I have been doing some research for my thesis and one of the subjects I am researching is motivation. Something that I've generally noticed is that if we do not find something relevant or needed for us, we tend to lose motivation.
For example: In middle school we learn math. Lots of students question the need for math for their own reasons. When they hear an answer that not does not completely answer the question we lose motivation. An answer like: "you need it for your future" or "you just have to".
Other example: Most people learn how to drive a car, because we understand that usually you need a car to get to work. Other people that work from home or live in walking distance from their work, could for that reason, not learn how to drive. If you would make the latter group learn how to drive, most would question the need and therefore lose motivation.
I would like to know if there is a principle or theory about this. A name or a source would be of great help! Or if my presupposition is wrong, please share your thoughts!