According to NLP , there are four stages of competency in any human skills; these concepts are very helpful to the understanding of the process of learning.
Using the example of car driving, these four stages of competency are 1) Unconscious Incompetency, the stage where we just don't know how to drive a car, 2) Conscious Incompetency , the stage where we come to know that we cannot drive a car well, 3) Conscious Competency, the stage where we need to pay conscious attention continuously to drive a car well, and finally 4) Unconscious Competency, the stage where we can drive a car without having any problems even while talking to our friend beside us, namely, the whole process of driving a car becomes unconscious (or mechanical).
So-called geniuses are those who have arrived at the final stage of competency, i.e. the level of Unconscious Competency, in their respective professional area.
These concepts are universally applicable to different human physio-psychological activities, including breathing, eating, digesting, walking, thinking, speaking a language, studying scientific disciplines, acquiring new professional skills, and even coping with daily activities after spiritual enlightenment.
(NB: The text of this page is a quotation from Guhen Kitaoka's training manual "Effective Communicator's Manual" with relevant amendments.)
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