How to learn anything in 3 steps in the quickest time?
We have tried many times to learn lots of things but we are unable to learn in the shortest amount of time.
So, how to learn rapidly without compromising the understanding of the subject.
In this podcast, you will be amazed at how a seemingly simple technique can speed up your learning process. You will not only be able to learn but also be able to implement what you will learn.
What if you can remember everything even after 20 years?
I mean everything! Well, in the case of dolphins, they can remember the whistle sound of another dolphin even after 20 years of separation. Dolphins are not only one of the animals with the best memory. They are also one of the smartest animals on the planet. Land Animals, such as Elephants, Chimpanzees and dogs have similar abilities but they haven’t been tested. In birds, Ravens and Parrots are good at remembering for a long time. Sometimes, animals can deal with memory tests much better than some humans.
We, humans, have poor memory due to ignorance of brain exercising.
Mental capacity allows people to achieve great results. If you can learn and remember faster, you can do better things quickly. People avoid learning because they find it difficult to learn.
What if you can supercharge your learning and become smarter?
In this podcast, you are going to learn the Feynman Technique. It’s the best way to learn absolutely anything. The Feynman Learning Technique is a simple way of approaching anything new you want to learn. Why use it? Because learning doesn’t happen from skimming through a book or remembering enough to pass a test.
Information is learned when you can explain it and use it in a wide variety of situations.
You can give yourself a tool to use for the rest of your life. The interesting thing is that the more you know, the fewer surprises you will encounter because most new things will connect to something you already understand. Ultimately, the point of learning is to understand the world. But most of us don’t bother to deliberately learn anything. We memorize what we need to as we move through school, then forget most of it.
In this podcast, you are going to learn 3 key steps of the Feynman Learning Technique, based on the method Richard Feynman originally used. The steps are as follows:
- How you can learn in the fastest way by teaching others?
- Identify the gaps
- Organise and simplify
1. How you can learn in the fastest way by teaching others?
How a rubber duck at your desk can help you learn quickly? Richard Feynman explains this well. This first step is crucial and it will make your learning faster than any other learning techniques.
Take out a blank sheet of paper.
At the top, write the subject you want to learn. Now write out everything you know about the subject as if you were teaching it to a child. You are not teaching to your smart adult friend, but rather a child who has just enough vocabulary and attention span to understand basic concepts and relationships.
Also, you could place a rubber duck on your desk and try explaining the concept to it.
Software engineers sometimes tackle debugging by explaining their code, line by line, to a rubber duck. The idea is that explaining something to a silly-looking lifeless will force you to be as simple as possible.
We make a big mistake when we try to explain to others.
We use complicated vocabulary and jargon. You don’t need to do it. The truth is, if you can’t define the words and terms you are using, you don’t really know what you’re talking about. Humans understand better in the simplest language.
We hate to be confused.
Many times, we even confuse ourselves by using complex words. You need to make sure your explanation isn’t above, say, a sixth-grade reading level by using easily accessible words and phrases.
The simplest language is the best language to learn and teach.
When you write out an idea from start to finish in simple language that a child can understand, you force yourself to understand the concept at a deeper level and simplify relationships and connections between ideas. You can better explain the why behind your description of the what.
Now, we move on to the next step.
2. Identify the gaps
I asked for guidance for the location I wanted to go to and I got lost completely. In the year 2011, I was visiting the city of Mumbai by car. I had to reach a training venue on time. I am not familiar with the locations of Mumbai because I don’t live there. I tried to google the location but it was not showing anything precisely.
Back then, the google map was not so sophisticated and accurate.
I had to rely on the locals. Well, when I asked people to guide me from point A which is where I was to point B which is where I want to be. That means my hotel. He explained to me, I took notes and I followed his advice.
I got completely lost and reached a whole different area.
While that local person was guiding me, he missed crucial locations where I had to take important turns and exits. He missed many landmarks and He lost me completely. My time was wasted and I almost got late by 15-20 minutes for the event. That’s exactly what we do when we explain. In the first step, we talked about explaining the concept with simple vocabs and generate relationships between ideas that a child can understand.
But it’s not enough.
There are some areas where you struggle in Step 1 are the points where you have some gaps in your understanding. Identifying gaps in your knowledge—where you forget something important, aren’t able to explain it, or simply have trouble thinking of how ideas are connected.
It’s a critical part of the learning process.
Filling those gaps is when you really make the learning stick. Now that you know where you have gaps in your understanding, go back to the source material. Find more supporting ideas. Find out how those ideas are connected with each other with the consequences of each. Look up definitions. Find more synonyms.
Keep going until you can explain everything you need to in basic terms.
You can add more stories and examples to strengthen your explanation. Sometimes, you need to rearrange ideas and easily combine them with other words to communicate your point. When you can say something in multiple ways using different words, you understand it really well.
Missing this step will create the illusion of knowledge.
And you will be challenged with arguments and questions. And many times, it’s good so that you know the gaps in your understanding. It’s good to know what you don’t know. That takes us to the third part. Let’s dive in.
3. Organise and simplify
I have been cooking food for the last 17 years. And I love it.
I remember the first few times, I was making food. I was asking people to share the recipe. Well, they are so kind enough to tell me the recipe but the outcome was not as I expected. The final product was so much different than they make.
What was wrong?
They used to tell me the recipe like they were assuming that I know exactly what they know. They were telling me all steps correctly but they were in the wrong order. Instead of going from 1st to the 2nd to the 3rd and so on to the 10th step, they used to tell me let’s say, 1st step then the 4th step, then 7th step and then the 2nd step and so on. You know how I did. That’s why I couldn’t cook as delicious food as them.
That’s the right way to confuse others.
You don’t have to do it when you learn by explaining or teaching others. After step -1 and step-2, you now have a set of hand-crafted notes containing a simple explanation. Organize them into a narrative that you can tell from beginning to end. Read it out loud.
If the explanation sounds confusing at any point, go back to Step 2.
Keep repeating until you have a story that you can tell to anyone who will listen. If you follow this approach over and over, you will end up with a binder full of pages on different subjects. If you take some time twice a year to go through this binder, you will find just how much you retain. You are going to learn way much more and way much more quickly than others.
The ultimate test of your knowledge is your capacity to convey it to another.
You can read out directly what you’ve written. You can present the material like a lecture. You can ask your friends for a few minutes of their time while you’re having dinner with them. You can volunteer as a guest speaker in your child’s classroom or a friend’s place. All that really matters is that you attempt to transmit the material to at least one person who isn’t that familiar with it. The questions you get and the feedback you receive are invaluable for further developing your understanding.
Pay attention to what your audience is curious about.
Note down what they ask and where they get confused. Fill up those gaps of understanding. The Feynman Technique is not only a wonderful recipe for learning but also a window into a different way of thinking that allows you to break complex ideas apart and reconstruct them from the ground up.
Not only will you supercharge your learning, but you’ll also supercharge theirs.
Read next: We take illogical actions when we do what others are doing. We need to think and act independently without others influencing us. So, you can take better decisions. But what if we can not get escape from the illogical crowd?
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