Being an expert is cool. Think about it. You get to know everything about something without ever having to prove anything!
Have more than 1,000 followers on Twitter? You are a Social Media Guru! Have you made more than $100 online? Guess who is an Internet Marketing Rock Star? Were you an early adopter on Pinterest? Consider yourself a Ninja…or should I say a “Pinja?”
Now, I’m sure you are all that and a bag of chips, but what about everyone else? Could it be that all of these so-called experts really are what they claim to be in their fancy shmancy titles? Or is it possible that there is a little bit of posturing going on?
I think it’s about time we found out for sure.
After spending almost 5 grueling minutes researching this topic, I have come up with a formula. A scientific way to tell beyond a shadow of a doubt whether someone truly is a Guru, Jedi, Rock Star or Ninja.
Here it is. You’re welcome.
A guru is profound. They don’t talk all that much, but when they do they say stuff like “from the withered tree, a flower blooms”. Mind. Blown. If the most profound thing you have ever said is something posted on Facebook that received 6 Likes and is unclear whether or not you even wrote it, I’m sorry, but you are not a guru.
Luke Skywalker was a Jedi. Chances are good that you are not. Luke had to prove himself by moving a bunch of crap with his mind, fighting an epic battle with his father and making out with his sister. What have you done to earn it? You have a lot of Twitter followers? That doesn’t count.
During your next meeting I want you to leap out from behind the podium and dive on top of your fellow coworkers. If they catch you and pass you along the table on their shoulders only to return you safely to your original destination, you my friend are a Rock Star! If you have a broken nose, bruised ribs and are in the market for a new job, sadly you are not.
Ninjas are awesome. They jump out of trees to kill people and then disappear. That’s just how they roll. Still think you are a ninja? I’ll tell you what. I’m going out for a walk in 10 minutes. If you leap out of a tree while tossing around a pair of nun-chucks, I’ll take it back. Otherwise, you are to stop calling yourself a ninja. Effective immediately.
So, Did You Pass?
Me neither. My guess is that none of us are experts in the truest sense of the word. But that’s OK. Because it’s not about claiming to be an expert. It’s about striving to be an expert.
There’s a big difference.
Claiming to be an expert is telling the world that you have arrived. That you have already reached your destination. That there is nothing more for you to learn. If you truly believe that you are an expert, you are saying that you know everything there is to know about your subject. You are done.
Striving to be an expert is not about the destination at all. In fact, whether you even get there is completely irrelevant. Instead, it’s about the journey. It’s about your experiences along the way. It’s not so much what you get; it’s what getting it made you.
Will I (Meaning You) Ever Become an Expert?
I hope not. There should never be a point in your life where there is nothing left to learn. As Anthony Robbins once said “if you’re not growing, you’re dying.” We are always learning. Always growing. There is always more. It’s part of our DNA as humans.
Becoming an expert closes that door. It stops you from digging deeper and deeper into a subject. It stops you from trying to squeeze everything you can out of the experience. It gives you the OK to stop learning more.
Why do you think some of the smartest people on this planet don’t call themselves experts? It’s because they know there is so much more out there. The rest of us might see them as experts but that’s only because we don’t truly know what they are capable of. However, they do. And they know they have merely scratched the surface.
So, If I Am Not an Expert and Likely Won’t Be, What Am I?
That’s a good question. I don’t know. Everyone is different. I wish I were a Guru right now so I could whip up something really profound and respond. I’m not.
Instead, I will leave you with this.
Becoming an expert is a worthy goal to have. It should be on your list. You should always strive to be the absolute best at what you do. After all, just because you may never get someplace doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t try.
And if you do try, I hope for your sake that you never get there…but instead enjoy the hell out of the ride trying.