Laser Focus… In The Groove

Red laser on optical table in physics laboratory

I didn’t know which name I wanted to title this post, so I gave you both. This post is about how my Aspie traits allow me to almost totally block out the world for hours at a time.

I talk a lot here on RJsCorner about how automation is freeing us up from the monotonous work required to keep our world going. Someone or something has to do it and in my mind it is a job for robots. The thing about robots is that they only think about what we program to think. For the boring stuff that is a good thing.

We don’t have to worry whether that critical bolt is tightened correctly to assure our safety. We don’t have to worry whether the robot was thinking about what it is going to do this weekend, or about the sick kid at home. The only thing it thinks about is the bolt in front of it and just how tight to make it. There is much a robot can be used for but one thing they can’t do is be creative and take in to account things like empathy and compassion, or even the future of mankind. Yeah, I know artificial intelligence will bridge that gap to a certain degree but robots will never replace humans for coming up with new/better ideas to accomplish a brighter future.

Now, to finally get to the main point of this post. I’m not apologizing for the words that came before these as they are necessary to fully understand what is about to be said. 😜

One of my most appreciated Aspie traits is that I can pretty much tune out everything around me and focus like a laser on solving the task in front of me. Besides my Aspie traits, this ability is enhanced by my deafness. I am just not distracted by the surrounding sounds, no matter how loud they might be.

I realized I had this talent early one but didn’t know why or didn’t understand that others were not capable of it. My laser focus came forward when I became totally engulfed in the world of White Fang and the Call of The Wild, it was almost as if I were really there. I devoured those types of books including the entire Hardy Boys series in my youth.

But it was not until my computer days that I recognized how strong my laser focus was. I don’t know what originally enticed me to spend almost two months wages on my first personal computer. It was a Radio Shack TRS80 and had about the same power as the toaster on my present kitchen island. But after I bought it, the Basic operating system engulfed me. I spent hours of my time programming one thing after another. In fact, I started one task on a Friday night after work and worked continuously until Sunday morning. I drank coffee and had a couple PB&J sandwiches but that was it. It was then that I knew I was not destined to be an electrical engineer but instead an IT guy. Sadly, it would be another ten years before I finally made that full transition.

My performance reviews told me that I was exceptional at developing applications for our engineering division. It took a casual glance of my work by a French born VP of our very large company to be invited to do app development full time. The last ten years of my work life was where I was meant to be for the entire 30 years.

Speeding to the end of this post now, it took a while for my wife to accept my laser focus periods and to just leave me along with my hourly and sometimes day long trances.

I just hope that the current educational system doesn’t strip this Aspie trait from those growing up today.