In my UCLA class, “Strategic Thinking in the Film and Television Industry,” I said this week that very large proportion of the time and effort we spend discussing or writing about motivation, in films or in life, is a waste of time that doesn’t yield much that is useful for understanding human action – and certainly not for trying to figure out how to deal with people.
I used Walter Isaacson’s book Steve Jobs as an example, where the author makes a big point about Jobs being adopted, and then repeatedly reminds us that this left him feeling abandoned but special, with the suggestion that this accounted for why Jobs was so often an asshole when dealing with other people. (There are two million adopted people in the U.S. today – are all of them assholes?)
I was referring to a section of Letters to Young Filmmakers, which I am including below because it has a complete explanation of my point. Read more