Jimmy Page and Wisdom Walks (Part 1)

John FarrellBy John Farrell13 Minutes

John Farrell: What was your inspiration for writing Wisdom Walks?

Jimmy Page: Dan Britton and I have been friends now for about 30 years and in our earliest days, we drew into an accountability relationship – the two of us and two other guys. We had really purposed at that time that we had a desire to do life well, that we had a desire to live and maximize our purpose. Really live a life that would honor God, and it would really make a difference for others.

As we started to do life together, we got married, we had families, and then we started to encounter those growth opportunities. We finally just said, “Hey, we want to put something down in writing. If we could put some key principles in writing that would make a practical life guide, that would bring the wisdom of God to life in such a way that people could grab a principle, learn about that principle, put it into practice so that it would change their life and have a positive impact on others.”

That’s what we did. We just wanted to bring God’s Word to life in easy bite-size portions so that people could live the life they were made to live.

JF: Would you say that’s the overall message you hope readers take from your book?

Jimmy: We have a mantra to live intentionally, maximize relationships, and pass the torch. Living intentionally means that you’ve got purpose and you’re not haphazardly living. You’re actually making decisions that lead to the outcome and the destination you want. We wanted to give people a sense of purpose, and then we wanted to put people in relationship with one another so they could wrestle with these principles together and do life together. Then we wanted to be able to pass the torch of faith onto the next generation. That’s kind of our bullseye – to live intentionally, maximize relationships, and pass the torch of faith.

JF: Why is that so important in today’s world?

Jimmy: It’s funny, when we had young families, we had young kids in the house four-, five-, six-years-old, and I remember thinking, “How are we going to practically pass on our faith in a culture that increasingly was rejecting it in a time where church participation was declining?”

We really have to stay focused on doing this, particularly to start with in our families. That became our initial purpose. Let’s create an environment where the kids want to participate, where the adults are participating and enjoying it and it brings faith to life. I think that was the big deciding factor for us. We wanted to live out our faith and we knew that we were going to have more and more opposition to our faith in our culture so we wanted to be strong in what God said and live our life to please him.

JF: Of all the advice and topics you discuss in the book, which one is the most important?

A Walk with the Wise

Jimmy: I’ll start with number one. There’s a reason that number one is number one. The title of it is “A Walk with the Wise.” The principle is that friends will make or break you. I think today, more than ever, we’ve seen the influence of friends in your peer group over your beliefs, over your behaviors, over how you handle adversity and challenges. Whether you have negative people around you or positive people around you, whether you have that inner circle of friends that shares your values and helps you to everything you’re made to be.

I’ll just start with the first one – that friends will make or break you. We talk in that principle about what it looks like to be a good friend. What does it look like to select friends for your inner circle that are going to help you be your best? And then how to limit the number of friends, which is kind of an oxymoron today.

You want to have followers and friends on social media, but when we talk about building that dream team of people around you, the group of friends that form your inner circle to encourage you to be your best, to put guardrails up, to keep you inbounds, so to speak. We talk about not having too many friends where you share everything with everybody because a lot of those relationships outside of your inner circle don’t really have what’s best for you in mind. So, selecting that dream team, those friends that are going to make up your inner circle, is probably the best place to start.

JF: On the flip side, which topic is the one that most people struggle with?

Jimmy: That’s such a great question. I think I’m going to go to one that’s later in Wisdom Walks. It’s called “Set the Standard.” The principle is to raise the bar.

Dan and I have a great friend, John Gordon, who is a prolific author, and he has a very close relationship with the head coach for Clemson football, Coach Dabo Swinney. When he was being considered for the job at Clemson, the Board of Trustees and the people interviewing him were mapping out their vision for the program. And the way Dabo describes it was, “Their vision wasn’t big enough.”

I remember him saying, “My vision is to make Clemson so good that all the other programs want to be like us.” That raising of the bar, that setting a standard that is beyond where you currently are, is something that people really struggle with. “How do I set those standards in my life? How do I put those guardrails up? How do I strive for something that’s bigger than me so that I live my best life?”

In that chapter, we talk about setting your standards for your mind, your body, and your spirit, and it really helps you to live a life that maximizes your own potential, and it has a positive influence on others.

God’s Place in Wisdom Walks

JF: How does God fit into this advice that your book offers?

Jimmy: The entire book is based upon God’s Word. All 52 of the principles that you’ll find here are rooted in Scripture. We’ll use stories and illustrations to bring those scriptures to life, but our core desire for the book was to drive people back to the Word of God. Positive thinking and positive words are all good, but without the power of God’s Word, they lack that grittiness. They lack that power.

We always send people back to the Word of God because this whole book, this whole concept is walking in wisdom in relationship to God. It’s bringing His principles and His practices to life.

JF: Could you please explain what a wisdom walk journey is and the seven steps to wisdom walk success?

Jimmy:  What we’ve done is mapped out a game. There are seven easy steps, and this is how it goes. Number one is to engage God daily. We’ve discovered that if you can connect to the source of all wisdom, and then engage with Him in such a way that you’re in prayer and engaging Him, you’re going to learn, you’re going to grow. He’s going to expand your knowledge. He’s going to expand your heart and your capacity to love others. We’ve got to engage with God daily.

Then, right on the heels of that, we pray for wisdom. Before we get up at the start of the day, from that quiet time, pray that God would give us wisdom. Wisdom is simply the ability to apply godly principles for everyday living. It’s wise living. We pray for wisdom that God would give us the ability to make good decisions today.

Step three is to stay hungry and humble. This hunger is a desire to make a difference for other people with the humility to consider others as more important than yourself. It puts you in the right posture to make a difference. Then four is to be authentic and transparent. That means to be real. Don’t put on any pretenses. Everybody today can smell out a fake so we coach people to be authentic, transparent, and share what’s going on beneath the surface.

Step five is to value relationships. It’s really to love people. The greatest command is to love God and love your neighbor. We found that when you value relationships, you’ll invest time and energy into those relationships. We know that there’s going to be bumps along the way, so we encourage readers to be persistent and consistent. Don’t worry if you have setbacks as you’re doing life with others, but be consistent in your approach to connect with God and connect with others. In the end, what we’re really doing is trusting God for life change.

Step seven is just saying, “God, I’m going to show up.” We have a principle – we do the training and God does the changing. This walk with God and Wisdom Walks is really designed to bring positive life change and godly life change so that you can truly make a difference for others.

Order your copy of Wisdom Walks: 40 Life Principles for a Significant and Meaningful Journey by Dan Britton & Jimmy Page