The conversation had gotten personal. We were talking about Jamie’s son and his behavior related to a video game. We had firmly established that he had never been to a training program, never read a training manual, had been discouraged from learning the game by his manager (Jamie, his mom). Furthermore, that in spite of all these front end adverse conditions, he nevertheless achieved a high level of mastery in playing the game.
“So, Jamie, you are also telling me that you did not pay your son a bonus when he achieved certain levels within the game?”
Jamie started with a chuckle, but it quickly turned to an outright laugh. “You clearly don’t know my son. Paying him to play a video game is not part of our family culture. That would be a bit over the top. As his mom (manager), I would have to be crazy. He doesn’t play the game for money.”
“What? Teenagers don’t have expenses?” I asked.
“That’s not the point,” Jamie explained. “He doesn’t play for money.”
“So, what does he play for? What does he get from the game that has caused him to spend hours achieving a high level of competence, without external inducements for his performance?”
“Well, he must be getting some internal reward for it.” Jamie guessed.
“And how would describe that internal reward? What is it?”
I nodded. “Yes, motivation, and here is where the conversation gets interesting.” -TF