Ben Zoma, you’ve heard of him, right?  Yes, no, maybe….  We stumbled across this wisdom from Zoma.  Can you guess when it was written?  Read on for more:

One of the pieces of writing this teacher was know for contains 5 questions.  These are:

1. Who is a wise person?  

Answer:  One who learns from everyone.  

Experience can get in the way of future potential.   Are you always living in the past, or thinking about “back in the day….”, or “we used to do it that way”?  It’s important to always have a BEGINNER’S MIND.

Business application:  Stay relevant.  Are you so stuck in the mindset of “we’ve always done it this way”, that you are unwilling to change?  The world IS changing.  Thank goodness.  Progress is what keeps us moving forward.  Being an open cup, willing to receive information.  Finally, consider this:  wisdom can be defined as maximum results with minimum effort.

2. Who is a honored person?  

Answer:  One who honors.

But, how do I do that?  Imagine everyone had a sign on their chest that says ‘Make me feel important.’

(1)  Be likable.  Don’t just be approachable; make the approach.  It was said that Sam Walton, founder of Wal-Mart, had a “Ten Foot Rule”.  He made a point to say “hi” first, to anyone within ten feet.

(2)  Use their name.  We’ve all heard it;  everyone’s favorite word, is their own name.  Think about how much it means to you when someone calls you by name.  There are times when we can all feel insignificant.  When someone REMEMBERS you name, you it truly makes an impression.

(3)  Make eye contact.  There’s little that’s more off-putting than trying to have a conversation with someone who is distracted, or disengaged.  That text message can wait.  That little “ding” telling you that someone commented on your cat photo CAN WAIT.  Be there, in the moment, and look people in the eye.  It matters.

3.  Who is a rich person?  

Answer:   One who appreciates all that they have.

Be like a weed.  A weed doesn’t care where it’s planted.  It flourishes WHEREVER it grows.

Victor Frankl’s story in “Man’s Search for Meaning”, is one of perseverance, tenacity, and undeniable courage.  It’s also about the power of maintaining a positive attitude.  When all seemed lost, he appreciated the one thing he did have:  his mind.  In so doing, he has touched COUNTLESS lives with his words of wisdom, and encouragement. 

Being optimistic doesn’t guarantee success.  We can; however, make the best of a bad situations.  Additionally, we’ve all known people who no matter their situation, they were always negative, always unhappy.  Conversely, we also know people, who despite their circumstances have the most positive outlooks.  

Just like the old adage, “it’s better to give, than receive”, when we are thankful, we are the ones who ALWAYS “receive”.  When what we have is never quite good enough, we are always looking for more.

4.  Who is a brave person?  

Answer:  One who is smart enough to be afraid, but takes action anyway.

FEAR:  False Expectations Appearing Real, or Frantic Effort to Avoid Reality.  How about Finding Excuses And Reasons?  Whichever you choose, none will be productive.  So many times, when we actually consider, “what’s the worst that could happen?”, it’s really not THAT BAD.  Worry (fear), looks to the future, but STEALS from the present.  

5.  Who is a mighty person?  

Answer:  One who has control of their emotions, and makes friends of their enemies.

The same boiling water that softens the potato, hardens the egg.  It’s about what you’re made of, and not your circumstances.  


This timeless advice for life was written by Zoma.  If you haven’t already Googled him, he was a second century teacher.  Timeless.

Which of these 5 Questions convicted you the most?  We’d love to hear your comments.