The path to
All of us have skills and abilities that we would like to Master. It might be the ability to play an instrument, to draw or paint, to play a sport, to train or coach people, to learn and speak a new language, or simply to be happy and successful (Yes, Happiness and Success are also skills that can be learnt and mastered!).
But what many of us don’t realize is that each and every one of us has already mastered a plethora of skills. And what is even more baffling is the process of how we went about learning those skills. We all have learnt, and to an extent mastered, how to read, write, walk, drive, speak different languages, etc. which are complex processes and do require a lot of skill and practice because there was a time in our lives when we didn’t have these abilities and we then learnt them piece by piece, always moving to more and more advanced levels and getting more skilled.
So, let us examine the process of Mastery so as to keep ourselves Empowered & Motivated and to hasten the process when learning new skills, now and in the future, in our quest for Mastery. Let us examine the five phases of mastery in light of the simple skill of being able to write. And as we go through the different phases of mastering the ability of writing I invite you to explore, just at the back of your mind, the analogous steps involved in your mastery of the ability to ride a bike or drive a car (or if you don’t ride or drive, consider your ability to brush your teeth ) .
The first phase of mastery is that of Unconscious Incompetence (Ui) where you don’t know that you don’t know. For Example, as children, before we are introduced to chalk, pencils, pens and the letters we do not know that we don’t know how to write.
The next phase is that of Conscious Incompetence (Ci), the time when you first become aware of that skill and know that you don’t know that skill, when you are first introduced to writing recognizable letters of the alphabet.
The third phase in the process of mastery is that of Conscious Competence (Cc), the phase where we consciously learn the smaller pieces of the skill through practice and then practice putting the pieces together. For example, we consciously practice through writing each letter of the alphabet over and over again and then stringing them together to write more complex words. And then we know that we know to write. The skill itself, then, drops into our unconscious capabilities.
And we have reached the fourth phase of mastery, Unconscious Competence (Uc), when we don’t even have to think consciously about doing that skill. And we are naturally able to write alphabets and words.
The fifth and final phase of the process of mastery is that of Conscious Unconscious Competence (cUc) which involves artful play with the skill learnt. Mastery then takes on the form of practice, refinement of technique and application of acquired skill usefully in other contexts and hence is also a continual and ongoing process.
And so, to all the Masters reading this material (Yes, you! ) No matter where you are right now on the Path to Mastery, keep yourself Progressing and take on all the skills you would love to have. Because Anything is Possible for You and All the Resources are Within You!
“If we did all the things we are capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves.”
-Thomas Alva Edison
To Your Excellence,
Abhishek S Thalanki