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The Surprising Pattern Of Expert Advice

May 10, 2020

I’ve been watching a lot of Masterclass recently.

In case you’re unfamiliar, Masterclass is a site with a range of celebrity experts teaching the secrets of their craft.

Gordon Ramsey and Wolfgang Puck teach cooking. Hans Zimmer teaches music. Malcolm Gladwell teaches writing. Serena Williams teaches tennis. And so many more.

I’ve observed some interesting patterns in the way that many of these experts think about their crafts.

In many of their videos, while they’re in the midst of teaching some skill, they’ll casually mention something along the lines of, “But don’t copy me; go on your own journey and figure this out for yourself.”

I find this interesting. These are experts at the top of their field, and all of them are reiterating the same thing:

Let mastery of a subject happen naturally from walking your own path, and not from the blind obedience to expertise.

It just seems a bit ironic. These people have THE MOST to say about their field. And yet, they are more interested in being an inspiration, instead of a source of imitation.

It’s clear that what got them to where they are, are the insights that came from their own inquisitiveness and not from copying others.

It reminds me of a great Joseph Campbell quote:

If the path before you is clear, you're probably on someone else's.

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