28.10.19

IT'S CALLED DEVELOPING YOUR POWERS OF CONCENTRATION.

That's easier, when you are concentrating on something that interests you.
The other day, I read an article about how children with obsessions, described as “intense interests” (which is a strong interest in a specific topic) are actually smarter.  These children are problem solvers, they seek more knowledge, and they often carry what they learn throughout their lives.
It's not necessarily smarter in the sense of, oh, being able to calculate a thousand digits of π, or conjugating irregular verbs or any of the other things that get the good grades on school days.  But sometimes the skills young people develop in the course of their intense interests (I'll let the achievement-resenting mediocrities call them "obsessions") carry over into those more traditional areas.
A 2008 study found that sustained intense interests, particularly in a conceptual domain like dinosaurs, can help children develop increased knowledge and persistence, a better attention span, and more in-depth information-processing skills.

When looking into the reasons for this, it all made perfect sense.  These kids are always researching the topic; they are continually seeking more knowledge about it; they are always asking questions.  In short, they make the children better learners, which makes them smarter kids.
The article notes that the intense interests don't always carry over into adulthood, although there's an intriguing reference to a "hobby gene." The mind-management skills, though, do.
These children learn new ways to learn.  They dig into their topic so deeply, figuring out new ways to learn about their interest.  They then take these problem-solving strategies with them into their lives.

They learn what questions to ask, how to learn more, how to dive into topics, etc…
It is almost like they are teaching themselves how to study and how to dig deeper into everything that they learn.

Instead of just learning “for a test” or “For the moment” and instead of memorizing, these kids learn how to figure out WHY this works the way it does.  They want to deepen their knowledge about subjects and topics.   They are connecting the dots and finding the relationships between things.
That's even when those intense interests appear to be crowding out the more responsible things.  Is there no parent who has ever chided such a child, "If you spend half as much time on [something required] as you did {mastering the nomenclature of dinosaurs, identifying the spotting features on diesels, recognizing the flight style of birds} you'd be an A student."  Thus the article might invert the direction of causation: it's not so much the interest waning as the external pressures to conform crowding them out.  That can wait, dear reader, it can wait.

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