What the hell to do with all these unanswered questions in my head?
4 min read

What the hell to do with all these unanswered questions in my head?

Are you asking enough questions these days?

Are you feeling a little anxious with all these questions you have no answers for?

Is it painful to live with unanswered questions?

You are not alone my friend.

I learned it painfully that pain is a growth accelerator for human beings. Without pain we don't take much action. Without necessity we don't move. We are energy-conserving and pleasure-loving creatures. So don't be surprised if you go through it. The pain is there for a reason. It will accelerate your growth.

Now let's understand how to take the questions forward.

Question is only a beginning.

When you ask a question, your brain drops every other thought and primes itself with a ton of focus to know the answer. We call this as a priming in the brain world. It starts wondering. It tries to connect the dots in your neural pathways to know more. Chances are there is nothing to connect for the brain. Without cognition there will be no recognition. So when you don't know something, anxiety creeps in. This is where you must support your brain. The minute it gets too hard your brain will give up as it keeps count of energy and the moment it takes more energy than usual, your brain will make you drop the idea. There goes our question to the drain.

You have the power to over rule your brain and stay with the question. Your brain will comply. Give it a try.

So here's how you can do it.

Choose a question and do it along with me.

Today I am decluttering home and I found one of these boards from my kids toy box. I am curious to know how this board works?

More than my kids I used it extensively and I was always curious about how this thing works. But never took it one step forward. Today let's do it together.

STEP 1: A technique to stay with a question to extend your brain processing into a sheet of paper. Don't do this processing in your head. It will be super hard. Pick a pencil and a paper and put down all the words that come to you as you are asking the question.

Flexing my brain a little as the first step.

May be there is magnet inside because it is called Magna Doodle. May be the tip of the pen is also a magnet.

On a good day, I will break this board and see what is inside. The designer in me wants to know what is it made up of. We call this process as degeneration. But I know everyone at home will not be happy if I keep breaking things. So the minute I have a question, I just do a simple google search.

I got this as my first answer

Magna Doodle

Then when I dig deeper about the phenomena and principles I found this.

Now that I have exposure to this idea of fluid magnetic particles, I am excited to know more. Every question takes you into a rabbit hole that you have never visited before.

Here is my simple framework of absorption based on principles of cognition.

STEP 2: Collect the dots, Connect the dots, Create the dots if need be and articulate the connected dots in a simple language.

Feynman Technique it is. If i can't explain how things work to a six year old, I didn't quite get it. That is the litmus test.

I want to know if someone explained it to the six year old inside me. I found one and I am sharing the same below. It is simple enough for me to understand.

Now I know the basis of how this thing works. I feel better inside already. May be I can do a simple experiment of creating my own magna doodle sometime. That is when this knowledge becomes actionable.

So the trick to curiosity is to stay with the questions longer.

90% of the time, the inquisitiveness dies down because it is hard to think and there is too much process. Ignorance is painful. Follow the two steps and you will land somewhere, I promise.

Here are a few ways you can get started with a question.

  1. Write down words that pop when you ask that question. If more questions pop then write more questions around the question that pops.
  2. Pick a simpler question (that sounds easy) and dig deeper. In the modern world Google is your best friend.
  3. Curate you search results and go to the one that talks about the basics. Go to the core and check on what basis the <thing> works.
  4. Extend the core and see where all it is applied further. (For example, you could use the board even under the water)
  5. Explain it in a simple language. It could be a sketch or a blog or a video or whatever.
  6. Answer questions asked by someone who read your blog. Dig further.
  7. Ask someone who works in that field to know more. This extends your exposure further.
  8. Repeat.

The journey is never ending and that is the beauty of curiosity. Everday when you ask 20 questions, pick one and see if you can go and dig deeper. In just one month you will be more knowledgeable than you ever where. There is no room for boredom this way. Have you noticed little children? They never get bored. You will be tinkering one thing or other. Your inner child will be happy.

Irrespective of what you are working on, you can be inquisitive about the world around you. I have about 6000+ questions with me. Starting from big bang, dinosaurs to coronovirus I have a ton of questions unanswered.

Everytime I have more questions than answers I feel humbled and grounded. I feel a little smaller. I get the courage to explore because, I don't know >>> I know.

Unleash your inner child today. Stay curious.

🥂 to search!

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