Patiently put in the time to become an expert in whatever you're doing -- It is the most potent way to keep your job or stay in business.
All returns in life, whether in wealth, relationships, or knowledge, come from compound interest. Loosely speaking, compound interest is the idea that your money can build upon itself. It's the concept that you can invest money and earn a return. At first, the incremental increase in earnings is seemingly small. But over time, the returns build and build, until the amounts you are receiving become gigantic. For example, industrialist Aliko Dangote's net worth took two decades to reach $1 billion and just over a decade to add another $24billion. It grew gradually, then suddenly!
Expertise is the compounding of learning. We become experts by studying, reflecting, practicing, and teaching others. Elon Musk when asked how he learned to build rockets responded, “I read books”. When we study, bit by bit we build up a complete mental picture of an idea (or schema).
The 2011 Guinness Record holder in Memory, Nishant Kasibhatla, outlines four (4) steps to learn anything:
(1) Study about one thing at a time and give it 100% of your attention.
(2) Reflect on what you learn. Take breaks from study and meditate on how to apply your new knowledge. Breaking and mediation allow your brain to transfer learning to your long-term memory.
(3) Do it yourself to build psychomotor memory. Practice makes perfect.
(4) Teach others. Trying to explain compels you to simplify it and shows what you still need to learn.
Repeat (1) to (4) starting from what you didn't understand. It takes patience to repeat the learning process.
Here are two tips that help you stick to the learning process:
1) Set a reminder: Expose yourself to stimuli that trigger your desired behaviour as often as possible. Use an app to get a reminder, for example, the Notion app.
2) Reward yourself when you engage in the new learning habit: For example, noting the most interesting thing you learned each day in a journal. If you get into a routine of doing this, it becomes a habit. The author of Atomic Habits, James Clear, puts it best, "if you have good habits, time becomes your ally. All you need is patience."
In functional organisations, power flows from expertise, not position. It is the most potent form of authority. Patiently put in the time to become an expert in whatever you're doing. It's your competitive advantage because most people won't.
Article Credit: Samaila Goje (Guest Writer)