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Warning Signs and Signposts | #MyFridayStory No. 175

Warning Signs and Signposts | #MyFridayStory No. 175

If we use a road trip as a metaphor for the journey of life, there are signposts and warning signs along the way that shouldn’t be ignored. These signs are not mere suggestions, they are instructions on what to do in certain situations. You must pay attention and obey their expert advice. Following the instructions ensures a safe, fun journey.

In psychology, the model, ‘Four stages of competence,’ is used to describe how we move from incompetence to competence in a skill. Sticking to our road trip analogy, learning to drive is a useful example to demonstrate the four stages.

Before we learn to drive, we don’t know how to drive, and we don’t necessarily know that we don’t know. In this first stage, we are unconsciously incompetent. We must first acknowledge our skills deficit and the value of acquiring the new skill before there’s enough motivation to move to the next stage.

As we climb behind the wheel of a car, we realise we don’t know how to drive—we become conscious of the fact that we don’t know how to drive—we are consciously incompetent. Our awareness of our lack of skill is the stimulus to wanting to gain the new skill. During this sage, making mistakes is an integral part of the learning process.

As we move into the 3rd stage, our driving is getting better. However, it requires our full attention to concentrate and not make mistakes—we’ve become consciously competent. The fourth and final stage of being unconsciously competent is when driving a car has become ‘second nature’ and can be performed easily.

I’ve been privileged with many forms of ‘transport’ throughout my life. As a toddler, I had a tricycle and a home-made go-cart. When I was 7, I got a pair of roller-skates for Christmas—with four wheels on each skate, not in-line. I got a small red bicycle with training wheels a year later. When I was in grade 7, my father bought me a beautiful mini-5-speed racing bicycle. In high school, I took to skateboarding before I bought a 50cc motorbike to get around. I bought my first car after I completed my national service.

In my desire to become skilled at using each of these modes of transport, I got many scrapes, bruises, and broken bones.

And so, in life, we all experience knocks and blows while learning to master the necessary skills to survive. As we move from being unconsciously incompetent to being unconsciously competent, it’s the teachers and mentors in our life that are the signposts that point out the warning signs along the way. They’re the experts that have mastered the task through experience, keen perspectiveand ‘an inside track’ on navigating life.

Look out for the signposts and warning signs on your journey. Listening and obeying will lessen the knocks and blows and greatly increase the fun.

Have an awesome weekend and please be generous! 😄

As always, thanks for reading 🙏

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