Is it fear?
The fear of not knowing where your next meal will come from? Many of us work to have food on the table—today, tomorrow, and for many more years to come.
The fear of not being good enough? Because working (specifically, the rewards of working like money, promotion, and recognition) makes us feel better about ourselves. For some of us, it even feeds our pride and ego.
The fear of any uncertainty? Through working, we somehow become a little bit more sure about our future. Somehow. Work becomes our comfort zone, our hiding place. We work until the uncertainty is gone.
However, when your motivation is fear, it's short-lived. It's not lasting. It doesn't bring out the best in you.
It's shallow in the sense that it doesn't make you go deeper into your work. When your fear has subsided, now what? You take a break from your work. You stop working or you stop going deeper into your work. You stop getting better. Then, when you feel fearful once again, that's when you work until the fear is gone.
Or is your motivation love?
The love for your family?
The love for what you're doing?
The love (genuine love) of other people?
When your motivation is love, it's more lasting. It's more permanent. It brings out the best in you. Because you'll always be thinking, "How can I love others more through what I do?"
Love (genuine love) never subsides. It is never satiated through any work that we do. It can only go deeper. And the deeper it goes, the better the work that we do.
What motivates you?
"Perfect love casts out all fear." It's biblical.