intact cognitive functions do not necessarily lead to wisdom, they do help with complex problems.

You can remain wise, especially in familiar situations, even if your mental capacity has declined. In fact, old age is not such a terrible thing. It's just that humanity is fixated on intelligence and cognitive abilities. But this is not the most important thing in life. It's true?..

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