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I am always interested in this topic. I am working in schools a lot at the moment, and talking with teachers about the tough gig that teaching is these days, and just what the ingredients might be that keep students interested and at school. I came across this website which listed what it considered to be the top four motivators for humans generally. Gotta say I am not totally convinced by these four categories…but they are still worth a look:

People who are motivated by “Recognition” are interested in
respect, admiration, regard, esteem, notoriety and

Those whose primary motivator is “Influence” find power,
control, competition, independence and order to be most

If you are motivated by “Internal” factors, then morals,
duty, intellect, creativity, philanthropy, and honor are
important to you.

“Profit” motivated people strive for success with money,
possessions, acquisitions, wealth, income and growth.

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