Are You Passionate About Your Work?

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Let’s see, what’s Paul McCartney been up to lately? Well…

  • He just kicked off a new European tour with an energetic three-hour show in Hamburg.
  • He just spoke to the European Parliament about climate change and healthy eating.
  • He just wrote a new song for the new Robert De Niro film.
  • He just announced that he’s been writing lots of new music, and will have a new CD out in 2010.
  • Oh, and he’s also planning a major U.S. tour for next year.

All of this, and more, from a 67-year old billionaire who doesn’t have to work another day in his life. While most of us can’t wait for quitting time at 5:00, McCartney can’t wait to get up in the morning and get back to work. So what’s the difference?

The difference, in a nutshell, is that Paul McCartney loves what he does. He’s passionate about it. He’s been making music for over 50 years (he and John Lennon first teamed up in 1957), and it still excites him. So what’s wrong with the rest of us?

Now, the more astute—and possibly cynical—of you will point out that, 1) making music is fun, whereas your job cleaning the deep-fryer at Burger King is not, and, 2) McCartney is adored and respected around the world and earns millions of dollars for his work, whereas you have to wear a paper hat that says “Trainee” while making minimum wage. And you know what? Those are fair points. (Although, with any luck, you won’t still be making fries 50 years from now.) But my guess is that, even without the money, fame, and adulation, Paul McCartney would still be making music.

Look, it may be easier to be passionate about your work if you’re Paul McCartney than it is for the rest of us. But it’s not impossible. It comes down to a mindset. A mindset of continual improvement, of wanting to be the best. Even if you are the fry cook at Burger King, it’s possible to approach that job with a mindset of, “How can I do this job better than anybody else ever has?” Sound stupid? Maybe. But I’d be willing to bet you could take any job, in any industry, and find somebody who is passionate about it. That person may not ever become world famous, or make millions of dollars—but they’ll be happier than the millionaire who hates what he or she does.

So I want you to look at the job you’re doing now. Ask yourself if you’re truly being the best you can be. Ask yourself how you can bring Paul McCartney’s excitement and energy to your career. I promise you, it can be done.

Isn’t it time to rekindle the passion?


About the Author:

29-time Emmy Award winner and Hall of Fame keynote speaker Bill Stainton, CSP is an expert on Innovation, Creativity, and Breakthrough Thinking. He helps leaders and their teams come up with innovative solutions — on demand — to their most challenging problems.
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