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Experts Go Through

For the premise of this article, expert power is defined as: A unique genius that can only be earned by going through the wall of adversity, and once earned, can never be taken away.

Have you ever been faced with something difficult? Something challenging? Something that made you want to turn around and run the other way? I most certainly have. In fact, I’ve hit the proverbial brick wall on countless occasions throughout my life—truly! Sometimes due to unfortunate circumstances that were no fault of my own and other times due to accidents, mistakes, or downright poor choices. Regardless of the reason, the outcome was always the same—the accrual of knowledge based on the firsthand experience. But knowledge isn’t power—as the saying would have us believe. It’s “applied” knowledge that’s power!

When faced with real adversity we have several options: We can face it head on, ignore it, look for shortcuts around it, or avoid it altogether. I believe that the best option is when we choose to go directly through it—without looking back! Going over, under, or around life’s difficulties is certainly an effective strategy for minimizing pain and discomfort, but when we take one of these routes, we surrender our opportunity to gain authentic expert power as it relates to that experience. Having tried all of these options during my lifetime, I can honestly say that earning a new expert power is almost always the harder choice and leaves the thickest scars—but possessing it can pay a lifetime of invaluable dividends. The bottom line: Going through the hard stuff earns us firsthand experience that has the potential to become true power—but only if certain criteria are met.

Choosing to face life’s challenges head on and deciding not to run for cover is an admirable quality that requires courage at the highest level, but by itself it’s not enough. To extract the really valuable stuff you have to separate the gold from the dross, which can only be accomplished by maintaining a positive attitude—long after the event is over. Enduring difficulties and then feeling sorry for yourself, blaming others, or becoming embittered doesn’t profit you anything—at least nothing worth mentioning. In fact, it hinders your personal growth and development and sets you back—possibly way back. If you want the good stuff, you need to load up the invaluable wisdom that was gained, lock it away in the vault, and send everything else to the junkyard. By salvaging the valuable stuff and reframing it into a positive, you meet the criteria for earning genuine expert power!

There are countless people who have known me for years who would be surprised to hear some of the challenges I’ve faced in the past—especially those from my childhood. This is a fact that I’m proud of, and it’s most certainly the point that I’m trying to make. I wholeheartedly believe in the importance of sharing the trials and tribulations from our life’s journey with others, especially the lessons learned along the way—but only if it inspires and encourages others. I view adversity, struggle, and hardship as life’s greatest teachers—it’s the kind of training that makes champions for life. So, go through the wall that stands before you head on, keep a positive attitude every step of the way, and earn your authentic expert power. And if you fall during the process, that’s OK too, just do your best to fall forward—because experts go through!

Power Quote

“I hated every minute of training, but I said, ‘Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.”

—Muhammad Ali

Harris, Chris. “Experts Go Through.” “I Go Thru: Breaking Through With Expert Power.” 2020, pp. 11-13.

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