The 30-year-old fly-half has amassed 1360 points in 92 Tests over nine years, but remains a key component of the team as the All Blacks aim to finish the calendar year unbeaten.
"There's a couple of (motivating) things," said the Crusaders playmaker ahead of their EMC Test with Scotland at Murrayfield.
"One is not wanting to let the team down. You're playing with your best mates and every time you get the opportunity to play you're not wanting to let the All Blacks down, you're wanting to add to the legacy.
"Then on a personal level you're always wanting to strive to be better.
"It can be challenging at times when you've played so many Tests, but there's something special about the black jersey; every time I put it on, when I take it off I want to add something to the jersey.
"That's something on a personal level that really motivates me."
Rather than be too concerned about his opponents, Carter focuses on self-improvement.
And he was less than happy with his display in the 18-18 draw with Australia which ended hopes of a record-equalling 17th successive Test win.
"If you prepare as well as you possibly can that's all you can do," he added.
"You tend to look at your last performance and what you're wanting to improve; there's a little bit to that last game.
"You've got to look at your strengths as much as your weaknesses. A lot of guys just look at their weaknesses and want to improve those.
"For me I know I'm playing well when I'm taking the ball to the line and being an attacking threat.
"I guess that's something I didn't do that well in the last game. Defence was pretty poor as well."
Despite appearing to have it all, Carter missed the World Cup victory in October 2011 through injury.
However, he is yet to decide whether the 2015 tournament is a target.
He said: "I haven't thought that far ahead. It would be nice, but I'm just worried more about getting through this year.
"All my goals and focuses have been are on the here and now. At the end of this tour we'll have a bit of a break and I guess I'll reassess things and plan my future a little bit more."