Has anybody ever heard of a special interest being catalysed

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Emu Egg
Emu Egg

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Joined: 9 Nov 2012
Age: 25
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18 Oct 2014, 10:36 pm

I'm wondering whether a given special interest has ever been created. What I mean is, rather than just developing a special interest the usual way (which I usually have no conscious control over), has it ever happened that a person chose a topic and consciously forced a special interest to develop in it?

For example, if one had a math exam coming up that one wanted to do well in, one could catalyse a special interest in math.

Any insight anybody can provide me on this would be both welcome and very much appreciated :)


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18 Oct 2014, 10:58 pm

I don't think we can create interest in a topic any more than we can create interest in a person. We either have "chemistry" or we don't.

However, I think a special interest can be discovered. You can meet topics and get to know them, like people. You might find you like the topic, or you might find you don't.

I think, too, a special interest can develop in an area where you might not know too much, but as you learn more you become more interested. No one is really born with a special interest. Even in the area of music or something else that requires some natural ability, just because someone has natural ability doesn't mean the person has interest or even exposure to it. A lack of interest and exposure will keep that ability from ever being developed.


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18 Oct 2014, 11:40 pm

sometimes things grow on people over time. for example, back in the 80s I hated the music on the radio that was popular than, but 2 decades later I find some musical enjoyment of it [along with a generous dollop of nostalgia].


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19 Oct 2014, 4:49 am

I have direct experience with this.

Sun Microsystems used to be my Special Interest for over 15 years. Then, Oracle bought them out and killed them, along with my 15+ year Special Interest. I had EVERYTHING Sun Microsystems from my mousepad right up to my servers in the garage (including a HUGE Sun Ultra 450 - God knows what I'm going to do with that?!?!)

After I lost my SI and spiraled into deep depression and alcoholism, I eventually needed to be hospitalized.

In the interim between Sun dying and being hospitalized, I tried to find a new SI but the things I decided to get into, I already had a basic liking for (e.g. rock climbing, morse code, knot tying archery etc. (of which all have always been just interests).

It would take off with the usual whirlwind researching, almost 24 hour studying of, buying EVERYTHING to do with it, collecting information and paraphernalia etc. (as you do)
none of them seemed to last beyond the 3 month mark. Every time I got into a new SI, my partner used to ask, "How long is this one going to last?"
Strange thing was, they all seemed to last pretty much 3 months to the dot.

One of them was rock climbing - a nice solo activity :) - That also died after 3 months but my EXTREME inexplicable love of Carabiners has stayed (I've always loved them! They're strong, shiny, clever how they operate and can support a truck! :) Needless to say, I never actually went rock climbing but I bought/collected enough rock climbing equipment to send a team of 20 up Everest :)

In the end, I discovered (and this is my quote! You can quote me if you want) You Can't Pick Your Special Interests. They Have To Pick You! - And it's true. While I was in hospital, out of the blue, I suddenly developed an interest in Myna birds. A most unlikely interest for me but there you have it and now, they've been a SI of mine for nearly 3 years now. I love 'em and I don't even know why. I mean I do know why (because they're wonderful) but I don't know why the interest formed. These birds have been right under my nose all of my life and I never give them a second thought and all of a sudden, they're my Special Interest? Go figure!


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