I think the definition of a word has to do with the popular opinion of the group your addressing. If you talk to an average joe, a hacker is a computer criminal, if you go to a linux users group, a hacker is a great programmer. At first, i think a mixture of boredom and the quest for power leads people to hacking. Later on, they either drop out realizing how much dedication is involved and how time consuming it is, or their love of knowledge and technology and their new found respect for it leads them to become programmers and computer security profesionals. The deffinition of computer criminal came about when these people with this great love of technology become upset and use there talents for illegal activities and since thats mostly what you hear about from the media that's why that has become a popular definition.
ebmm no one here is going to convince you to become a hacker. I don't think there should be any convincing or eye openning involved. It's something that just comes naturually through your love of technology and what you can do with it.