“Music can lift us out of depression or move us to tears – it is a remedy, a tonic, orange juice for the ear. But for many of my neurological patients, music is even more – it can provide access, even when no medication can, to movement, to speech, to life. For them, music is not a luxury, but a necessity.”
When you read the About Us page on a company website, and look at the information about its founders and organizational leaders, you’ll most likely see a long list of egocentric accomplishments and accolades designed to impress others. Well, not so in the case of Chandler Loveless. Chandler is the president and founder of the Mind Over Music Movement. Here’s what his About Us page says:
“Wealth is not measured in dollars and coins. It doesn’t matter what kind of car you drive, or the square footage of your home. At the end of the day, the importance of all that menial bullshit fades away when you take a step back and look at the connections and interactions you have made with your friends, family, and even complete strangers. True wealth comes from the love, compassion, and empathy we exude as we move through space, and the passion we portray as we seek our own personal peace.”
Chandler may be the most selfless company founder I have ever known. He has dedicated his life to raising awareness for mental health issues through music and art. His #IamNotMyLabel series features a plethora of unique stories of triumph through struggle written by everyday people. He says, “It is the perfect blog series to reinforce the message that mental health is not something that has to limit you.”
I am so inspired by the noble work Chandler and his organization are doing that I want to help him achieve one very big goal that he’s set. You can help too. Please enjoy my interview with Chandler and then I’ll show you how.
Hi Chandler. So, tell us a little about yourself and how you got where you are today?
Hey Matt! It is awesome speaking with you. Please continue to be yourself and promote the positive lifestyle that this world so desperately craves.
I think the most definable thing about myself that I would want anyone to understand who knows me or crosses paths with me is that I have always been and will always be very conflicted as a human being. I guess the best way to put it is that my spiritual appetite is never fully satisfied, and my mind is constantly racing. It keeps me up at night, plotting ahead and looking at the next big step, which subsequently makes achieving each mountain top feel like a hollow victory as my heart is already set on the next summit. This need to constantly grow is ironically my biggest flaw, yet is the sole reason that I have been able to continue to do the work that I do.
How has significance played a role in your journey? (My philosophy on significance has two components: doing something you love and creating something of value to others.)
Significance, or rather the overwhelming need to achieve significance, is the only reason that our Mind Over Music Movement is growing at the rate that it is today. When you combine my Vice President and Co-Founder Andrew Carroll’s and my own undying passion for the awareness of mental health with the “sink or swim” culture we are living in today, you find that staying significant in the eyes of the community is something that you have to adapt to. We’re both, for all intents and purposes, what some would consider the “punk rock” kids. We’re both in our mid 20’s and very heavily promote (even through Mind Over Music) the ideal of being the purest form of yourself. Wear your passions and disregard what others might feel about them. But to an extent, we have realized that if we want to continue to have the platform to promote mental health awareness and the end of stigma, we need to find the common ground of staying true to these ideals without faltering, while simultaneously adapting to an ever-changing pop culture.
Was there a specific moment or situation when you became aware of those things that are most significant to you?
I will never forget the moment that the significance of what we are doing sunk in. On May 7th, 2016, roughly around 12pm, I found a homeless gentleman in the parking lot of my day job, lying on the ground. To summarize a long series of events, this gentleman had just overdosed on heroine, and appeared to be dying. Luckily, the paramedic was able to retrieve a pulse and past the point of him being taken to the hospital, I truly cannot say what happened. It was in the time that we were waiting for an ambulance however, that I began to understand why Mind Over Music Movement was needed in this world. People who were standing nearby began to devalue this man’s life due to his struggles with addiction. Phrases like “He’s just a junkie, you shouldn’t feel obliged to get involved,” were being thrown around, and I began to understand how our society is so quick to take away the value of an individual’s whole life based on their current struggles.
What obstacles have you faced in your pursuit of significance? How did you overcome them?
The biggest obstacle I have faced to date is my own impatience. I find it very difficult to sit in a classroom setting and learn life skills from a textbook. I have always been more about learning by experience, which has led to many late nights googling how to file IRS forms for a nonprofit, pulling certain zoning permits, etc.
What is one thing you wish you had known 10 years ago?
The one thing I wish I had known 10 years ago is that my struggles with mental health at the time didn’t define me. I would want my self from 10 years ago to understand that our struggles are not the portrait of ourselves, but rather just a stepping-stone for our triumphs to rise.
What is one hope you have for the next 10 years?
My hope for the next 10 years is quite simple. I want the Mind Over Music Movement to be on the Ellen DeGeneres show. This sounds like such a simple goal and a very small picture, however to me it is more about what that entails. I know that if I am on a national show to discuss MOMMinc and mental health awareness in general, that means that our voice to some degree has been heard. It means that our message has spread and that we are reaching those in society who may need our message most.
Are there any books or resources you would like to recommend to our readers?
My favorite resource to recommend to anyone is the TEDxTalk series on YouTube.
Chandler, thank you for such an inspiring interview. I am so impressed with the work you are doing to help others that I am nominating you to meet Ellen DeGeneres.
Dear readers, now we come to you, and the chance to help MOMM that I mentioned earlier. If you are also impressed, please nominate Chandler too. Just click here and let’s get Chandler on Ellen’s show!
Secondly, the only way a non-profit organization can function is through donations or support from wonderful individuals or companies that really see the need for change. The Mind Over Music Movement is grateful for any donation you can make to its important work, however small. Every dollar is hugely appreciated. Click here to donate.
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