Wednesday, March 18, 2009
HOW TO BECOME AN EXPERT IN YOUR FIELD
Just read an article which I would have loved to share with you verbatim but its protected by copy write laws; so that’s not possible. Fortunately, ideas cannot be copy written.
The idea is that anyone can become a professional doing anything as long as they put the time into it. One example the writer used is Tiger Woods. We stand in utter awe when we see him execute a perfect shot.
We think; how in the hell did he do that?” Same thing with Brian Lara, Chandrapaul, Russel Latapy or Panday or even the notorious drug criminal who was hanged in Trinidad, Dole Chadee.
What we don’t see is the 1000s of hour they spent practicing either consciously or unconsciously working on their skills.
You see, there are four stages of learning:
Stage (1) - Unconscious Incompetence - you don't know what you don't know
Stage (2) - Conscious Incompetence - you now know what you don't know
Stage (3) - Conscious Competence - you now know it, but you must concentrate to use what you know
Stage (4) - Unconscious Competence - you know it, and you can do it without thinking about it
According to the writer it takes approximately 1000 hours of dedicated time at doing anything to become competent. It takes 5000 hours to become an expert and 10,000 hours to become a virtuoso at anything you do.
So take a look at yourself. How many hours have you put in at what you are doing? Are you competent? Can you consider yourself an expert? Just count the hours; if you could.
Most people stop at being competent. They exist in mediocrity. There are laterally millions of golfers, cricketers, calypsoian, mas maker, footballers, politician and even criminals. Yet we can count the real experts and virtuosos on one or two hands.
Somewhere along the line of becoming competent, the realization hits. This is something that you enjoy and love doing; or not. If it does then you seek a greater degree of skill and more spend time honing those skill.
If it doesn’t you spend a lot of more time “hating” what you are doing. In other words “spinning your top in mud” without progress. As it is becoming an expert is not an automatic progression it needs a conscious decision to improve your competency.
The fact is that it does not matter what you spend the time doing. Do over 1000 hours of it and you will become competent at it. If you are a lawyer, a criminal, a baker or a nurse and spend dedicated time doing it you will not only become competent but will open the possibility of becoming an expert.
That’s the reason why the question always arises; How long have you been doing what you have been doing? School? Job? Business? Sports? Each has its own yardstick of measurement. School , it’s credits, job it’s time-in, business it’s money and sports can be goals scored, games played or some other scientific measurement.
The bottom line is your competence can be measured. If you put your 1000 hours of serious dedicated time into anything you can become competent at whatever you do.
Learning does take time.
What you give back to the world is value for the time you spent doing what you do. That’s where money and value in your life materializes. By giving back for pay or just for the sake of giving you get your just reward from the universe.