“Study cannot be helpful unless you take pains to live simply; and living simply is voluntary poverty.” – Seneca
It’s almost a cliche, and it’s usually ridiculously inaccurate, the starving college student. When did we ever have more expendable income than when we were in college? Ski passes? Nights out every weekend? Trips for Spring Break? Most of us can’t afford these things now.
Of course, at the same time, can we really say we were acquiring wisdom during that period of our lives? No. For many of us, wisdom came later, sometimes much later, sometimes not at all. Sure we may have learned skills, we acquired knowledge, and some of us may have left our schooling with a solid base for acquiring knowledge and life skills but if we stopped improving after graduation, we could not consider ourselves to be in possession of any type of wisdom.
Wisdom comes later, and it typically doesn’t come easily. We spend the rest of our lives either learning from our experiences or repeating the same mistakes over and over again.
If we want to focus on getting better if we want to work at acquiring wisdom there is one step we all have to take first; we have to identify the things we can control and the things we can not control. Once we do that we can focus on the things we actually have control over. When we start doing that, our lives change almost immediately. Once we recognize the things we control we can start to see how we can work to bring about the things we want, or we can see how the things we want are not realistic goals as we do not have any control over them.
And then we can start to become better people.
virtus fortis vocat