There’s a story I like to tell people when the subject of “occupational passion” comes up (i.e. loving what you do for a living). Bear in mind that it’s only a story, but it makes a great point. It says that twenty students graduated from a technical school with engineering degrees. Nineteen of them went to work for municipalities designing sewer systems, electrical grids, bridges, roads and that sort of stuff. The twentieth built the Golden Gate Bridge. Why? Because he wanted to. That’s passion!
In mid-September, PBS TV ran a documentary on the life of Walt Disney, and the part I liked best was when one of his old employees said: “Most everybody can do one thing really well; Walt could do a lot of things really well.” That’s passion, plus!
In both cases, strong, almost obsessive motivation came into play when one fellow placed the world’s most beautiful span across the entrance to San Francisco Bay while the other put well over a dozen unforgettable animated and live-action films on the screen, as well as several of the most gorgeous amusement parks on the global map so families can spend a day in dreamland. Would it be too much of a stretch if we called these parks FECs? They do have some coin-op equipment, after all. Anyway…
I went to a wedding once where the couple gave out bookmarks with the legend: “Dance as if nobody’s watching, work like you don’t need the money and love like you’ve never been hurt.” Also some years ago, when there were a whole lot more pure game arcades around than today, I did an operator poll for RePlay which asked game room guys to cite the number one thing they liked about their jobs? Among the top responses was “watching people having fun.”
By now, readers see where I’m going with this and may be asking themselves the very same question I asked of the arcade crowd. Sure, making good money would have been a legitimate answer to that question because it’s not only necessary for putting bread on the table and gas in the car, it’s also a “trophy” that says you made a positive difference in your own, or in somebody else’s, business. If you made a big difference, you probably enjoyed the journey.
When anyone visits an FEC, a local arcade or a mini-cade in a movie lobby or airport, and they find it clean, brightly lit, sporting reasonably new games and looking, well, “arcadey,” there’s a good chance the guy in charge enjoys his work. And, if you really enjoy what you do, chances are you’ll do a better job at it…and probably make more money!
So, here’s my wish that the fun in your life comes from putting fun into other’s lives, along with my promise to never watch you dance unless you ask me to.
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