Experience Education and Expertise

October 11, 2009

There are clichés that may not be true. Let me give you some of them.

“Practice makes perfect.” Not necessarily true.

Practice makes permanent. This is true. Ask any golfer. If you have a defective golf swing and you practice it constantly then you will be permanently defective.

Experience is the best teacher. Not necessarily true.

Only evaluated experience teaches best. Many people continue doing the same mistakes not because they are lacking in experiencing but simply because they never evaluated their experiences.

Experience is not the same as education.

There are many educated people without experiences and they make poor teachers and instructors. And then again there are many experienced people without education and they are prevented from rising to higher levels of performance.

I have heard people say, “I do not have to finish school. I will get a job for isn’t it that experience is more important than the education?”

Once in a while comes an undereducated person who hits the jackpot. Earns a lot of money due to his or her business acumen yet none of these people would ever encourage their children NOT to have good education.

What is the difference then between education and experience?

One wag says: Education is what you get from reading the small print. Experience is what you get from not reading it.

Experiences alone do not make one an expert.

There is a difference between experience and expertise. Simply repeating the same task over and over is no guarantee you will get better.

The repeated practice should be directed toward the improvement of your performance. And when the repeated performance is done correctly, prolonged, it produces a library of specialized knowledge. This is what makes a person an expert. His mind is a wide and deep storage of patterns he may use when the situation calls for it. Just like a chess grandmaster he or she sees four or even five moves ahead.

You and I can be an expert. If we seriously want to be one

Each and everyday offers opportunity for us to gain new experience. Our skills are developed from such but only if we extract meaning from each one. This is why lazy people will never become experts. They go for the routine and they love making shortcuts.

Lazy people’s favorite cliché of course is “The end justifies the means.”

And the moment they achieve their tiny goals, they rest.

Not so the people of drive and passion. They challenge the status quo. They long for new learning. They seek more education and they do different things. Not a moment is wasted. Not a single experience ignored. Every encounter is evaluated and then the meaning from which is extracted.

Overtime this person becomes an expert. He becomes a sage on stage. He now has a wide and deep storage of specialized knowledge and experiences and people marvel at his wisdom. And then the world brands him as an “Expert.”

So now that you have education, now that you have experience and now that you have become an expert what comes next?

Here is the most important of them all.

You need to build your character.

Many people were able to climb up the ladder of their success because of their expertise but fall down hard because of their lack of character. Do not fall into this trap. For after all, God is not concerned with your success as He is with your character.

This Post Has 12 Comments

  1. Johann

    Yes, you’re so right Mr. Kong, He is much more concerned with our character than our success or failures.

  2. Fabian

    Good Day Mr. Francis Kong…Thanks.I’ve learned so much from this…

  3. Roland

    Thanks bro, very enlightening!

    Also, i have heard of a saying ” Honor is better than honors.”

    Thanks+Best regards

  4. Roland Abuan

    Thanks bro, very enlightening!

    Also, i have heard of a saying ” Honor is better than honors.”

    Thanks+Best regards

  5. Jeff M.

    This is a very timely advise, I would say. Indeed change, is inevitable, but growth is intentional. Definitely there is no shortcut to character building and we should really evaluate each hardship, each trial, and each dealings we have in life, for it is through these things that we either make or break ourselves . I like this quote of Ravi Zacharias: “The shortest route is not always the best route, because it can bypass some of the most precious lessons in life”. Thank you Sir Francis, God has truly used you to be an inspiration to many.

  6. MG Cajucom

    Another inspiring message from you Mr Kong! I totally agree.we should not waste time and talent, for it is a gift from the Lord.but one’s character truly brings more blessing to a person. it may not be materials things…more on the intangible ones like respect and love.Thank you so much for this…more power and blessings from the Almighty! so you may continue to inspire us all…

  7. Roy Casillano

    Yes, indeed. It is worth remembering from the pages of your book, and if I may quote, “It is your attitude not aptitude that determines your altitude.” God bless you, Francis and more power!

  8. Joel Tan

    Very interesting read. This leads one to rethink his or her own process of becoming. Being the person that we are is not always squared with the person we ought to be.

  9. huh?i always thought those words were right.big mistake,can i really be what i want to be?oh i don`t know,i always followed my father`s instructions toward life and education.i`m afraid to try something new.but i can try,thanks=)

  10. Gareth

    Some very true words. I always liked this version “Perfect practice makes perfect. Have an excellent New Year!

  11. Helen F. Besavilla

    Sir Francis,
    I am so much thankful of Shopwise for inviting you on the learning session last Nov. ’09, where I learned about “Character”, mostly where I learned about your blog.

    One phrase that inspire me the most from your session is that “Calamity/ Adversity refills the character of the person. Don’t waste it. We have to learn the lesson for us to become a better person.”

    You became one of my mentor from that day on. God bless you for inspiring many people.

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