People who seem to have that spark, who are passionate about what they do and how they live their lives are fantastic to be around, and they seem to make what they do look so easy. It’s not a new thought, but doing what you love seems to be an elusive concept for most. We spend more of our waking hours at work than anywhere else, so loving how we spend that time, and what we do, should be a high priority for every one of us. Dee McLaughlin, the CMO at Country Music Television, is a person passionate about life and music. Through the following five uncommon sense ideas, you’ll learn about how Dee has combined her love of music with her career.
1. When you were a kid, work and fun were opposites, so, as an adult, it actually takes a lot of time to combine the two. Don’t feel bad if you haven’t succeeded yet. In fact, if you admit to yourself that you’re dissatisfied, you’re a step ahead of most people.
Dee grew up in Ireland and was surrounded by live music from a young age, and one of her first memories was looking at the musical symbols and instruments on the bedroom wallpaper as a baby. Maybe the fact that the Irish are the only country to have a musical instrument as their national symbol has something to do with her passion for music.
2. Look to other people for ideas. The more possibilities you find, the more likely your chances of finding your true passions are. People are more than willing to give advice.
“Whether you are Jack Welch or the Dalai Lama, it is dangerous not to do what you love,” Dee says, quoting the book, Built to Last, and goes on, “If you don’t have a level of passion that drives your thinking about what you’re doing day in and day out, there will be others out there who are passionate who will overtake and outrun you. People who care will take the initiative away from those who are half-hearted. So loving what you do is a competitive imperative, not simply a nice thing to have.”
3. Doing what you love will make you feel fulfilled. But you don’t need to get paid for it.
Music is so important to society at large because it’s a universal language. Dee loves that it inspires common feelings and bridges gaps between cultures that spoken languages cannot. The fact that many religions use music to help express spirituality speaks volumes. Music creates ambiance, and she uses it to liven up a party or to create a romantic atmosphere. It’s a simple pleasure that can inspire people and influence emotions. All it takes is your ears and some imagination. Dee’s mood can change with the selection of the right track and a hit of the play button.
4. Have patience. Everything won’t come all at once.
“I’ve always been really driven to succeed in my career so it was a no brainer to stir my love for music into it. I’ve always tried to keep music in my working life, whether as a journalist or as a marketer.”
5. A job doesn’t make your life great, family and friends do that.
While Dee does what she loves, she admits it’s complicated. “We’re all multifaceted, multilayered people, and most of us don’t love just one thing—so the idea that there is just one passion for your life, and when you know what it is you’ll be happy, is rarely true.” For Dee, her secret is that she concentrates on what’s of the greatest importance to her. Dee surrounds herself with passionate people, and her rule is she never employs anyone who isn’t passionate about the work they’d be doing, because passionate people stay on top of trends, keep morale and motivation high and take pride in the outcome of their work.
Motivated by her multiple passions, Dee has a burning desire to see things through to the end. Driven, even in times when she’s tired and frustrated, she believes passion can be found in most situations. Passion manifests itself in the enthusiasm she brings to the tasks at hand because she loves what she does. “I get into a flow where I’m energized, positive and aligned with the project”.
Every day is a gift and we don’t get to do it over again, so we should strive to be doing what we love, understanding where our natural talents and our passions collide.