"Exchange your cleverness for bewilderment. Cleverness is mere opinion, bewilderment is intuition."
I ran across an article written by Deepak Chopra, MD. It is in this article that I found Rumi’s quote.
Chopra describes “Cleverness” as the rational mindset that seeks explanations that are logical, cynical, and calculated. It’s much like the way I was trying to rationalize the quarantine, by reading about the dangers of the coronavirus, how it was important to isolate, and to avoid contact with others.
In relation to sports, I feel like this is the process of learning and developing physically, technically, tactically, and mentally. It’s skills acquisition, goal setting, and developing mastery. It’s learning by the book, the logical, and consistent way of doing it.
On the other hand, Chopra describes “Bewilderment” as the mindset of curiosity and wonder. It’s your ability to experience the magic and beauty of life, first hand. It’s about spontaneity, love, creativity, and allowing yourself to marvel at the things and people you interact with on a daily basis.
Through this lens, it’s about living, enjoying, and experiencing things in the moment. Not calculating and mapping it out from beginning to end. It’s just being present and soaking in the experience.
For example, instead of waiting for the quarantine to end, enjoy the beautiful weather outside by going for a walk, soaking in the sun, and by being curious of what you come across during that time.
As an athlete, it’s performing in the moment, allowing your instincts to guide you. You are performing and adjusting in the moment, to achieve that feeling of flow.
Imagination, artistry, love, devotion, creativity, and wonder make up the ingredients to “Bewilderment." It’s our habit to be informed and to feed our rational mind. “Cleverness” has its place. Just remember to take time each day to open yourself up to “Bewilderment.”