What is that thing that drives some to be better each day, and yet others are content to remain static? As an 'average Joe' I understand the value of hard work. Nothing comes easy to most of us, so we have to compensate by working with vigor.
It is our job as teachers and parents to help instil that intrinsic motivation. Teach children a sense of pride and self-worth. It isn't until around the age of 12 that most children are able to be intrinsically motivated. They function on a concrete level. This means the 'reward - punishment' paradigm is what drives them. So how do we teach students to do the job to the best of their abilities just for the sake of doing a job well?
I believe that we must model this behaviour and push students to be their best, even when they don't want to, or think they can.
I vehemently believe in doing the best we can. I hold high standards, not just for my students, but for myself and others. I believe that we all should hold our children to high standards and teach them to give their all each and every time.