Everyone learns differently. I have learned that I respond favorably to praise. Some people don't and instead respond much better when they're scolded or punished or reprimanded.
For me, praise and recognition is a serious motivating factor for me to put forth the effort to do well.
Maybe it's the Chinese in me, maybe it's the Type-A Northern Viginian in me, but I just want to be better than average at most things (not sports because, because lets face it I'm not that coordinated). When it comes to life and work things - I want to do well.
I have been busting my hump at work and I feel like it is recognized and appreciated. That drives me to keep on driving, keep on trying.
You have to find what works for you, right?
Now you know my secret. :)