August 04, 2006
IT'S ALL ABOUT INTENSE MOTIVATION. Amba reads an article in Scientific American about what it takes to become an expert -- in chess, in brain surgery, in hunting. She writes:
And motivation operates in a feedback loop: the pleasure of difficult success feeds the drive for more such challenges and rewards. It's easy to see that the reinforcing rewards are both internal -- the aesthetic rush of solving a problem -- and external: praise, status, opportunity.
Ah, but how to get started on that loop? Our ancestors had the easy start-up motivation of hunger, but we -- or our children -- could wander aimlessly through life, never feeling the initial motivation. Perhaps nothing is more valuable and mysterious than becoming interested
in something in the first place.