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How to Learn Anything in 4 Steps with the Feynman Technique

This remarkable methodology can help you learn everything from playing bongos to quantum theory

By | Haseeb Tariq | www.entrepreneur.com

Named after Nobel Prize-winning physicist Richard Feynman, the Feynman Technique involves breaking down information into small, manageable pieces and then using mental images to help understand it — and can be applied to convey complicated topics in a short amount of time. Fans of Feynman’s process include Bill Gates, who, in a video entitled “The Greatest Teacher I Never Had”, expressed astonishment and how readily the physicist could break down complex topics into approachable and briskly-worded parts.

The technique involves four steps.

1. Pick a topic and study it

Start with a topic that you want to learn about — anything from a new language, to how to play an instrument, to physics. Break down the components of the topic and examine each piece individually. Once you understand the individual parts, put them back together and see how they fit. You can do this by using Feynman’s mental models to build a solid foundation in your mind.

2. Explain the topic to a 5-year-old

Attempt to describe your chosen topic to a child. Feynman used this approach when he was learning to draw; he would describe the subject to a child or even use hand gestures until he could explain it enough that they understood.

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