Movin’ and Groovin’

“To change the world, start with one step.
However small, the first step is hardest of all.”

What gets you up everyday? (And no, your alarm clock’s incessant beeping is not a valid answer.) We all have our obligations and duties; some mundane, only defined by the repetitive motions they possess, others by their unpredictability, vulnerable to a sense of spontaneity. Whatever the case may be, a lot of us may answer, “I don’t have a choice. I have to get up to go to work.” But why? What propels you to keep going? Is it money? Is it power? Maybe it’s the need for order in your own life.

The Affinity HR group met with a group of employees from my company to talk about our motivators and how they tie in with the DISC assessment we had performed a year ago (see below for a further description.) First, each person started with writing down the three reasons why he/she comes to work. For me, it was people, purpose and routine. I thought this would be difficult for me to come up with, but I wrote these three words down in literally five seconds. It was almost as if I had subconsciously contemplated it before.

From there, the six natural motivators were explained, and each person’s natural placement was revealed. The six motivators are:

1) Theoretical: These people love learning. They thrive in environments where they are constantly gathering new and improved information on various topics. They love research and analysis and aren’t satisfied unless they are deemed an “expert” in any given category.

2) Utilitarian: Money, money, money! Well, it’s not all dollar signs for these  people. Those grouped in this motivator category are all about what they will be getting as a return on their investments. Whether it be time, dollars, or energy, these people want to know it’s worth it!

3) Aesthetic: The first word that comes to mind for this group is “zen.” These people love balance and harmony. They are motivated by how things appear, and ideally, that would be seamless and beautiful. They work through visions and need their endless thirst for creativity constantly quenched.

4) Social: Not only does this group thrive on the people they are surrounded by, but they also love to help those in need. They are constantly reaching out to lend a hand not only monetarily, but with their skill sets and abilities. This group is extremely selfless, wanting to give back all the resources that are available to them.

5) Individualistic: Picture this group on top of a mountain, shaking their fists and shouting orders. These people love being in control. They almost NEED to have a position of true power and authority. They work best when they are leading others.

6) Traditional: Routine and a reason for everything are what keeps this group going. Many things to this group may seem black and white, as there is a specific system in place to address all issues and problems. These people do not waiver; they are by the book and live for policies and procedures.

Everyone has two motivators, a primary and a secondary. Each feed off one another in order to keep everything balanced. At first, I was pretty taken aback by my results. My utilitarian motivator was extremely high, dominating all the other categories by a crazy margin. The runner up was social, but it still wasn’t anywhere near where my theoretical money-grabbing hands were. I looked at the graph and thought, “Oh my goodness– I am an insane, selfish person. My top motivator is MONEY?! And INVESTMENTS?! How is this possible?

Come to find out, the results weren’t as cursing and demeaning to my character as I had made them out to be. Basically, my results are interpreted in this way:

Money and finances are extremely important to me, not because of  the tangibles, but because of what it means for my family to be completely financially secure. I ultimately want to retire at an early age and be able to live financially free without any bills/debt hanging over my head, and this is what kicks my utilitarianism into high gear.  This is all very true for me (hence my obsession with budgeting spreadsheets and Dave Ramsey,) so I backed away from the ledge at this point.

My results went on to say that once my family is completely taken care of, I want to be able to give as much as I can in all facets of life. I want to earn to give… hmm… I had never really thought about it like that, but that’s definitely me! What could be more rewarding than writing your most cherished non-profit a hefty check to help serve those in need? That’s has to be the epitome of happiness. As Dave Matthews would croon, “If you give, you begin to live…”

So with all of that said, take some time and think about your motivators. I promise you once you pinpoint them, you’ll work with much more purpose, knowing what gets you going.


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