In another thread @Jimmy Hellfire and @Parsifal666 shared two anecdotes that I thought are very interesting and deserve their own thread: This hit a nerve because a short while ago I talked to a friend about drawing and how I've comepletely lost interest in it, and for a long time I had a view on it like it was a "sport" and competing with others motivated me to some degree, but ultimately I completely lost interest. Another thing that I have more or less lost interest in recently is making games. I really wanted to make a good videogame, but my standards for "good" are apparently higher than tose of most people, and thus are impossible to meet for myself at my skill level. Gamedev is ridiculously hard and you need insane levels of motivation to get through the amount of work required to get anything remotely noteworthy done in that market. I don't have what it takes for that. One of the competitive things that I still do enjoy is playing a certain military shooter online with a friend. We're equally good at it, and when we play together we fairly often (meaning significantly more than what would be the statistical average if it was random) a) win the match with our team and b) place among the top 3 of the 16 player team-leaderboard for the match. It's the only kind of game where I'm good enough to get that level of validation and it's also the only multiplayer game that I still enjoy. I think this has to do with it being one of the last competitive multiplayer games that has no balanced matchmaking system, so the frame of reference is always the same (a random group of players). If you always play against people matched to your skill level (like in most other games), you will never feel like you are getting better, but if you are always up against a random group of players, you will see yourself improve as your skill rises above the skill of the average player. It's a very different frame of reference to "just play" and notice how you're getting better, than to "compete", and always be faced with people as good or better than you, and having a clear view on the top competitors that perform on a level that you likely will never reach. A bit like how it's easy to be "good at drawing" when you're still in school and your frame of reference is a class of random kids who mostly don't even have an interest in it, and it looks a whole lot different once you're at an art college and everyone is at least on your level. Nothing changes for you and your skill but if feels a lot different to be confronted with a different frame of reference, at least for me. I am interested in the mechanics by which people lose interest in things and how exactly that plays out. The main reason for that is that it has happend for several things for me in the past, and I'm starting to feel it for music too. I've learned more about composing this year than in the 3 years before combined, but I'm also in some way less interested in making music and feel my own limitations more clearly than ever, to the point where I've started to consider just giving up. Have you been in such a situation yourself and how have you come back from it? What's the science behind all of this? How does this stuff work? To the two gentlemen that I quoted above: can you share any more details on how exactly it came about that you lost interest? I know the competitive thinking aspect is only one of many ways for how one can lose intrinsic motivation. For example it is often reported and (afaik) reproducible in studies that people who like doing a thing without payment get less likely to do it for free again once they got paid to do it. Frankly everytime I see someone who does any creative task professionally (makes a living from it) and still enjoys it, I feel like I've seen a miracle that I just can't comprehend. Does anyone else have similar stories to share? Or even stories of how they learned to see and overcome such pitfalls?