Higher self-knowledge, real wisdom, represents the rudder we must have to correct the course of this drifting ship we call self. Why? Because the happy truth is that we are not so much lost in the sea of choices life offers us as we are just adrift amongst them; caught up in their ever-changing currents and unsure as to which shore is our homeland. So wisdom is not only the higher course, but our safe harbor as well.
But it isn't enough to just learn the principles of wisdom. Studying wise principles without putting them into practice is like learning how to read music but never owning an instrument through which to experience the sound of those notes you know. True wisdom is not theory. It is the fruit of experience whose seed is action. The wise are not those most learned, but the best tempered by truths put to the test of life.
It is essential for any person intending to be more than a leaf in the wind of life to learn the truth of him or herself by boldly jumping into these very same winds. Life, as it is -- and not as we'd wish it to be -- is our school, teacher, and teaching. Each event and relationship therein is our own field, grain, thresher, oven, and bread, making our willingness to dive into life's lessons the determining factor in whether we learn to rise above this world or remain ruled by it. The choice is ours, so the more knowledgeable we are about ourselves the fewer questions we will have about which path we choose.
Prove to yourself that just as the absence of self-understanding is the same as standing in darkness, new and true self-knowledge serves as the Light that lights the way. The ability to see, clearly, the way ahead of you is the same as being empowered to make those choices called determining your own destiny.