Have you ever been backed into a corner with too many expectations of your time and energy? Perhaps there are too many subjects in school and your unable to upload it all. You may have kids, a full-time job, and health issues on top of it all. There are times in our lives where things stack up beyond our abilities to cope. Our stress responses engage and we enter survival mode. The essence of our experience is our attention. We fool ourselves thinking we can multitask. Certainly we manage multiple things happening at the same time, but we can only act with our dominant hand on one thing. We may be able to do something with our other hand and perhaps even our feet. However, our attention is singular. We have to keep switching between each task to manage all we may have going on in the present moment. Some people are able to switch attention rapidly without losing much information. Others may have trouble holding one thing in their attention at a given time. We all wax and wane between these extremes along this axis of attention.
Whatever may be happening in our lives, it’s up to know our expectations as well as others have for our energy and time. If we know what we are supposed to be doing, we can account for it plus any contingency needed to handle probable unexpected events (the known unknowns). As we age, we naturally start adding buffer to what we need to do knowing through experience what can go awry. This is the wisdom that creeps into our brains whether we are aware of it or not. With awareness of this planning, we can make things look effortless or at least easy. People say it’s because of our experience and that we’ve done it before. What about those individuals described as having “wisdom beyond their years?” I think they look ahead, use their imaginations to see possible outcomes of their current actions and go ahead with contingency plans even if that’s not what they call it. Some individuals have this for specific tasks as if they were born able to do certain thing. Our wisdom is born out of seeing what can go wrong and making corrections in our path prior to it going wrong. Certainly this comes with age, but it is possible no matter how old we are. Attention is the essence of our experience. If we pay attention to what’s happening and the natural outcomes of our actions, we will be seen as having wisdom beyond our years.