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  • Writer's pictureKenny Johnson

Accidental Experts

Are you good at your job?

Chances are most of us would say yes. Take a second and ask yourself what makes you a good worker? You might start by saying, you are patient, do not get distracted, you are personable etc etc etc. Those character traits contribute to your success and differentiate you between good and great but chances are you brought some of those attributes with you into your career.

The reason that we have all become proficient in our work is repetition.

Think back to your first few days or weeks on the job. There were tasks that confused you, software you needed to learn, or even how to use the coffee maker in the break room. Fast forward a few months or years and those same requirements that once caught us off guard are second nature. Most of us spend more days at our workplace than anywhere else, we are faced with the same obstacles every day for years. Unconsciously we are practicing, repeating, engraining the patterns that make us more effective day after day. We have learned from mistakes, formulated plans of attack, and locked down the most efficient means of accomplishing our demands. Without thinking about it we have become experts.

When asked, "who are you?" we often lead with our career. Our very identity is constructed from where we have spent most of our time. Fascinatingly enough, plenty of us don't even love our jobs; joy, fulfillment, all of the motivators we seek don't even play a role. The very nature of a time clock or the need to produce a paycheck sets us up for proficiency.

So what can we glean from this application of time and effort in other aspects of our lives? The way to develop any skill is consistent dedication towards a specific end. We don't even need another full 8 hour day, what is required of us is consistency. Just like work, schedule time to put in repetitions towards what you want to improve. Build your free time around what is most important to you. We are what repeatedly do, not what we occasionally do. Identify where you want to improve, practice and do it daily. Soon the obstacles that once were foreign will become familiar. Put the time on the calendar, check it off daily, use that same focus and attention on what fills us up not just to earn a few dollars.

"Look at a stonecutter hammering away at his rock perhaps a hundred times without as much as a crack showing in it. Yet at the hundred and first blow it will split in two, and I know it was not that blow that did it, but all that had gone before." -Jacob Riis

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