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...but the obvious next question is what kind of realization would lead you to focus long on a particular topic despite your personality...

My general rule is that we're inclined towards optimal opportunities to experience our personal affect in the world. We continue exploring widely as long as no specific topic quite matches our existing knowledge, circumstances, and cognitive disposition.

When we find knowledge that helps us interpret our circumstances in a way that we can personally identify with those interpretations (i.e. we recognize our previous knowledge and cognitive disposition in them, and subsequently we recognize the affects of our interpretations on our circumstances, e.g. when events correspond with our beliefs so well that events seem to occur because we anticipate them -- whether via Bayes's Theorem or the Bible or whatever it may be), then we can focus.

I think up to a point the more various fields of knowledge we study the more difficult it is to find some core interpretive principle that works well with everything we know -- there's always some contradiction.

The key is to keep organizing and digesting all that knowledge as we go, at some point (late 20's?), if we've worked hard and been lucky enough with your accidents, gaining new knowledge actually helps put the old knowledge to good use: like having a lot of clothes, there's a lot more to match with. Then we start to gain enough creative freedom to develop our own 'personalized specialization' to focus on, which is knowledge that really helps us interpret circumstances in a way we identify through.