" Shortly after I was admitted to university, my father sat me down and gave me a short speech. 'Now that you're going to become an undergraduate', he said, 'you must understand the kind of job you've chosen to do. You may think that learning will stop once you graduate, but that isn't true.'
'Truth is', he continued, 'in order for you to become successful, you must turn yourself into a learning machine.'
That speech got me thinking for a while. What is learning? Does it happen at school? If not, what have I been doing all these years?
Soon after, I understood what that meant. It isn't the things you memorise during your school years that count. It's the learning technique. The discipline, the attention to detail. The attitude. At the highest levels, the features of learning that normal people find unpleasant are enjoyable, peaceful, even meditative. It's not something you dread, but look forward to.
That's when I formed my enduring hypothesis that concentration is so hard for many, and so rewarding for the rest. And that it will become less and less normal while at the same time it turns more and more valuable. "