Motivate- "to provide with a motive".
Motives are things like needs and desires that stir us to action. They can be positive or negative. What I have found is that internal motives are the healthiest and longest term for me, as opposed to external, i.e. stimulants, incentives, etc.
What is my passion, my dream? What makes my heart pump and gives me a reason to get out of bed in the morning? One thing I am passionate about is ski racing. Even at fifty I can still ski fast because of my years on the pro ski tour. I joined a local race series and though it adds to my schedule, the motivation I get from it makes me more alive and productive in everything else.
Then there are the negative (pain) motivations. These are just part of life. Like my two boys starting an expensive private college at the same time. My goal is to become debt free and I had to borrow some more money to help out. Now I have one more reason to go to work.
I prefer the positive to the negative, but truthfully pain can be the stronger motivator of the two. We all move pretty fast and with a lot of energy when we`re trying to get away from the fire!