My Story of Thinking in Pictures by Keshav Porwal

My mind works like Google for images. You put in a keyword and it brings up pictures. ~ Temple Grandin


From my small age, I loved to open things and understand what’s there inside them, and see what is inside them that makes them work differently.

It is said “an officer cannot row a boat like a boat man" and that is exactly what happened to me in the classroom. I started to involve myself in all sorts of creative works and competitions that my school would conduct or look for solutions to daily life problems that I would face. This made me more and more creative and forced my brain to start thinking of solutions practically and come up with different ideas visually.

But slowly, I realized something different again! I noticed that I was not able to pay attention continuously in a classroom and understand almost anything in subjects like math.

I started to ponder about this and analyze why I am not able to do so. I started writing down what was missing in myself that prevented me from performing well in academics. I realized that I was unable to enjoy the process (“if you fall in love with the process the results will follow").

Soon, I started struggling even to understand basic concepts in the classroom. For what people took 15 minutes to solve I would take more than one and a half hours!

Now, I really got serious. I started praying to God, analyzing and understanding and then realized that many times to explain things I would draw the structure and the diagram to explain it to people. This idea worked very well as my friends could see the image rather than depend on the text. I sometimes used this same method in my previous classes to write notes fast or connect an analogy which would come into my mind which is similar to that concept.

So, I started to train myself to draw representing every sentence or a set of information onto a picture and drawing it in my rough notebook and connecting all the parts to a single mega picture.

When it came to a question answer I collected the main points of the answer and converted each of the point into a picture combine all of them into a mega picture.

I found it so interesting! I was able to remember the picture and was able to convert my academics into fun as it was something that I loved all my life!

Soon, I started Googling on the web trying to find more people like me and I was so happy and so shocked to find people like me! This technique it was called sketch noting. People used this method to take down notes during meetings to understand things and to make the meeting content packed with fun, creativity and information. So, I started taking down my class notes also in form of small Doodles and pictures. Soon, I could gather courage to approach my loving teachers and share this technique with them. The best part was that even though none of them were used to this technique or even knew much about it, all of them encouraged me. Soon, this technique was noticed by all of my classmates (especially by the so called ‘weak students’).

Most of the weak students started approaching me to ask and take help for question and answers in various subjects like Business Studies, Economics and sometimes even concepts in subjects like Accounts to them through pictures (most of the toppers in my class too loved this method and encouraged me a lot but were more used to the usual method).

It was then that I realized that all are different and all need to learn in their own different ways.

I started researching and spending more time on the internet started coming to know something called theory of multiple intelligence which was proposed by Paul Gardner in the history .He too said that there exist multiple intelligence among different people and so the people need to be taught or they take in the knowledge through their particular method.

It was then that I realized there was some need for me to help people/students in school. I decided to help students like me realize that they're not losers if they couldn't score well in the exams they could easily convert their passion into the academic learning sessions and make them creative and interesting too.

I started experimenting with this method more and more, trying to optimize it and make it more convenient and easily learnable for all the people with whom I would get in contact. I started writing on the back of my book all the mistakes which I would make, and how I could improve upon them.

So immediately when I left for holidays from my hostel I felt like starting something like a blog where I would share methods and techniques with all the students and help them to get better in studies and various works in life.

This method was actually very famous among many businesses various countries but I noticed that none of them actually concentrated on the schooling part of it. I felt that why not create a blog where I could be of some help to students like us.

Love All Serve All.
Thank you for reading.

~ Keshav Porwal

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