All this week I’ve been helping out my friends with their coursework. One common question they ask me is “How do you know all this?” or “How can you remember that?” And my answer seems to be one of the following:
- “Just playing around really”
- “I don’t really know, it just sticks”
While both are probably true, I think the first answer is more accurate. I remember things because I just tried to do it. Giving something a go is one way that I learn stuff… and it seems to work!
“Just playing around” is exactly what I do when I attempt something that I don’t really know a lot about. Basically, I just try. I feel as though I won’t really get anywhere just looking at the problem, I may as well try and give it a go.
While this is initially very annoying and is often met with cries of “How am I supposed to do this if I haven’t been taught it?”, I’ve come to realise it’s actually very useful for us. Just trying something gives us the memory of the experience. The problem was difficult and often I’ll try and make an unbelievable amount of mistakes. But it was because the mistakes and the problem itself was that annoying that when I eventually solve it, I remember how I did it. Quite possibly because I never want to go through that process again. Now that I know the quick route, I’ll know exactly what to do if I had to solve a similar problem again.
And that’s what I think everyone should try to do, when possible. It’s okay if you don’t get the answer straight away or you need a little help. The important thing is you at least tried. And trying helps you learn better when you manage to get a real solution.
Of course, this doesn’t have to apply to only problems. It can apply to all sorts in life. “Every day, try something new.” I wish I had the courage to try all the things I want to try. I wish I had the confidence but I don’t. And there are so many things I would love to try…