Awareness is a strange thing for us humans. Noticing it is a little bit like asking a fish about water.
One can imagine such an encounter:
Me – “Hey Fish, how’s the water today?”
Fish – “What’s water?”
Me – “You know, that wet stuff all around you?”
Fish – “What do you mean, ‘wet’?”
Me – “Um… never mind…”
When it come to awareness, we’re like the fish. Our entire world of experience happens inside the ocean of awareness.
By definition, we can’t even imagine anything outside of this ocean. As soon as we think about it, that thought takes place inside this field we describe as awareness.
And just as the nature of water determines so much about the life of a fish, the nature of awareness sets the conditions for our lives as homo sapiens, “thinking humans”.
Every activity is different, but awareness is a trait of our minds.
So these four stages are the road to learning, mastery, and creative value in our lives.
1) Oblivious – Unconsciously Unskilled
2) Noticed – Consciously Unskilled
3) Student/Practitioner – Consciously Skilled
4) Master – Unconsciously Skilled
At first glance, these stages are pretty intuitive.
1) Oblivious – This is when we don’t know something, and we don’t even know that such a thing exists.
We’re all in this stage for something, but we won’t know what for until someone brings it into our attention.
When that happens, we can say that we’ve now Noticed it and we move into the 2nd stage.
2) Noticed/Aware – Now that we’ve noticed something exists, we can decide to practice it or not.
In other words, we’re conscious of it as a thing, but we still don’t know much about how it works.
And we definitely don’t have any skills.
However, at least we are now aware that we don’t know. So we could choose to move to the 3rd stage.
3) Student Practitioner – If we’re both aware that something exists and also interested in learning more, then we become a student or a practitioner.
Here we take active steps to develop skills in this new field or activity.
The result is that if we think about it and really focus, we can now produce some results.
And if we continue to practice, then we can start to internalize these skills. This moves us to the 4th stage.
4) Mastery – This forth stage is where we have internalized a skill or body of knowledge so thoroughly that it is now a part of us.
We can do more than produce results with these skills and techniques. We can even express ourselves through them.
This is where people take the fundamentals and add an embellishment or flourish to top it off.
Its why the greats aren’t just good; their work is effective, beautiful, and inspiring,
And they make it look almost effortless, because at this stage the skills in question are a part of who that person is.
They are skilled at an unconscious level.
In the coming posts, we’ll explore each of the above stages of mastery more thoroughly.
Because by noticing the power of awareness, you open the door to a whole world of new possibilities.
Until then, when was a time that you had an “ahah” moment of noticing something for the first time?
We’ve all been there: share in the comments a time when you’ve made the move from oblivious to noticed.
Perhaps you can help us have the same experience.
In the meantime…
Keep rockin’ it and make every day count.