“Within a perceived reality, it is the responsibility of each person to choose their destinations as well as the pathways and pace involved in reaching those destinations. Ultimately, we create our own universe.”
Later today I’m helping a friend with her Wordpress website,❋ which is proof that there is no such thing as true expertise and that you get qualified to do the thing by doing the thing.
Expertise is a scale, or a spectrum. Nah, that’s not quite it. A process? Hm. A path, maybe.
Whether you’re 2 or 20 steps ahead of me doesn’t matter; if you have more experience, you can probably help me move forward.
But it only works well if you combine experience with awareness.
That’s the magical combination that creates E X P E R T I S E.
Review and learn from your experiences; think and write about them; discuss them; consider the angles; consider what could have been better and what could have been worse; do your best to be honest about motivations and resistance, causes and effects, avoidance and action. Look for what works and doesn’t, and find ways to remind yourself of those pertinent details at the right times.
Nobody else may recognize your expertise, but that’s not important. What’s important is that you’re learning from your own life. Awareness helps you do that. Awareness helps you use your past experiences to determine your future experiences.
The best resources
Focus on what you already have instead of what you're missing, and you'll know how to start.
We have a lot of mango trees around here. And once summer hits, the mangos are everywhere. You'll see them in the stores and at the produce stands, of course. All the varieties.
They dangle from the trees. Sometimes you hear them hit the road (or your car) when they fall.
There are piles of ignored mangos on the road, in the ditches. Some smashed, some rotten, some unripe.
And plenty of good ones, there for anyone. All you have to do is stop and pick them up.
I used to pay $4 or more for a single mango.
Here they are, on the ground. Waiting for someone to notice them. Free for the taking. Abundant. Available.
A few days ago I overheard a few people discussing lack. I get it. Sometimes it's tough to get what you want on an island. Merchants pay a premium to ship things in, so they don't order things unless there's enough demand. There are fewer options. You might have to visit multiple grocery stores to get everything you want.
Sure, that's inconvenient.
And here are the mangos, waiting. Pick one up. It’s yours. Eat it for breakfast. Chop it up and put it on your salad for lunch. Dice it with red onions, peppers, cilantro and put it on anything: tacos, stir-fry, curry, grilled chicken, fish, rice and beans. Or spoon it straight into your mouth.
Abundance is everywhere, but we don’t see it.
We do the same thing with other resources. We focus on what’s lacking and overlook what is abundant, prolific, pouring itself into our waiting hands. And the result? We operate in a victimized mindset, struggle to find inspiration, rage against the limitations, see our situations through a stilted viewpoint that present obstacles instead of opportunities.
The best resources are the ones you already have.
Take another look around. What do you want to do? What do you already have that you can use?
You don't need more. You have enough. Use the enough that you already have and the more will come flooding in.
I wrote a longer version of this post:
It’s about how to avoid resource blindness:
We fixate on what we’re missing–rather than seeing what we have, in abundance–for these reasons:
We’re stuck in the past. We want to accomplish a purpose, and we’ve done it in a particular way with particular methods and tools and materials; we falsely believe that we have to repeat the same approach in order to accomplish the same or a similar purpose.
We cling to what is familiar. It’s easier to follow set patterns and trusted recipes—for dinner or for any creative output—than it is to forge a new path. We may be okay with trying new things for fun, but trusting them in our creative work is a scary step. Especially if we don’t quite feel qualified, if we distrust our own skill and sight.
We don’t see what’s possible. We focus too much on the details and lose the big picture. We compare the way other people do things, and feel that we have to match it, exactly, in order to achieve similar goals.
Click the mango picture👆 or the chutney gif👇 to read the rest if you dare.
❋ Wordpress is my favorite and I’ve been using it for my entire career, after a brief, regrettable foray into Joomla.
Here are a few of my Wordpress favorites:
Themes by Anders Norén: beautiful, minimal, full-featured themes for Wordpress. All free.
Formidable Forms plugin: easy to use, simple, clean. There’s a Pro version, too, but the free one has been fine for me.
Content Anchor Links plugin: hasn’t been updated in a few months, but it’s still working for me. Automatically adds anchor links to all the headers, so it’s easy to reference/link to a particular section of any page or post.
Classic Editor plugin: because I, too, hate the Gutenberg editor with the fiery passion of a thousand Italian mamas.
I’m on the lookout for a good front-end checklist plugin. The one I was using isn’t updated anymore. Let me know if you have some hot tips for Wordpress checklist plugins.