“Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth…” (3 Jn. 2).
Last week, we began an introductory discussion about occupational wellness. This week, we will be taking the discussion a little further by beginning to focus on the fifth dimension of wellness: intellectual wellness.
What is intellectual wellness? Intellectual wellness is “our ability to be open to stimulating our personal growth and development through learning about new ideas and having new experiences.” Our engagement of these types of activities help to expand our worldview and enhance our intellectual strengths and skill sets. Learning about new ideas also shape our ability to interact more effectively and efficiently within new sectors of our global community as we become more proficient in these new areas.
“An intellectually well person: 1) cherishes mental growth and stimulation, 2) is involved in intellectual and cultural activities, and 3) is engaged in the exploration of new ideas and understandings.”
An excellent example of this is Jesus at the age of twelve in Luke 2:41-52:
“…And when He was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem after the custom of the feast…after three days they (His parents) found Him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions. And all that heard him were astonished at His understanding and answers…And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man…”
Learning about new areas within differing schools of thinking and the willingness to engage others within those areas of interest allows us to enter into new opportunities to become better contributors to our global community. As we become well-versed in these new areas, our ability to see beyond what is physically in front of us increases and we become more aware of the world around us and our place within it. We also become more adept at solving problems, being more creative and imaginative, and being better informed about current events that may affect our local, state, federal and global communities, etc.
The National Wellness Institute (NWI) suggests that as we develop our intellectual wellness, we will “…begin to see problems and challenges not as stumbling blocks but stepping stones.” NWI also mentions,
- It’s better to stretch and challenge our minds with intellectual and creative pursuits than to become self-satisfied and unproductive.
- It’s better to identify potential problems and choose appropriate courses of action based on available information than to wait, worry and contend with major concerns later.
Enhancing our intellectual wellness assists us in learning how to function “outside of the box”. By placing limitations upon ourselves in life’s situations, we restrict ourselves from seeing and understanding that there are potentially multiple methods of completing the task at hand. We learn how to think more critically by challenging the norm and assessing every side of an issue to determine which approach is the best approach for resolving each individual situation (Acts 17:10,11). As a result, we begin to develop our own ideas, views and opinions, in addition to, becoming more aware of what defines our core values and beliefs. Overall, it makes us well-rounded individuals.
Ask yourself, “How is my intellectual wellness? Where do I find myself in relation to the above discussion?” Next week, we will begin a discussion of physical wellness. Next week’s discussion will be followed up with continued discussions on healthy lifestyle choices based on our understanding of each dimension of wellness. I would appreciate any feedback from anyone as this is a community effort to living our best life in honor of the One Who has given us this life to live. Love God…love others….love yourself!
Sean Mungin, author of “The Thorn In The Flesh”