# You’re not bad at math: What I learned after 7500 hours of studying math

TLDRThis video reflects on the speaker's journey from hating math to mastering it, debunking the myth of innate math ability and emphasizing the importance of persistence and obsession with understanding. They share personal experiences and strategies for overcoming math challenges, including seeking help and targeting specific areas of confusion. The speaker also discusses the benefits of math, such as logical thinking and career opportunities, and encourages viewers to embrace the subject with patience and curiosity.

### Takeaways

- 🔍 The speaker initially disliked math but eventually found success and satisfaction through extensive study.
- 🧠 They believe that IQ and innate intelligence are overrated, with most people having similar intellectual capabilities.
- 🎓 Attending Columbia University, the speaker majored in math and operations research, which contributed to their understanding of the subject.
- 🤔 The speaker emphasizes the importance of persistence and not giving up on difficult problems, even if it leads to tears.
- 📚 Success in math can be achieved by being obsessive about understanding every question and not accepting ignorance.
- 🤝 The speaker encourages seeking help when stuck, suggesting that most people are willing to assist, though it may take finding the right person.
- 📈 They highlight that confusion in math often stems from foundational knowledge gaps and recommend identifying and addressing these.
- 💡 The speaker suggests that understanding the 'why' behind each step in a math problem is crucial for true comprehension.
- 📉 They acknowledge that math can be challenging and advises not to be too hard on oneself, even sharing a personal anecdote of struggling before an exam.
- 💼 The speaker lists personal motivations for studying math, including wanting to appear smart, opportunities for higher income, and the value of logical thinking.
- 🌟 They conclude by emphasizing the lifelong benefits of problem-solving skills and logical thinking gained from studying math.

### Q & A

### What was the speaker's initial attitude towards math?

-The speaker initially hated math when they were a kid.

### How many hours of studying math did the speaker invest before sharing their insights?

-The speaker invested 7,500 hours of studying math.

### What does the speaker believe about the correlation between IQ and math performance?

-The speaker believes that IQ and being smart are just a scam, and that most people have very similar IQs, which do not significantly determine performance at the high school or college level.

### What is the speaker's view on the rarity of extremely high IQ individuals in a typical classroom setting?

-The speaker mentions that people with extremely high IQs are very rare and are probably not in a typical classroom; they are likely in some genius or gifted school.

### According to the speaker, what is a common trait among people who are good at math?

-The speaker states that people who are good at math are extremely obsessive about math questions and feel uncomfortable if they don't understand or can't figure something out.

### What does the speaker suggest as a strategy for understanding math problems?

-The speaker suggests that for every question you see, you need to get to the bottom of it, not accepting that you don't know how to do or understand a question, and ensuring you can answer it independently.

### Why does the speaker think it's important to understand the order of operations in math?

-The speaker explains that understanding the order of operations is crucial because it forms the foundation for solving more complex problems, and without it, explanations and solutions may not make sense.

### What advice does the speaker give for dealing with confusion in math?

-The speaker advises to target the exact step that is confusing, find out what is missing or unclear, and seek help by Googling it or asking someone.

### How does the speaker feel about asking questions in math?

-The speaker encourages not to be afraid of asking questions and to be as specific as possible to get the help needed, as the process of framing a question is also helpful for understanding the logic better.

### What personal motivations does the speaker share for studying math in college?

-The speaker shares three motivations: wanting to look smart, seeking more opportunities and higher salary, and recognizing math as the foundation of logic which is a lifelong skill.

### What does the speaker suggest as a way to handle difficulty and frustration in learning math?

-The speaker suggests being patient, trying to learn each step, figuring out where you went wrong, and not letting any question defeat you.

### Outlines

### 📚 Overcoming Math Challenges and Embracing Persistence

The speaker shares their personal journey with math, from hating it as a child to majoring in math and operations research at Columbia University. They emphasize that intelligence and IQ are not the determining factors for success in math, as most people have similar IQs and the difference is negligible at the high school or college level. The speaker encourages viewers to be obsessive about understanding every math question they encounter, suggesting that this persistence can lead to significant improvement in a short time. They also address common feelings of confusion and frustration in math, attributing them to gaps in foundational knowledge and advising viewers to identify and fill these gaps. The speaker's friend, a PhD student in math, exemplifies the level of obsession with understanding math concepts, and the speaker admits to not being as extreme but still cherishes the process of learning and the satisfaction of solving problems. The importance of not giving up on questions and understanding each step is highlighted, as is the value of seeking help when needed.

### 🤔 Encouragement, Personal Motivations, and the Importance of Math

This paragraph discusses the importance of not being afraid to ask questions and seeking help in understanding math concepts. The speaker encourages viewers to be specific when asking for help, as it aids both the person asking and the person providing assistance. They share their personal motivations for studying math in college, which include wanting to be perceived as smart, recognizing the opportunities and higher salary potential associated with math skills, and valuing math as the foundation of logic—a lifelong skill. The speaker reflects on their own struggles with a difficult question before an exam, highlighting the importance of patience and persistence. They conclude by reiterating the value of math for problem-solving skills and logical thinking, and they thank the viewers for watching, encouraging them to like, comment, and subscribe for more content.

### Mindmap

### Keywords

### 💡Math

### 💡Operations Research

### 💡IQ

### 💡Theorem

### 💡Obsessive

### 💡PhD

### 💡Order of Operations

### 💡BetterHelp

### 💡Procrastination

### 💡Logical

### 💡Problem Solving

### Highlights

The speaker overcame a childhood dislike for math through extensive study.

Mathematical success can be achieved through dedication, even in just two weeks.

IQ is not a determinant of high school or college math performance.

High IQ individuals are rare and not typically found in regular classes.

Success in math often comes from an obsessive focus on understanding problems.

The speaker's friend, a math PhD student, is consumed by her work on math problems.

The speaker enjoys the challenge and satisfaction of solving math problems.

Every math question should be understood thoroughly, especially those related to current studies.

Difficulty in math often stems from gaps in foundational knowledge.

Identifying and addressing specific points of confusion is crucial for understanding.

The speaker recommends using online resources or asking others for help with math.

BetterHelp is mentioned as a beneficial resource for overcoming personal challenges.

Asking specific questions is more effective than vague inquiries about math problems.

The speaker encourages persistence and patience when facing difficult math problems.

Math is a valuable skill for various high-income careers and opportunities.

Studying math has provided the speaker with problem-solving skills and a logical mindset.

The speaker's personal motivations for studying math include appearing smart and gaining opportunities.

Math is the foundation of logic, a skill that can be applied throughout life.