I pulled the following quotes from the IBM layoff thread because they strike me as a good separate topic.
Originally Posted by mickj
I wish that I had a passion for some type of work, but I don't that I know of.
Originally Posted by CompundInterstFan
I know what you're saying. I went through something similar a few years ago. I left Megacorp voluntarily and took some time off, did some traveling with my girlfriend (now my wife), and during that time I racked my brains trying to figure out what my "calling" was. After much soul-searching (including dilligently going through "What Color is Your Parachute?"), I discovered that there really wasn't anything that I wanted to do that would qualify as work. ...
However, as strange as this may sound, simply coming to that realization made me appreciate my job that much more (I'm a computer engineer).
I reacted the same way during my work years. I was always marginally satisfied with my work. It provided all the buzz word factors - "challenging," "interesting," "of value," etc. But I didn't have a passion for it and I could never find any work that I did have a passion for. That is not to say that I couldn't find anything that I really enjoyed - I have tons of interests some of which I am fairly passionate about. But the idea of doing them 40 hours a week turns me off completely. I remember one of our Administrators (Fed agency) was a huge Phil Jackson fan. He pushed passion till it came out our ears. Everyone and their cousin was spouting how fired up they were about whatever it was they happened to be doing. As soon as he left, the passion talk evaporated. Funny though - I liked that Administrator better than any other.
I guess the bottom line is that I was, and am, envious of people who have a passion for their work -- it isn't really work if you jump out of bed in the morning excited to get to it. Any of you here who were lucky enough to combine your passion and your work - how did you do it? By chance? By intent?