How To Tell When You're Doing It Right
The NPR article shows someone deeply immersed in their work, so much that they take that work with them and return to it on a second's notice. Many folks call this "flow", which I've written about before.
Compare Gould's episode (video) with this recap and idea about simply following one's passion and expecting it to turn into a career (paying work). While lovely-sounding, I think that what we're all seeking isn't just a fun job or a passionate pursuit. We want something bigger.
We want to feel that we're in the right place with the right people at the right time. And if that happens at work, all the merrier. But I'm convinced that we need to have at least one activity, one relationship, one goal, or one dream that lets us visit another place - a place where we are passionately captivated and deeply moved.
Gould found it at the piano and it wouldn't let him go. Mike Rowe has found it by championing the jobs that are no longer considered acceptable but are still deeply needed.
Where will you find your right fit? I don't know, but I do know that when you find it, you'll be gripped to the point where it's all you want to chase down. I also know that the thing that provides you a paycheck may not necessarily also provide you this kind of meaning or right-ness. And that's okay, too.
But don't live life without some kind of passionate fit, no matter what or where that fit is.