What Level of Awareness Are You Operating At? Scott Adams

I’ve been listening to Scott Adams’ podcast for several years and more recently as a supporter of his work on the platform Locals.  Most of his ‘micro lessons’ are posted there but he shares the occasional one on his podcast. Scott is the creator of the famous Dilbert comic. He is a master of persuasion and his micro lessons range from how to use systems over goals, to how to re-frame events in your life, how to be more persuasive and communicate better, analyzing the persuasion and communication errors of politicians and ‘experts’. He also covers current events, business, satire, and discussion about the simulation hypothesis among many other topics. His lessons always include many practical takeaways for effective behavioral change.

Below is a transcript of his micro lesson on on how to tell what level of awareness you’re operating at. It is from episode #1414 of his podcast. (emphasis is my own).


Here’s a micro lesson on understanding what level of awareness, you’re operating at. Now first of all, this is a way of looking at the world. Don’t think of it as true or false. It’s simply a frame or a filter you can put on the world that either works and helps you understand things, or it doesn’t. So judge it only by whether it’s useful or not, whether it’s true. And let me tell you what these levels are, and this is based on my own observation, so everything here is just from me as the source.

When you were born, and you’re a child… You believe what your parents tell you you believe in Santa Claus you believe in whatever religion they tell you this the right one. You basically believe authority. But as you get a little bit older, you become what I call a Truther somebody who thinks that the facts and the truth are what really matter, and that you understand that people could lie to you, your parents could lie to you about Santa and The Easter Bunny and The Tooth Fairy, but other people, other adults could lie to you too, so you kind of be careful. So you’re a little higher level of awareness now, because you know people could lie, and you know that the facts and the truth are the most important thing.

Unfortunately, once you believe that the truth is the most important thing. You become a Victim. Because the truth is not something that you have access to it’s something that’s provided to you, and you tend to accept it. That is to say that there are people in power who control what the truth is, so the moment you say what matters to me most, what will guide me and my decisions, my affiliations, will be the truth, you become a victim – because leaders will feed you a truth that you’ll believe that will be putting your in a victim category that leader will say, Hey, you’re black, you need to be with all the other black people and ask for certain things. Hey, you’re a member of the LGBTQ community. You need to be victim, so that I as a leader can get you some better stuff – in terms of better life. So the Moment, facts are your most important criteria you will almost always be dragged into the victim level of awareness and leaders will tell you that they have the truth, you will accept it because you tend to affiliate with the side and accept their truth, this is a bad place to be.

Next, if you can climb none of that, maybe through experience and just thinking about things right and maybe have a good mentor, you can raise your level to be a Skeptic, a skeptic is someone who rejects the assigned opinions, doesn’t mean you have the right answers, doesn’t mean you’re the smart one. It just means that you don’t automatically take the approved answer, you become skeptical. So this is a higher level of awareness, but as a limited utility, it can keep you out of trouble, by keeping us skeptical to things that might hurt you, but there’s still a ways to go.

Next Level is what I call the Strategist level, where you say to yourself, I don’t know what’s true, but I do know what works. I know that if I have more talent and build a proper talent stack that I will be more effective. I know that if I use a system, rather than a goal. I’m going to get a better result. I know that if I work hard. I’ll get a better result than if I don’t, I know that if I network with less people get a better result than if I don’t. So the strategist, is not working on so much what is true, but rather what they observe works.

And then at the top level I call this Author level. Now, can the author actually change. Let me change my spelling here, I’m a terrible speller. Simulation. That’s close enough. I’m not saying an author or a person operating at that level of awareness can literally change reality, because we’re not smart enough to know that we don’t even know what reality is much less than someone is changing it, but they will have the experience of it. And when you observe them, it will seem as if, who would be in this level. Well, I would put Trump in that level. Trump isn’t caring so much about the facts. Right. You know he’s, he’s loose with the fact checking he’s certainly above a Skeptic, and he’s certainly understands strategy. So he’s passed through these levels, to the point where he literally just makes stuff happen.

How about Mike Cernovich. He is an author. He does things that you almost can’t understand would be possible. He’s simply authoring, the reality, or it looks that way. Right, so keeping them on, I’m saying it’s the appearance of changing reality that’s the part we can observe, we don’t know what’s really happening under the hood.How About navall rava Khan. In my opinion, he’s operating at the Author level, meaning that if you looked at his life and what he’s able to do it just doesn’t seem normal. It’s almost as if he can manipulate reality itself, so people can be in more than one group. But I would, I would submit to you that one way to use this is if you are in disagreement with somebody, you might not actually be disagreeing, and I have this problem quite a bit on Twitter. There are a number of people on the truther level, who will come at me on Twitter, and they’ll say, for example, transgender people are whatever they were born, that’s, this is a man and This is a woman. And that’s just a fact. That’s the Truther level, if somebody at the truther level – the fact level, that’s the only thing that matters is the facts, gets into a debate with somebody who’s operating at a Strategy level, at least, much less the higher level. These two people will look like they’re having debate, but they’re not. They’re not even, they’re not even in the same realm of reality or awareness. So for those of you who say to me, but Scott, it’s just a fact. This is a man, it’s just a fact that this is a woman. Well, if facts are what matter most to you. Okay. But we’re not having the same conversation. I’m at a strategy level, and I’m saying, Well, what works, given the set of uncertainties and disagreements, what do you do about it, what’s the system that makes all that work, that’s a different conversation than is somebody, definitely a man, or definitely a woman might be fun to talk about doesn’t have much use in the real world versus strategy, and the higher level is, if you want something to happen , make it happen.

Levels of Awareness

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