In that exact moment, we were contemplating our slight insanity due to the fact that we were both feeling slightly stressed about getting assignments in, without setting children up in front of a TV, but by the end of the play date we were both on the same page again. We brought it back to the WHY. Why do you want to take on that additional task? Why do you want to challenge yourself to the point where you might break or excel?
For me it is for the excitement I get. When someone pointed out to me many years ago that nervousness and excitement create the same sense of butterflies in your tummy I was surprised. I then decided it was up to me to turn nervousness into excitement.
When thinking about how to motivate students in the classroom I think you really need to try and gain the Why from them whenever possible. This can be a pre-assessment or less formally through one-on-one conversations. Although they may be required to take the course, if you dig a little deeper there is a usually something they can share as to what got them into the profession in the first place that now requires them to take the course. Help them channel this motivation through the learning and see the relevancy of the material.
When they can take the learning and apply it in their own worlds, or have that AHA moment, encourage them to share it. This inspires other students as well.
So what inspires you?