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There are no Experts

I have been thinking about my fascination with experts recently.

I adore experts. I could listen to any expert talk about their particular domain any day.

I have also recently come to the conclusion that there is no such thing as an expert.

That's the punchline. Let me take you back to the beginning.

It starts with a core belief.

You are not static. You are a process.

You are changing all the time.

Your thoughts, your cravings, your muscles, your skin.

A lot of it might be invisible, and yet, it's still happening.

Being static implies no movement.

This is why I struggle with the term expert.

Expert implies a finality.

If you're stuck on a problem, seek an expert.

An expert sits at the end of the line of solutions that you've waded your way through.

There's no going beyond an expert.

Instead of experts, let's talk about expertise.

Expertise is a process.

Expertise requires nurturing.

Expertise can evolve.

I'd like to jump from here to a related thought about receiving feedback.

Think about when you receive feedback.

Not the kinds of situations where someone gives you feedback, but rather when in time you receive it.

It is always after you do something, right? By it's very definition, it has to be.

So here's the question ...

Suppose you do something now, and five minutes from now someone gives you feedback on it ...

Have you changed during those five minutes?

Let me remind you:

You are not static. You are a process.

Of course you've changed.

You may have not noticed or even realized, but that doesn't change the truth about change.

Even if the time interval changed from five minutes to five seconds, it doesn't matter.

The next time you ask for or receive feedback, try to think about this way:

The feedback you're getting is about a previous version of who you are now.

If the feedback is particularly hard to receive, this framing might help create some distance to make it easier.

If the feedback is outstanding, this framing should get you excited for what's possible in your future.

You are not static. You are a process.

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