Have you ever done something you didn't really want to do, but when you were finished with the task you were proud that you accomplished it? What makes a person motivated to do something they don't want to do? For some people it is personal satisfaction of completing something on their own because they knew it needed to be done. For some people it is because of the 'reward' that is attached the task. For example, some people volunteer because it gives them a personal satisfaction and some people volunteer because they might get extra credit hours at school.
I think finding a balance between doing something for reward and doing something for personal satisfaction is important. There are few people who go to work on a daily basis purely for the satisfaction of accomplishing something great. Having the reward of a salary is a great incentive to accomplish tasks. On the other hand, volunteering just to cause good in the world and in yourself with no other monetary or physical reward is just as important in my view.
On a toddler level: Picking up your toys because you want to take care of them and have a nice playroom to play in for your own satisfaction versus picking up your toys so that you can watch a tv show or get a sticker or whatever the reward might be. I'm trying to teach my girls that physical rewards aren't always a necessary part of life. What if the reward isn't good enough? Life starts to turn into bribes and a 'what will I get for doing that?' attitude.
That all being said, Maddie got her first reward today. They were playing puzzles in the kitchen. I went to check on them and see how things were going. I came into this scene: Maddie having finished her puzzle had picked up all the pieces, put them in the zippy bag and was putting the bag in the puzzle piece bucket. Her puzzle board was on the shelf. Izzie had thrown every single piece across the kitchen and the board was upside down on the floor.
When I came upon that scene, I started clapping and I said, "Maddie! What a big girl, you picked up all your pieces and put them up. Aren't you SO proud of yourself? Here's a sticker for being such a big girl!" I gave her a sticker on her hand. Izzie immediately stuck out her hand. I said to Izzie, "Oh, Izzie, Momma is so sad that she can't give you a sticker right now, because you threw all your pieces on the floor!" She ran like crazy to pick up all her pieces and when she finished I gave her a sticker. So in the case of Maddie, she got a reward of personal satisfaction (and a sticker after completing a task without even knowing a sticker would be given, as I've never given stickers out before.) Izzie knew a sticker reward would be given if she picked up toys. It's a balance, just like all of life.