Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Make It So

For anyone who didn't grow up watching Star Trek, I pity the fact that the words in this title don't evoke for you an image of Patrick Stewart in red spandex lowering his gaze and pointing determinedly at you. It's magical.

Nicole recently told me about a study (vagueness alert: this ain't no damn science blog!) in which brain scientists or some such group of people found that a particular part of a person's brain is active when they complete some task. Let's call it the "self satisfaction center."

Apparently this same bit of grey matter lights up when a person merely tells someone about what they are currently working on, regardless if they have finished it already or not. So, if you got full just by telling someone about this amazing dinner you were going to have, why bother eating at all?

Turns out the greatest disincentive to actually finishing your projects is excitedly gabbing about them to all your friends. This resonates with me powerfully. I think I've seen it in me for a long while, and this was simply the validation I needed to put those theories into practice.

Ergo, from now on, if you ask me what I'm working on at the moment, it will likely be a short conversation. Either that, or I really am just becoming as inept and boring as I fear. Toss up, really.

2 comments:

Shnickie said...

You couldn't be boring if you tried.

mochizpooch said...

Great post. Though I think the motivational factor depends on how you talk about a project. There's a difference btw, wouldn't it be awesome if... it could be like dis and den dis! Or, what do you think about doing such and such? we are totally going to have a bomb ____ this summer, we're gonna build it and our friends are invited for the groundbreaking ceremony.
Yeah, I've many a comatose patient in the unrealized project ward. Rather than satisfaction, I think the feeling is vindication. I get enough satisfaction out of "coming up with an idea" b/c my intellectual pride feels vindicated just short of exerting a muscle.