BARRE TALK

EXPERTISE

DO YOU KNOW WHAT ‘EXPERT’ REALLY MEANS?

One of the life-lessons I recently introduced to my 9-year old son, Nico, is the premise of mastery. He and I are exploring mastery in the context of weekly spelling tests, poem recitals, book reports, and the game of lacrosse. One of the challenges about embracing mastery today is that it is contraindicated by a society that demands instant gratification, and instant results. We are told to expect to be instantly successful; that we will experience immediate and complete results. We are sold on the Right Now. I try to explain to my son that there is as much joy in the journey of mastery as there is at its endpoint. This is a lesson that can take a lifetime to understand and accept, and the understanding and acceptance only come with experiencing the journey for oneself. As one masters something, one acquires expertise. Malcolm Gladwell magnificently addressed the acquisition of expertise in his book “Outliers.” Mr. Gladwell tells us: “In fact, researchers have settled on what they believe is the magic number for true expertise: ten thousand hours.” ― Malcolm Gladwell, Outliers: The Story of Success Ten thousand hours translates to nearly 5 years of … Read More