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Tip 91: Explain it simply

'If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough.' Albert Einstein

Back then when I studied at university, a lot of the exams were based on pure reproduction of what I had learned. Those got the best grades who were able to learn large quantities of knowledge by heart. I guess that around 90% of what I learned in these days is lost by now. It simply never got stuck in my long-term memory. Apart from that, I never used it in real life. What a waste of precious lifetime!

The good news is that there are many ways to deepen your neural networks and make learning more sustainable and effective!

One easy way is called the 'Feynman method'. Richard Feynman was a successful physicist who even received the Nobel price in 1965. Apart from all his achievements in his area of expertise, he discovered not only how to shift short-term into long-term memory but also how to transform superficial knowledge into a deeper level of understanding as a precondition for building skills.

How does the method work?

  1. Learn about a topic of interest.

  2. Explain it to someone else (e.g. your child or spouse) in your own, very simple words by not using any technical terms.

  3. Write down whenever you have trouble continuing your explanations.

  4. Afterwards, try to find ways to describe the missing things in an easy way.

  5. Explain the topic again to the other person until you can do so without breaks and problems.

What is a topic you are currently learning about and how can you leverage this method to gain a deeper understanding? Try it out today!

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