Can you rewire your mind to learn better?

Forgetting-Can-Make-You-Smarter (2)

3 minute read

What if I told you – the bike lovers, the cycling enthusiasts, or anyone concerned with riding a two-wheeler, that there exists a bicycle that none of you could ever imagine to ride in the right manner.

Well, at least no one got it in the first 100 tries.

The other day I came across this video uploaded by an experienced cyclist and a YouTube content maker, who was unable to ride a bicycle even after giving it a few tries. Eventually, after a few weeks of practice, he got around to learning to ride the bicycle.

The ‘backward’ bicycle as it came to be known, was made in such a way that when you turned the handle to the left, the cycle moved to the right and the same happened for the other side. The experiment revealed one important thing and that is, you have to first unlearn to learn something new about a particular subject of interest.

SmarterEveryDay in their video explain and show why the process of learning was so tough. I recommend watching the video to understand what I am talking about.

But then, that got me thinking, maybe our brains need oiling just like the chains of a bicycle to function at its best. No wonder riddles and puzzles are sometimes hard to crack. So, I think that seeing and perceiving things from a different angle is the key here.
Another interesting fact I found was that sometimes what I had written the previous day, I perceived it in a different manner the next day. The thought process changed.

I was sometimes amazed at what I came up with. My mind was always on the run creating, rethinking, analysing, storing the patterns, the wide arrays of ideas into some little corner of its vastness. This made the work relatable, a routine developed and without really noticing, I had mastered the skills of writing. It was my writing, the style similar to each article, identifiable only with me.

Now the very nature of creativity is such that you require to think in a new way.
So, even if I had mastered this skill of writing, my content was soon to be dead.

The creativity lacked oxygen.

I had to breathe.

“A new medium always has a period when it is struggling inside the confining box of an earlier medium. Creators have to unlearn what they knew before they can see the fresh, uncharted vistas stretching before them.”

  • Dave Morris

Maybe I had to try out something different…why not use the process of unlearning here?
Unlearning my style of writing and learning to thinking differently. Using this technique, maybe I can figure out a new way of converting my thoughts on to the 15.6″ screen of my laptop.

A new to create, an original way, unique in its telling.


Think of a skill that you have been used to doing for a long time and it is such that, you don’t require to give it much thought before performing it.
It can be little things like catching a ball, typing on a smartphone or keyboard or even writing with your right hand.

Once you pay attention to the action, try unlearning it. Try to just forget how to do it.
This works even better for a problem which is to be solved. Unlearn to solve the problem in your usual way or approach and learn a new way of solving it.

Our psychology is very stubborn and old in its way, you have to constantly push yourself to think in different, unconventional ways to not get your brain clogged and it will always work for the better. Problems will get solved.
It is time, we all work on the process of learning to unlearn.

Josh Kaufman gives this amazing talk on how to learn anything in the first 20 hours and you will be amazed on how capable you are of learning anything in just a span of a few hours.