The mark of an expert is to make the difficult look simple. Like the cook who whips up a delicious dessert while skyping with a friend, or the guitarist who composes a solo with her eyes closed.
Observing these experts leads us to two conclusions.
The first one is that they are naturals. They must be culinary or musically talented individuals who were born to do those things. This conclusion is easier because it lets us off the hook. Either you’re born with it, or you are not.
The second one is not to think about how people ‘are good at things’, but to ask how they build their skill. The key questions here are:
– What do they do differently?
– How have they gotten there?
This alternative is difficult, because now the onus is on us to bridge the gap. But it is also rewarding, because it shows us how we can be experts too.
The ease with which an expert executes hides behind it thousands of hours of deliberate practice. The easier somebody makes something look, the harder they have practiced it.