The National Task Force on Lawyer Well-Being describes our intellectual dimension as "engaging in continuous learning" and "monitoring cognitive wellness."
One of the 24 character strengths identified by the VIA Institute on Character is "love of learning." Socrates—inventor of the Socratic Method that professors and judges often use to facilitate critical thinking in the legal profession—was the original brand ambassador for the concept of "intellectual humility." He didn't think he was the smartest person in Athens; instead, he constantly asked questions to learn more about himself, others, and life. His mission statement was "know thyself," words inscribed on the Temple of Apollo in Delphi, Greece.
Like Socrates, let's adopt an ethos of intellectual humility and get to "know ourselves" as thinkers, doers, and decision-makers. An exploration of two concepts can help us nurture our intellectual well-being:
metacognition: the act of thinking (and learning) about our own thought processes
critical thinking: being open-minded, considering different points of view, comparing what we see and hear, questioning opinions, critiquing assumptions, and relying on evidence to make decisions
Intellectual Dimension Resources:
For a deeper dive into cultivating our intellectual well-being dimension, consider exploring Chapter 12 of The Flourishing Lawyer.
Reflection Exercise: Consider accessing one or more of the resources above to get to "know yourself" and the way you think and solve problems. As you step into an intellectual task this week, consider using the Metacognition Awareness Inventory Worksheet to increase your awareness of how you think and learn.