The question was, essentially, what motivates you best? What gets you pumped to do something?
For me, I like:
1) Mysteries – I like problems to solve. Especially problems where the answer isn’t so much the answer itself, but how you get from point A to point B. I think this is why I like finance so much. You can have completely different inputs as someone else yet come to the same conclusion. There has to be some kind of hypothesis testing in the problem, though. I hate problems with an immediate concrete answer, as there is no need to solve it.
2) Competition – My brother was thumbing through a list of board games as my mom stood nearby. He found one, and read off that there was no score to be kept with the game. My mom said almost immediately, “why would you want to play that?” Now I know where I get it.
3) Uncertainty – I like to do things where the benefit is massive, even if uncertain. Taking a 1:40 stab at a 50:1 payoff is more fun to me than a 100% shot at a 1.25 payoff. This doesn’t always apply, but for the most part I favor uncertainty over certainty. I like gambling when the relative payoff makes the longshot a statistically good choice to make. Kinda like outrunning the police. I’ll still take the freebies, though.
4) Impossibility – What’s more fun than doing something labeled “impossible?” If I know something can’t be done, it just makes me want to do it ten times more.
So those are what motivate me to do something. How about you?