We go to experts for their opinions, thinking they know everything about everything, but when the world is constantly changing, are their opinions reliable? How can one know everything about a topic if we are learning new things every day?
In other words, how can one truly be an expert?
By definition, an expert is “one with the special skills or knowledge representing mastery in a particular subject.” In my opinion, an expert is someone very knowledgeable in a subject, yet understands that they don’t know everything. To find someone who spent their entire life studying and mastering a specific topic, but is open to admitting that they might be wrong, is rare.
As humans, we live for making mistakes; we don’t like being wrong or seeking help. We won’t admit that we learn more from being wrong then we did from being right. We learn from our experiences.
Living in the society that we do now, everyone is an “expert” in their own way. We have the internet at the tip of our fingers. We are always one Google search away from knowing all the answers to a question. Remember when our parents used to tell us, “Don’t believe everything you read on the internet?”
In a technology-based world, why wouldn’t we? We grew up believing that we could find all the answers on Google.
We can become makeup artists, hairstylists or IT techs in a matter of months. Take, for example, the Google Career Certificates. You can become a certified data analyst, project manager or IT technical specialist in just a short six months.
You can become an expert with just a couple of failed experiences and a can-do attitude.
Life is an endless game of trial and error. Every day, we face new challenges and sometimes have to find new ways to overcome them. We learn something new every day, so how can one ever be an expert?
You must allow yourself to grow. To do that, you have to accept that you are not always going to be right, and you will make mistakes because you’re human. It’s what we do.
I am not saying to disregard all experts. We should still acknowledge that expert opinion comes from endless practice; these opinions can still be considered valuable. However, bear in mind that even experts disagree among themselves, so don’t be afraid to question them.
We are human. We are learning. We are at a place in society where we can say, “Don’t trust the experts.”