Students Special: Give Boost to your Imagination and see results in Academics.
When was your last time you let your mind chase the question. “What if..?” in an academic setting? It’s a question that we naturally ran with as children, building those castles in the air and exploring fantastic scenarios limited only by rules of our own creation. As the years went by and we grew older and somewhat wiser, something curious happened to our minds. Yes we still dream and we still wonder about the world – this one and the others we might wish to inhabit – but put us in a classroom, give us a course outline, and all that dreaming and wondering come to a dead halt.
Except of course , when we want to escape the reality of that classroom – then our minds seem to effortlessly wander and have to be forcibly restrained from running away all together.
But what I’m talking about is taking one idea or concept and really playing with it, understanding it from the inside, taking it apart and putting it back together in different ways just to see how it works (or doesn’t), rearranging its parts to see how it looks and what it can offer us when it is upside down or turned on its side. If you’re one of those who likes to take apart and reassemble objects – machines, toys, instruments – you know the joy that his activity can bring. But in some ways this activity is limited by the fact that you know what you have taken apart and you know how to put it together again.
The curiosity – and the element of play – in this case is about seeing the ‘inside’ of the object.
JUST LIKE PHYSICAL PLAY EXERCISES THE MUSCLES, MENTAL PLAY BRINGS AGILITY AND SUPPLENESS TO THE MIND.
Why not use this innate ability to play with academics ideas as well? Scholars in many fields do this quite routinely in what they call ‘thought experiments’. You take a concept – or two – that you are interested in, and play with it, pitting it against or combining it with other ideas, placing it in different situations to see how it might behave. The process involves a healthy dose of imagination as well as the application of logic and reason. The crucial element is however a sense that multiple possibilities exist.
Now, even if you have no interest in physics or philosophy, bringing this element of play into your study can help give you a sense of freedom and open your mind to different – and more individualized – ways of understanding the subjects you have to deal with. Just as physical play exercises the muscles, mental play brings agility and suppleness to the mind. And it can begin with that intriguing question that drives so much innovation: “What If..?
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