Improve Your Understanding Power with Feynman Technique

The Feynman Technique is a learning method that unlocks your potential and forces you to develop a thorough understanding. Richard Feynman was a Nobel laureate in physics. His true superpower, however, was his ability to simplify complex subjects for others. He realised that jargon, ambiguous words, and complexity indicate a lack of comprehension.

The Feynman Technique consists of four major steps:

  1. Choose a concept that interests you and explain it to a 12-year-old.
  2. Consider, Refine, and Simplify
  3. Review and organise
  4. Let’s go over these in greater depth so you can put them to use right away.

There are two kinds of knowledge.

One of the most important reasons for Feynman’s success was his understanding of the distinction between understanding and knowing the name of something. He was never satisfied with simply knowing the name of something. He wanted to get a better understanding of it.

The person who claims to know what he is thinking but is unable to express it is usually incorrect. – Adler, Mortimer

The Feynman Method

Step 1: Select a concept that interests you. What topic piques your interest? Take out a blank sheet of paper once you’ve decided on a topic. As if you were teaching a child, write down everything you know about the subject you want to understand. Add to your sheet as you learn more about the subject. Using a different colour pen can help you see how your learning progresses. Step 2 is to proceed once you believe you understand the topic.

Step 2: Tell a 12-year-old about it. Explain a topic to a 12-year-old now that you believe you have a good understanding of it. Use your sheet as a guide and try to eliminate any jargon or complexity. Use only simple words. Use only words that a child would understand. Anyone can complicate a subject, but only someone who understands it can make it simple. Jargon conceals our lack of comprehension. When forced to write out an idea in simple language from beginning to end, you discover where you struggle… where it doesn’t quite make sense… where you get frustrated… where you don’t really understand as well as you thought. Only by identifying knowledge gaps can you fill them.

Step 3: Reflection, Refinement, and Simplification. You understand a subject only when you can explain it in simple terms. Simple is lovely. Examine your notes to ensure you haven’t borrowed any jargon or glossed over anything complicated. As if you were reading to a child, read it aloud. If your explanation isn’t simple enough or sounds confusing, it’s a good sign that you need to think about it and refine it. Return to the source material and go over the parts you don’t understand yet.
Repeat until you have a straightforward explanation.

Step 4: Organize and Examine. Run it by someone else to put your understanding to the test in the real world. How convincing was your explanation? What were their inquiries? What parts did they get mixed up on? When you’re satisfied with your understanding, place the page you made with a simple explanation in a binder. Following this technique for everything you learn results in a binder full of knowledge that you can review a few times a year.

The world’s most successful people can take complex subjects and explain them simply (and memorably) to an audience. Understanding this technique can assist you in avoiding being duped by others. When you hear someone explain something in jargon or complicated terms, ask them to explain it in simple terms. If they become frustrated, it’s a sign that they don’t fully understand what they’re saying. They’d be able to explain it better if they did. The Feynman Technique is the foundation for our ‘blank sheet’ approach to supercharging your reading and retention.

Hi, I’m Garima and I write about life experiences. I have several books available on Amazon. Check them out today! Any purchases or KDP reads will be greatly appreciated. If you like my books, do leave a review. Here’s my author page on Amazon –


2 Comments Add yours

  1. PebbleGalaxy says:

    Nicely put very useful article.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. GS says:

      Thank you. Glad you agree with the thoughts expressed in the post.

      Liked by 1 person

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