Natural Interest

What is natural interest?

We can define the natural interest as an inborn or innate interest towards a specific kind of activities.

These natural interests motivate a person to conduct certain activities repeatedly for an extended period with enhanced energy levels. We would have seen some people showing extraordinary skills and proficiency over a sport, an art, or an activity. Their natural interests are the secret ingredients for such performances.

Similarly, you may find an operator in your company - with nothing uncommon to notice - would be a great stage artist. Psychologists call this kind of interests as latent talents. There are very few people who succeed and at the same time cherish their success, with inner peace. They are the gifted ones; they identified their natural interest and worked on it.

Does everyone have their natural interest?

Mark Twain says,

Thousands of geniuses live and die undiscovered - either by themselves or by others.

I believe that every one of us is genius, but we end up not realising it. We are conditioned to accept our sub-optimal performances and do work mostly because ‘we have to’ and not because ‘we want to’.

Naturally, we are all endowed with a magnificent body and an incredible mind and equally capable of doing anything we want. You could run as fast as Hussain Bolt, or even quicker if you wish. You could compose as good as AR Rahman if you are interested. You can outplay Sachin in batting if you want.

It is not the question of abilities; it is all about the interests.

You can if you want.

I am sure that every one of us is gifted with equal capabilities. We can reap full benefits only when we use them in line with our natural interests. Even, my life has changed for better, forever from the moment I realised my natural enthusiasm and realigned my capabilities accordingly.

How are the natural interests formed?

These interests are formed due to the formation of neural wirings in our brain. The neural wirings are developed naturally by birth or during childhood due to environmental stimuli. The number of such patterns grows as we grow. Our brain keeps creating new neural transmission networks continuously. It keeps modifying the existing patterns based on our usage and experience and hibernates the unused patterns.

The neural patterns shape a man’s thinking, behaviour and thus his personality. We develop specific skills and interests based on these patterns. 

If a person identifies these patterns at an early stage, it may become his predominant interest. When the person is rewarded for doing such activities, he continues doing them repeatedly. These are the small wins.

Psychologists say that the sense of winning causes our body to secrete the pleasure chemical called dopamine. Hence, we continue to repeat the activity. The more we do, the better we get at it. Thus, it becomes our habit. A cyclic reaction of Habit – Reward – Betterment happens to make the neural pattern stronger and more durable.

Once you develop a habit, it won’t leave you so quickly. The neuro-physicians say the neural patterns once reinforces as habits, seldom vanish from our brain. They would become weak and feeble due to inactivity. But they would subsist and could be reactivated upon performing the activity again or stimulating pleasure through the action again.

These habits continue to remain as one’s natural response under suitable circumstances, even after the reward has long gone. People develop some aversions because of a negative cycle, i.e., Activity - Pain - Neural Pattern - Aversion.