Levels of Development: Skills

Levels of Development: Skills
Photo by Nathan Dumlao / Unsplash

If life is a game, then how do we level up? I seek to answer this question and propose different levels available to us in all aspects of life. I'm going to call this Levels of Development. Just some guidelines and goals to work towards, and thinking about what's possible. What level are you at, and where do you want to be? What is your own take on these levels?

This week's section - and probably the last one - is on skills. This should be a more familiar regime to people. This can range from soft skills to hard skills, and can include life skills too. Three main aspects - knowing what you don't know (self-awareness of the skill), what your goals are for the skill, having a plan to improve.

...I ran out of metaphors for moving.

Level 1: Newbie

You've just started learning this skill, and don't know what you don't know. You have a bit of exposure, and are starting to learn the basics, such as terminology. For example, for self defence, you learn the names of the different attacks and how each of them look like.

Level 2: Crawling

You've been at it for a few days or weeks and you're starting to get better at the basics, committing it to muscle memory and long-term memory. You get an idea of what the path is like moving forward (and start to see how long more you have to go).

Level 3: Hobbling along

You are starting to grasp the basics, and when people ask you about it, you are able to give a brief overview of what the skill is and what is required for progress. For research, this means something like knowing the big concepts in the field, and you're starting to discover the nuances of the field.

Level 4: Walking

You are now aware of what you're already good at in this skill and what you need to do to improve. You have some sort of plan to keep improving. You've committed about 100-1,000 hours to the skill.

Level 5: Running

You have a plan in place with exercises that target the weak portions of the drills and practices you need to do to improve in this skill. On this level, you are able to get an entry-level job that utilises the skill you are developing. You are able to help people who want to learn more to get better at the same skill.

Level 6: Sprinting

At this stage, you are able to easily do the basic things required, and a few of the more complicated parts. You start to develop your own interpretation of how to execute this skill, and have some idea of where you stand compared to others for this skill. However, some of the harder things feel out of reach. At this stage mentors and coaches would be helpful to reach out to - the steps to progress more can be murky after getting past the basics.

Level 7: Levitation

You are able to tell in detail what extra work needs to be done, and can come up with a training plan on your own. You know what your ideal looks like and also the concrete steps to get there. You start to be more focused - instead of learning anything and everything that's related, you pick something you like or is useful to develop further.

Level 8: Flapping

This skill now feels like it's as easy as breathing, and you don't have to think too hard to use it under normal conditions. You know what you need to work on and regularly tackle the stuff that's just out of reach. You are considered one of the experts in the field.

Level 9: Flying

You are able to execute this skill even under high levels of stress and basically in your sleep without thinking too much about it, with excellent results. You have insights into the skill that may be hard to see when you're a beginner, and this skill is truly your own - you have developed your own take on it and your own style. It feels like a part of you and you can confidently consider it another solution when problem solving.

Level 10: Teleportation

You have a good grasp of your desired skillset. This typically takes about 5-10 years of consistent, deliberate practice, where you focus on improving your weakest points. You know where you stand in terms of mastery, and know exactly what you need to do to progress even further. You have a clear plan to put that into place. You are also able to teach other people the skill in great depth, and able to see where they need to improve for this skill. You may be a thought leader for the industry you're in.