One Mental Hack To Learn Anything… Fast

Posted in: Innovation, Life at H-I, Lifestyle

Here at Hello Innovation, we believe that a great idea can change the world…Every day we come to work energized to create. We know that we’re going to make mistakes along the way, but we’re okay with that… because through this process we can learn and evolve.

So when a learning hack comes my way that accelerates the process of getting good at anything - allowing you to fail quicker and fail better, you better believe that I’m all over it. When I learned this simple framework, it changed how I look at the learning process… and more importantly, it gave me insight that has allowed me to “level up” my capabilities both personally and professionally.

Let’s dive in…The framework is called the “conscious competence” model in psychology circles, but don’t worry...I’ll break it down as simple as possible. Basically, there are four steps to this model:


Step 1: Unconscious Incompetence

You don’t know that you don’t know. Ignorance is bliss.


Step 2: Conscious Incompetence

Now you know that you don’t know. S#*%!


Step 3: Conscious Competence

You know that you know. Awesome…you’re making progress.


Step 4: Unconscious Competence

Damn...Now you’re so good, you operate on autopilot. Watch out superstar 😉


The Continuous Cycle

This is the four step process that you go through when you learn anything… a skill, a language, running a business, or even crushing your opponent in ping-pong.

And it’s a cycle too… as soon as you reach Step 4, you level up to Step 1 again…and you’re ready to refine and enhance your skills. You probably noticed that Steps 1 and 4 have the words “unconscious” in them…That’s because you don’t even realize you’re in these stages as they happen.

In fact, as soon as you reach unconscious competence… you immediately level up to unconscious incompetence at the next level of your learning. But you’re not going to be aware of any of that. Therefore, the only stages you really should focus on are 2 and 3. The sweet spot between perfect ignorance and perfect knowledge. Your goal is to get to Step 2 as fast as possible.


Figure Out What You're Bad At

That might not be intuitive, but knowing that you suck at something is the best thing for you… because then you can do something about it. As soon as you realize that you’re starting to get the hang of something, get to the point where you’re stuck… where you reach a plateau… where it starts getting difficult. That’s where the real learning takes place…

So figure out what you don’t know as fast as you can. That allows you to accelerate your learning again and again, because instead of fixating on what you can already do, you concentrate on what you can’t do yet. Now you have a clear focus on what to learn.

When you want to be an innovative leader in your field, you need to be constantly pushing your knowledge and capabilities to the next level… because everyone else around you is doing this too. Plus, there’s the added benefit that getting to conscious competence is extremely rewarding.


Take Action

So… what’s one area of your life where you have conscious incompetence? What can you do to rocket yourself towards conscious competence? Think of three actions you can take that will help you learn and go from Step 2 to Step 3… and go do them today.

And watch the quality of your life skyrocket faster than you can imagine.

P.S. We're hiring! Click here to see what opportunities might fit your skills. Who knows, maybe you can teach us a thing or 2!


Image Credit: LifeSun

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