“Are you a horse or a dog? A horse is motivated by fear. He’s running from the whip… A dog is motivated by hunger. He’s chasing the rabbit, his next meal. (Paranoia, 2013.)”

While watching the movie Paranoia, one of the characters in the movie delivered the quote above. It really made me think about how those two different types of motivators cause people to react differently to situations.

The Horse: Motivated by Fear

Fear is one of the strongest motivators I can think of. Fear of failure, fear of losing your job, fear or losing something or someone you love. Like the horse, for this motivation to really take hold we have to feel a little pain. A warning at work, a bounced check or the dreaded words “we need to talk.” I feel like the fear motivator can sometime be more of a reactive motivator. If A happens then I am motivated to do B to prevent A from happening again or getting worse. How can I avoid ___?

The Dog: Motivated by Hunger

Like the hunger you get when you miss a meal, but instead of food it’s a hunger to succeed. I feel like this motivator in part is derived from the fear motivator. Being hungry because you don’t want to be poor, single, etc. The hunger motivator is more of a proactive motivator. What do I need to do to be successful, how can I make more money, how can I become more desirable. I am driven to get that rabbit, promotion, that woman/man. How can I achieve ____?

What are you?

I feel like both motivators have their advantages and disadvantages. Myself, I am motivated by both. My fear of failure pushes me in a similar way as my hunger for success. I lean more towards the Dog because more often than not I am trying to figure out “How can I achieve ____?” The Dog runs to while the Horse runs away. So, are you a horse or a dog?