Chapter 12 : Characteristics of the Wise

Check yourself if you can be considered wise, or if you somewhat fall short of it. Then adjust accordingly. Being wise does not mean being knowledgeable. A person may be educated, and yet lack wisdom. If you can turn the tables on your fears and phobias and use them instead to your advantage, then you are wise. If not, then endeavor to acquire the traits of "wise" individuals. Here are the different characteristics of "wise" people:

Truth Seeking

They are primarily after the TRUTH, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. They will find the underlying cause of everything to discover the truth, no matter what. Once the truth is at hand, they lose no time in applying it to their lives. They don\'t just want the truth, but they assume it (and only it) in everyday life. For example, if all their lives they thought that sharp things would one day kill them, they would do some studies about sharp things. Once they find that sharp things have no self-will to do as they please (they cannot plan to kill anybody), they would drop the fear of sharp things and be free.


They are composed in all situations. Other words to describe them are cool, self-possessed, calm, and collected. They never react immediately and can seldom be seen angry. They are even-tempered. In any circumstances, they always tell themselves, "Keep calm. This is nothing you can\'t handle."


They always weigh situations and often get balanced conclusions. They are able to see the pros and cons, and decide on the spot what is best for everybody, not just for themselves. In tight situations, they can easily figure a way out to safety, with their dignity intact. If they are terrified of being alone out in streets for fear of being mobbed, they will plan their travel and choose to take peopled routes and places. They have discernment enough to know that busy places are better than deserted alleys and parks, especially at night.


Their sharp discernment depends on their open-mindedness. They have trained themselves to examine everything before making conclusions. They don\'t entertain biases. For instance, they may have a "bias" (revulsion) against dead bodies. They may not stand to identify a dead body in a morgue. But if they have no choice but to look at the body, they may take a peep at the cadaver, see that it\'s not moving, and tell themselves that looking at dead bodies won\'t hurt. Besides, it\'s not going to take forever identifying it. Fears tend to narrow down what the mind can accept.


After weighing things, they take positive action. They may feel the tendency to freeze amid trouble, but they manage to shake themselves from the stupor and swing into action.

Some people freeze out of fear. They need to run, but find their stiff legs unresponsive. Some are able to run pronto, but it is more out of panic than out of a wise decision.

Wise people have sharp awareness levels maintained throughout urgent situations. When they run, they are sure to take the right direction. If they confront a difficult boss, they manage to act properly and say the right soothing words. They are not taken by surprise.


Wise people have the presence of mind. They have the ability to stay concentrated on what is happening, where they, what they are doing, and what their present roles are.

Some people say foolish things out of too much fear, when such statements are not even necessary for them to say. They would have been better off being quiet and be taken off the hook. Wise people know their place.


They work within realistic possibilities and limits available to their situation. They don\'t let their emotions take over — though they often tend to do so. They are able to reason with themselves. Their practical minds keep things simple and workable. For instance, their fear of heights can be appeased with mere thoughts that people don\'t just fall off from buildings, and buildings don\'t just collapse.

Great Timing

Wise people know what to do to counteract the things they fear. As a result, they are able to use fears and phobias to their advantage. If they fear darkness, and they have to go out at night, they will do it while people still loiter around. If they fear lightning and the news says there will be a thunderstorm some time in the afternoon, they will spend some time in the mall as the storm passes by. They would find walking with people at night and strolling in the mall as they let a storm pass by, to be enjoyable experiences. Wise people will always find ways of utilizing time to their advantage, instead of wasting time cowering in fear.


They know the wisdom in waiting, especially when they have to weigh things or to get good timing. In the example above where they have to wait for a thunderstorm to pass by or take a walk outside at a time when darkness starts to settle, patience is the key. They patiently plan ahead of time and apply their plan during the situation. Patience is also needed to keep themselves from getting into trouble. If they fear somebody, they take time to turn him into an ally instead of a feared enemy.


Fears and phobias bother some people because anxiety brought about by fears can ruin their pride. Some people fear water, heights, or certain insects, but they don\'t want other people to know their fears. Therefore, they force themselves to overcome these fears or pretend that such fears do not exist in them.

Wise people who have eventually dominated their fears were able to admit the truth that the fears exist in the first place. Even doctors have to make patients realize what sickness has infected them before they can treat them. If a patient keeps on denying his ailment, there\'s a narrow chance for his recovery. Wise people are meek enough to admit what their weaknesses are. They are not afraid to let people around them (family, friends, relatives, etc.) know what their flaws and limitations are, so people around may be able to help them too. As a result, they get to enjoy people\'s company and live optimistic lives.


Wise people have trained themselves to be calm when fearful situations arise. Being calm is first a mental capacity. A serene mind equals a serene heart.

Wise people disarm fears and phobias by keeping a calm disposition at all times. If a stampede suddenly happens, they can keep calm, stay in a safe place, and observe the situation before doing anything rash.

That way, they learn a lot as they calmly figure out an escape from the chaos. At times, when they are able to calm down and utilize their fears to their advantage, they become much fulfilled.


Wise people accept the truth humbly. Honesty is always necessarily linked to meekness. Honesty conquers pride. Wise ones reject all false assumptions and pretensions about the self, and honestly admit their weaknesses. Admission of fears is a very essential step in conquering them.

Have a Sense of Humor

One of the best ways to eliminate even your worst fears is to enjoy them. Laugh at them. Make fun of your fearful thoughts. Wise people have learned how to treat their fears as jokes.

If they think there\'s a ghost, they say something like, "Let\'s see if this one really raises my hair on end." If their spouse gets mad at them, they imagine the two of them doing dance numbers. They have also learned to apply this in their jobs.

Because they are able to laugh at their fears, they are able to handle the situation more at ease. Humor has power to shake off tensions, fears, and even phobias.

Wise people who fear the water could conquer their fear by having everybody bring a water gun at the beach and play war games. This would take their thoughts off the sea and on the "fierce fighting." Soon, they may find themselves waist deep in the sea "running for shelter and ammunitions."

Individuals can always find the funny side in things they fear, if they choose to. Note however, that danger is not something to laugh about. There is a big difference between danger and fear. The former can be life threatening, while the latter can rarely cause major physical harm.

Moreover, wise people never belittle or laugh at others\' fears. They can teach others how to laugh at their own fears, but they never do anything that can humiliate or embarrass somebody else\'s ego.


Wise persons keep many happy memories and disregard unhealthy ones. This collection of happy moments is a part of what makes them wise. When they are filled with such thoughts, they always find their sense of humor ready for fun-filled use in times of fear. Collecting bad memories is the work of the unwise.

If wise people get trapped in an elevator, they take advantage of the darkness to reminisce the good old days. Deep darkness greatly aids in stirring up the imagination. That\'s why we close our eyes when we are in deep thought, or when we pray. Instead of trembling in fear at the darkness and lose hope, they use the darkness to their advantage while being trapped. Better yet, they enjoy it because they have no choice but to face it.

A readily available reservoir of good memories can help in drawing out happy thoughts of friends and loved ones. Survivors of tragedies have been known to keep hanging on to life by the inspiration of happy memories. Those who panic often die.

Darkness is a plus factor in effective prayers. The Bible records that Jesus Christ chose dark recesses as places of prayer, especially when he was about to face death. He prayed at the Olive orchard, mountainside, and in the wilderness during the deep hours of the night.


Being discreet is a relative of being discerning and tactful. Wise people are very careful on how they go about or say things. Fears tend to minimize when the best effort has been exerted to abort danger or trouble. They also think of how fears and phobias can make them diplomatic and orderly in their ways. Negative emotions can produce positive results if people just learn how to use them to their advantage.


Being tactful often saves wise persons from tight situations with people they fear. This is more evident when they discover the fun in being able to handle fearsome people with their tact. The experience becomes more of a challenge and an adventure to be enjoyed rather than a scary moment. Tact is a product of meekness, honesty, patience, and positive thinking. The wise are devoted to this outcome.

Know How to Do Positive Bluffing

To bluff is to trick or deceive yourself into believing otherwise. It is wrong to deceive others. It is wrong to deceive yourself with what is false.

When wise people bluff, their aim is to "deceive" themselves using the truth — the truth which they have initially come to treat as false because of what their fears or phobias have fed them in the past.

Terrible fear can be a false teacher. It can distort the truth and make it look false. The wise seek the truth and use it to set their emotional minds free from false things. The mind, by being fed with half-truths over the years, can be very stubborn even when it comes face-to-face with the truth. This is especially true with a mind that has been victimized and enslaved by fears.

Wise men re-educate their fear-struck minds by cunningness and flattery, or sometimes by "bluffing." If they believe that spiders are fearsome and powerful creatures, they assume the "poker" face. They "act as if" they are bigger and more powerful creatures than spiders — which is the truth. Then they start shooing off every spider they see with a long stick or anything that makes them feel safe and confident as they are doing it. They sometimes even treat themselves with food or fun for winning over the "ordeal."

Know How to Do Positive Mocking

It is wrong to mock others. What wise people mock here are their fears and phobias. They use self-mocking techniques to raise their courage and confidence levels.

If they fear crowds of people, they mock themselves by saying, "You think you\'re a famous actor that you imagine these people going after you? Don\'t be so conceited. They are minding their own business." If they have stage fright, for instance, they mock themselves by saying, "Come on! Get real! Don\'t pretend to something you\'re not. Just do your thing the best you can and get this over with!" They may also tell themselves, "Sure, you dance like you have two left feet — if you can call that dancing. But so do many people out there in the audience. So why bother with your so-called stage fright?" The prodding and the humor work effectively. They eventually end up laughing at their fears. To phobic minds, getting over the threat is already a big joy and success.


As you examine all the above characteristics, you would find that some items describe "wise" people as kind of weird. Fears and phobias are weird. The way to treat them positively is also to be equally weird — but positively at that. Poison kills poison. "Enjoying" your fears and phobias, and making use of them so that they become "user-friendly," are by themselves very weird.

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