Posted by: dreamofdestiny | Friday, 22 Aug 2008

Define Experience

Today is going to be a short post. I just would like to touch upon experience. You hear this a lot sometimes, people say they have a lot of experience doing certain things. For me, you can see experience in two ways – depthness and wideness.

Let us talk about depthness first. It can be defined as experience in a very specific area. Farmers or fishermen are great example of this. Say a fisherman has been fishing for his entire life, since he was a kid. He would know everything there is to know about fishing – the kind of boat needed, the weather safe to go fishing, the kind of fish he would expect to get at the end of the day, and the like. But other than that, he would know quite little. Things like how the fishes are sold in supermarkets, for example. This thing bears little weight to him.

In this kind of example, the depth of experience the fisherman has is very deep when it comes to the practice of fishing. Hence, when it comes to practicality in life, if you want something, you better go to the expert in the field – someone with a depth of experience in the matter.

Now, about wideness. A person with a wide experience can be akin to a jack-of-all-trade. He may know not very much about many things, but he knows generally a little about everything. Politicians and businessmen are prime examples of this. Politicians know a little bit of every aspect of managing a society, and they have experts at their disposal should they need more. The same goes with businessmen.

A businessman in fishing business need not know about the art of fishing, but he does need to coordinate fisherman, they buyer, where the fishes are sold, price of fishes in the market, and the like.

Now, which is better? Each one has its own advantages obviously. The relations between these two types of experience work well within an interest group. A group of people with a certain goal needs experts in different areas, led by a leader. The experts are the people with depth of experience, and the leader is the one with the wide of experience (the jack-of-all-trades).

Ocean’s Eleven is a good example of this. Danny Ocean and Rusty can be considered the jack-of-all-trades – they plan and strategise the whole deal, they also coordinate the plan. But they realise they need experts to pull the job. So they employ various people with lots of experience in transportation, computer security, inside-man (the mole), negotiator and ammunition.

In harmony together, people with these two kind of experiences can do wonders together.

Why am I talking about this? The reason is I am at a crossroad. At times, I consider myself a jack-of-all-trade, other times an expert. The thing is, I cannot decide which rests more heavily on my shoulder.

Raised to be an Astrologer, an Artist (sculpture and textile) and a Programmer, I would say that these three are my area of expertise. Yet, one of my dreams is to find the link between all Knowledges in the world. That recquires me to understand briefly about all types of Knowledges, and that is a wide-type experience.

But then, whenever I think about it, I do need both those aspects, since it is all about balance. Balance is everything – ask a Libra 🙂



  1. well…very interesting post..about experience.

    some people thought when they’re been a pioneer in some field, they’re already have a lot of experience and simply judge others people is not goods as they are..

    And “experience is the best teacher” rite..

  2. interesting post!
    experience.. im sure there are many other way to define experience..

    lina kurang faham about that story of fisherman..

  3. Its like when someone said he has a 10-year experience in one field. Does he really has a 10-year experience or a one year experience but repeating it for the next 9 years?

  4. Thanks for all the comments, Iza, Lina, Bisquit 🙂

    Iza – Pioneers deserve a bit of an ego, I guess, if they are the expert in the respective field. Out of their field, that ego will destroy them. So it depends on the situation.

    Lina – Yeah, there are other ways, this is my view on it, in summary I might add, otherwise, it would take too long to explain. The fisherman story is just a comparison or an analogy i use to describe the two types of experience. Let us use something you are familiar with. When you are in school, you learn a little bit of science, chemistry, biology, art, etc. That makes you a jack-of-all-trade, you know a bit about every subject. But you are not an expert in science, per se. Then, you will move on to a college, say you take engineering. Then you will become an expert in engineering, but not other fields. I hope this helps explain a bit.

    Bisquit – That is exactly what I mean, for fear of offending certain parties, I dare not put it in the main post, but that quite sums it up, in comparison.

    Now, this is a very long response to several comments 🙂

  5. ohh yeahh.
    i get the picture.

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