Saturday Sage: Kris Wants to Be a Sage

Dear Kris,

Your interest in becoming a sage is honorable.  However, it takes longer than you expect. You don’t take a class in sagacity. Becoming a sage happens like seasons change, unnoticed at first.

What’s surprising about a sage? They have made peace with failure.

“Failures, repeated failures are finger posts on the road to achievement. One fails forward toward success.”  Attribution Uncertain

We all make lots of mistakes. Image of a smiling person.

You become a sage by building one good decision on top of another. But know that mistakes give birth to good decisions, mistakes that are costly and humbling. A sage has said forgive me more frequently than you expect.

If you want to become a sage, model wise decision-making in your own life.

A sage looks at life like a question and inspires others to wrestle with life choices. You won’t make decisions for people. You will help people make their own decisions.

“The way of the sage is to act but not to compete”. Laozi

I get it. Image of daughter hugging father.

A sage doesn’t:

  1. Tell people what they need to be successful.
  2. Claim to have complete certainty.
  3. Talk more than listen.
  4. Suggest you live cautiously.
  5. Speak critically of others.
  6. Act unsympathetically.
  7. Violate a confidence by telling other people’s stories to persuade you.
  8. Struggle to convince.
  9. Flaunt sagacity.
  10. Hide their mistakes.

Are you still interested?

10 things a sage does:

  1. Models values that last.
  2. Knows how to live skillfully.
  3. Reminds you not to sabotage your life.
  4. Helps you recover from bad decisions.
  5. Wipes fog from the mirror.
  6. Brings you to a fork in the road and lets you decide.
  7. Points the way without telling you what to do. 
  8. Explains options.         
  9. Leads you toward your best options.
  10. Reminds you to walk with great people.

Of all the things you aspire to, sagacity guarantees you will not live life alone. When the future is fuzzy and decisions matter, we all want to sit with a sage.

Sages come disguised as experts, scientists, doctors, philosophers, and entrepreneurs. More importantly, they are mechanics, bus drivers, plumbers, moms, dads, and grandparents.

Are you humble enough to continue?

Now go do it. Image of an elderly man standing in the doorway with a smile.


What are the top three things a sage brings to someone’s life?

Have you ever met a sage? Describe that person.

Who are ten famous people who aren’t likely to become a sage? Why?

What is true of a sought-after sage?

This post is a collaboration between Dan Rockwell and Stan Endicott.

Note: I relax my 300-word limit on weekends.