From Experience to Mastery: The FE2M Framework
Thursday April 23, 2020
This framework (I’ll call it FE2M) is meant to assist in bringing questions of competence to your conscious awareness. It can add more decisiveness or direction to your practice of, or experience with, a thing.
The “thing” in question could be a hobby, a type of food, a form of physical self-care, or many other things. This can also help firm up individual goals or new year’s resolutions.
Pick a level to use as a prefix.
- x0 = I haven’t tried it yet. I may be enjoying thinking about trying it.
- x1 = I gave it a basic look-over, or a basic read, and a try.
- x2 = I attempted to do some real work / real X while applying it. I have spent somewhere over 20 hours or have had something like 50+ sessions with this thing. I may have made big progress.
- m0 = I am maintaining a practice of this which keeps me sharp. I made some notes or otherwise organized what I have learned, and what I need to learn about it, or try, next. I have at least a medium-term goal of where to get to with this, in my mind’s eye and on paper.
- m1 = I have done it / used it enough to know it inside and out. I know not only its common problems; I also know many workarounds. I could easily teach it to others, up to the intermediate level, without further study. I am very flexible in its use / application / integration.
- m2 = I have done it / used it enough to build my own methods or ideas onto it and adapt it or change it when needed. Such methods are also useful to others. I could teach it at the advanced level without further study. I can teach multiple philosophies or theories of the thing. This can be plainly seen from my public practice or demonstration of my skill. According to existing, objective measures agreed upon by people neutral to or unknown to myself, I am at this level.
- m3 = I have taken the practice of the thing well beyond what others would. I have integrated it into other practices to a degree rarely seen. I am an elite expert at it—there are perhaps less than one thousand people at this level in the world. This fact has been recognized by multiple objective third parties (people who don’t know me or have a stake in my practice, and who are also experts).
Quite intentionally, m2 and m3 levels get into starkly objective conditions. For example, you may not be able to be an m3 artist without having won multiple, extremely exclusive art awards, and having been interviewed by those outside the field like journalists who live on the other side of the planet and otherwise wouldn’t know you, except that your art is appearing on everyone’s T-shirts in their country (just as an example).
This also gets at the importance of specificity and the niche—how many thousands of great “artists” are there, vs. the number of blind tattoo artists? And yet, with the objectivity factor also taken into account, things cannot be ridiculously specific, can they? Otherwise there may be no one who cares enough to rate your expertise. So this may point at the need to do more thinking about one’s practice or specialty (if desired).
Not everything needs to go to an m3, and the point of the framework is only to assist in establishing balance or momentum where desired, rather than encourage you to literally level up on everything. This is why the Energy Resource Rating is included…
Energy Resource Rating
In order to capture the emotive / soft side of the practice, one of the following suffixes is added to the overall level.
- _0. Thinking about this completely de-energizes me. I’m burnt out and really hate this.
- _1. I don’t like it at all. When others discuss it, I’d rather talk about other things.
- _2. I’m not happy about it, or my practice of it.
- _3. I’m not interested in it at all.
- _4. I’m pretty ‘meh’ about it. Generally disinterested.
- _5. I’m looking forward to more time with it.
- _6. I’d rather spend more time with it than many other good things right now.
- _7. I’m excited to see what I can learn next.
- _8. It makes me exceedingly happy to think about doing this again.
- _9. I cannot contain my excitement to get to the next level with this thing.
(If in doubt, always round down. For example, a 4.5 would be a 4.)
For ratings under 5, also specify…
- a. I am not sure why I am at this level. I may need to think or write about my thoughts, if I’m to find a balance point with this thing.
- b. I don’t see a reason to progress with it. I may need to apply more nuance in how I experience or think about it.
- c. I don’t see a way to progress with it. I may need to do more experimentation, find new ideas, or talk to others.
Here are some personal examples:
Eating Squid: x1_4c. I have tried it quite a few times, but I may just need to get used to the texture via exposure. I’m also not sure if there might be a dried squid flavor or variety that I like more than others. I may need to research this.
Running for Fitness: x2_3b. I enjoyed it in the past, but these days—no thanks. I see no reason to take it further. One of my doctors gave me a pamphlet on roller-blading instead, saying he’d prefer to see less joint damage in sports.
Geany Text Editor: m1_6. I keep a file on my changes, am proud of how flexibly I can use it, and I really enjoy my time spent in this editor.
Watercolor Illustration: m1_4a. I’m much better at this than I used to be. Still, I’m sensitive to the fact that my practice feels disorganized, despite my experience level. This is sapping my energy because restarting the practice starts to feel like starting from square one. I can see I need to start on that organization, at the very least.
- Retracement: Go back a couple levels and act as if you are on that level. A disorganized m1 may need to go back to m0 (See Watercolor Illustration example, above)
- …I’ll add other tips here as the practice develops…
I hope this is helpful to some of you!
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