We all like to be an expert; it’s great to be acknowledged for our expertise and knowledge. It really is an ego boost to feel like the authority on some subject. But it’s comes at a price. If you set yourself up as an authority it makes it a whole lot harder to keep learning. Almost as though you can’t show any chinks in your armour of knowledge.
But it is just not possible to know everything! Life and learning is an on-going process, constantly evolving. It is so important to keep your mind open to new ideas and allow yourself to learn, to be humble and accept suggestions. Ego is a terrible thing; I suspect it actually hides big insecurities in all of us. It is hard to keep your mind open, to be able to take well-meaning suggestions without flinching.
This of course goes well beyond just my design work right though all of life. After my fourth child was born and he was having various sleeping problems related to his ears the most common refrain I heard was ‘well you know what you’re doing, you’re an expert at this’. Total nonsense. With each child I’m a complete beginner. I’ve never met them before, I don’t know who they are yet. The same goes for every new design. I’ve got a stockpile of background knowledge but every one is started anew, from scratch, and to make it special you’ve got to allow yourself to go back to basics in the hope that you’ll rediscover something amazing.
So here’s to a new year of learning and fresh discoveries for all of us!