It's fun to watch people in their element.
I first realized this my first semester in college. I was taking an introductory geology class, the kind liberal arts majors take because they have to. It was an auditorium full of at-best mildly interested students — the kind who, today, have to be monitored constantly for Facebook usage during class. Compounding the apathy was the fact that it was a 2 p.m. class on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, which is the time everyone's ready to split for the nearest bar or bedroom.
But one day after class dismissed, I walked by the front desk and witnessed something remarkable. That day, the professor had largely been going through the motions. But a student walked up to him and asked him a specific question about the lesson. Immediately, the professor lit up and spoke effortlessly on the topic. The student listened raptly, and a couple of other students joined in.
I didn't really hear what they were talking about, but the way the professor engaged was riveting. He was known for being particularly enthusiastic about his field, and it showed in the doldrums of that afternoon. I thought that I would love to be like that in some respect.
It was then that I realized the difference between a day job and a calling. A day job can be rewarding and enjoyable, but you need those things in your life that excite you outside of it. I love finding out that someone has a cool hobby on the side. I like seeing big movie stars do low-budget and/or intellectual films. I knew a sports writer who was also an underground rapper and a copy editor who played reggae music. People who thrive at incredible things for little more than love of the craft. People who keep you guessing.
That's how I try to live my life. You should too. What do you do?