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Do you combine career with personal life?

  1. Jul 14, 2015 #1
    I am a mechanical engineering major and I try to focus all my entire life in the direction of getting the degree and finding a work where I can do what I truly like.
    In general I try to do hobbies very related to "intelligence" growth, for example: I'm learning Portuguese, playing the guitar, going to the gym, and lately I've been trying to take programming as a hobby and learn new concepts as well.

    Do you try with your free time doing things that definitely think would improve your cognition and your career in engineering or science ?

    What do you do enjoy doing to improve your brain?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 14, 2015 #2
    Yeah, I try and be a pretty well rounded geek, with a geeky approach to most of my recreational and hobby activities.
  4. Jul 14, 2015 #3
    I don't think of it that way. I'm curious, and I pursue my curiosity. I do things because they're fun.

    It doesn't have to be for a reason.
  5. Jul 14, 2015 #4
    What Jake said. Do what you want. If you enjoy a hobby, you'll be a better person overall, and your work performance will go up.

    Some of my hobbies do tie into what I do. For instance, I enjoy amateur astronomy, and in this I've learned quite a bit of optics and astrophysics, mostly because I'm too cheap to buy equipment so I make it myself.

    On the other hand, I play the ukulele. The ukulele! This has nothing to do with physics or any other part of my life, but it's a good way to relieve stress, and so I'm a better person because of it.
  6. Jul 15, 2015 #5


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    Ukulele is plenty of physics, although you might not emphasize any of it when playing for enjoyment or learning. The back and sides vibrate; the instrument is composed mostly of tone-woods, called that because acoustic properties of the wood are important; if your instrument uses nylon strings, then you have the idea of "strings have memory", which means that the nylon strings will drift out of tune whenever you drastically and intentionally change the tuning, this tuning drift becoming less with time since the drastic tuning change. (Viscoelasticity).
  7. Jul 15, 2015 #6
    You are right, I sometimes do a hobby even if I don't enjoy it just because the possible contributions to brain development, anyway I think attitude towards learning should be always more important.
    Thank you all for your answers, really appreciate them :)
  8. Jul 15, 2015 #7


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    I don't think I do anything for the primary purpose of improving my cognition. There has to be something more in it for me.

    I think it's also important to realize that you need down time and not everything needs to be about improving one specific goal. That helps you to put that much more effort into those things that you are doing to work towards your goal. Long term, diversifying your skill set can actually be beneficial to your career.
  9. Jul 15, 2015 #8
    The only thing I did to improve my mental condition was read a book on training your memory and practice mental math while I was a teenager. Was it worth it? Yeah, I'd say so. I've always had a very good memory, so reading the book didn't do too much (though it did help), and the mental calculations was VERY worthwhile (being able to do quick calculations in your head is unbelievably useful).

    But other than that, I agree that downtime is downright (haha I'm hilarious) essential. Everyone has to have something they do to unwind and relax. It doesn't even have to be mentally stimulating, or it can be mentally stimulating by way of unconscious thought, planning, or approaching problems differently (video games are actually super good for both unwinding and not turning your brain to mush as it turns out).

    Definitely work out and keep your body healthy, too. I spent a great deal of my life out of shape and when I started getting healthier little by little I felt absolutely amazing by comparison. Having a healthy body really is one of the most important things for every aspect of your life. Everything that the fitness buffs say as far as working out helping you concentrate and whatnot is true.
  10. Jul 19, 2015 #9
    Thank you guys, you gave me a broad perspective.
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