Motivation versus validation

A great number of bits are dedicated to discussing motivation. In particular, it’s well-covered that my motivation should spring from within. I should do whatever-it-is because I value the work or the self-transformation. Far too many people are externally motivated and so those bits are well-deployed.

But validation? I don’t hear about that so much.

Engineering, (think bridges and airplanes,) we all agree should be validated. Implicitly we know that means externally validated. We know that engineering done in a filter-bubble is not truly validated, and that ends badly.

But eveyone seems to toss the baby with the bath water: “I’m not doing engineering or hard science, therefore, as a principle, I don’t need external validation.“

But, that’s right only as a corrective term in our lives. “Holy shit our society is too externally motivated, so let’s stop with the external motivation.” Yes, please.

But once you figure out how to do your work from a place of kindness and internal motivation, you next need to put it out there. Put a price tag on it… Ask for feedback… Does the book sell… Do the people who follow your advice go on to do nicer or better things… In short, are you efficacious?

Yes yes yes art for arts’ sake is not what I’m talking about. Paint just for yourself and die an undiscovered master—that’s internal motivation for the win. (not sarcasm)

But if, you know, what you’re doing is supposed to be True, (however that’s defined for whatever it is you’re doing,) then you better put yourself out there and get some external validation. Yes, you’re going to need thick skin, and certainly don’t go alone, but go you must.