Second-coffee thoughts on motivation and approval....
From my late-teens on I've mostly had two modes of operation as it applies to work, hobbies, and activities that produce any non-trivial result. Either I did these things to please myself or to achieve measurable results from external sources. I take photographs and, a high percentage of the time, consider them good if I like the outcome. I create software and if it compiles, links, and matches the requirement document, I'm happy with the job I've done.
For someone with that attitude and history, things break down when given a task that will be successful or not depending on subjective evaluation of other people's happiness with the result. I live in a city that's laid out mostly as a bunch of rectangles, so I would be out of my depth if dropped in a wilderness where street signs and familiar markers were absent. Though the physical implications are different, the required mental adjustment seems similar in that comparison.
To the degree this is a choice -- maybe all, maybe little...I don't know -- I suspect it's because I learned early that I am not very good at detecting that people mean 'X' when they say 'Y', and even worse at detecting that they mean 'Z' when they say nothing at all. Rather than guessing wrong, I prefer situations where it's not necessary to care.
I wrote the above paragraphs before I wrote the title. It comes from a Procol Harum song that started playing in my head as I typed. Hmmm. :)
Some say they will and some say they won't
Some say they do and some say they don't
Some say they shall and some say they shan't
and some say they can and some say they can't
All in all it's all the same
but call me if there's any change