Society bombards us with messages that it’s imperative to follow your heart if you want to be happy and successful. “Let your heart be your guide”; “Follow your heart and you will never lose” and “Follow your heart wherever it takes you.” Now, I’m a total softie…I’ve been known to cry watching sentimental commercials! Yes, it’s true. I have the witnesses to prove it. However, as a success coach, woman, entrepreneur, and yes, even as a unrecovered “softie”, I cringe when I see these slogans and talk to clients, friends and colleagues who believe they must Only follow their heart (in all areas of their lives) or risk failure.
I hate to burst the pretty pink bubble of illusion, but I wouldn’t be honest or helpful by not speaking the truth about this purported “ideal” way of living. The very definition of “ideal” is: existing only in the imagination; desirable or perfect but not likely to become a reality. Yikes! Sounds pretty unromantic! But, here is the truth about following your heart. Yes, your heart doesn’t lie. That’s the good news. Listening to your heart is a really wise thing to do. It will tell you how you “feel” about the person, place, situation or thing in question. That discovery of your feelings is a great reveal. But, what it doesn’t take into account is reason. Reason and objective reality comes from your head not your heart. I bet you can see where I’m going with this. Your heart is pure emotion and your head is pure reason. They coexist inherently within us for a invaluable purpose–to work in tandem with each other to provide us the highest probability of success. Utilizing one without the other is like trying to successfully perform a task with a blindfold on.
Following your heart without using your head for rational analysis and an objective reality check is like playing pin the tail on the donkey…you might get really close to pinning the tail; but odds are you aren’t gonna hit a bulls eye and you’re gonna lose at achieving the very victory you set out to achieve. There is no potent strategy or logic behind merely using your heart in making life’s most important decisions. However, the value of knowing what’s in our heart and what it is speaking out to you is invaluable. Our heart tells us what’s important to us; what we are passionate about; who we love; what we are uncomfortable with; what we fear, what we desire…all relevant and important information for each of us to know because it tells us who we are at our deepest soul level and what we truly desire to have in our life. If we don’t listen to our heart, we can become disconnected and lose the truth of who we are at our deepest soul level. You can’t create a life of happiness or fulfillment by not listening to your heart.
At the end of the day, feeling too much and thinking too little isn’t a prosperous way to live nor is thinking too much and feeling too little. We’ve been graced with the gift of having both heart and head for a very good reason–to use them in tandem in perfect harmony to achieve a well-balanced keen decision making ability. I love the wise adage that says: Follow your heart, but take your brain with you.” Now, that’s the best strategy to use that will lead you to achieve a life of happiness, wealth and well-being.
In closing, my shocking confession: I L-O-V-E-D this business venture that was being proposed to me! It was going to be an incredibly creative, fun and exciting vehicle for delivering a powerful positive message to young teens worldwide. It fit exactly within the scope of my life purpose. Plus, it was going to make a huge amount of money. It was all coming together very fast with big name partners jumping on board. Then BAM, all of a sudden, the owner who brought me the venture (who had control of the rights to the entity) began getting really really greedy and egomaniacal. I didn’t want to give up this heartfelt dream of a project at all! I started feeling very uncomfortable. I had to go inside my head to do an objective analysis of what could happen if I went forward with the project…The objective truth was that there was no value match with this person and that the values being acted out were potentially dangerous and damaging. I walked away… I was sad… Later, I learned that he had swindled investors out of a lot of money which resulted in lawsuits and tying up the title to the project for years on end. It still hasn’t been resolved. I’m glad I followed my heart, listened to it, but didn’t fail to leave my brain behind.
We are constantly being bombarded with slogans that tell us “Never Quit”, “Quitters Never Win” and “Never Give Up”. But, the truth is REAL WINNERS KNOW WHEN TO QUIT!
It’s not about quitting your dream which means quitting yourself. Rather, its about knowing WHAT to quit and when to quit it. I recall my very first experience with “quitting” which sent me into a tail spin! I was the brand of person that did not know the meaning of quit and would tenaciously pursue my goal to the bitter end. Until I realized I was harming myself and my chances of successfully attaining my dream. I, literally, was shocked to realize that there indeed is a winning aspect to knowing what to quit.
It happened to me at the point in my life I knew I wanted to start a new business that would fulfill the creative person inside me longing to be unleashed. However, I wasn’t clear on what the creative vehicle would be. I loved so many creative outlets: photography, playing guitar, writing, cooking, sports and drawing. I had angst over which direction to go in because I knew once I dove in…I’d take it all the way and never quit it. I dove right into my 1st venture and half way through I knew it wasn’t the right fit for me…I liked it; but there was just that feeling that something was missing and wasn’t working. Can you relate?
Most of us can relate to the “something is just missing and it isn’t working out as I thought it would” feeling. Whether it be in a personal relationship, business venture, invention, product launch or financial investment. The key here is not to give up on attaining your dream of having that successful marriage, financial investment, business venture or invention; but knowing when the current path to it just isn’t working. That’s when it’s time to quit what you’re currently doing and “redirect” your energies to go down a new pathway to attaining our dream.
Here are the Top Five Signs It’s time to quit WHAT you are doing (not your dream):
1. Taking actions not consistent with your core values just to keep things going
2. Consistently feel unfulfilled and dispassionate
3. When you’ve put your financial, spiritual, emotional or physical health in jeopardy
4. You’re doing all the giving and nothing is being returned having given it all you got
5. Your ego and pride is preventing you from letting go because you don’t want to be perceived as a “failure”
Most of the worlds greatest inventors who have positively changed the course of history and permanently improved the quality of our lives knew when what they were working on to attain their vision wasn’t going to work out and had the humility, passion, strength of character and courage to not give up on their dream, but to steer themselves in a new direction to achieve success.
Never give up on your dream! But, do know when it’s time to head in a new direction to attain it. It’s not quitting. It’s how you become a winner and a success.
In closing, my shocking confession: I launched a new business, successfully raised all the capital I needed, achieved explosive growth in the 1st year of business and garnered elite partners… then BAM, I realized it just wasn’t what I was meant to be doing! Urggghhhh, now what? It just wasn’t fulfilling my dream of teaching others how to achieve success. If I quit, I risked looking like a failure and having that company on my record as a “unsuccessful” venture. I refused to quit….. My health and well-being began to suffer…I was eating poorly, sleeping very little and gained weight and was barely working out. I got real cranky and had lost my joy! I knew it was time to move on because I was “losing”– myself–and that is the ultimate loss and failure. I reclaimed myself, found my joy and in the process learned a very valuable lesson.
Did you know that attaining your goals could actually result in failure?
This is the shocking truth about goals that isn’t being talked about. And, yet, here I am daring to write you about it. Why? Because it is a truth you gotta hear ..that is assuming you want to know how to become happy, healthy, wealthy and wise. I.E. If you want to become a true success and want to avoid permanent failure…
There is a vast array of information out there on Goals. Why you must have them, what you should do to achieve them, how to make a plan for achieving them and why you are failing to achieving them. But, the shocking untold truth about goals is this: Attaining them may actually result in failure! WTF! How can that be possible. Work your behind off to become the greatest at whatever it is you dream of-actually achieve it-and then BAM you fall flat on your failure face. Not good and not pretty.
You see, creating goals and achieving goals that do not embody the truth of your own personal values (a person’s sense of right and wrong), will not and cannot endure over time. And, if the goal is about so strongly desiring an object or the “celebrity” that it may bring, more than valuing and honoring your values, you will be tempted to indulge in negative behaviors that will ultimately bring you failure rather than the success you were seeking.
So, rather than spending all your time and energy on setting and attaining goals that could ultimately fail you, focus your energy first and foremost on getting crystal clear on what your values are. Doing this will lay a firm foundation and fertile ground for you to become a bigger success than you could possibly ever imagine. Knowing and living your values, no matter what the temptation to do otherwise, is THE imperative to becoming a everlasting Super Sized Success.
The power to actualize true eternal success or ultimate failure is solely in your own hands. Nobody has that power over you. The Choice is yours and every decision you make counts.
Here are the Three basic rules of How to Attain Goals that result in everlasting success:
1. Do clarify and write down your core values
2. Do only set goals that once attained will represent the whole truth of your values
3. Do Not desire to attain any created thing that would drive a wedge between you, your true self and God
Here is a great quote to live by: “Let nothing appear great; nothing valuable or admirable; nothing worthy of esteem, nothing high, nothing truly praiseworthy or desirable, but what is eternal.” Thomas a’ Kempis
In closing, my shocking confession on this topic. I spent the 1st two and half decades of my life setting and attaining goals–winning one award after the other-and never feeling good enough, happy, joyous, free, successful, lovable or in touch with a higher power. Then the miracle happened..I finally came home…to myself that is. And, once I reclaimed myself–I was able to let go of the false pride, ego and bad habits that allowed me to create and attain the kind of goals that fulfill and last.