One of the “rules of life” that I try to live by as much as possible is to walk with open ears and an open mind. In other words, no matter where I find myself, I always try to learn from the people around me, whether it be literally in my vicinity or from a book. Also, that what appears on the outside, may not always be what lays on the inside.
However, an important tidbit that must be taken into consideration is that not everybody who calls themself an expert, is indeed an expert. When walking with such great level of openness, you must still not let your perceptions falter you.
One thing that I’ve recently stumbled upon during my walks of openness is what I’ve come to call fine line argument theory. In essence, it is when somebody draws a line in the sand between two polarized methods of action and states that to perform well at a given task, the line must be walked exactly straight, neither straining to one side or the other. Establishing fine line arguments is a great way to declare yourself an expert, yet not truly be an expert. This is because in reality, straight lines don’t exist and as humans we naturally follow an organic line swaying back and forth across the line. Even though walking the line exactly straight may be most optimal, optimality in itself is inorganic.
To truly become an expert, one must not look to hard work, but to smart work. There’s reason to the old fable of the two lumberjacks. It is said they both had five hours to cut down their respective tree. One lumberjack spent five hours chopping down his tree and eventually it tumbled over. The other lumberjack however, spent one hour sharpening his axe and three hours chopping down his respective tree. This is called efficiency, not hard work.
Machines were never taught the concept of hard work. They were only taught the concept of efficient work. Like machines, humans can become more efficient by eliminating wasteful practices from their lives and focusing on key performance indicators. Efficiencies may also be found in specializations, as specializing is a form of removing what’s not as important, and focusing on what is.