Do you know what matters most? Are you spending your time on what matters most? Do you really want to spend your life chasing more? More money, more deadlines, more clutter, more bills, more debt, more stress, disease, and suffering; more traffic, and congestion; more trash, waste and pollution; more conflict, isolation, fragmentation, exploitation, anger, hate, violence, and terrorism?

More has brought us: Subprime mortgages, foreclosures, Enron and other accounting scandals, wars, hydrogen bombs and other nuclear weapons, the Holocaust and other acts of genocide, slavery, traffic jams, urban sprawl, the bridge to nowhere, cheating, Vioxx and other dangerous prescription drugs, Twinkies, obesity, stress, anxiety, pollution, paparazzi, deforestation, strip mining, overfishing, drought, failed states, global warming, and other waste, violence, destruction, and misery. We have become consumed while 850 million people lack clean safe drinking water.

But students of Wise U know when they have had enough. They choose to pursue well-being.

Enough can bring us: peace of mind, integrity, tranquility, clean air, clean water, the beauty of nature, a healthy environment to enjoy now and sustain for the future, awe, family, friendships, community, safety, stability, trust, leisure time, joyful play, meaningful work, authentic experiences, reciprocity, respect, good health, reduced stress, ongoing education, deeper understanding and appreciation, fun, enjoyment of the arts, transcendence, and making significant contributions that help others. We can learn to enjoy what is already available to us and increase our well-being.

Focusing on what matters only becomes possible when we decide to venture beyond knowledge and pursue wisdom.

Wisdom is an advanced state of personal development that relies on extraordinary knowledge. Wisdom is rooted in perspectives, interpretations, values, and courageous actions. Wisdom extracts meaning and significance from information by understanding interrelationships and their implications. Wisdom is a profound understanding of our existence, the human situation, our possibilities, and especially our limitations. Wisdom is a way of interpreting knowledge by viewing it from a variety of illuminating perspectives and using human values and holistic priorities to make better sense of it. Wisdom applies this knowledge and takes creative and courageous action to solve problems, create opportunities, and increase the well-being of all. Philosopher Nicholas Maxwell defines wisdom as “the capacity, the desire, and the active endeavor to realize what is of value in life, for oneself and others.”

Values are at the core of wisdom, some say that human values will determine the future. Wise values begin by recognizing the interrelatedness of all things and follow these mutual influences to great length. This leads to openness to experience, widening of personal concerns, and a desire to increase the well-being of all. The foolish values of ignorance, selfishness, hate, greed, envy, and revenge are rejected in favor of empathy, truth, honesty, justice, cooperation, peace, compassion, universal well-being, creativity, courage, and comprehensive knowledge. These promote flourishing—optimal development as part of the whole—of all beings. Subtle and sensitive wisdom appreciates the beauty of nature, living beings, all stages of life, art, humor, craftsmanship, and remarkable efforts. It also enjoys Being in the mysterious cosmos. Wisdom is love—wanting the best for others—and is quite clever and skilled at obtaining it.

We can each intentionally develop and increase our wisdom. In addition to studying and experiencing life, certain psychological and spiritual practices—such as investigative meditation—help us explore our own psyche, quiet our mind, and make it more receptive to appreciating the laws of our subjective life: ethical understanding, moral behavior, and expanding our circle of caring in space and time. Taken to their limit, meditation, contemplative prayer, and related practices can help people reach the pinnacle of wisdom—an understanding of what is eternal and what is ephemeral, as well as a profound sense of the oneness that pervades all.

Dealing effectively with life’s difficult situations can help develop wisdom. Many wise people have a history of overcoming adversity. Like many others, they have faced great challenges in their lives. But instead of feeling diminished and victimized by their circumstances, they dealt with them in positive ways and grew past them.

When choosing a college, ask yourself these two questions: How much money is enough to make me happy? How much does peace of mind cost? You can make the wise choice.

We focus on what matters. What do you want to do?