Experts do not need rules to make decisions. They have qualities that allow them to consistently make good decisions and show high level of performance under different circumstances without any rules. This post discusses these core qualities that turn a novice into an expert.
Rule: prescribed guide for conduct or action
Intuition: instinctive knowing (without the use of rational processes)
Tacit knowledge: automatic, unexpressed knowledge that provides context for people, places, ideas, and experiences. Tacit knowledge is not easily shared. As Polanyi said: “We know more than we can tell.”
Context: the set of circumstances or facts that surround a particular event, situation, etc.
Problems with rules
Most rules didn’t come from heaven. They come from ordinary people. They are product of practice, theories, traditions and fear.
Context-free – rules reflect standard situations without
considering your specific circumstances
Limited verification – most rules are empirical and do not pass vigorous analysis, strict prove and experiments
Time sensitive – many rules become outdated quickly in dynamic professions, industries and societies
Overcautious – fear fuels many rules and seeks to protect from the worst scenario, often imaginable
Low skills denominator – rules tuned to match capabilities of the majority without accounting for individual strengths and weaknesses
Misinterpretation – tacit knowledge of experts, which forms base for many rules, is difficult to transfer in correct and understandable form
Core 7 Qualities of the Expert
1. Motivation. Believe in self. Energy. Unsatisfaction
Motivation appears to be a more important factor than innate ability in the development of expertise. – Scientific American
You have to believe in self to become a successful expert. An expert need strength, energy and motivation to go beyond ordinary performance levels.
Top performers in different disciplines do this – envision own success and prepare their minds to achieve higher levels. Thinking can “wire” our brains for developing new capabilities and success.
Questions: Am I ready? How can I boost my strength, energy and motivation? How will I succeed?
2. Hard Work. Discipline. Focus.
The differences between expert performers and normal adults reflect a life-long period of deliberate effort to improve performance in a specific domain. – Anders Ericsson
Hard work is not as difficult after you start and dive into it. Often the problem is that you cannot start or concentrate. Procrastination ruins your progress. There are many barriers for focused and productive work:
Pressure and stress kills productivity
Low interest – without engaged mind your brain will resist to form knowledge
Multitasking – takes away precious concentration and mindset needed for productive work
Unclear goals – disoriented mind cannot focus effectively
No specific time – you will tend to postpone, delay and miss practice without strictly scheduled time
Distractions – inconvenient environment and frequent interruptions don’t help
New Scientist had an advice how to get a grip on yourself and strengthen willpower. The main ideas – willpower is limited resource, easily depleted; it requires planning, boost and practice.
Also, keep yourself interested. Switch if you start loosing focus and interest. Reboot. Have prepared practices in different areas to enable fresh start for your mind.
Questions: How do I maintain focus, stay committed and interested?