It’s great knowing everything isn’t it? Sure it is, you’ve spent your whole life becoming the expert.
YES, I’M TALKING ABOUT YOU AND ME. THIS WEEK I LEARNED SOMETHING NEW! LET ME EXPLAIN MY THOUGHTS.
Once you feel you’ve mastered something, like being the expert on your job or in a sport, it gives you a good feeling. People call you for advice and want your ‘opinion.’ Did you ever think that being an expert isn’t all it’s cut out to be? Are you getting tired of the phone calls?
Did you ever think that being an expert has a downside? I’ve spent most of my adult life trying to become an expert on certain things. In my mind, if I’m not an expert, why would you hire me?
THIS WEEK I FOUND OUT I’M WRONG. SOMEONE SAID I GAVE THEM A ‘GOOD KICK IN THE PANTS,’ AND THEY LEARNED SOMETHING NEW. WOW. I GUESS THAT’S WHAT YOU’RE AFTER.
When we become experts, we develop patterns of behaviors that make life easier. Patterns we can replay whenever we need to. We rely on them to guide us so that we always get the same results.
I suggested to my friend that we drove a different way to the mall. Not only did she get upset, she got damn angry with me.
“I like everything the same she said, I’m trying to simplify my life and not have any surprises that will throw me off track.”
In my mind, that meant the track to boredom; I didn’t say anything, I kept driving. Just to give you some more insight, she takes a lot of antidepressant medications; I don’t have to tell you why do I?
What would happen if you practiced trying to be a non-expert? Suppose I told you it would make you more creative, less ‘stuck’ and possibly happier—what would you think?
I was listening to an interesting podcast on Masters of Scale, hosted by LinkedIn Co-Founder and Greylock Partner, Reid Hoffman. Those of you that have spoken to me know I’m enamored’ to “Masters of Scale” and it’s how motivate myself. The podcasts are all centered on people that have taken major leaps to try something new. Their leaps are based on ‘hunches,’ or ‘where the world is going,’ and then getting on a new bandwagon. Most of the people are experts in something but are bored being experts and knowing everything. They are looking for a new bandwagon.
I KNOW WHAT YOU’RE THINKING; IF I HAD ALL THE MONEY IN THE WORLD I WOULD LOOK FOR A NEW BANDWAGON TOO. OH REALLY?
WHY? BECAUSE THEY ARE CURIOUS AND LIKE LEARNING NEW THINGS?
I’m no different than you; I’ve spent 20 years becoming the expert. I’m finding it isn’t what it’s cut out to be.
I’M A LITTLE BORED! WHAT ABOUT YOU?
Being the expert is a great skill; it means we don’t need to re-learn every time we encounter something or someone we don’t know. We have developed patterns of behavior which we can re-play whenever we need to. We rely on our previous patterns of behavior to guide us, which often means we experience the same results.
We spend our whole lives trying to become experts on what we do and what we know. We see ourselves and strive at being the ‘best’ in their profession.
THERE’S NOTHING WRONG WITH THAT IS THERE? ACTUALLY, THERE IS.
When you continually hone your skills, you shut out everything else that threatens them. Consider the salesperson who thinks if he knows everything about (let’s say carpet) he doesn’t want to hear about any other products or what’s happening in the ‘tile’ side of things. He’s also not interested in learning new sales tips or anything about ‘customer touch points.’ All he knows is everything that happens in the store with customers, he has it ‘down pat.’
THIS WEEK I’VE DECIDED I WILL READ BEFORE I GO TO BED—NO MORE TV.
I WILL LISTEN TO PODCASTS WHEN I’M ON THE TREADMILL—NO MORE TV. SURE TV IS EASY; I GET TO LIVE IN SOMEONE ELSE’S WORLD, TAKE ON THEIR PERSONALITIES AND SHARE THEIR EMOTIONS.
I’M FIVE DAYS INTO MY NEW WORLD, AND IT’S INTERESTING. I HAVE TO THINK ABOUT ME.
I KNOW WHAT YOU’RE THINKING; IF YOU HAD GIZZILION DOLLARS YOU WOULD DO SOMETHING ELSE TOO. REALLY?
You really don’t need all the money in the world; you just need to test ‘not being the expert.’ Try a sport you’re not good at, listen to a different podcast, learn a new language. Put yourself in an uncomfortable place—not to worry, you can always go back to the safe “expert” place.
Visit MastersofScale.com to get a copy of the transcript of this broadcast.
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I love this article about how our brains work. This is from Nature Neuroscience.
Your skills and experiences leave their mark on your brain.
Researchers analyzed brain MRIs and personal information on 461 people. They found 200 brain regions associated with classically ‘positive” traits, such as strong memory, large vocabulary, high income and education. In the MRIs of people who had the positive traits, many of those brain regions activated simultaneously, suggesting strong connections between the varied regions.
The people who ranked high in negative traits–anger, rule-breaking, substance abuse, poor sleep quality–didn’t have these connections. But that doesn’t mean brains are hard-wired, the researchers say. Brains change. For example, improving skills like vocabulary can strengthen connections between related brain regions. Are you looking to change the wiring of your brain? Would you like to be happier?
Bethany Gonyea, the Founder and Director of NUMINOUS, sponsor for the Albany Peace Project has been working on such a study. Research has amply demonstrated that both long-term and short-term meditators create brains that are hard wired for positive emotions.In 1960, Dr. Herbert Benson of the Harvard Medical School, Dr. Benson also found that meditation was helpful in stopping or slowing obsessive thinking, anxiety, depression, and hostility. Since that time, there have been other studies to substantiate his findings.
Luckily in Albany, New York, we have the Albany Peace Project. For more information on Happiness and Meditation, check out this link. Even if you don’t live in Albany, New York, you can take part in their meditation programs.
Lisbeth considers herself a ‘Connector.’ Helping businesses find ways to connect to their customers and build profitable relationships. Reach her at 518.495.5380 or [email protected]