Curiosity can sometimes lead to self motivation. If you are a curios person always trying to question why or how then you will automatically be doing a lot of things in parallel to know why something has to work the way it works (one of my all time favorite site is “How stuff works“). At the same time when you learn something new you might have to try something new to really learn it. And there is equal chance that you might mess up something in the process. You also need to have an attitude to think “So what?” and still go ahead and try doing it. After all messing up with machines is better than messing up with people. If everything goes well you will have a satisfaction of learning something right the first time. If not still you will learn something - to correct what you have messed up . Ultimately for every attempt you make to do something new you either way end up learning something.
One typical area that I can point out to developers is the deployment of the web application to the web server. I have not seen many developers exploring this area. You don’t need to do it on a production environment; your desktop could still be the best place to play around. Knowing about the web server, application server configurations and deploying an application on them is very important as you grow up your career on the technology front. So unless you are not afraid to play around on your local box you will never get a chance to confidently configure and deploy applications on a production environment.
You might also want to look at my post “Tips to become a software professional“.