I know some things. There are lessons I’ve learned, the experiences I have had, and discoveries I have made through education, life events, and just observing the world around me.
Over time I have developed a certain level of competence and confidence. With that confidence, it came to me to share.
Why share? Because I believe that many of the things I’ve experienced and learned could serve others. Maybe I can be an example, or a cheerleader, or just a tale of caution.
It has been almost 8 years since I began Pathwalking. What began as the result of a New Years’ Action has evolved into the underpinnings of a philosophy that I enjoy sharing with the world.
I have a lot of knowledge when it comes to positivity, conscious reality creation, the Law of Attraction, mindfulness, and self-improvement/self-help. There are numerous books I have read or listened to on these topics, and more and more I have been working on using the tools they provide to live my life as I would desire for it to be.
As I work to expand my “brand,” one thing has often struck me. I am not an expert. Why, as such, would anyone buy my books, hire me to speak, or otherwise pay for this stuff from me?
This is one of those insidious questions that is, in fact, the by-product of brain weasels. Because the truth is, expertise does not equal exceptionalism nor wisdom or knowledge of the truth.
An expert is not an expert
The idea of expertise is all well-and-good, but it often gets placed upon a pedestal. The “expert” is supposed to be uber-knowledgeable, and one of the best. They are far wiser than those who are not experts.
Yet I can point to a number of so-called “experts” who are totally full of shit. All you have to do is look at the US Congress. There are so, so many blowhards who are “experts” at this, that, or the other thing…when in truth they know nothing.
Any number of “experts” leading various religions miss many of the core truths upon which any given religion was founded. If the man truly existed, Jesus Christ rejected NOBODY, loved EVERYBODY, no matter their station, gender, sexual orientation, and so on. When the “experts” preach hatred and intolerance they are showing their lack of expertise right there.
I have watched people who were an “expert” on a topic flounder when the matter of their expertise evaporated, changed, or went away.
That’s the thing about being an expert. That which you know beyond a doubt, where you hold specific expertise, can and probably will change.
Even the philosophy I expound upon weekly has changed over the last eight years. The idea of conscious reality creation has been tied more closely to mindfulness and positivity, and the approach to any given path has been shifted and changed.
Thus, the expert of today is the novice of tomorrow.
Experience is the best teacher
When you live your life just letting patterns and paths carry you along, it’s really easy to miss out on what is around you.
Part of the reason why the path itself is of equal or sometimes greater importance than the end goal is because of all it can show you. I’m not an expert, per se, but this is what I have learned and experienced.
When you drive a car from point ‘a’ to point ‘b’ you may or may not notice what else is on the road. In particular, a road you’ve traveled many times. Yet there is still a really good chance that you will encounter something new and different.
Perhaps there’s a shop that you never realized was there. When you decide to pay that shop a visit you discover something that sets your heart aflutter, opens up new channels in your mindset, and all of a sudden your path shifts.
Or not. You might just drive past as you always have, acknowledging it but paying it no mind.
Every experience can teach you something new. But you need to be open to that.
How do you open yourself to it? Mindfulness, of course.
When you practice mindfulness you are actively being aware of your thoughts, feelings, and actions. That awareness puts you in the now, which allows you to better interact with the world around you.
This, in turn, helps you learn more things.
At least, that’s my experience with it. I may not be an expert on this topic, but that doesn’t mean I can’t share it, spread its message, and work to help other people with their lives in whatever way I can.
Practice makes more practice
Long ago I read Shunryu Suzuki’s Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind. This lesson from that book (which I am about to listen to as an audiobook) has always stuck out to me:
“In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s there are few.”
I have noticed on multiple occasions that so-called “experts” tend to be closed-minded. They have figured out the thing they know, and it is locked. They are not open to alternatives because they are an expert.
But in reality, nobody is an expert. Why? Because there is ALWAYS something to be learned. Further, EVERYTHING changes over time.
I am not an expert, but that doesn’t mean am I not knowledgeable. But I am not an expert because I am always learning new things, having new experiences, and encountering new people and places constantly.
No path you travel will be entirely straight or straightforward. You will experience twists and turns, obstacles, and various other unexpected matters along the way. This can be seen as an impediment to getting from point ‘a’ to point ‘b’ — or an opportunity to have new experiences and learn new things.
The choice is mine to make. You also are capable of choosing how to approach things for yourself.
No, I am not an expert. But that doesn’t mean I can’t be a guide or help you learn from my experience. That’s what I most desire to do with my life. Thanks for coming along on this path with me.
Do you believe yourself to be an expert at something?
You are worthy and deserving of using your mindfulness to find and/or create the reality in which you desire to live. When all is said and done you and I matter and need not be an expert at anything as such.
Originally published at http://titaniumdon.com on December 4, 2019.