Are You An Expert? Or Ignorant?
Have you ever given this a thought?
Are you an expert or straight up clueless?
Every single person has the potential to be an expert in something
It doesn’t matter what your goal is. If you sit down, dedicate yourself to learning as much as you can, and do the work, eventually you’ll achieve your goal, whatever that is.
You know what I’ve seen prevent people from being a success and winning time and time again?
People thinking they know everything and that they’re the smartest person in the room.
Sit down, be humble
One of the most annoying things about people you’re going to have to deal with, is people who think they have it all figured out, because typically they know the least.
I just had some guy DM and say “Hey Tim, you say you know so much about social media, but on your Instagram story you uploaded a low-resolution video. You should only use HD pictures and videos”
He was sure that he was right and I was wrong.
There’s a time for high-quality videos with really expensive cameras, but from my own experience, lower quality, even selfie videos, outperform high-quality kind of shots like you’d see in Hollywood.
Why? Well, part of it is because it feels real. I just pull out my iPhone and took a video on Snapchat or Instagram stories.
No cinematography or directors, just an iPhone.
I’ve done my research, put the time in, and seen the results, but this guy thinks his opinion is better, with nothing to back it up!
Like I say from time to time, self-love is important; but self-awareness is more important.
Those who think they have it all figured out, are usually the people who fail
It’s called the Dunning-Kruger Effect.
It’s a huge problem in the world. It’s because the smartest people usually doubt themselves, but the dumbest people are so full of themselves, they think they can never go wrong.
It’s just like politicians, they’re usually not the smartest of people, but they’re so confident and sure of themselves.
Politicians will say “I know how to fix America’s problems” (or whatever country), and they come off as these charismatic, intelligent problem solvers, but Dunning-Kruger says the very fact that they think they can fix all of the worlds problems show’s they’re not very smart.
It becomes this catch-22 because the really smart people, the ones who probably could fix the world, don’t run for office because they lack confidence.
Look, I’m not making this up. It’s science and it’s been well-researched.
The 25 cognitive biases
One of my mentors, Tai, talks about this a lot. It’s a psychological theory that the billionaire Charlie Munger called “The 25 Cognitive Biases” that explains why we make bad decisions.
A big one is Certainty Bias. It feels good to think you are right, even though you might be the farthest thing from an expert on the subject.
That’s why you see all these people giving money and economic advice on Instagram, but in reality, their financial house isn’t in order.
You see the same thing with people criticizing military leaders even though they have never been to war, or even been in the military!
People like to think they are more intelligent than they really are, and want others to think they are too. These ignorant people are usually the loudest and the first to give their opinion, especially on topics they know nothing about.
People who doubt and question themselves more, tend to be successful.
People who tend to be over confident and charismatic tend to over reach their area of knowledge, which is linked to a trait called narcissism.
Narcissism isn’t just looking at yourself in the mirror, but it’s seeing yourself as better or deserving more than what you’re really worth.
People constantly say “I’m going to do really well in life because I deserve it.”
Why? What have you done to deserve better?
To get what you want, you have to deserve what you want
The world isn’t crazy enough to reward all the undeserving people.
I even have to tell myself “Tim, just shut up” from time to time.
Sometimes it’s ok to be confident, and even a know-it-all, but only when it’s in your bubble of expertise.
I’m not saying that you can’t question a process, but don’t get into a discussion you’re not an expert in and think you know everything.
If the guy who accused me of not knowing about social media had said, “hey, I saw you don’t upload high-resolution videos. I don’t know much about it, but it seems to me like high-resolution would do better. What makes you do low-resolution?”, we could’ve engaged in a meaningful discussion, but his ego made him come at me like he was the expert, so the discussion went nowhere.
I get it, I need to be more humble too
I have to watch myself as well, because I fall prey to pride as well. But there’s a big difference between being a critic just sitting in the audience, and actually being the one up there doing the work!
So my point is, if you’re going to talk the talk, you better have the results to back it up!
This is why I’m always seeking out mentors. So that I can learn from them, from a position of humility. Because pride won’t accept instruction. It’s worked well for me.
Factoids and fun facts don’t count as expertise
Do your research, put in the work, and take the time to gain the experience so when you say something, you know what you’re talking about.
Sometimes you have to stand up to these people, but for the most part these people aren’t worth your time. Because self-awareness is a personal journey. And many won’t tread its’ path.
In the bible, in Ecclesiastes, it says “there’s a time for peace, and there’s a time for war. “There’s a time for love, and there’s a time for hate.”
There’s a time to have an intellectual discussion with someone, and there’s a time to just ignore them and move on.
It’s up to you to decide.
What do you think?