What We Lack – Day 145

This morning I had a meeting with someone who told me we choose our careers based on what we are missing within.

I guess that leaves me at a loss for words…

Seriously though, that is a beautiful sentiment, when you examine it. Usually our drive comes from an intense interest. (And without that intense interest, we couldn’t keep doing what we do for 40+ years of our working lives…)

We become a botanist because we love searching for rare flowers. We become a chef because we love to put together ingredients and taste the results. We become an astronomer because we want to see how the stars work.

But where does that interest come from?

Maybe we are trying to find out how we fit into the world. Or maybe it’s we feel a hole inside us, and our drive is to fill that hole with that the thing(s) that interest us. That’s what it means when a shark expert says, “I just can’t get enough of sharks!”

Which is just another way of saying that we do what we do to get what we lack.

Zoom out, and it’s pretty easy to see why Nature would want different people to be interested in different things – to specialize, essentially. But on an individual level, why does one person like working with apples while another prefers apple trees?

I’m not sure I can answer that one (in fact help me out here if you can in the comment section below). For me as a novelist though, looking at motivations in the light of “what is this person, at the most basic level, lacking?” might help me give my characters even more dimension. At the very least, looking at it this way might help me explore what drives them at that basic level, if not entirely why it works that way…

I’ll let you know how it goes.

~Graham

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