Like any skill development developing life skills is a serious business.
It needs three basic qualities —
c) Kindness and respect for yourself
This is because development of life skills goes through four distinct phases, which are —
1. Unconsciously incompetent — we simply don’t know why we are doing things that we keep doing. It keeps getting again and again with no improvement in sight. We behave like a robot.
2. Consciously incompetent — we suddenly realize that there must be a way out of ‘failures’ and ‘sufferings’ and ‘pain’ that we are inflicting upon ourselves. And we decide to do something about it. We also realize that it is our unconscious habits, ideas, concepts, assumptions, thinking patterns, convictions, weaknesses that are the source of trouble. We then start to see our feelings and thoughts as they arise and try to look at them before they transform into commitments, decisions and actions. We are conscious about it but find it a difficult job.
3. Consciously competent — slowly over time and practice we start to have a grip on the issue of seeing our feelings and thoughts and check the flaws in those, which would have undesirable result both for ourselves and others if acted upon. We then consciously start changing our intentions and actions. However, at this stage we sometimes succeed and sometimes fail. But we are aware of both our successes and failures and are able to keep ourselves centered.
4. Unconsciously competent — this is the transformation stage. And such transformation happens quite suddenly. When it happens we no longer need to be conscious about what we are feeling or thinking and about the decisions and actions that are to be taken. It happens automatically. We have before us many choices to make and the right choice for the right context is automatically selected. It is so automatic that it seems that ‘nothing special’ is happening. Such transformation leads to better outcomes for self and others and perhaps for the world at large.
We automatically take care of our problems, failures, sufferings and pains.
Without undergoing individual transformation, I strongly feel that there is little or no hope of changing our lives and the world.