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.