Earlier this week I was working on a project with two colleagues from work. These two had spent a significant amount of time with the dataset we were working with, and it didn’t take long to realize that these two had a significant understanding of the intricacies of this data.
As we struggled to figure out a solution to our specific problem, one colleague said, “I feel like I should know more about be an expert at his point.”
His comment intrigued me and caused me to consider what an “expert” is. We hear this term thrown around frequently, especially during this pandemic. After thinking about his comment, I told him that I thought an expert was someone who has spent more time learning, understanding, and experiencing a topic than most folks. Being an expert doesn’t mean we have all the answers (in my searching through definitions of expert, not one mentioned being all -knowing… that’s God’s domain!) it means we have knowledge, skill, and experience that we can apply to solve new problems and address new questions.
I told my colleague that definition would qualify him as an expert on the dataset we were working on.
We’re not required to have all the answers to be an expert, and we certainly don’t have to possess all the answers to offer our knowledge and experience to solve a problem. So, the only expectation is that you share the knowledge, skill, and experience that you have.
I’ve been playing the electric bass for 3 years now, and while I know a whole lot more than I did 3 years ago, I’m acutely aware that I have a lot more to learn.
When I listen to professional bass players, or those who have put in years of effort, I’m amazed at the skill and mastery they possess. To me, their playing looks effortless, and reminds me how far I still have to go. Yet their skill also reminds me that every master was once a disaster.
I know for certain that the best bass players didn’t start out that way. When they first picked up a bass for the first time, they were likely a disaster… just like I was! They didn’t stay there however. They put in the effort to eventually become a master at their craft.
I think that’s cool. Mastery isn’t the starting point, disaster is. When we begin something new, we’re not supposed to be any good at it. You know why? BECAUSE IT’S NEW!
It’s only when we continuously learn about our chosen craft and apply what we’ve learned, that we’re on our way toward mastery. And if we continue this process, we are, by definition, a success:
“Success is the progressive realization of a worthy goal.” ~Earl Nightingale
So, embrace the disaster that you’re sure to be at the beginning of your next new undertaking. For it’s the starting point on your journey toward mastery.
Have you ever asked someone for their input on a decision you were facing and received one of the following responses:
- I don’t know.
- It’s 50/50.
Those responses, when delivered as a complete answer, are completely useless and provide no value to the person asking for an opinion. They also reveal, of the person whose opinion is being sought, an unwillingness (or inability) to think critically and form an opinion.
When someone values our opinion enough to ask us for it, let’s honor them by turning on our wonderful brains, forming a thought, and offering it to them with the hopes that our opinion will aid them in the decision-making process they’re currently facing.
I’ve recently finished listening to a couple of audio books that has some “colorful” language sprinkled throughout. Not a big deal. In fact, I use to swear a lot as a teen and young adult. However, now I prefer not having those words in my vocabulary. The just don’t align with how I want to present myself to the world.
While the audio books were extremely interesting, I noticed that they sere influential in ways I hadn’t anticipated.
Since listening to them I’ve found myself muttering expletives under my breath when I get frustrated with something. It was hardly noticeable at first, but I’m noticing it occurring more often. I’m reminded how what we allow into our mind has a way of coming back out in our thoughts, speech and actions., especially when we’re squeezed or under pressure. Therefore, need to be more discerning with regard to the content I’m allowing into my mind.
I like what Philippians 4:8 states,
“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things”
I’m going to focus more on doing this, because I want to make sure what comes out, through my thoughts, speech, or actions, is a positive result of the good things I’ve placed in my mind.