Normally we tend to do in our lives what we do best. For example, a musician who is good in playing Bach will specialise in playing Bach. A mathematician who is good in algebra, will specialise in algebra. This is very logical, natural and optimal. Because doing what you do best is the best way to make it perfect.
What I do not like in this type of thinking, is that it is not very challenging. And in 2 important cases of my life I tried to do the opposite: to focus on what I do or understand worst.
The first case was the selection of the subject of my diploma thesis in musicology. During my musicological studies I was a fan of the 2. Vienna School. I was analysing works of Schönberg, Berg and Webern, transcribing, composing in that styles, playing and advertising them among my felllow students. It would be a pleasure for me to write my diploma thesis on this music. On the other hand, the "other pole", Stravinsky's music, was not my favourite; actually I found some pieces of him unacceptable, as I was listening to them through the glasses of the 2WS. It was a music, that I could not feel or understand. So, at the end of my studies I decided to write my thesis on Stravinsky, and especially on the 12-tone works of him, in order for me to get to know better this composer and his music.
As it turned out, it was a very exciting challenge. I discovered a new world, which opened my thinking and offered new tastes to my musical horizon. In 1 year I wrote a thesis in which I analysed the works from scratch, documented almost everything of the existing literature about these works, compared the different literature sources, completed and corrected some of them. For the sake of the analysis I also wrote a software in c (ttrm) that accelerated heavily the 12-tone analysis.
Taking the challenge was the right decision!