Motivators reveal the things you really care about. They reveal the things you are interested in, what grabs your heart, and what gets you excited. Motivators correlate directly to fulfillment and meaning so most people are happiest when participating in activities or learning about topics that fulfill their top two motivators. Watch the intro video below to get started.

How to Read the Motivator Graph

To interpret your results you will need to understand how to read the motivator graph.

The Motivator Graph

The Indigo Summary page displays a graph on the bottom left corner ranking relative passion for each of the six Motivators.

The graph ranks your Motivators in order from most important to least important, with the 1st being the motivator with your highest score and the 6th being the motivator with your lowest score. The Motivator score is a number between 1 and 10. Your score is reflected by the top blue bar and the numerical value of your score is listed on the right hand side of each bar. The number below the graph followed by an * is the working adult national population average score. The smaller red bar above the adult average score represents the scores for the middle 68% of the working adult population.

Notice where your score falls above or below the smaller bar (68% of population). This reveals areas where your Motivators may be outside the mainstream and could lead to passion or conflict. The further a score rises above mainstream, the more you may feel passionate about that Motivator. The further a score falls below mainstream, the more negative you probably feel about that Motivator. Essentially, this is a “de-motivator”. What turns you “off” is just as valuable to notice as what gets you jazzed. It can sometimes explain why certain people are resistant to different activities or can’t get along with people who have a Motivator opposite to theirs.

A sample motivator graph for a High Social motivator.

Motivator Ranking vs. Intensity

When reading each graph, look at your ranking first (ranking is the order in which the motivators appear). Whether the numerical score is very high or around average, the top two Motivators are the most important to look at. If the third Motivator is above the adult average, it is generally worth thinking about as well.

Now, look at the intensity of the scores. When a person has passionate Motivator scores (higher than the smaller red bar – Social and Aesthetic in the example above) it is probably a defining characteristic of who they are. If you have passionate scores, think about how they might stand out in your life and how you can use your passion in practical ways.

Introduction to Motivators

Next, learn about the 6 Indigo Motivators with this introduction to Motivators.  Navigate the slideshow below by using the little arrows or bars underneath the content.

Explore Your Top Motivators

Explore your top Motivators in more detail.

Top Motivators

Click on your top two Motivators, watch the video and consider the questions.

Desire for form, harmony, balance, or beauty.

High Aesthetics want to be in an environment that fits well with them. If the environment feels off to them, it can affect their ability to perform in school and the workplace. Also, some Aesthetics desire the opportunity to create their own expression of harmony and balance through a specific art medium. If you are a High Aesthetic, think about what that art medium is and how you can incorporate it into your life, education, or career.

Passionate Aesthetics are greatly affected by their physical environment. The atmosphere or appearance of a school or workplace can even affect their grades or performance at work. Therefore it is critical they physically visit prospective workplaces or post-graduate schools.


Consider a few of the following questions:

  • What kinds of environment do you enjoy?
  • How do you like to express yourself creatively?
  • What environments make you uncomfortable?
  • When you feel most like your authentic or true self, what are you doing? Where are you?
  • What are you sensitive to (crowds, noise, colors, people being OK, stress, etc.)?
  • Do you have an outlet for your artistic pursuits at school?
  • What sort of environment do you want to live in in the future?

Desire for independence, visibility, rank, or power.

High Individualistics want opportunities where they control the agenda and where they will be recognized for performing well. This can range from joining clubs like mock trial to starting their own business. If you are a High Individualistic, seek out situations where you feel in control and where you know you will be measured by your performance, not your participation.

Often universities are more open than you might think to students taking initiative, designing new majors, and coming up with something unique. Seek out innovative adults who are supportive of students like yourself and share your ideas. There may even be start-up capital available to help make your ideas a reality. You might also look into student government, theater, or public speaking classes to hone your skills.

It is very important that passionate Individualistics have choices. Instead of being told what to do, they want the option between two or more choices. “Because I said so” is a huge negative trigger. Make sure you have freedom and choice in your future career.

Consider a few of the following questions:

  • What do you want to be known or recognized for?
  • How do you maintain independence or control of your own destiny?
  • What kinds of leadership roles do you like?
  • What kinds of rewards do you prefer?
  • Who do you most want to impress?
  • Does your school allow you the freedom you desire?
  • If you could do/study anything, what would that look like?
  • Have you considered starting your own business/becoming an entrepreneur?

Desire to help others or solve society’s problems.

High Socials want to find ways to give back to their community. If they understand how their education will help them help others, they become much more engaged in academics. If you are a High Social, it’s important for you to figure out where you want to give back (work with people, volunteer, join a community advisory council) and how you can make a difference in that area.

Passionate Socials’ core question in life is typically, “What is my cause?” It’s totally OK if you don’t know your cause yet. Just start helping people and working with organizations that are solving social problems you are interested in. Resonant social causes are also typically in areas where you might have experienced personal pain. Don’t be afraid to heal yourself, then go back to help heal others in the same situation.

Consider a few of the following questions:

  • What is your cause?
  • To what issue do you want to give your time?
  • What injustice makes you angry?
  • What do you want to fight for?
  • How do you want to make a difference?
  • How can you use your education to gain the skills to make a difference in the world?

Desire to learn for the sake of knowledge.

High Theoreticals love learning-oriented challenges—anything where they are required to learn a new skill. Some Theoreticals will want to go deep on a handful of subjects, while others will be all over the place with their learning. Many Theoreticals go on to Masters or Doctoral degrees. If you are a High Theoretical, figure out the particular way you approach learning, and look for challenges and opportunities that will push you to go deeper in your studies. When looking at future career options, make sure there are plenty of opportunities for continuous learning and intellectual growth. Having a group of friends who are interested in similar topics will feel stimulating and exciting, so seek them out!

As a passionate Theoretical, you might run the risk of going so deep in an interest area that you lose interest in other topics. If that is the case, find a more specialized educational program or job that allows you to dedicate more time to go as deep as possible in your specialty.

Consider a few of the following questions:

  • How do you like to learn?
  • What topics excite you?
  • What do you want to learn about that relates to your other top Motivator?
  • Write about your favorite learning experience, project or assignment.
  • Are there opportunities to learn everything you are interested in at this school?

Desire to live by a personal set of principles, standards, or beliefs.

High Traditionals need an environment where their beliefs are acknowledged and respected. They do not necessarily need everyone to share their beliefs — but acknowledgement and respect are crucial for building a healthy relationship. If you are a High Traditional, look for opportunities that validate and/or allow you to share your beliefs.

You will enjoy having a group of likeminded people who share your particular belief system. Whether it is a culture, religion, or way of thinking, look for organizations where you can meet these people. Keep in mind that Low Traditionals might not understand why you feel so strongly in certain areas. Look for employers that align with or value your way of living.

Passionate Traditionals’ belief systems serve as the north star in their lives. If you have this motivator, it’s important for you to find ways to plug your belief system into something happening at school or a social cause that aligns.

Consider a few of the following questions:

  • What are your guiding principles?
  • Where do your traditional values come from? Family? Faith? Culture? Something else?
  • What are your personal rules for living? This might be a list of “shoulds” or things you believe and hold yourself accountable to.
  • Have you looked into cultural or religious club offerings that will meet your needs?
  • Does this school reflect and honor your values?
  • Are you comfortable expressing your principles or values at school?

Desire for a return on investment of time, energy or money.

High Utilitarians want an opportunity to get a practical return for their resources. Utilitarians are best engaged when they understand the return on investment they will get from their education. Passionate Utilitarians will want to be surrounded by students who are going places and care about ROI. If you are High Utilitarian, look into incorporating business classes and clubs along with internship opportunities or a paying job.

Passionate Utilitarians tend to be least served in most school environments, because Utilitarian is generally the last motivator of educators. Keeping this in mind, it’s important you make sure the program/major/college you choose helps you to achieve your personal goals as quickly as possible. Do your research – an alternative pathway may appeal to you.

Consider a few of the following questions:

  • What role does money play in your decisions?
  • What kind of rewards do you prefer?
  • How do you strive for more efficiency and productivity in your life?
  • How do you drive towards tangible, practical results?
  • Have you looked up starting salaries of students graduating from the program you are considering/are a part of? What do you think about them?
  • Does this school offer practical industry-relevant classes that prepare you for the workplace? What are they?
  • Do you feel like attending school here will help you reach your goal efficiently?
  • Have you looked into ways to achieve your dream career outside of school?

Bottom Motivators

Bottom Motivators are very important because they may act as “anti-drivers.” You could be subconsciously avoiding situations where your bottom Motivators are prominent, because you do not value this dimension as much. If you are experiencing strong conflict with someone, it could be because they have an opposite Motivator to you. Pay close attention if your bottom Motivator falls below the smaller red bar, as this means that you are less motivated by this factor than most people.

Motivator Concept Evaluation

Complete the Motivator Concept Quiz to review the material in this module.

Motivator Reflection

Reflect on how your Motivators show up in your life, guided by the Motivator Reflection.

Top Motivators

What is your top Motivator?  What is your second highest Motivator?

Create a list that contains at least 5 ideas of activities, classes, teachers, etc. that align with your top Motivators. For example, an art class is a class that aligns with the Aesthetic Motivator, and an Entrepreneurship club would align with the Utilitarian Motivator. These can be classes and clubs that already exist or that you would like to see at this school.

How can you apply your top 1-2 Motivators to increase your engagement in classes you aren’t naturally interested in?

Bottom Motivators

What is your lowest Motivator?

Based on your lowest Motivator, what activities and classes are you likely to not be engaged or interested in?

How do you deal with things you have to do that are not motivating?

Motivator Statement

Write a Motivator Statement. Your Motivator Statement should be a short paragraph about your top two Motivators, what they mean to you, and how they show up in your life. For example, someone who has Utilitarian #1 and Theoretical #2 likely wants to use their knowledge to make money.

Ex: I am Theoretical and Individualistic so that means I need to be constantly learning and be recognized for my work.

Write out your Motivator Statement.

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