Today, when I was reading the post “Hello, World!“, I came across the line “I am all over the place, with no expert knowledge in one particular area”. I too had a similar thought some time back. However, soon I have realised that people with no expert knowledge in one particular area dominate the world. They strive hard to remain as a normal person; in contrast to generally thinking that everyone wants to reach the apex. In this post, I will explain the unspoken benefits of jack of all trades and why it is the most preferred way of living over a person with expertise.
We call someone an expert if the person has gained specialised knowledge over the years. In other words, an expert is someone whose focus is to reach the depth of the subject at hand. For example, Lionel Messi is an expert when it comes to football. He has been practising football from his teenage years for about 20 years. Still, he plays and competes in all major leagues. In a way, we will imagine Messi when we think of football. Likewise, all of us remember a few names in our mind when we think about certain professions/activities. The expert doesn’t need to have global influence. Even a well-known physician of a locality is an expert but only for the people of that particular locality. Since experts have a special place in society, can we ask everyone to become an expert?
To answer the question, first, we must look into the early life of experts, that is the period before they are recognised as experts. All experts will spend countless hours honing their skills before they come into the limelight. It takes immense dedication to stay away from daily diversions. A normal person, on the other hand, will distribute the available time to different activities–chat with friends for a long time, spend weekends at celebrations, play different games for fun, watch TV/Netflix etc.
Now, the big question is, “Are you willing to sacrifice all the different activities you do to gain an advantage over a specific skill set?”
While society lauds sacrifices, many people are still not willing to do the sacrifice; we still have only a few experts in any field. Why this contrast? This is because many people prefer to lead a so-called “normal life” at some point in time instead of pursuing to be an expert despite its advantages.
Why are only a few people able to become experts or celebrities? The common perception is that only a few people get opportunities to rise above the odds; if given a chance, everyone will strive to become an expert/celebrity. In my view, this perception does not hold. This is because even people with opportunities are not willing to spend their resources to become an expert. For example, look around you, wherever you are, you will see a good number of people with necessities of life; having enough food to eat, a nice dress to wear, a comfortable place to sleep, and have the freedom to develop at least one skill set which the world lauds. Yet, you don’t see them in action; they don’t persevere to become an expert. Paradoxically, they speak high about experts; they could even be their crazy fans.
Logically, normal life should have an advantage over celebrity life which is not spoken in any media. In my observation, people like to chat about superiority as a pastime activity like gossip and see it as a stress relief from their routine. For example, a teenager idolises Justin Bieber and does whatever it takes to attend his concert to just see him. If we question her, “Would you like to marry Bieber?”. She will say “Yes”. In this fictional girl example, let us assume that such a marriage happens. Do you think this marriage lasts forever? The answer is “No” for multiple reasons. She may not find Bieber, a great husband. She may not be able to tolerate other girl fans who idolise Bieber; she may wonder whether Bieber would cheat her for some other pretty girl. Every girl is well aware of such situations, but still treats Bieber, a great personality and admires him.
The key takeaway from Bieber’s example is that people prioritise average or routine things in real life as they are unwilling to exert so much energy for any particular thing in life. They want to spend some time with friends, some time with parents, marry a true partner, participate in rituals and have fun chatting about experts. Though many times, they don’t show the fun element in their face while talking. If people are unwilling to pursue the skill which they talk about, then it is a pastime activity. Let’s not confuse it with superiority. For example, a person admiring Usain Bolt should be physically fit; otherwise, all talk about Usain Bolt is for recreation.
In one way, mediocrity created celebrity for their recreation.
Frequently, we talk about Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Jennifer Lawrence, Malala Yousafzai etc. but most of us are not serious about more money, more creativity, more beauty or more courage. In essence, we are happy with the status quo and would require something to discuss. Those discussions are often about experts/celebrities.
In summary, most of us like to spend time in different activities. We want to live life holistically without much hype around us. We admire experts or celebrities because the admiration creates adrenaline for excitement in our routine life and such admiration has no scope beyond that.
Thanks for reading the full article. I hope you will appreciate the different view about an average person, and I have shared what I observed in society. Till the next post, see you!
One thought on “#8. “Being average” is better than “Being expert”.”
Thank you for referencing my post. ☺️ I saw the title of your post and thought, that’s definitely relatable to me! I appreciate your perspective, because I do think there’s an advantage to not being an expert. When I was younger, I almost went to medical school, but chose to scale back on my efforts and spend time with my young children. I can’t ever get back that precious time I spent with them, and they turned out to be great adults. Life’s too short, and it’s about trade-offs and having balance. Finding peace in just being in the moment. 🤓 (And, of course, not comparing myself to those experts or celebrities…)