My apologies to readers who saw the draft beginnings of this post. I mistakenly posted it rather than saving it as a draft. Quite embarrassing.
Teenagers who don't receive enough affirmation at home will be prone to seek affirmation in the wrong places. (A classic and controversial issue is the possible correlation between absent fathers and teenage pregnancy).
Scientists are human and we all need and enjoy affirmation for our work. But, many of us don't get as much as we would like. Just like teenagers we are prone to seek affirmation from the wrong sources. We write papers that get rejected by luxury journals. We publish papers and they may be largely ignored. Our grant applications get rejected. We don't get the invited conference invitations that we think we deserve. This can be particularly hard for the young and inexperienced.
I think it is important to be secure in yourself about the quality of your work and not start seeking affirmation from the "wrong" crowd: luxury journals, funding agencies, pretentious older colleagues, administrative bean counters, .... Just like for teenagers it will end in tears...
An old post, The alternative to doing significant research discusses how in the classic C.P. Snow novel, The Masters, many of the characters have such a pitiful academic existence.
The Physics history column in the American Physical Society News recently featured a fascinating story, Perelman posts proof of the Poincare conjecture on the arXiv.
Perelman is clearly a very secure individual who only needed the satisfaction of doing good science.