Trying to figure out how to help young people develop internal motivation is a complex thing. What lights the fire (and what dampens it) in any one individual can seem like a mystery inside an enigma.
While I don’t pretend to have all the answers, the Prezi below accompanies a presentation I do called “Lit Within: Developing Internal Motivation in the Gifted Learner.” It’s a popular presentation, and although it is far more meaningful with the person actually talking about what the pictures mean (I hope!), I think it’s worthwhile on its own.
In particular, there is a video of Andrew Wiles talking about his moment of enlightenment when he realized he could solve Fermat’s Last Theorem that is stunningly profound in its implications for high ability youth.
If you’re interested in this topic, the handout for the presentation has more resources. You can find that here.