Expertise is a Lifestyle, Not a Process

November 25, 2010 § Leave a comment

“Hi Coach! The last few months have been amazing in terms of having the confidence in my direction, knowing that my efforts are on target with what I want in my life,”  Jake said.

“That is good to know,” I replied.

“The things you taught me, is it part of a process that you use when you coach?”  Jake asked.

“Yes, the lessons are part of a framework that I use, which of course, involves processes.  However, I would like you to focus more on your habits instead of the process,” I answered.

“Please explain,” he requested.

“Achieving expertise is a lifestyle rather than a process though we are not negating the need for process.  But understand that there is no one single process that rules all.  Each expert has his or her unique story to tell.

“You may do your own research and you will find out that successful people did different things differently.  They also had different circumstances.  Therefore, there is no one single way to become an expert. In fact, if you ask them about how they achieved success, they would tell you more about what they did consistently.

“There were elements that were consistent.  These elements are woven into their lifestyle,” I explained.

“The elements you mentioned are the habits?” Jake asked.

“Yes, the activities they did consistently, that strategically contributed to their achievement,” I answered.

“So it means that I have to form habits that contribute to my goal.  That means that I should employ a lot of self-discipline,”  Jake quipped.

“Yes and No!  Of course we all need self-discipline but there is another way to form habits,”  I said.

“What do you mean?” asked Jake.

“What I have been doing with you is to find what you enjoy the most and help you build an expertise out of it.  Habits are more easily developed if you enjoy what you do,”  I explained.

Jake smiled, “I see.  I understand.  You have been giving me assignments that help form my habits.  The reading, the study, the practice sessions, the people that I am with, and…”

“I was simply directing you to build on what you love Jake.  You are developing a lifestyle that can make you an expert. And that lifestyle is not forced but is uniquely you,” I said.

“I guess you will tell me to continue what I am doing and to add anything that can help contribute to my goals,” he declared.

“Right.  Always think of lifestyle and habits before process.  See you next week Jake,”  I said as I walked him out the office and into the elevator.

© Eduardo R. Pilapil Jr. 2010

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