Expertise and Wisdom

memo

My weekend reading led to a few related thoughts on expertise and wisdom.

A great piece of advice from Seth Godin:

…choices lead to habits. Habits become talents. Talents are labeled gifts. You’re not born this way, you get this way.

It has a bit of similarity to some unexpected wisdom from Will Smith talking with Charlie Rose on approaching tasks:

You don’t set out to build a wall. You don’t say I’m going to build the biggest, baddest, greatest wall that’s every been built. You don’t start there. You say I’m going to lay this brick as perfectly as a brick can be laid. …. You do that every single day, and soon you have a wall. (~23:00)

And I like Jeff Veen’s approach of starting from the bottom up in the The Art & Science of Web Design (and I’m paraphrasing liberally):

Start with the doorknob. Once you become a doorknob expert, you can move on to becoming a room expert, a door expert, a window expert. Make connections, and you can become an expert on how public spaces can foster community interaction, or how city design can alleviate congestion.