Study the evolution of ideas.

This exercise emphasizes the importance of understanding the history of a subject. Every subject is made up of concepts that have evolved over a period of time. Each concept is built on top of the previous set of concepts. Considering an idea in retrospection will make you understand the significance of the earlier ideas. You will be able to conceptualize how they were necessary as building blocks to form the new one. This practice will also help you frame the advanced concepts better as you now have a solid understanding of how everything fits together.


  1. When you are stuck solving an issue and need an innovative insight, think about how the problem came to be.
    Think about the state of the problem a day, a month, or a year ago. Put your efforts into understanding how simple ideas evolved to connect and create a complex problem.

  2. Practice this habit when you learn an advanced concept.
    Once you learn an advanced concept, think back on how and why it was formed. This will provide you with great clarity, and it will contextualize every concept you have learned.

  3. Consider what could come next.
    How could you improve this concept? Don't worry about being wrong - you can still learn plenty.

  4. Push your own ideas to the extreme.
    Take any of your solutions and ask yourself, "How can I make this better?" Assume you have a blind spot somewhere and tweak your solution.


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