How to Become an Expert on SomethingJun 01, 2022
Becoming an expert on something doesn't happen overnight. It takes time and dedication to learn everything there is to know about a topic. However, there are certain things you can do to help you become an expert more quickly. This blog post will discuss those steps and how you can apply them to your life if you want to become an expert.
Developing expertise requires time and effort.
An expert is an individual that possesses outstanding knowledge and skill regarding a particular subject or activity. They are considered the authority about something. Becoming an expert is no easy task. Anybody can become an expert, but only those who persevere and continue to practice and improve will prevail. Being an expert is not only a badge of honor. It brings great fulfillment and satisfaction to do and know something so well, leading to more happiness in life. In addition, you can share what you know to help other people.
The decision to become an expert requires traversing a rough road full of challenges. However, several methods can help you become an expert in whatever field or activity you pursue.
1. A burning passion and interest for something
Before you decide to become an expert at something, make sure you have a genuine interest and passion for whatever you want to pursue excellence. The road to becoming an expert is full of challenges and failures. Also, you will spend a lot of time trying to perfect your craft. Without any interest in the subject or activity, you will lose motivation when you keep on failing or don't get to the desired level quickly. But, on the other hand, your passion and interest will drive you to continue becoming better even if the tasks don't give any pleasurable feelings to you but are necessary for improvement.
2. Prepare to invest a lot of time and effort
One does not become an expert at something overnight. However, a so-called 10,000 hours rule states that you will become an expert if you take this amount of time practicing doing something. You don't need to spend precisely 10,000 hours becoming an expert; it may be more or less than this amount of time. Other factors can influence whether one can become an expert at something. The gist is that you need to devote time before genuinely excelling at something. It would be best to commit enough to prevail and improve your craft.
3. Work with a good mentor
It can be challenging to become an expert without proper guidance, and you don't know how to proceed and which areas you should practice. Therefore, it is an excellent idea to find the best mentor you can have to coach you on what you should do. Somebody who is a master in their field or an authority figure is what you should look for as a mentor. A mentor who can impart new knowledge and teach new skills while looking out for you and wanting to see you become successful is who you should work with within your journey to become an expert.
4. Ask for feedback
You will want to have a mentor because somebody will hold you accountable and provide feedback on what you do. While it's nice to receive positive feedback when you do something good, you may want to focus more on the negative feedback. Negative feedback signifies what you do wrong and what can still be improved. By knowing your weaknesses and failures, you can work on improving yourself so you don't commit the same mistakes again.
5. Practice makes perfect
The path towards expertise is littered with repeatedly doing tasks to gain mastery and experiencing failures over time. It is even more so when you engage in deliberate practice where you have to continuously work on improving your current skill level to the next one and focusing on areas where you are weak. When you practice deliberately, it is different from ordinary practice, where you keep doing the same thing repeatedly, hoping that you improve with the familiarity you gain from repeated attempts. Deliberate practice has a specific goal why you have to do something, and it may involve learning new ideas and doing new things that are outside your comfort zone. Your mentor can help you pinpoint what subject area or activity you should practice.
6. Read less, do more
To gain expertise on something, one must become familiar with the basic knowledge and concepts. One of the first things one should do is to spend time studying theories, descriptions, and explanations of what lies ahead in the field of interest you are about to pursue. However, to get a natural feel for what you need to do, it's better to spend more time trying and practicing the theories and skills instead of just reading them from a book. Spending around two-thirds of your practice time doing actual tasks will give you an idea of how the real thing works.
7. Have a suitable environment for practice
To improve your learning, it's an excellent idea to have a conducive environment to improve your performance. Try to find a place where you can concentrate well and where there are no distractions. Also, look for an environment that can be a good simulation for what you are practicing. For example, if you are trying to improve your communication skills, try talking to people you meet in various locations in your neighborhood or in a public place like a mall instead of practicing it with a friend or family member in your house. Practicing a specific task in its natural environment gives you a feel of how it happens in the real world instead of only simulating the situation in your head.
8. Have a plan for improvement
Another reason a mentor will help your success is that they can give you an outline of what you need to do and the tasks you have to practice for improvement. They know what it takes to reach an expert level on something, especially if they went through the same thing in their field. They can help you achieve by focusing on specific goals and working on them one at a time until you fulfill your long-term goals. Having a plan also details the level of progression you need to make, so you have to dedicate a considerable amount of time practicing one task until it becomes second nature to you before moving to the next step.
Becoming an expert is no walk in the park.
To achieve expertise in something requires dedicated practice and motivation to keep on pushing despite all the failures you will experience. Naturally, one can attain a certain sense of pride once one achieves true expertise. However, the goal of becoming an expert is not to brag but to bring more outstanding service and aid to others who have not attained the same level of skill and knowledge as you. Not everybody may have the same proficiency, talent, and drive to become an expert at something, so it's understandable why one can derive a great sense of fulfillment from becoming an expert. People will look up to you. You can earn more money from your profession because of your expertise, and you can feel happier and be more positive when you know your knowledge and abilities can help others.