What It takes to be an expert?

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1 year ago

Passion, Discipline and Swallowing your pride

Many people like to consider themselves as experts in a particular field by taking into account things like college degrees, working at the same job for years or teaching others how to do It. However, all these factors alone aren't a guarantee of being a true professional in an area, as you'll surely find people with way less years of "experience" outweighing in terms of knowledge any other person with twice their time in the job. The process of reaching an state of expertise is done through a series of interrogants that either have to do with the environment or the way the individual practices. That's why in this article I will talk about what expertise really is and how to reach It. Let's begin by pointing what exactly expertise is:

What expertise is?

In literal terms, expertise can be defined as a high level of knowledge or skill, a state in which a practicant of a particular discipline can recognize enough patterns that It becomes second nature for him/her to get to the root of a problem and find Its solution in a period of time greatly decreased from other iterations done by other people with less practice.

Now that we know what exactly we can consider as an expert, we can begin to list the checkboxes for being a true professional:

1.- Practicing in a sufficiently "valid" environment

What I'm trying to say with valid? We can indicate that something is valid if the exact same actions produce the exact same results. An example of this can be shooting a ball at particular target and hitting It at all times if the ball is shot in the same direction and with the same amount of force applied. This adjective surely doesn't apply to areas where the results that you get from the same set of actions is variable, such as in gambling, stock trading in short term and many other activities that have unequal outcomes.

2.- Repeated Attempts that get frequent enough feedback

Once you know that a particular field can respond to you in a trustworthy manner, you can begin to practice, knowing what the result will be for what you do instantly or almost instantly, being what we call frequent feedback. In this way, you will be able to respond to your mistakes and build upon them, recognizing with every time you perform that same pattern of interactions again a new set of details that can bring you further information and new ways to polish your craft. If you have a feedback that comes to you in a delayed fashion and with not enough frequency, you won't be able to learn as quickly and in that way you'll be only making predictions upon the future. That's why many financial experts tend to have wrong judgements about particular situations, because of the prolonged outcomes that every scenario brings with It and the fact that they don't occur constantly.

You might think that these two steps are all that It takes to be an expert. However you require a fundamental part of the process without which you'll be doing the same thing over and over without getting any meaningful output from It. That's why the third requisite makes Its entrance:

3.- Deliberate Practice

If you don't practice in a deliberate way, in which you focus in your weaknesses and areas in which you have little to zero knowledge about your field you won't get any better, being just a grown student. Usually, the problem that most people find with this part is that is uncomfortable, as It points that the person is not as skillful as he/she would like to think, indicating the flaws present in the work done and how much there's still to learn. However, doing this is the most crucial part in the process of getting expertise, making you work on the edge of your capacities and leading you in this manner to become much more proficient and prepared for all kind of situations.

Getting to become an expert can be a tedious task, that's why in this article I hope to make things easier for you when It comes to identify what you should strive for, letting you know straight up that It is not easy, though entirely meaningful, and giving you enough encouragement by telling you that there's no more satisfying feeling that getting the rewards from what you work so hard for. Thank you for your support and good luck!

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