People passionate about what they do stand out. They are attractive people, attractive in the way that their excitement draws others in.
Last week, I was drawn in by one of them. At a place I would have least expected to find one.
On my own for dinner, I decided to eat at a local quick serve restaurant. I was warmly greeted by a one of the workers—a not altogether unusual response since many such restaurant workers are trained to greet arriving customers.
But this guy was different. His energy caught my attention. As I was waiting in line with others, I watched him move with alacrity, alternatively replenishing food items, transacting payments and clearing tables. And not once did he miss an opportunity to engage with others nearby. They were drawn in too.
One might dismiss that kind of behavior as a normal “extrovert thing to do.” But I suspected it was more than that. So, when he came to my table to ask if everything was alright, I simply remarked, “You look like you’re enjoying yourself.”
“I just love what I do,” he responded.
“Are you the owner?” I asked, thinking that might explain his enthusiasm.
“No, these stores are corporate owned. I’m the store manager. I’d like to own my own business someday—I’m in my fifties—but for now, I’m having the time of my life.”
As we talked, I found myself wondering why that kind of passion is so rare.
- Perhaps we focus so much on the kind of work we want to do tomorrow that we don’t know how relish the work we have today.
- Perhaps we’ve forsaken our aspirations altogether, fatigued by years of a survival mode routine.
- Perhaps we believe work should be work; to expect enjoyment in it is either narcissistic, irresponsible, or both.
- Or, perhaps we’re afraid to discover God’s purpose for us—what really makes us come alive—so we settle for a job that distracts us from the question.
I suspect my new friend could have taken any of these paths. But he didn’t and is more attractive because of it.
“Whatever your hand finds to do, do it will all your might” (Ecclesiastes 9:10).
What do you think? Why is rare to find people passionate about their work?