In a time when architects have reason to be one of the most pervasively glum professions in the country, I have to remember what continues to excite me about this profession:
1. I love the combination of art & science. The built environment requires both, in proportions that vary according to the project. The science part can be exact, the art part cannot be so readily fixed or quantified.
2. I love technology - not just the technology used in architecture, but the technology of building. There's toys big and small to boggle the mind!
3. Yep, although many of us will deny it, some of the joy has everything to do with ego. There's been a couple of moments etched in my memory, watching a site get graded to my design, or standing on the top floor of a building not yet enclosed, looking across the surroundings, and thinking "I had a part in creating this tune to which others now dance". And why shouldn't we? The number of sleepless nights I've had as designs went into construction far outnumber the moments of revelling in my accomplishments.
So do what you love, or love what you do. I believe at the end of ones' life that'll make the difference as to whether you go out with a smile or a frown on your face.