Of change and humility in the path of creation

The best way to approach a new and seemingly easy situation is not from the expert manner but from a novice naive way —almost child like— a route we usually forget how to conduct ourselves anymore, and that used to be our only one when very young. This if we want not to fall into the trap of overconfidence, or even worse believing to have the new situation under control when the opposite is more likely the case.

The humble expert is almost a contradiction. To be an expert is to discern the root and the outcome of a given problem better than most of us, but also is dependant on a certain path of regularity —in their domain of expertise— to be able to provide superior advice. Without this regularity, the expert most likely won’t be humble enough to admit that he is probably no better than us to know the cause and consequences in a novice problem, therefore ill advising himself and whoever that believes in his expertise.

Experience in this way can be a heavy load, while for others is a relieving journey instead. Experts becomes too full of static and theoretical knowledge, making them more knowledgeable but less wise, blind to the new practicalities of the everyday, setting them apart from natural approaches, and prompt to be fooled by their lack of humility in real life application. For other sages, experience is a liberating life journey, one of making them lighter of unnecessary knowledge and full of true wisdom. Everyday picking up knowledge that only replaces not accumulates. Their exercise is to become truly humble of what you don’t know, and leaving behind old theoretical securities for more practical, natural, and really worth of carrying forward truths.

This is more palpable in the discovery of new things. Since when starting from a naive and blank canvas —no preconceptions— lead to understanding of the new job, product, procedure, concept in a way that could be quite different from the usual grasp of it. This is one of the reasons many people with the same educational and professional background are just as blind to see solutions to their careers and businesses everyday problems, and become quite surprised when the outsider non expert a year or two ago, becomes the inventor and revolutionary for them to follow tomorrow. The path to his discovery is not clear to them. Because it starts from ridding themselves of most of what they think they know and relearn things like a novice. In this way, naivety, a clean canvas of needed knowledge, and the dream of finding a better solution to a problem, seems more like the true origin of invention. Necessity is required, but without humility it would lead to be ignorant of the new avenues and connections that gives creation its different essence.

When trying a new occupation, and believing one has a better way to do something it has never exercised before, is important to approach it like a child in their first day at school. Not knowing what to expect, not knowing who it works, but confident that it will work out in the long-term. For the career changer remembering to use this approach is difficult as —different than in school— all your peers see you as a non expert, and immediately disqualify any new solution you can bring to the job, eroding the confidence of the not humble, and putting to the test the stamina and determination of the self-starter lacking credentials of expertise.

Those moments of doubt separate the wise from the false experts, as the latter ones will not accept their authority to be questioned —even in professions they have never exercised— their whole being is defined by what they know and believe they are an expert of, taking that away from them is leaving naked a reality they don’t usually confront. In the other hand, the true wise knows that the journey to wisdom is a shifting one. One day you know and teach, the next you are the pupil that know nothing. Their path is full of new challenges, new businesses, new professions, new cities, new friends. Not as a way to avoid being compared side by side to the experts, but as a path to find the one thing they will dedicate their life about, and humbling experiences rightly fill their perspectives with the most essential elements of truth which is their final destination.

Indeed, change and humility goes hand in hand for the one seeking transcendence. Any chap aiming at being remembered long after their death and looking to leave a contribution behind that improves their community, nation or the whole of the world likely needs to follow this junction. Qualities that together are very rare to find, where one describes their journey as a “I know nothing for a start” , and still is able to earn respect as a sage and introduce a view or invention never possible to be conceived before.

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