What you learn depends almost entirely on how you learn it.
More accurately, the environment and circumstance in which you seek knowledge determines what you will retain.
If what you’re learning is a collection of facts you’ve been told you should know, chances are it’s not going to hang around.
If you’ve got a problem to solve, then not only will you urgently explore out of neccessity, but the tangible situation cements that knowledge in our minds.
When we’re in control of the subject, we dive in with a voracity that compulsary learning cannot match.
There’s a tendancy to view a focus on one topic as a bad thing. What happens if it’s no longer relevant to the life we want to create. What opportunities are we missing out on by being single minded, picking one field to the exlusion of everything else.
However it doesn’t seem to be detrimental. In fact quite the opposite. Not only does everything you learn contribute to creating a tapestry of applicable skills, but the process itself is transferrable.
Whilst we all learn in subtlely different ways, once we find our method and identify a need, we are off. Building the capability to master something is useful on a far more fundamental level than the specific skill itself.