When can you become an expert?

We hear about a number of experts in different fields. Many of them are really excellent at what they do, while others are may be self proclaimed amateurish. Are there any rules as when one can be called an expert? Is there any set criteria? Should one be allowed to promote ownself as an expert in a particular field?

Well, it depends on the field where someone is claiming to have an authority, knowledge or upper edge. If it is academic field, criteria and standards are fairly certain. There are degrees and exams to ascertain one’s level of expertise and brilliance. A medical doctor or an engineer or an accountant becomes better than others only by attaining more qualifications and experience. But if it is in the field of sports, arts, or any other such field where qualifications matter less than performance, there is always a chance of people claiming to be a genius suo moto. On many occasions, it is not the real expert who gets highlighted because s/he is too polite to put a claim, while those who have all the time and energy (but not real knowledge) occupies the spotlight of being an authority, expert and master.

Real expertise, excellence and professionalism comes from practice and perseverance, dedication and hardwork. A few people are willing and able to put in that much effort. It’s not just a daily mechanical participation in any activity that makes one connoisseur, but real interest, attention to detail and willingness to improvise at every stage leads to develop a cutting edge knowledge and wisdom. One person working on a machine for twenty years doesn’t become an virtuoso, as he doesn’t do anything more than operating the machine mindlessly. It is possible that the person even doesn’t know all functionality of that machine because his work is limited to one or two features only.

To become better than others, to claim expertise and to have an authority on something, one has to have a devotedness and pursuance. Only honest efforts do make one real pro. One who is willing to work for hours only for 0.001% improvement has a chance to be at the top of the game. Because after certain level, even a fraction of betterment, progression matters a lot and as a matter of fact it doesn’t come as easy as in the beginning. The climb is steep and difficult near the top. A sprinter gets fraction of second faster by unimaginable work in practice, discipline and dedication.

Are you willing to put in that much mindful, honest and dedicated efforts to become an expert in your field?