How We Conquer Challenges Best in 5 Steps, (Step 4 is the Kicker)

Jul 20, 2021
I want to introduce you to the learning pit. James Nottingham's model from is my favorite illustration.
Step 1: You decide to learn a thing/do a thing/be a something.
Step 2: You stumble in your learning adventure and fall into the learning pit
Step 3: Become thoroughly confused, frustrated, pissed off, mad, and sad
Step 4: Something happens and your viewpoint shifts helping you see a new perspective
Step 5: You figure out the thing!
What has bothered me for years about this model is something is clearly happening in step 4 but no one really talks about what that "thing" is! I spent 18 months wondering, researching, and working with clients until I found out what was happening at step 4.
Let's go back to step 3, confusion, frustration, the state of being pissed off, mad and sad. Step 3 is lonely and if you're sitting in a literal pit it's also dark. You can't see anything.
But then someone in your life shows up, a teacher, a coworker, a neighbor, a spouse. This person is carrying a little tealight. This light is small but it shows you a small way to the next step in the pit. Then someone else shows up, giving you another piece of advice, helping you see things slightly differently, shedding more light on your path. Soon your pit isn't dark anymore, it's filled with light showing you the way up and out.
But here's the real gem. When you come out of your pit you get a tealight too. It's meant for you to stand in other's pits to help them find their way out.
I believe our goal as humans is to shine our tealights in as many dark pits as possible.
I have a tealight burning bright for you, always.

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