Is learning a ‘science’ or an ‘art’ – if it’s a science it can be analyzed and replicated. An ‘art’ is much harder – personality plays a large role in communicating effectively with executives, professionals and students.
There are three authentic ‘geniuses’ in teaching – Epicurus (341-270 B. C. E. ), who is credited with pointing us toward sensual pleasures and luxury. He actually taught that humans are born to pursue pleasure and avoid pain.
Second, is Abraham Maslow, who offered the Hierarchy-of-Values, and the Four Stages of Learning – and helped changed psychology from Behaviorism (no feelings or emotions), to Humanism. More later.
Third, is Roger W. Sperry, who spent thirty-years of his career discovering the evidence that we have two cranial independent brains. He received the Nobel Prize for his Split-Brain research while at California Institute of Technology.
Professor Maslow Said
The most difficult aspect of speed reading is getting students to believe they are capable of Tripling their reading speed – and practicing and rehearsing to create a neuroconnection and neuropathway in their brains. Once they have physically practiced for fifteen-minutes daily, between 21 to 42 days, using a RasterMaster to underline the sentences, they begin to acquire a habit – and speed reading becomes natural and an automatic skill.
Every athletic team – football, baseball, soccer etc. must practice daily to hone their skills and gain team feedback. To triple your reading speed – with excellent comprehension – you have to rehearse your strategies and techniques.
It applies to physical skills and absolutely is a requirement for your cognitive gifts and talents. Griping does not change the need for practice – until it becomes a habit.
The Four Stages of Skill
First, ‘Unconscious Incompetence’ – some call it ‘subconscious’ or ‘non-conscious’, but we are referring to not using logic-reason-ordered thinking.
This is the ‘worse’ of the four – because we don’t even know that we are ignorant of how to perform the skill. We don’t have the information to realize we are ‘out-of-the-loop. Imagine functioning today without computers and the Internet – and not even being aware how you make them function.
Second, Conscious Incompetence – we know that computers and the Internet exist and are valuable – but personally have no idea how to turn-on the damned thing. Every time we pass the computer – we want to run out of the room – it makes us anxious and stressed because we know we are not competitive in the 21st century.
Add this – it is outside of our ‘comfort-zone’, and when we attempt to discover the secrets of the computer – we screw it up. It is frustrating and annoying.
Third, Conscious Competence – we can do the darn-thing, but it requires all our Intention-Attention and Concentration. We are thinking our way through the process, and it feels unnatural and foreign.
Fourth, Unconscious Competence – it is a habit – we are operating on auto-pilot, we are operating holistically without having to tell ourselves what to do step-by-step. Ever see a professional secretary operate the keyboard, handle a telephone call, and order lunch for the staff simultaneously? Remember when you first learned to surf-the web, and all the errors you made? I couldn’t even ‘point-and-click’, or find ‘edit’, to hit Select-All and Copy. Now your brains and hand fly through the commands.
We forget the tension, frustration and lack of control in learning to ride-a-bike, drive-a-car, or way-back – walking upright.
Strategies to Learn Anything
OK – there are four stages of learning – here’s how I remember them.
a) University of Iowa (Unconscious-Incompetence) – b) CIA – Conscious Incompetence, c) Carbon-Copy – Conscious Competence, d) University of California - (Unconscious Competence).
What strategies help our brain shift-gears from #1 to #4?
The first step to moving between learning stages is to send orders (commands)to our brain. The three most powerful senses to communicate back-and-forth to our brain are: Vision – Hearing and Kinesthetic (tactile – touch).
Stay with me – if you write or word-process a Target-Affirmation (order), to your brain – using new programming – it grabs attention. When you write or type you hear the words in your mind, see the sentences with your Primary Visual Cortex, and by using your fingertips – use your tactile - sense of touch. Simultanously firing all three primary-senses reinforces your new programming.
Example for Speed Reading:
“Everyday in every way,
I give myself permission
to triple my reading speed,
and get better-and-better. ”
Write or type these four sentences eight (8) times daily, for 21 days, and it becomes implanted as a brain-command. Write or type with feeling and emotion – to make it stick.
Act as-if, think as-if, and feel as-if you already have the object of your burning-desire. Give it a Duchenne-Smile, laugh and feel great about it. Expectations and your emotions rule!
Why do you have to give yourself permission to do something new-and-different?
Humans operate 99% on habit and experience – it creates our ‘comfort-zone’.
Everything else is seen by our brain as invading our comfort-zone and rejected.
Only by creating a new habit – running on auto-pilot – will we be happy and comfortable in accepting newsness-and-change into our lives.
How to Speed-Up Your Learning Stages
Whatever you see in your mind’s eye is immediately transmitted to both your left- and right-hemispheres (brains). Mental imagery occurs ‘spontaneously’ based on our neurocircuitry (see stream-of-consciousness) – or by using our Volition (choose, will), to insert it in our visual-cortex. Some believe imagery begins in the precuneus area of our brain.
Whatever appears as a mental-image is treated by the brain as reality. The original work was done at Harvard by Professor Stephen Kosslyn, and has been replicated over the following thirty-years. When we practice creating mental-movies of the goals we desire – they are treated as Target-Affirmations by our brain. It is a computer-command and must be implemented. Think of our mind as the software, and the brain as the hardware.
When we are writing or typing our dailyTarget-Affirmation as an exercise, simultaneously imagine and create a simple mental-picture of what you want to occur. The picture can be simple – but the greater the detail – the more effective.
An example for Speed reading is seeing your pacer underlining the words down the page, or your pen ‘underlining’ the sentences. See the pacer –moving and leaving a trace. Some students mentally-visualize the Z-for-Zorro down the page or the Backward ‘S’ strategy – to shift your brain from incompetence to unconscious-competence, competence on auto-pilot.
Sperry’s Split-Brain Theory
Since 1981 when Dr. Sperry won the Nobel to date, the general public has accepted the concept of specialization and localization of our brain – faster than the scientific community.
We live and operate in a left-brained society – based on language, deductive and inductive thinking, reason and order. It has created skyscrapers and dams, wealth and a growing economy. We behave linearly and serially (one job-at-a-time), and have been taught to distrust emotion – and our right-brain.
Our right-hemisphere is generally non-verbal, but is very skillful in pattern-recognition, visual-spatial skills, intuition, and operates as a parallel-processor, (multi-tasking).
The two brains which can operate independently of each other – share knowledge through the corpus-callosum, and the anterior and hippocampal commissures. Our left is dominant 95% of the time while we are awake. When we sleep our left brain releases its dominance and merely supervises. Our cognitive skills work at their optimal-level when both brains are mutually involved.
Speed Reading is a psycho-motor skill – combining left-brain language skills, with a right-brain dominance for pattern recognition, imagination and creativity.
To obtain your burning-desires from cognitive-skills to new or improved relationships, together with wealth and success – you might consider using modified Target-Affirmations and Mental-Visualizations. They work if you practice and rehearse using ‘persistence-and-determination’.
Even those of us with inborn natural gifts and talents – born-to-play the piano – require massive practice and rehearsal to develop and maintain our acute optimal level.
We are not advocating ditching our left-brain skills – merely admitting to the game our right-brain talents to release our personal brilliance.
We have received emails and telephone calls from graduates worldwide indicating Speed Reading is the tip of the iceberg in producing positive-personal-growth.
The secrets of acquiring wealth and happiness begin with giving yourself permission to enlarge your comfort-zone. The next step is practice and rehearsal of the specific strategies that produce your burning-desires.
It appears that executives, professionals and school-students are capable of producing their own promotions, wealth-creation, and personal-relationships far beyond the mere tripling of their reading speed, and doubling their memory.
Go for it today.
See ya. copyright © 2005 H. Bernard Wechsler www.speedlearning.org email@example.com
Author of #1 book on Speed Learning, published by Barron's Educational, partner of Evelyn Wood, the creator of speed reading, graduating 2 million, including the White House staff of four U. S. Presidents. http://www.speedlearning.org firstname.lastname@example.org