Scott Hanselman is moving to Microsoft. I've been following Scott's blog and podcast "Hanselminutes" over the last year. I wish him luck, and that we all benefit from his new position.
Scott describes himself as a geek. When he saw a CD, he wanted to see how it works (a quote from the last podcast "interns"). And you can read from his different blog post the passion he has for technology.
Passion is very important. I think it's the greatest motivator. Sure, you can have external motivation - money, dollars, shekels (I don't care, just gimme). But its the internal engine fire that keeps you going, and helps you jump through fiery hoops.
I like learning. A lot. I like to absorb information and apply it. It's a great feeling to say "I learned that all by myself. Then I used it to build that and it actually works!". Later it was achievements of my team I enjoyed. Today I also take pride when people I hired as teammates get promoted and achieve their goals. This is like saying "despite all I've done to this guy, he's succeeding!". Actually more like "So I didn't mess up too bad with him/her!". I spread my passion over different areas. But I still come back to my knowledge thirst.
Like Scott described in Blue Badge, the best is to do the things you care about the most, combined with what you do best, and get paid for it. This takes planning and alignment. And I'm working on those.