What makes an expert?

I was watching a hunting show that started with a dramatic series of numbers. The first was that it takes 10,000 hours for someone to become an expert, then touted that the show’s host had over triple that of hunting experience.
Okay, that’s an impressive amount of time, but then I started thinking about how that number was reached and more importantly, why? Did the whole weekend count as 48 hours of hunting or just actual hours in the field? Did it include transportation to the field? See I am already totally missing the point here. I have been totally distracted by the self-touting expert.
The self-help industry is highly lucrative if you can expertly create a simple set of easy to follow steps for people who want to be told what to do. But since when does life get reduced to steps and why do you want an instructional about how to live it?
People who go out of their way to self-promote do not earn my trust. People who tell me they have life figured out, do not earn my trust. I like it when people are just good – at hunting, fishing, teaching, lifting, life in general, whatever. They don’t need to point out what they’ve done. They just do.
The most influential people I have met have just told their stories. Those are the people you want to be around, listen to, or be influenced by.


MeatEater with Steven Rinella
(Not the hunting show I mentioned above.)

A Million Miles in a Thousand Years by Donald Miller

One Comment Add yours

  1. Rob Warren says:

    Agreed totally.

    “Do not fall into the error of the artisan who boasts of twenty years experience in his craft while in fact he has had only one year of experience—twenty times.”

    I think of this proverb whenever I see someone with the words “expert”, “guru”, or (*gag*) “life coach” after their name. One year, twenty times, all the self-promotion you could want and more.

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