Why I write: The Feynman Technique for learning

One of the reasons I started writing is to learn more. The Feynman technique was an inspiration for this.

The Feynman Technique

Richard Feynman was a theoretical Physicist. He won a Nobel prize for his contributions to quantum thermodynamics. In other words, he was a genius. 

If you have a few minutes, listen to the genius here. 

Feynman always made sure he had a deeper understanding of concepts, before teaching it to anyone. 

There are four steps in the Feynman technique

  1. Pick a topic
  2. Understand the basics. Write what you understood as if you are teaching a 6th-grade student. Use simple language.
  3. Look at your notes. Identify what you do not know yet. For example, if you are using jargon, you probably did not understand something. Go back to your source of learning and improve your understanding.
  4. Review and repeat.

We tend to hide complexities under jargon. In a business meeting or a job interview, a lot of jargon is often a red flag. 

The ultimate test of your knowledge is when you can convey it to someone else. 

Why write?

Writing is step two and three of the Feynman technique. This is where I try to convey what I understood to others. I make sure to write about the new topics I learn.

But there are more reasons for this.

  1. You share what you learn. It might help others. Even if it only helps one person, it is a positive-sum game
  2. You will have a deeper understanding of what you learned. 
  3. It improves your language proficiency
  4. It adds to your resume

The last two reasons are a byproduct of continuous writing. It can be immensely helpful in building a great career. In a world that is more global than ever, communication skills and command over English can be the difference between the good and the great.

I have had people reach out to me after reading my blog post. Thanking, appreciating, and criticizing what I write. It makes my day. 

Learn slowly

I’m a fan of slow learning. When I learn a concept, I try to understand it and apply it in my life the same day. 

Recently I read about second-order thinking and the inverse mental model. I spent a few days with it. I tried applying those in my daily life and work. 

More on that, in a different blog post.

The point is when you write, you learn more. 

Conclusion

That’s it. There is nothing fancy here. It is a simple technique you can apply in your life to learn more things quicker. 

Bonus, share what you learn. Be the light the world needs. 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s