WHAT ARE LIFE SMARTS?
We all know the terms “Book Smarts” and “Street Smarts.”
Broadly speaking, Book Smarts = formal education and intellectual knowledge.
Street Smarts = survival and common-sense knowledge.
Life Smarts = acquired wisdom knowledge.
Just surviving to a certain age does not necessarily equate wisdom, nor does receiving advanced degrees from prestigious universities. In fact, many of our elders and intellectual scholars lack the essential interpersonal skills, behavioral habits, and social and emotional intelligence necessary for holistic work + life success and lasting contentment, nor do they possess an infallible inner compass that guides them to live an honorable life and to lead by inspiring example in whatever sphere of influence they have, both personally and professionally that naturally enlivens others to do the same. Life Smarts wisdom includes impeccable character, universal ethical and humane values, and living with unbreakable integrity – all of which can only be adopted, practiced, and embodied via the choices we make during the course of our entire lifetime.
Life Smarts are acquired and practiced everywhere you find yourself, every day of the year - not just when or where you feel like it - and include not just what you want to learn, but what you need to learn and unlearn! They are acquired by welcoming and actively engaging in every learning opportunity we face and the choices we make to navigate our way through ups and downs, wins and losses, joys and pains, and unforeseen twists and turns with the constant awareness and attitude that no matter what happens we all have the power to choose to either compulsively react or thoughtfully respond to whomever or whatever is in front of us at any given moment, and that choice shapes the outcome and the direction our path takes. It includes taking full and complete ownership for the impact of the energy of the thoughts, choices, actions, and behaviors we engage in during every situation, interaction, or moment with the full comprehension that there are no unimportant situations, interactions, or moments.
Life Smarts include leading by a conscious, purposeful example that reflects our character no matter where we are or who we are with - and that no one is more or less important than anyone else. It requires deep reverence for the vulnerable psyches of those who look to us for guidance and never taking advantage of that need, as well as the courage to acknowledge we too may sometimes need help (and get it). It is choosing to end the patterns of unhealthy, unproductive and harmful (to others and ourselves) status quo.
Perhaps most importantly though, it is choosing to Play Big in Life.