It dawned on me today, while as I was driving back from the international boarder here in San Diego, that I NEED to document my own growth.  So I decided to Shoot a Video on the Four Levels of Learning.

I think the reason I felt compelled to do this RIGHT NOW came from watching all the people down at the border HALL LARGE Bags of Shopping….

A Mentor once told me, “Poor People have Large TV’s, Successful People have Large Libraries.

I didn’t really understand the purpose of this, until I started reading some very impressive books… I will be sharing my book list, lessons learned on the first read through, updates on each future read and where you can get the book if you are interested.

OKAY here is the Video…. Keep in MIND I did this while DRIVING and while PRACTICING what I Learned…. you will see I am BETWEEN Level II – Conscious Incompetence and Level III – Conscious Competence.   I’ll explain why I feel I am here after the video……

Masters of business, Scientist, Engineers, Captains of Industry, Poets and many more, document their learning, lessons, advice to see what progress they have made.  WHY NOT ME or WHY NOT YOU?

This Article is meant as an introduction to explain How we learn and even answers why some people are hesitant or afraid of  learning, understanding the process of learning anything, will make you a better student and help you to learn things faster in your life.


Stage I – Unconscious Incompetence
Stage II – Conscious Incompetence
Stage III – Conscious Competence
Stage IV – Unconscious Competence

BREAK DOWN of each of the four levels of learning Stages

image four levels of learningStage I – Unconscious Incompetence

Have you ever heard of the term “YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU DON’T KNOW?“, that describes PERFECTLY this Stage of Learning… In the video I give two examples, a child who is unaware of the need to wear shoes and tie them as well as a time in our history where everyone thought the world was flat. Both of these examples might be called ignorance, however who really knows anything about everything?

Have you ever been driving and got a news flash or heard a new song…. before this, did you know anything about the IMPORTANT NEWS FLASH or about the NEW song by an Artist that you love?  Probably not, if you did, then you would be in the next state of learning by default.

Stage II – Conscious Incompetence

In this stage you have become AWARE of something, it could be hearing that new song on the radio, now you are aware of it and may want to learn the lyrics. Let’s look at college for a moment, in your first week of college, you found out what books are required for each class, yet you still may not know detailed information about each subject, even after skimming through the book waiting in line to pay for it, or doing the same activity just before class.

This level is a Curiosity Level and can even be a Level of Interest as you just found out about something and it caught your attention so you WANT to Learn more about it…. this is a level where you start GATHERING Information to Study.

In my video, I talk about a child that knows they must wear shoes and knows they need to be tied, but may not know how to yet.  I also talk about how the travelers start their voyage out on the sea, looking for the CLIFF, otherwise known as the End of the World.

image Conscious Unconscious Competence chartStage III – Conscious Competence

This level of learning is all about the Practice.  Earlier in this article I stated I believe I was between Stage II – Conscious Incompetence and Stage III – Conscious Competence… the reason why is I can recite each level and I can even tell you a little bit about each level in an example (like this article), so that puts that information in Stage II.  HOWEVER, since I don’t yet know of exercises that would enhance each level, to make me more efficient, I am still in Stage II.

My Goal for learning came in Stage II (Conscious Incompetence) as I wanted to learn MORE about how we learn.  So when you are setting goals, it’s important to understand this and to know you will possibly struggle as you learn to accomplish this goal.  However as you pass in to this stage, Stage III of Conscious Competence  you will no longer have to rely on your notes of what needs to be learned, but you will start to create new notes about….

  • Questions of what to focus or learn next
  • Comments or Observations of what you have learned or applied while learning.

This is what I am doing now, I have created this article to remind me of what I have learned so far and to help your curiosity of just how one learns.  This is the level at which you WILL Make Mistakes, but when you LEARN from the mistakes, each mistake is a cycle of the four stages of learning…. AH HAAAA

If you missed that, I’ll explain.  Say you are  learning how to skate board at stage 1, you didn’t know about the activity or what a skate board was… in stage 2 you found out about it and bought one, stage 3 – now you will skate, but each trick is about the four stages again… discover, learn, practice, master…. however you will be in stage 3 of skate boarding for many years.  The MASTERS of Skateboarding may have mastered 20+ tricks, but even they are practicing another 5-10 to finally master 25 or 30….but their goal might be to learn EVERY trick discovered and then master it…so it could be a life long exercise.

Same thing in Science or Psychology, pretty much any discipline is about making perfect practice with the assistance of Masters, who are people that Have, Are or Do what you desire in their sleep.  When you are in a stage 3 of learning – those that strive will often seek out Master or Mentors at this level of any discipline.

Have you heard of the Term, “When the Student is Ready, the Teacher / Master will reveal them self” ?  I am purposely writing and documenting the four stages of learning to attract a Mentor or Master that will observe what I am doing and then communicate with me to guide me through Mastering this basic fundamental principle of learning.

I have learned about another basic principle and put that in to practice as well called the “Teach-ability Index”, which is in two parts…

  • Willingness to learn and do different things
    • Time. Money & Effort your willing to invest
    • What are you willing to give up to learn this
  • Willingness to accept change and do things diffidently

There are 2 other basic principles other than the Teach-ability index and the the fours levels of learning… I will have detailed articles on each of these and updates, just like this article as I learn something new.

Stage IV – Unconscious Competence

image Four Levels of Learning and resistance

Four Levels of Learning and resistance

This is the level of Mastery of any given Task, Exercise, Ability or Discipline.  This level describes how you do things “Automatically” and some say “Auto-magically” because they did not take a conscious effort to fulfill ever step of learning.  Let me explain… have you ever heard someone say “I don’t know how I do it, I just do it and it happens” ?  This is someone who did not commit to memory the steps they took to learn a process, ability, exercise OR and most likely, have mastered something a long time ago and it is just “old hat”, “know it like the back of their hand”, “just lucky”…

There are many ways of saying or referring to a level of mastery.  Most of the time you don’t need to achieve a level of mastery in everything in life, but you need to know something about it to be able to have some one work for you who does have a level of mastery.  This is why we have Virtual Assistants, we we have 5 star chefs, specialized Engineers, Doctors with specialties, pretty much anyone who is a Professional has a mastery of an ability or discipline.

These are the people that Masters of Business, CEO’s, Presidents call upon because they know how to do their office at a very high level and require skilled masters in each area of their lives, who can be Managers who specialize in a particular field, who in turn are in charge of people who have very good abilities in a specific task or discipline.


Yip I did, there can only BE ONE BOSS at the top!  However getting back to the topic of the level of learning in Stage IV – Unconscious Competence, I described in my video about how I can create video and drive at the same time.  In my life I have taken several PROFESSIONAL Driving Courses in a car and on a Motorcycle.  I have well over 25 years of experience of just driving on the road, but I also have over 8 years of experience at the track with mentors and masters and well over 2 years in a car on a track.  This allows me to see things other don’t see on the road.


Midi-Chlorians-jedi-mind-trickAs you are no doubt familiar with the Star Wars Jedi, they define a life form that they call medichlorians, which live symbiotically giving the host (Jedi) the ability to understand and use “The Force”.

While the mystery of this example may exist, that is a topic for another post and OH YEA, I am gonna go there.

So to the average person watching the movie is led to believe the student (Padawan) are with Masters (Jedi), observing, learning, practicing what their MASTER does, shows and discusses with them for MANY Long Years.

The Point here is the LONGER you Do Something, with the Proper Practice and the assistance of a master, eventually you will become a MASTER to not just teach others, but to Mentor those that seek the specialized knowledge you now have.


I am currently working on becoming a Master Web Consultant and Internet Marketer.  I have well over 10 years of various disciplines from web design, graphics design, forum software systems, search engine optimization, Content Management systems, database, html, css, Google Products & Services, search engine marketing, affiliate marketing, Facebook (inc open graph), Google+, Twitter, Linkedin and much much more.  But am I a Master at each… that’s like asking a specialized merlot wine producer what they know about riesling grapes, just kidding….

To put it another way, I am learning stage III – Conscious Competence in each of these.  I know how to define each one, how to implement, use and make each fairly effective, but to specialize in each…well there are companies out there that only specialize in SEO, others in specialize areas of  Marketing like the big four of Social Media; Facebook, Twitter, Google+ & Linkedin.

To specialize in each and to Master each one, would be a serious challenge for anyone, because the Internet is Growing, Redefining and Changing daily… so even the Masters are not Masters, but what they are masters of, is the ability to adjust as fast as the technology changes, they have systems that can redeploy new lessons learned to their staff to implement changes for their clients within days or weeks of a change happening.

So my goal of becoming a Master Web Consultant and Internet Marketer has to do with the ability to accept change and the willingness to implement the change effectively.  This is why I maintain close ties to Training Materials, Programs and others who are successful in each area that they enjoy being masters at.  This allows me to work with my clients who know little to nada about the web and use analogies common to them to discuss potential solutions to their defined needs.


Are you LOOKING to Master your Internet Skills?  I want to GIVE you a FREE TRAINING on FaceBooks New Open Graph to help YOU Find an additional 200-400 highly targeted customers looking for your products and services, just click on the Banner below.

image FaceBook 2.0 Open Graph Secrets

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To Your Success & Happiness,

“Always treat others as if their potential has been realized, watch them grow in to their happiness.” ~ William Burdine

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William Burdine is a Relationship Marketer in person and cyberspace and a Real Estate Investor providing solutions for Internet Marketing Training & Real Estate Investor education as well as Website Consultations. Did you find the content in this post Helpful? IF you did, Please Share it with the Social Icons and LEAVE your Comments Below.Thank You.