What’s That Something You Are Really Great At?

Sometimes we gather tools in the absence of expertise: I think most of us who have expensive and complex cameras and attend those fancy workshops – never put to use the same. The camera here is just an example… Perhaps we think if we have the apparatus, we’ll become experts (or we just want to convince others). A great camera-man would be a great camera-man without a great camera!

Apparatus doesn’t make one an expert

This started as a discussion with a friend about an artist who started collecting expensive colors, precision brushes and fancy canvases as he advances in his field of art. He was selling his paintings at prices higher than he sold for last year – and now people also know him for his attractive and unusual collection of colors and canvases apart from his amazing art works.

What are you great at

We also come across people who do the reverse way and believe they would get closer to achieving the level of an artist. Another example can be buying those Puma shoes in order to persuade yourself to go to gym or get that feel of a marathon runner; collecting technology books to become an outstanding computer programmer and reading none of them only to show others that you are one!

As my brother grew into the shoes of a winning skater in his school and then winning medals in bigger competitions – he started getting pickier about his knee guards, skating shoes, gloves, helmets and to an extent of type of oil and bearings he puts in those skate shoes. And I realize there was no point in accumulating all those that he didn’t even know about – and wouldn’t have understood the use of – when he was starting out.

Why do you need to be an expert?

I have spent quite some time thinking over why do people do any sort of mastery over anything. Why is there a will to master or be good at something? There may be many reasons; profession, authority and purpose are a few reasons among many.

Then there are people who are genuinely great at things. Some are great at managing, some at cooking and some at Sudoku! People learning for the fun of learning are the ones who sustain it. For profession, showing off or building authority – learning stops when the objective is achieved.

The will towards mastery is deeply wired into most of us. So what gets in the way of our pursuit of it? I think we most often resist going through the process of mastery for two reasons: it can be deeply uncomfortable along the way and we doubt our ability to become expert. Don’t just let go off the time and energy spent in learning something you have always loved for the doubt of not becoming an expert.

If you want to get really great at something, be realistic about what it will require – and have faith in your own ability. And the results, once we are willing to put our minds to becoming truly good at something, can be much more than fun and entertaining – they can be gorgeous and powerful – as flying kites!!! You might just add life to what you do – as these kites are so much more than a living thing.

Idea by Erika Anderson

Satyam is a Consultant with Infosys Ltd. and editor / founder of marketinomics.com. When he is not talking about Digital Marketing or dreaming of CRM strategies, he can be found on a treadmill. He enjoys travelling, reading and listening to music! Catch up with him on twitter at @xatyam