Main menu


Learning how to learn
Mental Models

A practical philosophy for learning, problem solving and creating change
Learning how to learn mental models

When we learn, mental models are the things in our brains that store what we learn. Part of the process of learning is building these models, another part is indexing them so that what we learn can be called up when needed.

What we learn

Sometimes what we learn is information, or details of how something (as sytem) works. Sometimes what we learn is how to process information to solve problems or otherwise provide answers. And yet another thing that we can learn is things that involve the use of our body. This can include things like riding a motorcycle, driving a car, riding a bike, doing martial arts or dancing, and of course it can also include things like how to do yoga poses and how to move between them.

The same process of learning can be applied to learning external systems and to learning the things that involve ourselves. The trick then is learning how to learn in such a way that learning is easier and more enjoyable, and also more effective.

The meaning of effective learning

Effective in this case can mean several things. It can mean learning in a way that we don't have to spend so much time learning. It can also mean learning in such a way that we can re-use what we've learned. But, and this is particularly true when solving problems, or otherwise coming up with elegant solutions or creations, it means building models from two points of view.

Building mental models from two points of view

Learning How to Learn Mental models is about the process of building mental models from two points of view. With this process, self-testing is an integral part of the process. But so too is breaking things down.

Applied to ourselves and learning the things that involve ourselves, we can improve our ability to think clearly but also our ability to enjoy our experiences even as we work to improve them. We can thus work at gradually improving our lives, if we choose, as well as out ability to solve problems. In terms of activities that involve our direct involvement, we can learn the basics of feeling our body and better controlling it.

30 Day Guarantee

If you aren't satisfied, let me know within 30 days of purchase and I'll give you your money back. My email is included in the receipt when you make your purchase.

Buy now from Gumroad

Table of contents

Mental models and learning, an introduction

Learning allows us to improve our experiences

We can't solve problems unless we can learn

Mental models are the result of all that we learn

Learning to act effectively without thinking

Four categories of mental models

Habits are model outputs

An example of unthinking action

Freeing up attention



Micro habits

Reducing frustration

Programming ourselves

Iterative learning

Building models ahead of time

Separating learning from doing

The importance of indexing

Indexing is a part of learning

Doing simple math

Fixing problems with math

Fixing problems with indexing

Indexing with varied references

Answering 100 questions quickly

Dancing with chaos

Breaking things down

Action Frameworks

Learning to ride a motorbike

Practicing in different contexts

Building the model first

Memorizing an initial model

Checking the results

Building a model or improving it

Recognizing a problem

Sharpening the thinking mind

Two mind-states

Separating thinking and doing



Cycling between mind-states

Building then using


Defining Practice

Using limits to approach limitlessness

Guidelines for testing

Improving sensitivity and control

Practicing mind-state control

Using then checking

Learning sensitivity

Improving control

Short term memory

It's limited

Don't overstuff the airlock

Mid-term memory

Learning to write Chinese characters

Listening in chunks

Assembling a model in mid-term memory

Five Items or Less

Being specific

Making choices

Noticing relationships

Aiding effective indexing

Freeing ourselves from the limits of short term memory

Using references to previously learned models

Learning re-usable components

Choosing how we learn and what we learn from

Learning to improve the model building process

Using external memory


Programming with short term memory in mind

Making our writing easier to edit

Reducing redundancy

Stepping back

Sensing change


Weight shifting

Learning to sense

Doing math and Tai Ji without thinking

Positioning to maximize sensitivity

The dangers of thinking

Overcoming fear

Directing our senses

Change doesn't stop

Types of change

Sensing change inside and outside of ourselves

Sensory horizons

Maximizing the sensory horizon

Sensing change early via the outer environment

Configuring for responsiveness

Directing our senses externally

Directing our senses internally

Tuning and adjusting

Creating sensation first

Two points of view

Defining a system

Components and how they relate

Modelling the system as it is working

Components and signals

An example of the effectiveness of models created using two points of view

A Feynman-like view of understanding

Laplace transforms

What understanding is made of

The complex number plane

Two points of view, time and space

Stepping in and out of the flows of time

Detecting hinderances to the flow of change

Checking our solution and our models in general

Becoming a better reader

Reading is a fluid process

Looking back on the experience

Interacting with our models outside of habbits

Intuition as the output of our models

Inner space


Writing Chinese characters or understanding them

Riding a bike or fixing it

Learning to feel our body

A Dauntless approach to modeling systems

Dealing with overwhelm

Recognizing completion


Defining an idea

Systems as ideas

Ideas as imaginary or real

Being like water

Thinking clearly



Ideas and relationships are fracticality optional

Systems versus relationships


Room to sense change and room to create it


The reverse of building a mental model

To create a desired change we need a foundation

Two points of view

Contexting and Two Points of View

Defining and Redefining Systems (and Models)

Identity and Recognition

Experiencing and then Reviewing the Experience

Breaking it down ahead of time

The components as landmarks

Choosing how to differentiate and break down

Breaking down in terms of ideas that create, sense or otherwise transmit change

Grasp swallow's tail

Providing context

Memory techniques

Flexible labelling

Modelling our own body

How muscles act as force sensors

Learning our body

Focusing on the targeted area

Muscle model basics

Defining muscle stretch

Anchoring one end of a stretch

Options for muscle anchoring

Another way to think of flexibility

Creating room to move aka sufficient operating length

Connecting to our muscles

One way to create stability

Turning stability into direct-ability or control

Basic principles and First Principles

Systems create change

Ideas, relationships and change

Basic principles

Connections create relationships

Room to move


Creating change

First principles

Limits and limitlessness

Limits in the thinking mode

Limits in the fluid mode

Handling change


Buy now from Gumroad

Learning how to learn mental models
Published: 2023 03 31
Clearly defined poses, exercises and stretches for improving stability, body awareness and flexibility.
Main menu

Categories Index

Mental models, Learning how to learn

Return to TOP of Page


More Knee Anatomy articles

Mental models are created or modified whenever we learn. They drive habits, intuition and muscle memory.

Mental models are created or modified whenever we learn. They drive habits, intuition and muscle memory.
This understanding can be the basis for reducing frustration and making learning, problem solving and doing easier.

Find out more about Learning how to learn-Mental models