# Poke the Box: Think Like a Child

Just in case you missed any of this on Safal Niveshak over the last few weeks…

Book Worm
The Pleasure of Finding Things Out is a collection of short works from American physicist Richard Feynman, including interviews, speeches, lectures, and printed articles. A sweeping, wide-ranging collection, it presents an intimate and fascinating view of a life in science. From Feynman’s deep thoughts on science in our culture to his Nobel Prize acceptance speech, this book will fascinate anyone interested in the world of ideas.

Here is an excerpt from the book, where Feynman talks about the importance of understanding what you are trying to do instead of blindly following the rules –

My cousin, at that time, who was three years older, was in high school and was having considerable difficulty with his algebra and had a tutor come, and I was allowed to sit in a
corner while the tutor would try to teach my cousin algebra, problems like 2x plus something. I said to my cousin then, “What’re you trying to do?” You know, I hear him talking about x. He says, “What do you know -2x + 7 is equal to 15,” he says “and you’re trying to find out what x is.” I says, “You mean 4.” He says, “Yeah, but you did it with arithmetic, you have to do it by algebra,” and that’s why my cousin was never able to do algebra, because he didn’t understand how he was supposed to do it. There was no way.

I learnt algebra fortunately by not going to school and knowing the whole idea was to find out what x was and it didn’t make any difference how you did it – there’s no such thing as, you know, you do it by arithmetic, you do it by algebra – that was a false thing that they had invented in school so that the children who have to study algebra can all pass it. They had invented a set of rules which if you followed them without thinking could produce the answer: subtract 7 from both sides, if you have a multiplier divide both sides by the multiplier and so on, and a series of steps by which you could get the answer if you didn’t understand what you were trying to do.

Here’s some amazing content we have read in recent times…

Poke of the Week – Think Like a Child

A high school teacher drew a dot on the blackboard and asked the class what it was. “A chalk dot on the blackboard,” was the only response.

“I am surprised at you,” the teacher said. “I did this exercise with a group of kindergarteners and they thought of fifty different things it could be: an owl’s eye, a squashed bug, a cow’s head. They had their imaginations in high gear.”

As Picasso put it, “Every child is an artist. The challenge is to remain an artist after you grow up.”

A child’s mind is like a free and fearless bird in the sky. It’s not polluted by limitations of what can’t be done. If there is one thing that you can learn from your child today – learn this – free your mind.

In the movie Matrix, when Morpheus is training Neo he tells him – “Fear, doubt, disbelief – Let it all go Neo! Free your mind.”

If necessity is the mother of invention, then playfulness is the father. When you face a problem, become a child. Play with it.

While growing up we have been told so many times about the limitations around us that we have forgotten that our imagination is not bound by any physical laws. No gravity, no space, no time – nothing.

Don’t know what to imagine?

How about this – If money wasn’t an issue, what would you do? What project would you work on? Where would you go? Who would you like to meet?

The leash attached to your thinking is an imaginary one. Snap it now! Let your thoughts run wild – in all directions.

Keep poking.

Think like a child.

Be kind to others, and to yourself.

Stay happy, stay blessed.

With respect,
Vishal & Anshul
Chief Pokers – Poke the Box