Hi Katy, nice to meet you too.
No indeed, for me and for most others I imagine that the carrot does not lie solely in a personal cosmic reward, although for some it is probably a motivating factor. What is
a strong incentive however is the idea that if we act in a heedless and unskillful manner, there will be painful results.
On a further a-side, motivation for such things tends to go deeper than we probably realize at first. For instance quite a few people in the world give to charity because it makes them feel good, it generates a peace-of-mind. Now imagine how many of those people would give to charity if instead of feeling good, the received a sharp pain in the stomach every time they gave their money away...
Here is a good sutta on the motivations for giving, which you might find interesting:http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
"For a disciple who has conviction in the Teacher's message & lives to penetrate it, what accords with the Dhamma is this:
'The Blessed One is the Teacher, I am a disciple. He is the one who knows, not I." -