So this short article caught my attention and matches my sentiments that the preface to the question "What motivates people?" is "it depends". Depends on the context and the situation I or anyone else is in at the time. This is the Snowflake Effect on motivation. As Paul puts it:
“But here's the point: What motivates you, may not motivate me. Also, what motivates you today, may not work tomorrow.”
The #1 Motivator
Published: Thursday, 4 Feb 2010 By: Paul Hellman
What's the best way to motivate people, based on recent research? We'll get to that in a moment. But first—is this even a smart question?
Not really. The question assumes a one-size-fits-all, best solution. That's a common trap when problem-solving.