Today I had the unique opportunity of meeting with one of the wisest people that I know - Leland Eliason. Leland was the Provost at the school I work at, and now is our Provost Emeritus. Leland and I have not spent this much time together in over four years since he was leading our school.
Here is what I appreciate about Leland.
1) He is humble
2) He is extremely wise
3) He cares passionately about helping other people in a generous way
4) He does what he says he is going to do
If you have people in your life like this, treasure them for the tremendous resource that they are. If you do not have people like this in your life, seek them out and hold onto them like the treasures they will be.
It is often the mark of a wise person when they ask you questions that stop you in your tracks. The question I was asked today is, “What would you like to be doing when you are 50?” My answer was I want to be prepared for whatever opportunities present themselves to me at that time, and I do not want to be limited then by something I could have done now to be ready.
But, that question had the effect of stopping me in my tracks. It caused me to think. It caused me to be sure of my answer. It will cause me to continue to think beyond our conversation today. Wise people ask great questions. Find wise people, do what they recommend, go back to them when you are done doing just that. I have found this to be helpful.
Bonus side thought: Tell these people how important they are to you and thank them. (They appreciate this, but usually don’t need it - do it anyway.)