I've been thinking lately about how easy it is to let expertise turn into a rut. Over the years I've developed an expertise and a confidence in what I do and how I do it. It feels comfortable and solid. And yet I know that if I rest on the laurels of my current expertise, at some point in the future I risk stagnation, like the once-passionate teacher who has been doing the same thing in the classroom for too long.
Right now I'm starting to develop some new opportunities (all still building on my Passion Catalyst work) that take me out of my comfort zone. Rather than comfortable and solid, it's putting me in a somewhat uncomfortable and shaky space. It's putting me in the beginner zone.
The more I think about it, the more I realize how perfect that is. That uncomfortable, shaky space is where the opportunity for doing new, very cool things lies. And it's definitely where the opportunity for growth lies.
Staying 100% in that comfort zone is a recipe for stagnation. Instead of only doing more of the same, commit to being a serial beginner. Dedicate a certain percentage of your focus to pursuing something that is going to take you beyond your comfortable expertise and turn you into a beginner.
Maybe it's an 80/20 split, with 80% of your time spent on the solid, stable footing of your expertise, and 20% spent pursuing something new that challenges you and puts you in the beginner zone. Or maybe you want to get more agressively new, with a 50/50 split.
However you do it, stay new, stay fresh, and stay passionate.
Brought to you by Curt Rosengren, Passion Catalyst TM