I was able to watch a segment on Rated K, a television magazine show in ABS-CBN, featuring a special child who can tell in an instant the day of a date of any specific year. Quite amazing, huh? A specialist’s explanation was that it is only a specific portion of her brain that works the most. So I thought it’s like only that brain part has been exercised and was able to develop an expertise.
I also remember an issue of Newsweek Magazine in the late 90’s with cover feature: How to increase your memory. The picture on the cover was a red string tied into a knot around the pointer finger of a hand. The idea was to make your brain work actively until the “wires” inside intertwined and your memory becomes sharp. One exercise I can still remember to achieve that is to observe people around a busy place and make stories out of their actions. I used to do that a lot before, and not so frequent now. But I can say I’m good in reading actions and facial expressions.
It takes thousands of hours of practice if you want to excel in the Olympics. That means one has to start as a kid. Varsity players need to maintain a certain grade in order to retain their post in the team. Classroom geeks are often boring because books are their best friends. It seems most of them don’t have social life. I even believe that Manny Pacquaio, one of the world’s great boxers, acquired 8 championship titles that only he has done in boxing history because he was so focused on it. But when he entered politics, and other areas of his interest, many other parts of his brain may have gotten busy. Yes, he was still good on his fights when he was already a Representative of Sarangani Province in the Philippine Congress, but everyone saw that some challengers can already beat him.
I know of some parents who want their kids to excel in many areas. So when summer comes, they will enroll their children to ballet, advance math, swimming, voice lesson, etc. Just how much can a child handle pressure at a young age?
But I also know of persons who excel in multiple talents. For example, someone who knows how to play different kinds of musical instrument so well, persons who seem to be the best player in all sports they join in, A-1 students who also do excellent job in extra-curricular activities, etc. They are just so gifted that you would think when God sprinkled talents, their mothers were able to catch the most for them.
Anyhow, I think that the most important thing is you know what you really want and what makes you happy the most. Nobody has the right to question anyone if the latter excels in a lot of things he has worked hard for. Purpose and discipline are keys.