The journey from ‘Ignorance’ to ‘Implementation’!


You can’t get it done all at once, it takes time.


How many times has it happened that after watching that motivating YouTube video or attending the awesome seminar or reading that book or meeting that perfect person, you decided to change your life from the very next day?

You started putting things into action, but you don’t know why something was stopping you from making it your lifestyle. You struggled a lot and then got disappointed. Confused about why you just can’t seem to reach that exact level shown in that video, seminar, explained in a book or reflected in that person. You got angry & criticized yourself for not being able to do it and finally gave up on it. Or maybe you put too much pressure on yourself that the harm caused due to the change furthered its benefits.

Just like we have grades in our education system, implementing a change has it’s own phases. Imagine putting a 5th Grade kid directly in 10th Grade. The level of anxiety and confusion will scare the hell out of that kid. When we come to know about a really beautiful thing that can enhance our quality of living, we become so eager to inculcate it in our life.

Nothing wrong with that! However, when the mind was ignorant about a fact or an idea for so long, it will take time to accept and implement it. Forcing upon it is the last thing you should think of doing.

So, whats the solution?

As per the learning model, here are the fours psychological states involved in progressing from incompetence to competence. Knowing about the phases will relieve the pressure of getting it done on the first go.


‘Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects’

Will Rogers

At this level, the individual is ignorant about the existence of the fact itself. This is the stage were “people don’t realize that something is missing” (Unconscious incompetence). They feel that the life they are living is perfect and no better option exists. They do not see any scope for improvement. The time span during which a person stays on this level depends upon the ‘stimulus for learning’. More stimulated a person is to learn new things, higher the chance of getting out of ignorance.

To explain it with an example, a person unaware of the “Law of Gratitude” will always complain and never feel the need to appreciate whatever he/she has in life. Maybe because nobody ever taught them to appreciate. Due to this ignorance, they will always remain unaware of the importance of gratitude in life; thus avoiding a way to enhance the quality of life.


‘Expect anything worthwhile to take a long time’

Debbie Millman

The individual at this level suddenly becomes aware of the things that are missing. They are ready to accept the change in their life but are unable to take regular actions. This is the stage on which “deficit is identified, having realized the need to change”(Conscious incompetence). There are many reasons due to which an individual, in spite of being aware of the required change can’t act on it. Prima facie the reason seems to be “laziness or procrastination”, however, it is something different on a deeper level. (To know more about it, read this) This happens due to previously formed habits. When an individual tries to break an old pattern in order to form a new one, the old habit tries to resist and forces the individual to fall back on to it. However, it all depends upon the determination and willpower of the individual on how well he/she gets over the old habits. It definitely requires extra efforts & patience to form a new habit, but once it is done, it is lovely.


‘If I must be a slave to habit, let me be a slave to good habits’

Og Mandino

A person determined to enhance the way of life reaches this level with strong determination and dedication. With an intention to make a new habit, continuous efforts are made to strive for excellence. This is the stage on which “having realized the necessity of change, regular actions are taken(Conscious competence)”. We have normally heard that it takes 21 days to form a habit, but as per a study carried out in University College London it was found that on an average it takes 66 days to form a new habit. The number of days it takes depends upon the task which we are trying to get used to. A simple task of drinking a glass of water might become a habit within 21 days but a more complicated task of having a walk of 15 minute may take a few more days. (Article on study)

So if you find yourself taking some more time to get it on an automatic mode, it’s okay. 🙂


We are what we repeatedly do’


Due to daily practice and regular implementation, they reach a level were the specific ideology has perfectly imbibed in their life and they no more have to make a conscious effort for that action. It has “become a habit” (Unconscious competence) by this stage.

Next time you encounter something that awakens you to a new aspect of life, give each stage equal justice and enjoy the transitions. 🙂


Photo by Lindsay Henwood on Unsplash