Who’s Your Expert?

Good morning! I hope your day is starting off well.

Hump day came a little early this week, or so it would seem. After a three-day weekend, it was hard getting back to work yesterday. I sat there valiantly trying to remember what I’d worked on the previous week, and my mind went blank. That’s either a sign that I didn’t do anything, or that I’m consciously trying to forget it. I’ll go with Door Number 2.

Experts say that’s a sign of stress and, since I’m no expert, I guess I’ll have to take their word for it. On the other hand, who died and put them in charge? I mean, at what point in their life did somebody lay a hand upon their head and say, “Forever more, you shall be known to all mankind as ‘Expert’”? I think they’re making it up.

If you want somebody to believe what another person is saying, all you have to do is use the “E” word. “She’s an expert!” Wow. I didn’t know that. Why didn’t you tell me that in the first place? An expert? Okay, where do I sign up?

We’d like to think we’re not quite so gullible, but the facts would suggest otherwise. As a comedian, I can’t count the number of times I received a solicitation for a “business of comedy” class that promised to teach me all the secrets of success, taught by somebody I’ve never heard of and who never achieved any appreciable success himself. As they say, those who can, do – the rest teach.

I’d like to think most people who tout themselves as experts at least read a lot of books on the topic and learned from the true masters of their craft. But more likely, they’re just trying to sell a book of their own. You see, anybody can become an expert simply by making a bold declaration – “I’m an expert!” Get a couple of people to agree with you on that, and you’re off to the races.

I’ll be the first to say that, when it comes to motivation and success, I’m certainly no expert. More accurately, I’m an enthusiast. I know what I know because somebody else wrote it first, and I formulate all my ideas based on a combination of the things I’ve read and some of my own observations through nearly 62 years on this planet. After a while, you learn a thing or two.

And, even though my banker may not be overly impressed, I’ve enjoyed a fair amount of success over the years, largely because of what I learned from others. I guess I picked some pretty good teachers. And believe me, there were plenty of people along the way trying to convince me I’d never make the cut. You know, people who knew absolutely nothing about what I was trying to do.

Have you ever noticed the people who are most vocal about a given topic are usually the people who know the least about it? They think turning up the volume will make up for a lack of knowledge and people will flock to their side to hear their opinions. But the people who know the most, the ones from whom we should truly want to learn, just sit there quietly and nod.

Still, when we have that rare opportunity for a successful person to offer some suggestions, what’s the first thing we do? We go straight to our best friend and eagerly await their advice, even though they’ve never even attempted the suggestions we were given and have no experience on which to base an opinion. In less than a minute, that uninformed opinion becomes our source of truth and we quit before we even get started.

And it’s not that your friend really wanted to crush your enthusiasm or keep you from attaining your goals. But we all speak from the only reality we’ve come to know. I’m sure if your friend knew the secrets to success, they’d share those secrets with you. The question is, have they ever been successful in what you’re trying to accomplish, or are they just talking?

None of us are experts on everything, and we can all learn something from those around us. That includes your best friend who was so generous in dispensing advice. Not advice in how to succeed, but in how to pick an idea apart. Because, that’s really all they know. They speak, not as an expert on succeeding in your chosen endeavor, but in finding fault with those who do.

If you ask people for advice, they’re usually happy to give it. The key is asking the “right” people. Successful people are usually just as quick to offer advice as those who aren’t even willing to try. The question is, which one will you choose to follow? Who will have your ear today? You decide what goes into your brain. Choose wisely.

That’s all for now. Have an awesome day!

© 2019 Dave Glardon – All rights reserved

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