When you become an expert at something, it stops the learning process and stunts your growth. But knowledge is infinite and we should always be learning.
Charles Holland Duell was the commissioner of the US Patent and Trademark office between 1898 and 1901. He once famously said, “Everything that can be invented has already been invented.” Ok, that was debunked, he never actually said that but think about the ridiculousness of that statement.
If that were true, air travel, space travel, the internet would never have been invented. That’s the point of the expert paradox. You can never know everything about anything because there are new things to learn all the time.
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For some people, the “expert” label becomes such an integral part of their ego, that they can’t bear to come down from their ivory tower to get back in the trenches to learn something new. Soon enough the label no longer applies because they haven’t kept up with the movement in their field.
That is so hilarious and cute because you don't actually know anything.Tweet This
Learning should be an on-going process for everyone in every area of life. There can never be a certainty that everything is known about anything. I am a (very) amateur expert on Percy Shelley. Everything he is ever going to write has been written. But everything he has written has not necessarily been found.
Right now his magnum opus could be lurking in a trunk in someone’s attic, one day to be discovered. The thought thrills me and if there is a topic you love, you should be thrilled that there is always the possibility of more to learn.
How does this relate to personal finance? If you want to move up in your job, you had better always be learning. Because if you aren’t you can bet there is someone younger than you who is more savvy about the new developments in your industry who will happily take your place. The same goes when it comes to your money. HSA’s weren’t really a thing a few years ago but if you listened to Episode 171, you know they are a great place to park your money.
Read, talk to knowledgeable people, keep up with the changes around you.
Abbaye De St Martin: A blonde ale.
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