There is a certain magic, empowerment and spiritualism in the idea that anyone can change the world. We tell kids to “shoot for the stars,” “reach for your dreams” and “never give up.”
Meanwhile, technology has splintered influence channels. The gatekeepers are gone. The Fake News has leaked in and the conspiracy theorists have found each other.
There is a paradox that comes with freedom and possibilities. Now there is just so much more work to do with every decision you make. It’s all a little overwhelming.
That is why it is so important for YOU to be an expert on something.
Not an expert on everything or anything, several things or lots of things.
It is an important to be an expert on ONE thing.
People use Google to augment their knowledge and YouTube videos to repair their leaking dishwasher. But they use people when the stakes get raised.
They use people to make weekend plans and pick a gym and figure out where to eat and choose which bands they like and what books to read.
These may seem like small stakes decisions in the scheme of things, but it is dangerous to underestimate.
Ask the chef who first fell in love with cooking because of Grandma.
Ask the drummer who found Led Zeppelin in his brother’s bedroom.
Ask the writer who felt his brain change when a high school English teacher told him to read Hemingway – even though it wasn’t on the syllabus.
Being expert on something is different than being employed in the pursuit of something. Being an expert means there is a glint in your eyes when you talk about it. Being an expert means you understand the significance of it – even if it feels like no one else does. Being an expert often means it doesn’t feel like work. But hey – if you get paid for it, good for you. But if you don’t - don’t stop.
Take this as a pat on the back, a rallying cry. Keep your nerdom and let you flag fly. Get greasy in the garage; play until your fingers bleed. Pound the keyboard, learn the code. Create in whatever medium you find you know intuitively.
This is how you change the world. One passion at a time.