How To Become An Expert At Anything
Do you want to be an expert at something? Maybe you already are. Is there a field of study you’re interested in, a sport you’re passionate about, or a musical instrument you’d like to master? An expert is someone with extensive knowledge or ability in a specific area. Follow the tips below on how to become an expert at anything!
Malcolm Gladwell is responsible for the idea that it takes 10,000 hours of intensive learning and practice to be proficient in one’s chosen field of endeavor, with time being the distinguishing factor determining the outcome.
Mastery begins by first choosing an area of interest you’d like to become proficient in, then devoting a significant amount of time to studying, learning, practicing, and implementing what you learn. Take it one step further by mentoring those who are just beginning.
Believe In Yourself
Do you believe in yourself? Before beginning something new, a certain degree of confidence in your own abilities is a necessary prerequisite. Do you have the drive and dedication it takes to master a new skill? Take a personal inventory to determine if you have the desire and follow through to become an expert in the area you’ve chosen.
Passion fuels ambition and motivation. Whether it’s music, athletics, or a particular field of study, passion must be part of the equation. You won’t go the extra mile if you’re not interested and invested in your subject. Do you want to learn:
- A new language
- How to play a musical instrument
- To sing
- To draw
- To play chess
- To excel at public speaking
- To sew or cook
- To ski, play tennis, or fly fishing
- To excel at a particular field of study
There is so much to learn and do in life. What area do you want to exceed in and why? Why do you want to become an expert? It’s your why that will carry you through tough times when you’re tempted to quit. Have a purposeful mindset.
Decide To Be An Expert
Deciding is the next step after believing. Make a mental decision you’re going to become an expert in whatever field you choose. Commitment comes next. Decision and commitment are half the battle. Once you’ve taken these initial steps, formulate a plan, breaking it down into smaller, doable tasks to improve performance.
Here’s the sequence:
Learn And Study
Here’s where you buckle down and do the hard work of learning and studying. It will take dedication, and a whole lot of time. Focus on one area in which you’d like to excel. Then eat and breathe everything having to do with that subject. Make it an integral part of your life.
Read everything you can get your hands on about your area of focus; playing tennis, learning the violin, or financial investing, whatever it is, make every effort to learn all you can.
Observe yourself while learning. Film yourself practicing that new backhand technique, or listen to yourself performing that difficult Chopin piece you’ve been tackling on the piano. After watching and listening to yourself, you’ll know for certain what needs improvement.
Take courses from a variety of sources. Explore every angle of your chosen field. The internet makes it convenient and cost-effective to learn online on your own schedule. Platforms like Udemy, Coursera, Skillshare, Intellipaat, and Simpliv are affordable, and a great way to learn a variety of new skills.
Find a mentor and learn from their mistakes. People who have gained proficiency in athletics, music, or academics have paid the price of mastery.
They’ve made numerous mistakes along the way. Align yourself with those who have already put in the hard work. They can alert you to many of the pitfalls they’ve already encountered on the road to success. From their unique perspective and vantage point, they’ll be able to offer tips for improvement based on the hindsight they’ve acquired through the years.
Join a Mastermind Group. Networking is powerful, and feedback from like-minded people is a great way to accelerate the learning process. We all have different view, opinions and outlooks. Fresh perspectives add new dimensions to the way we see things. Learn how others mastered the skill you’re currently working on. There’s an inexhaustible stream of useful tips and tricks they can offer.
Being part of a group is a great way to receive unconditional support, especially during times of frustration and fatigue. Participants in Mastermind Groups challenge each other to be better, brainstorm ways to effectively implement goals, and provide ongoing encouragement to all members. They’ll cheer you on when you’re having a bad day, and want to give up.
Just Keep Going
Don’t ever quit. Practice makes perfect, well kind of. Perfection isn’t attainable, but a high degree of skill is. The more time you spend mastering your craft, the more expertise you’ll acquire. Any worthwhile endeavor requires a ton of desire, commitment, and dedication. Perseverance is key when becoming an expert. Remembering your why will give you the needed motivation to keep practicing.
It’s not easy stepping out of your comfort zone. Champions are people who had, not only the courage to begin, but the stamina to continue learning, perfecting, and applying their skills, even on difficult days.
Keep learning until your skill becomes second nature. You’ll eventually reach a tipping point where your practice pays off. Continue increasing your competence, and over time you’ll be recognized for the expert you are. People will come to see you as an influencer, and one with authority.
Application And Teaching
Learning is vital, but so is application. When you apply what you’ve learned, you cement it into your consciousness. Information is necessary but its application is what translates into action. Mastery of a skill or talent is becoming so adept and so familiar with it, you can almost do it automatically. Mastery is not innate ability, but rather transformation, resulting from hard work, diligence and hours and hours of trying to get it right.
Now is the time to give back, by teaching and inspiring others with your knowledge and expertise. Mentor a beginner who’s just starting out, educate those learning the skills you’ve already mastered through speaking engagements, and teaching workshops and online courses.
Share your skills and build authority by mentoring those who are in the position you used to be in. They will come to trust, value, and respect you for your knowledge and mastery of your subject.
Choose today what you want to accomplish, and go for it. Whatever you choose, whatever your level of proficiency, stay humble, realizing they’re always more to learn. You never quite fully arrive. Keep learning and applying, and then share your knowledge and skills by giving back. This is how we enrich our own lives, and the lives of others.
Are you an expert at something? Can you share your journey? Let me know in the comments:)