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Old 05-28-2008, 12:39 AM   #1
BZeto
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Default Becoming obsessed with only one thing at a time

For as long as I can remember I have always been at least mildly obsessed with any one hobby/thing. Once I have found that thing I could really care less about anything else. Seriously I will be thinking about this thing most of the day and it is always somewhere in the back of mind. This will continue until I either grow tired of or push that thing out of my life, then it's on to the next thing. A few examples so far have been with sports, cars, computers, video games, girls and music. I don't think that there's really anything wrong with liking something a lot, it's just I cannot maintain a broad interest in things and quite frankly it sucks and makes me less of an interesting and aware person.

Practicing the phrase "All things in moderation" to me is like trying to play fetch with a no-legged dog, it just doesn't work! It's go all-out or nothing with me. Sometimes I hate talking to these really creative people that are fascinated with everything because it only reminds me of my problem. I would compare the average life-loving person to a quad core CPU while I'm slowly crunching numbers one at a time with my single core. When I finish that process, it's on to the next. Now you may think I could use this to my advantage and become a professional or subject matter expert of some sort. Unfortunately I usually do not end up really passionate about these things in the long run and give them up before anything really good can come of it.

Can anyone relate to me here? Any tips to open up and expand my mind? No, I'm not asking you how you broke your World of Warcraft addiction (I've been through that already), my issue is much more broad. It's to the point where I think it could have detrimental effects to my career and relationships.
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Old 05-28-2008, 12:50 AM   #2
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Default Becoming obsessed with only one thing at a time

Is it because you like the race but not the destination?
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Old 05-28-2008, 12:54 AM   #3
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Default Becoming obsessed with only one thing at a time

First I was really into video games between the ages of 10 and 14, then I was really into skateboarding between 14 and 18, and now I'm really into music (guitaring, recording).
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Old 05-28-2008, 12:59 AM   #4
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Default Becoming obsessed with only one thing at a time

Quote:
Originally posted by: Platypus
Is it because you like the race but not the destination?
It's more like I see bright flashy lights somewhere along the way and just abandon the race all-together to pursue them. 10 minutes before that I was completely focused on the previous race and destination.
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Old 05-28-2008, 01:07 AM   #5
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Default Becoming obsessed with only one thing at a time

I have a very similar trait but I am like that with everything I do. I always want to figure things out to the farthest possible detail once I start into them.

As far as hobbies I definite dissect everything to such a low level and read everything I can about it. I'll research something for weeks and obsess over the details. Typically though, the things I spend a long time doing I never really tire of. There are a lot of things that hold my interest intensely but only for a short time however. I think a lot of it stems from the fact that I'm very obsessive-compulsive. I don't really have any advice for you but I can definitely relate. Luckily I found things that capture my interest long term, perhaps you will too?

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Old 05-28-2008, 01:17 AM   #6
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Default Becoming obsessed with only one thing at a time

omg that's like me!!!


I have been obsessed with either denim or video games for the past 2 years. I can't really get into both at any time. So I allocate a few months for this and a few months for that. I guess obsession means just that, obsess over 1 primary target/goal.
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Old 05-28-2008, 01:23 AM   #7
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Default Becoming obsessed with only one thing at a time

That is very much like me. I become obsessed with a certain thing for six months to year and becoming an absolute expert on that subject matter until I completely drop it and move on. You bring up the quad core analogy of other people, but if you are like me, then you must realize all of these things that you have become an expert on stay with you even if you are no longer interested in the subject. The level of knowledge builds up and you become a jack of all trades, master of all. I'm the guy my friends turn to when they need advice in just about ANY field, because the odds are good that I was deep into it at one point or the other.

I've been told this is a sign of genius, or maybe it was ADD. My mind was wandering when I heard it.
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Old 05-28-2008, 01:26 AM   #8
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Default Becoming obsessed with only one thing at a time

me too.

and wouldn't you know it? i was going to bed about an hour ago. yet, here I am...clicking away...
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Old 05-28-2008, 01:28 AM   #9
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Default Becoming obsessed with only one thing at a time

Quote:
Originally posted by: venkman


I've been told this is a sign of genius, or maybe it was ADD. My mind was wandering when I heard it.
were you snorting nutmeg at the time?
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Old 05-28-2008, 01:31 AM   #10
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Default Becoming obsessed with only one thing at a time

I used to be, until she got the restraining order...
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Old 05-28-2008, 02:43 AM   #11
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Default Becoming obsessed with only one thing at a time

I worked with a guy who had a very similar problem. I don't think it's healthy at times. It definitely lead to his divorce.
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Old 05-28-2008, 03:22 AM   #12
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Default Becoming obsessed with only one thing at a time

Asperger's
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Old 05-28-2008, 03:28 AM   #13
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Default Becoming obsessed with only one thing at a time

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyperfocus
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Old 05-28-2008, 03:39 AM   #14
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Default Becoming obsessed with only one thing at a time

Quote:
Originally posted by: venkman
That is very much like me. I become obsessed with a certain thing for six months to year and becoming an absolute expert on that subject matter until I completely drop it and move on. You bring up the quad core analogy of other people, but if you are like me, then you must realize all of these things that you have become an expert on stay with you even if you are no longer interested in the subject. The level of knowledge builds up and you become a jack of all trades, master of all. I'm the guy my friends turn to when they need advice in just about ANY field, because the odds are good that I was deep into it at one point or the other.

I've been told this is a sign of genius, or maybe it was ADD. My mind was wandering when I heard it.
I'll also get really into something, and when I feel I can see how it'll play out to the end, I get bored with it. Once I get that feeling that I can see the end of it, there seems to be no point in pursuing it further. Unfortunately, that can take only a few months to reach that point.
For example, I had a thread here awhile ago about using Li-ion batteries to power a drill. Once I got it all planned out in my head, and had all the parts, I could essentially see how it would turn out. Actually assembling it seemed like little more than idle busywork, so it sits idle. In the meantime, I'm using a much simpler method - tabbed NiMH cells soldered together, effectively just a straight replacement of the sub-C NiCads in the original pack.

My website also features solar panels. I tried a few designs, but didn't like any of them. The next step would have been to purchase a professional panel and reverse engineer it.
However, partway through the project, I went back to college, and was living in a dorm or campus apartment. I suddenly lacked time, money, or workspace to pursue the project further. I had originally bought the cells bulk (yes, more than 10lbs) and sifted through them, pulling out and checking for reasonably good ones to use in my panels. I paid around $15/pound for the cells.
Given that college expenses were mounting, and that the project had reached an impasse, I would up selling the good cells for $1.50 each; maybe more, I don't remember exactly. They're not heavy at all, less than an ounce each. It made for a pretty tidy profit margin. The remnants - broken pieces of cells - I wound up selling too, for $15/pound.
Buying those cells was probably the best business decision I ever made, and it was entirely unintentional.

Another project: LED arrays with a custom-built buck/boost driver circuit, capable of boosting 3-18VDC to 35.9VDC to run multiple arrays of series-wired LEDs. I was hoping to use them as growlights, as some of my plants just weren't getting enough light with the small bit coming in through the windows. I'd also hoped to cultivate some local wineberries, which I'd found to be much tastier than store-bought red raspberries. The arrays were mostly red LEDs, with a small number of blue, UV, and IR mixed in.
By the time I'd gotten the PCBs made, and the LED arrays wired, there were already much more powerful arrays available on the market, which of course used standard power sources. Damn you, Mouser! So that project had also hit a dead end.
Of course, I could probably make some money now pawning off high-brightness T1 3/4 LEDs here and there. You buy them bulk from China, and they are cheap. None of this BS of paying $2 for one or two at Radio Shack. That's an insane profit margin.


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Old 05-28-2008, 07:39 AM   #15
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Default Becoming obsessed with only one thing at a time

Quote:
Originally posted by: Jeff7
I'll also get really into something, and when I feel I can see how it'll play out to the end, I get bored with it. Once I get that feeling that I can see the end of it, there seems to be no point in pursuing it further. Unfortunately, that can take only a few months to reach that point.
For example, I had a thread here awhile ago about using Li-ion batteries to power a drill. Once I got it all planned out in my head, and had all the parts, I could essentially see how it would turn out. Actually assembling it seemed like little more than idle busywork, so it sits idle. In the meantime, I'm using a much simpler method - tabbed NiMH cells soldered together, effectively just a straight replacement of the sub-C NiCads in the original pack.
I have a similar problem. I'm obsessed with finding the perfect solution to whatever problem I have, and spend retarded amounts of time researching it. And when I finally find it, I can't even get myself to spend the comparitively small amount of time implementing it. I don't know if I would call it idle busywork, but the finding the solution to the problem is far more exciting then actually seeing it through to the end.

Sometimes I wish I was more like my mother, she just dives in without any plan. She screws things up sometimes, but at least she gets things done.
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Old 05-28-2008, 07:40 AM   #16
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Default Becoming obsessed with only one thing at a time

Quote:
Originally posted by: NightDarker
First I was really into video games between the ages of 10 and 14, then I was really into skateboarding between 14 and 18, and now I'm really into music (guitaring, recording).
I've never heard it called "guitaring". Heh...sounds funny
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Old 05-28-2008, 07:43 AM   #17
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Default Becoming obsessed with only one thing at a time

I'm like that with food. Beef noodle soup. Always looking for it. Was that way with poker, too.
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Old 05-28-2008, 09:09 AM   #18
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Default Becoming obsessed with only one thing at a time

BZeto, I'm this way too. These "obsessions" can last anywhere from a couple of days to a couple of months, but then I lose interest or just forget about it and then it's on to the next thing. Sometimes, it comes back to a previous "obsession" though. I think this is common in people with OCD.
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Old 05-28-2008, 09:16 AM   #19
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Default Becoming obsessed with only one thing at a time

Quote:
Originally posted by: PingSpike
I have a similar problem. I'm obsessed with finding the perfect solution to whatever problem I have, and spend retarded amounts of time researching it. And when I finally find it, I can't even get myself to spend the comparitively small amount of time implementing it. I don't know if I would call it idle busywork, but the finding the solution to the problem is far more exciting then actually seeing it through to the end.

Sometimes I wish I was more like my mother, she just dives in without any plan. She screws things up sometimes, but at least she gets things done.
Sounds like Tesla vs Edison. From what I read, Edison liked to dive right in and screw up often. There's that old thing, "I have no failed, I have simply found [some big number] of ways that don't work."

Tesla liked to plan ahead instead so that things would work right the first time. Less wasted effort that way.



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Old 05-28-2008, 09:27 AM   #20
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Default Becoming obsessed with only one thing at a time

I do this on a regular basis.

Video games, fishing, nitro RC buggy and truck, motorcycle, computer building projects, building things.

I often times will even go out an buy all the supplies for some new project I have planned, get home with the supplies and say "I'll start on it tomorrow" and then move on to the next the next thing and never pick back up the first project or finish the new one.
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Old 05-28-2008, 09:29 AM   #21
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Default Becoming obsessed with only one thing at a time

I do this a lot as well, kind of annoys me but it is what it is.
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Old 05-28-2008, 09:33 AM   #22
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Default Becoming obsessed with only one thing at a time

I'm that way only with computers and troubleshooting. I become so focused on the problem (no matter how small it may be) that i forget other aspects of my job. Luckily I have few problems to work out otherwise I'd have been fired by now.
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Old 05-28-2008, 10:34 AM   #23
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Default Becoming obsessed with only one thing at a time


I'm an obsessive compulsive person also..

Wintertime.. I obsess about upgrading my pc, buying new parts, playing wow, all things computer related.

Spring rolls around.. I start collecting projects.. mostly lawnmowers, things like that, stuff to work on in the garage from March till May and sell some to make a few bucks.

May-September I'm full on Jetski fanatic. I buy parts on Ebay to improve hp (larger carbs, etc), things to fix problems, am at the lake every weekend I can be when I'm not oncall or at a family thing. I even head out after work sometimes to ride my standups. I'm full on tunnel vision jetski and barely touch the computer except on rainy days to read mail/play a few minutes of WoW or whatever.

September-April I'm engrossed in holiday stuff, getting the garden tractor ready to blade snow, winterizing things, repairing broken stuff, etc.. Come November, I'll start playing pc games more, sitting on my butt a lot more, etc..

I kind of hate the way I go about doing things. I can't do anything in moderation. Once i get focused on something, I block out most everything else and just focus on the one thing at that time.
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Old 05-28-2008, 10:36 AM   #24
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Default Becoming obsessed with only one thing at a time

My whole life. I've always attributed it to ADD.
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Old 05-28-2008, 10:54 AM   #25
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Default Becoming obsessed with only one thing at a time

I'm the same.
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