I collect heroes and inspiration, wherever I can find them, even more than I collect self-help books (LOL). I figure I can use all the help I can get, LOL. Do you have heroes? Who are your heroes?
Tiger Woods is one of my all-time greatest heroes. I don’t play golf, but excellence is inspiring to me, wherever it’s found. What I love about Tiger is his dogged and continual pursuit of excellence. He works his ass off.
So today, strolling through Borders, I noticed the book, Tiger Traits, by Nate Booth. The whole book is well worth a read, but my favorite part was his section on the Four Stages of Mastery.
Unconscious Incompetence: When we first start an activity, we don’t even know what we don’t know. It’s that beginning stage of complete ignorance about what we need to know to improve.
Conscious Incompetence: This stage is when we know where we need improvement, but we don’t know how to get there, yet.
Conscious Competence: Finally, we can do it! But it doesn’t feel natural, it’s not automatic, and we have to think really hard about it.
Unconscious Competence: Best of all! This is where we feel it, and we feel it so naturally that it’s almost effortless, that we can do it without even thinking about it.
Tiger Woods said, "My body does the work, and I just sit back and let it happen."
I’m the worst at Stage Three. It’s why I kept writing novella after novella, plugging along even when it got messy. I need to feel the structure and the pacing and the story, in order to make the story any good. If I have to think it, then my rhythm is atrocious, my pacing flat.
So, practice. What else can you do? The Little N is threatening to be a novel. I have to cut it off and keep it short, but I’m glad it did that. It helps give me confidence with the Big N.
Now, your heroes. Who are they, why, and what have you learned from them? How have they inspired you?