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  • Adam Jones

Time to Level Up -- Part 2

Last week, we talked about the first of Robert Dilts's Logical Levels, which he saw as a model for change. The first level, you may remember, was the level of the Environment. The problem, when people are stuck at the level of the environment, is that they are entirely passive, letting things happen to them. We call this being "at effect".

When people are "at effect", you'll often hear them talk about feeling helpless. One of the best things we can do for ourselves is move from being "at effect" to being "at cause". Being "at cause" means that we start acting out behaviors to influence the environment around us. Behavior is the second of the Logical Levels. As the psychologist Lindsay C. Gibson says, "Action on your own behalf is the antidote to helplessness." Once we recognize that there are behaviors we can undertake which will change our environment, new possibilities begin to open up to us.

The third level is that of Capability. Capability is all the things we are able to do or not do. All of our physical, mental and emotional resources fall into this category, whether or not we are using them. There are two really interesting things about capabilities. First, capabilities can map across from one area to another. In other words, what makes us good at one thing can be useful in becoming good at something else. For example, imagine someone who is really good at, and enjoys, putting together jigsaw puzzles. The major skill of a jigsaw puzzle is what? Seeing how things fit together. Can you see how that capability would be incredibly useful if that person had a career as an architect or doctor or attorney? Three very different areas where the same capability is useful.

The second really interesting thing about the level of Capability is that you can always learn new skills. As kids, we're constantly learning and growing and taking on new ideas and capabilities. As we get older, we tend to find ourselves more and more in set patterns. By actively choosing to grow new skills within ourselves, we can open up whole new worlds of possibilities in our lives.

This week, what behaviors will you engage in, and what capabilities will you seek to develop that will help you build the life of your dreams?

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