Don’t ask. I can’t tell. Her name will stay anonymous.
She was on cruise control as she readied herself for the daily grind. With an aspirin sized headache she looked around for liquid to help down a couple of Tylenol. She spied the small glass of liquid, threw back the pills and washed them down handily with the glass of “water”.
That was when she remembered that she had filled that glass with Woolite a few days before. This handy dandy cleaning solution – that will do wonders for “your sweaters and unmentionables” – had done a wonder in disguising itself as water.
She rushed to the phone to call Poison Control. They determined that she would be fine and that she “ought drink some water just in case.”
So she downed several more glasses of real water to dilute the Woolite.
“That was where I really messed up” she told me. “I had turned myself into a human washing machine. Every time I burped I became a bubble machine. Literally I was spitting up full formed bubbles for a couple of days.” Lawrence Welk would have been so proud.
“One thing is for sure” she confessed to me as I was rolling on the floor with laughter. “I found out for the next couple of days that Woolite WILL clean you out.”
She had become a victim to the 4th Level.
Remember the 4 levels of Learning
1. Unconscious Incompetence
This is when you are stupid and you don’t know it. Don’t know how to drive a clutch? Dumb. Don’t know what Twitter is? Ignorant.
2. Conscious Incompetence
Someone tells us that we are stupid. We become aware of our ignorance in a given area or on a certain subject.
3. Conscious Competence
We develop skills and acquire knowledge. Here we practice, learn and refine. The natural tendency for mankind is to adapt and conquer.
4. Unconscious Competence
This is the point where we get so good at doing the new thing that it becomes habit. You no longer have to think about the mechanics of tying your shoes. You don’t even contemplate the steps in tying that tie. This is a great ability that is part of the human organism. It allows you to do several things at once. You can think about other stuff as you mindlessly drive that car down the road.
One half of the job of a great leader is to get people to see new possibilities. This half of the leaders work is making people STUPID (Steps 1 & 2). Introducing them to the new and helping them see possibilities. Creativity and innovation are a must in all Leaders.
The other half of a great leader is focused on helping people to not be STUPID; by growing in Steps 3 and 4.
The problem is that when we go on auto pilot, step 4, then we don’t apply our knowledge properly. We drink the Woolite without thinking about it.
There is a word that describes this knowledge applied. The word is Wisdom. Understanding how to apply our knowledge.
We have a whole world of over educated derelicts. But understanding how to apply that knowledge is key. Hear the words of Solomon “With all thy getting get understanding.” (Prov. 4:7.)
So until you UNDERSTAND (getting wisdom) don’t overlook what you already know. Those things that are second nature to you. Beware of not applying what you already know; doing the obvious and common sense thing may be your down fall. Might you be too close to the forest to see the trees? Ah, the joys of having others to point out the obvious to us. Hence the need to make sure you engage friends, family . . . and Kordell (big grin).
Don’t drink the Woolite.