The mystery of motivation

As I’m writing this, my youngest child is outside mowing the grass in  a hailstorm. He’s soaked to the skin, but refuses to stop and wait for the storm to pass. 
Something is motivating him, but I’ve no idea what it might be. I rarely understand what motivates my boys. In fact, I rarely understand what motivates ME!
While we worked on school today, I lost my temper. He’d marked “done” on his list for science today. He’s supposed to be working on an independent study project about nuclear power and reactors. Realizing he didn’t get much accomplished last week, this week I paid for a lapbook unit study I could download and print to help him get the ball rolling.
“You didn’t finish science,” I said, yanking the unit study packet out of his folder. “Why did you mark it as done when you didn’t do anything?”
He blinked. Wide blue eyes so like his father’s peered out at me below a floppy blond forelock.
“I thought about it.”
Maslow’s Hierarchy via Wikipedia
I felt my internal temperature rising.
“You THOUGHT about it?”
“Yeah. I thought about it.”
I’ll spare you the rest of the conversation. Lecture. Tirade. Rant.
I left him to his task. When he finished, I informed him he would not be plastered to a screen today and shooed him off to wash windows. Which somehow prompted him to go pick up the fallen limbs in the front yard, haul out the mower, and mow the grass. In the aforementioned hailstorm. Weird.
Which leaves me wondering, what motivates us to do what we do, when we do it, and if we figured it out, would we stop merely “thinking about” all the things we want and need to do and actually do them?

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