Someone asked me the other day how I got motivated for work. It didn't come out of the blue, we've been having some serious mass spec problems we just can't figure out. Turns out now, the technician can't really figure it out either. I replied I have to get paid, just kind of as a joke. I didn't really have time to think about it.
Maybe it's actually competition. Not just from people around me in the present, but people in the past. Stories of old chemists discovering things, having moments of clearity, and thinking "eureka!" actually motivates me. Maybe if I don't give in to working and feeling like a slave I'll get better at what I'm doing. The only way to solve a problem is to see the answer. It's hard to keep an open vision and look at things in a new way when you give into the stress of work problems.
So, to get motivated for work, seek inspiration from the past.