While I'm in the process of exploring my own passions, Youtube has brought me some wonderful examples of people who are doing the kinds of things I want to do and absolutely loving their lives. First, this guy:
That guy is Bill Barker, and he's been playing Thomas Jefferson at Colonial Williamsburg since the early 90s. I just love hearing him talk. The man is absolutely geeked on Jefferson - that's all he does, his only job, to "be" Thomas Jefferson and talk about him. You can hear in his voice and see on his face that this is truly his passion, that he's not one bit less excited about it than he was when he started. According to his bio he has a B.A. in history, but it would appear that most of the education required for his job came from his own study of Jefferson and participation in theatre. I'd be willing to bet that at least a person or two in his life has thought his fascination with Thomas Jefferson to be a bit strange or excessive, but I absolutely LOVE seeing people who are that excited about something. It's pretty rare.
Second, this woman:
SaFire is only 26 (according to her Youtube profile) and already owns her own business and website where she teaches hooping lessons professionally. She also travels the world performing, teaching and learning. One thing that really struck me is that she has a post saying how thankful she is that she didn't win a million dollars in a contest, because she wouldn't have created her website if she had. That is true dedication to a passion.
What both of these people have in common, and what amazes me about them, is how they just completely exude positive energy. Maybe what they do isn't "important" in the same sense as being a doctor or an activist or something, but because they are so fully alive in what they do, they bring joy and light and learning to others. If everyone made that the goal of their work - no matter what type of work it is - imagine how bright and shiny and fun and *smart* the world would be.