We’ve all had that experience where we get so wrapped up in something that minutes turn into hours and hours turn into “Holy crap, I forgot to have dinner.”
Supposedly, in his prime, Isaac Newton’s mother had to regularly come in and remind him to eat because he would go entire days so absorbed in his work that he would forget.
I used to be like that when it came to playing sports and being outdoors that I realized that my passion wasn’t for just being outside playing sports (although I did love it). My passion was for improvement, being good at something and then trying to get better. Being outside–the basketball and soccer games, being rough and running around with the boys–it was cool, but I could have easily lived without it. It’s the competition–with others, but especially with myself–that I thrive on.
And when I applied that obsessiveness for self-improvement and self-competition to my life, it changed drastically. Maybe for you, it’s something else. Maybe it’s organizing things efficiently, or getting lost in a fantasy world, or teaching somebody something, or solving technical problems. Whatever it is, don’t just look at the activities that keep you up all night, but look at the cognitive principles behind those activities that enthrall you. Because they can easily be applied elsewhere.
–Visualizing Virtue: Creativity with Character