Embrace What You Don’t Know

20121010-175025.jpg“Know your limits.” It’s a phrase people say a lot, so much so that it’s become almost a cliché in our society. In many areas of human endeavor, ignorance of our limits can propel us far outside them. Deliberately pushing our limits, with training and preparation, is a powerful and hugely important thing. Tripping, skidding past the limit without awareness that we’ve done it, veering off the road and crashing into the ditch? Not so much.

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The Four Stages of Learning

It’s been a busy weekend here for me, but mainly in a good way. I shot another 3-D archery match today – I’ve now had five range trips with my new compound bow (which I’ve named “Pepper”, because it takes a fiery lady to wear camo) and am managing to put a significant fraction of my shots on target now. Though I still have vast room for improvement in my marksmanship and consistency, I definitely feel like I’ve put enough arrows down range to be reasonably comfortable with the basic mechanics of shooting the bow. Better still, I’ve started to get a handle on what the things are that I don’t know, and what the places are that I need to practice and improve.

In the language of Noel Burch’s model for learning, I am now reaching a level of conscious incompetence with my bow.

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