The Wisdom Equation

8 powerful practices to find clarity amidst the chaos.

The speed of society is accelerating. And the faster that life starts moving around you, the more important it becomes to intentionally slow down.

We live in an age that equates busyness with meaning, where filling every moment is seen as the path to fulfillment. But when it comes to developing wisdom, this couldn't be further from the truth.

Contrary to popular belief, wisdom doesn't arise from frantic accumulation of knowledge or ceaseless striving for accomplishment.

It emerges from stillness - the practice of creating space to detach, reflect, contemplate and gain deep insights into your life experience.


Wisdom is tough to define, but one useful definition isthe ability to know which beliefs and choices lead to the highest and best longterm outcomes.’

When you have wisdom, you naturally do what brings about your highest and best outcomes over time… that could mean eating the best foods for your body type, choosing the best business strategies, or choosing the right life partner.

Wisdom also comes with the responsibility to guide others on their path, because you have developed a deeper understanding of the implications of the choices others are making. That doesn’t mean that you always know what is right for other people, but it does qualify you to give advice to those who may be seeking wisdom.

When dealing with a complex concept, it often helps to break the concept down into a formula or an equation. This exercise can distinguish the vital components of the concept, and give you a clear path for its attainment.


Wisdom =

(Knowledge x Experience)^Stillness

Let's examine the components of the Wisdom Equation in more depth:

Knowledge Leads to Understanding

Knowledge represents the raw materials for wisdom. Through learning and study, you gain information and understanding about various subjects. This constitutes your knowledge base.

While knowledge is certainly a key ingredient, knowledge alone does not lead to wisdom. It provides breadth but little depth. The mind crammed with facts is not necessarily wise.

Knowledge gives you the dots, but wisdom connects them.

Experience Cultivates Discernment

Experience refines your knowledge into discernment. By navigating real-world complexities, you learn how to practically apply knowledge. You develop nuanced judgment about what knowledge is useful and how the world operates.

Experience provides vital context missing from book learning alone. It teaches you through successes, failures, unpredictability and interactions. With enough experience you gain discernment and ‘street smarts’, but not necessarily wisdom.

Discernment = Knowledge x Experience

Discernment is the seed of wisdom that you gain through life's messy lessons.

Stillness: The Catalyst for Integration

The last component in the wisdom equation is the exponential amplifier: stillness. Stillness is the crucial catalyst that turns your knowledge and experience into wisdom.

Stillness means that you build space into your life for refreshing meditation and deep contemplation. It enables you to step back and examine how your knowledge, your experiences, and all of your mental models fit together. Stillness is how you consistently tap into deep insights and clear vision.

Consider gaining wisdom as the process of distillation - filtering noise until only truth remains. This distillation requires removing yourself from distraction and perception-dulling routines.

Without stillness, knowledge and experience are disconnected and isolated. With stillness, they are integrated and actionable.

The Exponential Power of Stillness

If you noticed in the Wisdom Equation, stillness is represented as an exponential multiplier. Its effect is nonlinear and amplifying.

Doubling knowledge or experience leads to incremental gains. But doubling time spent in stillness and reflection creates exponential leaps in wisdom and inspiration.

An hour in quiet contemplation can unravel knots tied up by years of study. Deep stillness realigns all the scattered fragments into coherent patterns.

This is wisdom's paradox: what you need most will be found where you least think to look. Not in doing more, but in doing less and pausing amidst the chaos.

8 Powerful Practices to Cultivate Stillness

  1. Make time for meditation each morning. We recommend TM, but even something as simple as just sitting still and counting your breaths is a great practice.

  2. Take daily walks without technology. Ayurveda teaches that morning walks, when the sun is first coming up, are the best natural medicine.

  3. Keep a journal to process experiences. We recommend the 5 Minute Journal, which is also great to do as a couple. After writing, simply share it with your partner as a quick and easy way to get to know each other better and support each other more.

  4. Schedule digital-free days (or weeks) for clarity. One of the best ways to do this is by scheduling a road trip for some extended time outdoors experiencing the scenic beauty of the world. When you are out in nature it is much easier to put your devices in ‘emergency only’ mode. We also recommend doing a device detox sometime around the holiday season, especially if it can help you maximize the quality of the time you spend with your loved ones.

  5. Find a creative outlet that absorbs your focus. I love playing music, and I especially love writing songs. I often say that playing music is a mental, physical and spiritual practice. But any creative outlet that you can lose yourself in will help you find stillness and develop wisdom.

  6. When facing decisions or stressful circumstances, pause before reacting. This practice of ‘micro-stillness’ gives you a true superpower. You can control how you react to things. Take a deep breath. Tap into the stillness. Allow wisdom to show up when you need it most.

  7. Take up practices like yoga or qigong. These practices can be seen as ‘active meditations’, with the added benefit of improving physical health. Yoga is more than just stretching. Done properly it can absolutely help you find stillness and gain wisdom.

  8. Wake up earlier to reflect on dreams, insights and your life’s purpose. Early in the morning (around 4:30-5:30am) there is less interference coming from the collective energy of the world around you (because most people are still sleeping). You can use the early morning to find that direct connection to wisdom more easily than you can at other times of the day.

The consistent theme here is that you must carve out time in your life for stillness. As the Japanese proverb goes, “It is difficult for water to flow from an empty well.” Replenish your inner well through stillness.

Don't just do - be.

All You Need Is Within You

Don't expect books, gurus, and the media to provide your wisdom.

Meditate in solitude before seeking teachers. Follow wisdom's quiet path and trust your own whispered insights over shouting crowds. Wisdom reveals itself to those who pause, listen and dwell in the power of stillness.

Find clarity in stillness, insight in detachment from your thinking mind, and wisdom’s truth in the depths of your own soul.