I had a great experience recently when I got my two cats to do a Motivational Map. Over 20,000 maps have now been done on human beings and we are getting some deep understandings of the kind of things that the profiles reveal about people. We can see, for example, what a typical profile for a sales person might be and contrast that with, say, that for an accountant – wow, and are human beings different. But I think most people might regard cats as all the same; how wrong can you be?!
We have two cats – twins – from the same litter, but it is quite obvious that they are very different from their behaviours; then the maps revealed they were quite different from their root desires, their core motivations too.
Minnie, our female ginger cat, likes lounging round the house a lot. What was her profile? Well, her motivators were, in rank order from the top, Defender (Security), Star (Recognition), Builder (Material satisfactions), followed by Friend, (Belonging), Spirit (Freedom), Expert (Expertise), Director (Control), Creator (Innovation) and last of all, the top of the Maslow hierarchy in fact, Searcher (Making a Difference). This was so palpable in everything she does: the lounging for starters – avoiding the Toms in the garden; then the need for endless public strokes, almost equally scored with her desire for high quality food, and her constant goal of getting more. Somewhere lower in the list of motivators were her two conflicting motivators: yes, she wanted to be part of (Friend) the human family – when it suited her – but equally wanted to be completely independent (Spirit). Again, these latter two motivators were almost equally scored on her profile, and in real life that seemed exactly what it was like: one minute you couldn’t stop her circling round your legs for love nor money, and the next, where was she – she just won’t answer to calls?!
But then there’s her sister, Clio (short for Cliocatra), a twin, but not ginger! Her profile, when she completed it, began to explain her behaviours. First, she was a Spirit (Freedom) – of course, so independent; then she proved to be a Builder, a goal-directed materialist. In fact Builder was the only motivator she shared in her top 3 with her sister. But Star was not in the top three; instead she had Expert! Ah – that explained the skill, the finesse, and the success with which she hunted. Yes, Clio was a killer of small vermin and birds on an extraordinary scale, only deigning to rein in her freedom and her killing sprees when she got bored and there were easier pickings in the kitchen.
The full order of her other six motivators was: fourth, Defender (Security) – she is also extremely cautious, fifth, Creator (much more inventive than her sister), Star (Recognition), seventh Director (Control), eighth Friend (Belonging), and finally ninth, like her sister, Searcher (Making a Difference). Both cats exhibit no tendency to make a difference to their environment or the world more generally.
I don’t have a dog, but I guess they would be fascinating to understand more deeply too. If I were a betting man, I guess Friend (Belonging) might be their number one motivator. But then again, for some dogs – leaders of the pack – it might well be Director (Control). So different to a cat.
Certainly, this has been a fascinating experience for me and I hope you have enjoyed reading about it. If you think more work should be done on understanding the motivation of our pets, please comment accordingly on this blog, and perhaps too you might like to suggest whether or not you think we should devise more accurate Maps specifically for all kinds of animals that we love? Bear in mind, the Motivational Map already exists in 11 different forms, so I don’t see any reason why we can’t develop a specific version for a pony and – although it may sound ridiculous – but even a goldfish. Let me know what you think. Thanks.