Chunk The Subject
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Let’s talk about our next technique and that is chunking the subject or chunk the subject.
What does it all mean.
Well there’s technically two parts to this The first is the idea of chunks.
We learned in the science section that chunks are simply compact bits of knowledge right.
We have different chunks in our long term memory and we connect these chunks to create concepts and
make meaning and have understanding of the world around us.
Chunking is this idea of the mental leap that helps you unite different bits of knowledge into something
meaningful or give you context in your life.
A good example of this is the alphabet right.
We have the letter A the letter B the letter C but we can chunk these things together to create meaning
I can combine C A and T to form cat and this different chunks of knowledge become one subject and this
idea of chunking we learned was what makes our brain run more efficiently.
Every time I look at the word cat I don’t have to remember oh this is a C.
This is an A and this is a T instead because we’ve chunked that knowledge because we’ve put it into
long term memory and we know C and A and T really easily we can immediately combine them not think about
them and immediately form the cat image in our head.
You don’t need to remember all the details and this doesn’t apply just to words.
Even with cars for example driving when you first start driving you have to think about a lot of things.
You’re very very focused but then as you get better and better you stop thinking about driving as much
and becomes almost an autopilot where you naturally can move your foot to brake or accelerate.
Once you Chunk something well you go into this idea of a zombie mode where you don’t really think about
it and you just go on autopilot.
And again this is something we learned with habits as energy savers right chunking is related to habits
and this idea that we save our brain to learn different topics.
So that’s the first idea of chunking the subject breaking down the subject and chunking it into something
that can eventually go into an autopilot.
The second is that we learned we can only hold for chunks of knowledge in our working memory and that’s
why when we encounter a big problem it’s really hard to solve a big problem right.
If you want to become a professional web designer and you know nothing about web design.
Well that seems like a really long journey.
It seems like you’re never going to get there and this is where we want to use a strategy called divide
and conquer which is another way to chunk a subject what we want to do is when you encounter a big problem
is to divide and conquer.
That is break things down into small pieces small chunks that you think you can store in your long term
And this is also a way for us to get past the obstacles of learning when we find a subject so hard.
Well break it down into small little chunks.
How can we break it down into simple things that we can learn and then combine that knowledge to solve
that big problem.
That’s how businesses work right.
Businesses like Apple don’t all of a sudden create the iPhone instead.
Over the years they learn how to build a computer and then they learn how to build and optimize a chip
and then they learn how to maybe make screens that are touch screens create apps and so on and so forth.
And each chunk of knowledge leads to further and further progress so how can we use this idea of chunk
the subject into let’s say language learning let’s say you wanted to learn Spanish.
How can we use this knowledge.
Well let’s break down the problem into separate chunks to go from zero to fluent in Spanish.
That’s a big journey but instead let’s start off with this.
Let’s say we want to start with the most common one hundred words.
I google 100 most commonly used Spanish words.
What this does is we help with a positive reinforcement.
At the beginning before things get hard and we remember or we use a recall and practice and the Fineman
technique to practice these 100 words and what this does is this knowledge becomes chunked it also helps
us to get that positive reinforcement because we only start off with 100 words in Spanish and because
they’re most common it’s going to seem like we know more Spanish than we actually do even though we
only learned 100 words because they’re most commonly used.
We can actually start using Spanish to communicate and get that positive feeling at the beginning of
Then I might move on to learn the ten most common verbs and actions.
That’s actually how I learned to speak Spanish.
I had a job a couple of years ago where I had to go and work with the staff for a month where they didn’t
know a single word of English.
I had to speak Spanish and I knew nothing Spanish so I dedicated a month to study Spanish and used this
exact strategy and I was completely fine.
I was able to work with the staff for an entire month just speaking in Spanish and if anything my Spanish
improved at the end of that month because I got to practice it.
So I start out with that positive feeling and then I was excited because I was able to communicate in
Spanish and that furthered my learning so we used this divide and conquer approach to develop these
chunked knowledge that can become automatic.
But it also allows us to break down complex hard things to learn into manageable chunks.
I wonder how many times I said the word chunks in this video.
All right I’m getting distracted.
Remember when you look at a company like Apple when you look at people like Elon Musk and you ask yourself
I would never be able to create the next iPhone.
I would never be able to create the companies that Elon Musk has created.
Well remember it took years and years of work many chunked knowledges.
It’s all about starting today forming those chunks and eventually that knowledge will compound.
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