The ancients first began accumulating wisdom when they came upon the idea that one could be the observer. They would watch the way things worked without prejudgment. They did this not only with nature, but also with human interactions.
The more they watched, the more they recognized patterns in everything. In Nature, they began to understand the cycles of life. Among people, they saw actions and reactions, relationships and conflicts. They began to record their insights about these patterns, and their writings were collected in ancient classics like the I Ching.
One interesting benefit of being the observer is the clarity that comes to play. When you look at an event with impartial detachment, you can see far more than the people who are in the thick of it. They have a limited view of what is in front of them instead of an expanded view that takes everything around them into account. Detached observation is what gives sages the clarity to solve seemingly impossible problems; they watch and understand before deciding on a course of action.
Practice being the observer. Watch yourself go through your activities today as if you were watching a movie. If you are driving and someone cuts you off, take a step back mentally and watch how you react, and notice how you deal with road rage much more easily in this frame of mind.