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Personal Development

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In 1969, Management trainer Martin M. Broadwell, describes the Four stages of competence in a Gospel Guardian article titled: the four levels of teaching, he writes:

A few are gifted with the ability to teach well without working at it. Others must learn the skill. For most of us, learning how to teach means studying and practicing and seeing what we did right and wrong. According to Broadwell there are four levels of teaching:

Unconscious Incompetent.

This poor creature who is a very poor teacher, but doesn’t know it. He goes on in the same old way, perhaps lecturing in a dull, monotone manner, unaware that he is wasting his time and the students’. We can do nothing towards improving this fellow, because he can’t be changed until he reaches the next level, which is the “Conscious Incompetent.”

Steve Jobs, ex-CEO of Apple Computer & Pixar Animation Studios, on June 12, 2005, delivered one of the most inspiring commencement speech at Stanford University.

If you want to improve, be content to be thought foolish and stupid – Epictetus

Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish excerpt from the 2005 Steve Jobs Commencement Speech

When I was young, there was an amazing publication called The Whole Earth Catalog, which was one of the bibles of my generation. It was created by a fellow named Stewart Brand not far from here in Menlo Park, and he brought it to life with his poetic touch. This was in the late 1960s, before personal computers and desktop publishing, so it was all made with typewriters, scissors and Polaroid cameras. It was sort of like Google in paperback form, 35 years before Google came along: It was idealistic, and overflowing with neat tools and great notions.

If you wish to improve, be content to appear clueless or stupid in extraneous matters. Don’t wish to seem knowledgeable, and if some regard you as important, distrust yourself ~Epictetus.

remind myself every morningNothing I say this day will teach me anythingSo if I’m going to learn, I must do it by listening. – Larry King

I am not the best of listener, it is a weakness am taking conscious effort in trying to remedy. It is a constant battle for me to stay silent when someone is speaking. It is a life long journey, just like any habit. You can Learn and Unlearn any thing you put your mind into.

I am committing to Listening for a change. Here are some thoughts and insights on Listening that could help:

In the Contranian’s Guide to Leadership, Steven B. Sample wrote :The average person suffers from three delusions:

  • That he is a good driver
  • That he has a good sense of humor
  • That he is a good listener

The biggest mistake you can make in trying to talk convincingly is to put your highest priority on expressing your ideas and feelings. What most people really want is to be listened to, respected, and understood. The moment people see that they are being understood, they become more motivated to understand your point of view. – David D. Burns (Psychiatrist and Author)

John Maxwell in his Book, the leaders greatest return, shares a joke about listening:

We hear half of what what is being said, listen to half of what we hear, understand half of that, believe half of that, and remember only half of that. If you translate those assumptions into an eight hour workday, here is what what would mean:

  • You spend about four hours listening
  • You hear about two hour of what is said
  • You actually listen to an hour of that
  • You understand only thirty minutes of that
  • You believe only fifteen minutes of that
  • And you remember only seven and a half minutes of it.

Be like water making its way through cracks. Do not be assertive, but adjust to the object, and you shall find a way around or through it. If nothing within you stays rigid, outward things will disclose themselves.


Empty your mind, be formless. Shapeless, like water. If you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup. You put water into a bottle and it becomes the bottle. You put it in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Now, water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend
. ― Bruce Lee

How do you answer the question: What do you do? Do you answer with your present/past Job Description(s). For Example:

The above responses are what have done in the past/presently doing but they are not who I am because I am constantly re-inventing myself like we should all be doing. We need to constantly be in Permanent Beta Mode.

In the The Start-up of You, Reid Hoffman notes:

Technology companies sometimes keep the beta test phase label on software for a time after the official launch to stress that the product is not finished so much as ready for the next batch of improvements. Gmail, for example, launched in 2004 but only left official beta in 2009, after millions of people were already using it.

One of my favourite quote from a movie is from “Akeelah and the Bee:

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness
That most frightens us.

We ask ourselves
Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.

Your playing small
Does not serve the world.
There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking
So that other people won’t feel insecure around you.

We are all meant to shine,
As children do.
We were born to make manifest
The glory of God that is within us.

It’s not just in some of us;
It’s in everyone.

And as we let our own light shine,
We unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
As we’re liberated from our own fear,
Our presence automatically liberates others.

I developed my keen interest in playing various board games such as Scrabble,Monopoly and Chess after watching the Akeelah and the Bee Movie.

Our deepest fear quote is originally from Marianne Williamson, I agree profoundly with the statement.

Never make excuses. Your friends don’t need them and your foes won’t believe them.  – John Wooden   

We give ourselves various excuses/reasons and we talk ourselves out from achieving our greatness by saying things like : I am too young, I am too old, I am too skinny, I am too fat, I am too dark, I am too this I am too that.