In this time, which we live in, life is digital. We can connect with people much easier through the World Wide Web. This can be through the medium of sending email messages or having video chats via Skype. We also have access to different informational products. This can be e-books, online courses and so forth. It has become easy to put your message out there; and show your expertise in a subject matter.
Who is an expert?
The days of having credentials behind your name when publishing non-fiction has gone. People are sometimes calling themselves experts from reading up on a topic, or having personal experience with the topic. I do not have an issue with the latter, as you cannot beat experience – the practical! I do wonder about the former, studying. For many years I was an academic, studying concepts and sometimes applying it to scenarios with regard to legal problems: applying the law to the facts. In some respects it helped to know what the likely outcome will be, based on precedents. Although there were times when this may not be the case, as precedents may not be followed, as the judge may decide to ‘distinguish’ the facts or decide that there is a better way. This is an interesting point that because one rule has [apparently] worked before, then it does not mean you cannot try something new. As I write this post, I am also reading a book that raises the argument about not falling for the dogma. This is good approach to apply when looking at beliefs, as we may forget to question why we still accept this view.
In the world of coaching I have seen many ‘life coaches’ popping up. It is good to get help when it is required, sometimes you may not get this from reading. A friend of mines years ago said, “I do not believe in life coaches. Why do you need someone to validate you?” Her main thought was that you are the best person to make life decisions. She could not understand leaving it to someone else to say whether you were on the right path. Coaching is part mirroring the other person, reflecting what they are projecting and giving them the space to help come up solutions. I am weary of the people out there calling themselves ‘experts’ on topics that they have not mastered themselves on a personal level. So you will not see me [at the time of writing this: January 2014], publishing shortly the Money ‘Series” book. Perhaps that will come next year.
“You are an expert as you are living life”
I believe that we are experts in life, as we are living it. We go through different experiences: both good and bad. From these we are gaining an insight. For example, learning that if you drink too much you may wake up with a bad hangover the next day. Please be warned, sometimes we may not take on the lesson that was to be learnt. This can be like that story where a person kept walking down the pavement, which had a pothole, kept falling in and cried in annoyance. Then the day when they decided to not walk along that same pavement, then they 1) did not fall into the payment and 2) no longer felt the annoyance of repeating the same action.
It is interesting how a theme can develop out of another discussion. Recently I was participated in a FaceBook discussion regarding time. It started off as a joke, and then I added a point about a so-called expert on time. One participant in this explained how they did not enjoy the book; and felt bad for admitting this, as the author was well-known and renowned as an expert. I interjected by saying that I too could not get into the flow of the book, so therefore did not complete it. The point here is that just because a person is deemed an expert, does not mean that you will connect with the “how” they deliver the topic. It was their opinion. Opinions are not necessarily facts.
Next time when seeing someone write or discuss a topic, ask yourself, “are they an expert?”