Lately, I have been researching about employee engagement. This research has led me to better understand our intrinsic vs. extrinsic motivators. The extrinsic motivators such as incentives and rewards, are short term fuel for motivation. However, intrinsic motivators such as autonomy, mastery, and purpose are the long term fuel for motivation.
There is an excellent TedTalk about motivation from author Daniel Pink on this subject. Please take a look here.