The ultimate manifestation of applied wisdom is conscious connection. Connection to people. Connection to environments. Connection to activity. And so forth.
Connection, in the sentiment of this post, simply means to be consistently interactive and engaged. Closely associated words with ‘connected’ are: integrated, healthily-attached, pro-social, bonded, and involved. All of these words are clinically associated with psychological health and optimal human functioning.
Connection is the foundation of meaningful experience.
When you’re “disconnected”, you might experience significantly less challenges or difficulties or discomforts, and you may even be engaging things that are stimulating, but you’re not really experiencing what you want to be experiencing in life. When disconnected, your thoughts essentially become the basis of reality, and your risk of self-absorption increases substantially.
Now, this doesn’t mean you should never disconnect, as in never take time for yourself. We all need alone time. We all need to periodically “unplug” and activate some degree of introspection and reflection. The point is that even when we are temporarily disconnected or purposefully disengaged, we still remain generally connected.
When you’re generally connected to other people and to meaningful environments or activities, you are experiencing real life.
Disconnection, often manifested as isolation, perpetuates a subjective existence. Extended isolation is generally unwise. Connection leads to bonds, and bonds create deep satisfaction and ultimately lead to well-being and happiness.
Bonds signify healthy attachment and genuine engagement. In this sense of being “bonded”, a person considers another person or group (or environment or activity) as important as they consider that person. In other words, there is a mutuality wherein two or more people or things effectively need each other in order for an experience to have significant function, purpose, or meaning.
Staying consciously connected, even when it feels like you want or need to isolate, is the hallmark of applied wisdom. Connection is the best way to not feel regret in the long term. The more you disconnect, the more you increase your potential for regret, shame, or guilt.
You can almost always identify value in any given experience that involves interacting with people or engaging environments. Even negative experiences while connected can be meaningful and beneficial.
If you’re consistently conscious of the value of connection, you are doing yourself a great service – you will be able to look back and think, “I intentionally lived my life connected. I decided to connect to others and various environments because I know that general connection is ultimately the source of meaningful experience”…
And that’s the key to consciously engaging in connection and trusting its inherent value: although you may not realize it at a given time, you still deeply understand that life is so much better when ‘connected’, and thus you embrace your connected experience despite any urge to remain disconnected. And it takes wisdom to know this, and even more wisdom to apply this.