How to Use Both Your Heart and Your Head
In my last week’s blog article, I suggested how authentic leaders connect with their hearts.
One reader asked the following:
Does my heart know more than my head? Or is it the other way around? Which one will lead to more happiness, purpose, and fulfillment?
My answer is this:
Fortunately, you don’t have to choose. You don’t have to choose between your heart and your head. You have a head and a heart for a reason. They both help in their own way. This is not about neglecting a part of you. Instead, it’s about using everything at your disposal.
The only reason you think they are separate is because you have been told they are. Consider this: If you had no thoughts or concepts, how would you live?
You would just live, right? You would live life one moment at a time. You wouldn’t worry about your heart or your head. But, how do you listen to both? Let’s have a look.
Your heart and your head are like two advisors. They operate in different ways and speak different languages. Once you understand them, and understand how to leverage their strengths, it will change the way you live.
Here are some ways I listen to both my head and my heart:
- Start with Your Heart. I start by listening to my heart. I often feel drawn somewhere. I feel inspired to do something. Your heart may communicate with you in a different way. The more you listen, the better you’ll get at it.
- Notice Your Fears. If my heart nudges me to do something meaningful, I’ll often run into fear. I’ll run into ‘what if… ‘ thoughts. I do my best to welcome them in. Fears are just my head making sure that I stay safe and that I don’t dive off a cliff.
- Let Go. I let go of my expectations. As I am writing this article, I don’t worry about what you will think of it, because it would muddle what I feel inspired to write. It has taken me a long time to get to this place, so don’t think that you have to let go of everything today. And when I say let go of my expectations, I don’t mean I don’t have thoughts. I still have fearful thoughts, I just don’t give them as much attention as I used to.
- Listen to Your Head. You also have to remember to be practical. This is where your head, or mind, comes in. Your mind is great at breaking things down and living life logically. Most people live solely through their mind, but when you blend both heart and mind, things become easier. Not right away, but with time.
- Blend. I got the inspiration to write this article, but the practical part of me helped me outline, write, and edit. As time goes on, the blending of both heart and head will become more seamless. But before that happens, your head needs to see that following your heart is the best path.
Don’t make my list into rules. The biggest mistake you can make is think that there’s a formula for following your heart. In reality, there is no formula.
The moment you give your power away to someone or something, you stop following your heart. If you want to follow your heart, you have to listen to yourself and have confidence in your own inner GPS.
This won’t happen overnight. You may need to try a few different “steps,” but remember that you alone hold all the answers. The struggle is not something to be gotten rid of, but something to be embraced.
So, should you follow your heart or your head? The answer is both. Learn to respect both. They are two advisors that help you live your life.
Remember that there is no rush. A big part of the anguish you feel is because you are trying to force progress. You are where you need to be right now. Wanting to be somewhere else is what creates tension. What if you let yourself be right here, just for a moment?
Take a deep breath and relax. Enjoy this adventure we call life. There will always be challenges.
You will always keep growing, so you might as well enjoy it.