A few readers pointed out that we presented a paradox in our last two articles.  Two weeks ago, we wrote about the “Pain of Wanting” and anxiety that arises when we have a craving for something we want (like Donna’s chocolate).  Last week we then said one must always ask “What do I want?” to begin the process of creating the outcomes we desire in our life and work. (“Always, Always Ask This First”).

We call the second kind of wanting, in which we focus on an envisioned outcome as a Creator, a “calling.”

On the surface there appears to be a paradox.  As we dig deeper into the feeling of wanting, we realize there is a profound distinction between the two kinds of wanting.

A wanting that appears as a craving is a desire to get or grasp.   Founded in the fear that there is not enough, we want something in order to complete us.  This might be a mild sensation of wanting an afternoon treat of dark chocolate.  Or it might be a more intense sensation that borderlines on an obsession or addiction.  The wanting becomes a craving when we must have something outside of us to fill the “I am not enough” feeling inside.

A calling is a desire to give or learn.  Based upon our desire to create and continue to develop, this type of wanting is rooted in the human instinct to share our unique contributions and blessings with others.  A calling arises from our sense of completeness.  We know that by responding to our personal calling, by sharing our gifts in full, we encourage others to reveal their own greatness.

Asking “What do I want?” from a place of personal calling, motivates us by evoking our passions and energies.  A craving is a nagging sense of lack, and can create a pain of wanting because it is based upon a belief that we need something to fill an inner void.

Cravings can trigger the Dreaded Drama Triangle (DDT) ™ in several ways.  You might feel Victimized by not having what you want or Persecuted by the circumstances that you believe prevent you from having it.   We can also hope that our craving, when fulfilled, will Rescue us from our “not enough” feelings.

Callings, on the other hand, root us in the TED* (*The Empowerment Dynamic) ™ roles of Creator, Challenger and Coach by pointing us toward our – and others’ – highest good.

As human beings, we all have wants and desires.  Discerning between craving’s attraction to what is lacking or and calling’s attention on creating, giving and learning is an vital practice in living more fully from a Creator Orientation.