Why Is This Method So Important?
Feynman understood something very important. It’s one thing to know the name of something. It’s a completely different to understand actually what it is.
I can point to any object and tell you its name. “The bright light in the sky is the Sun.” But, naming something isn’t enough. Think about these questions:
What is the Sun made of?
Why is it there, in the sky?
Why does it appear in the east and disappear in the west every day?
What role does it play in everyday life for people on planet Earth?
How does it affect Earth and the other planets?
What would happen if it disappeared one day?
How old is it?
How long will it last?
These questions are just the beginning of understanding what the Sun is, how it impacts the world, etc. Think of the old detective questions: Who, What, Where, Why, and How. This question puts each one to good use when learning a new concept.
Feynman used his natural curiosity to delve into complex topics. He broke them down into small, easy-to-understand components. And that’s the heart of why this technique is so important.
The Feynman Technique teaches you how to break down complex information. It encourages you to delve into the areas you don’t know, so you develop a more precise understanding. Then, you put it all back together in a way that makes sense to you and to others.