“Don’t go with the apprehensions in your mind. Lead the dreams in your heart.” ~ Roy T. Bennett
When I was a senior in college, God, or the Voice of God (aka Morgan Freeman) came to my campus to talk. At the end of the talk, I headed to the mike set up in the corridor of the auditorium, excited to ask my question and share my knowledge with him.
“Hi, thank you very much for being with us today! As a senior in college trying to figure out what to do next, I was wondering if you had any questions for me and other people in my shoes. Are words of advice for you? “
“listen to your heart.”
I would be lying if I said that I was not disappointed with their answer. “Follow your heart” seemed trite, and I felt like my next-door neighbor told me. There was definitely the feeling, “Tell me something I don’t know.” I was expecting too much, especially from a man who played the role of God!
Which was about a decade ago. Now, I can see with eyesight that those three words were full of complications, and although there is a simple question, people have trouble with it. Why is it like this?
Based on my experiences and what I have seen in others around me, the main reason for this is: despite knowing what we are in true sense Want us to let our fear get in the way. Whenever crops are afraid, our brain, which develops to protect us in any way Said Danger kicks into high gear, ejects the inner voice stems from our hearts and instead rationalizes going down a different path.
For most of us, we abandon our dreams and walk the path of “certainty” – which usually comes with some kind of financial stability.
Case in point: When I was a college senior, what I really wanted to do was apply to law school so that I could become a public interest lawyer.
I took (and enjoyed) many law classes and monitored the Legal Aid Society, helping clients fight eviction cases against their landlords. I found the work incredibly meaningful and wanted to continue it. However, as a first-generation low-income college student, I had no idea how to reconcile the cost of law school with a public interest salary, other than hoping that I would come out “good”. Will become Money because I went to a “good” school.
This is when my brain kicked in and convinced me to go to counseling instead. I rationalized this decision by telling myself that mentoring would expose me to different industries and enable me to learn, and two years later, I could still apply to law school if I wanted to. (If you were wondering, I ended up hating counseling and never applied to law school, though for many years, I wondered what life would be like if I went down that path.)
After going through this experience and reflecting on Morgan Freeman’s response to my question, I would like to share some steps that you can take to make it easier to follow your heart:
1. Set your values and live your life accordingly.
When you know what your values are, any time you make a decision, you will know that it is true if it aligns with your values. Take some time to consider the following questions:
What are the three to five values that are important to you? You can find a list of key values here.
How can you incorporate your values into your daily life?
For example: One of my core values is personal development. There have been times when I am afraid of taking up new opportunities (eg: chasing a consulting gig in Zimbabwe). In those situations, in deciding what to do, my guiding question was, “Which decision will allow me to develop?”
I said yes to Zimbabwe, despite the apprehensions of traveling solo and staying for an extended period of time in a developing country in which I had nothingness. However, to choose the opportunity, I came to know how I had instilled apprehensions in my mind and my experience in Zimbabwe gave me the courage to buy a unilateral ticket to India a few years later.
2. Do the work that makes you happy.
It seems without mind; However, it is actually very easy for us to let go of the things that bring us joy because other things in life get in the way (doing too much work, caring for others around us, etc.)
When you actively take the time to do the things that make you happy, you are again able to reach a different state of mind where new thoughts and ways of thinking (which are authentic to you) pop. Up, because in your happy state, you do not get caught up in your day-to-day worries and worry about that stem.
Some things that make me happy include long walks, handwriting, and playing with dogs. When I do these things, I am not only happy, I also get inspiration for work. New thoughts come to me when I allow myself to do things that give me pleasure – this phenomenon is like a barrage of thoughts.
3. Pursue your interests and take it step by step.
Perhaps you are considering taking that writing class? You might not believe it because you don’t consider yourself a writer and are worried that everyone else in the class will be better than you. Ignore the sound of judgment and Follow your intuitionSign up for that category!
Why is it easy to discourage us when we see others around us, who are fifty steps ahead of us on something that we are interested in pursuing and thinking about? However, the reality is that everyone starts somewhere. If you don’t start today, time will pass anyway and a year from now, you will be exactly where you are today if you don’t make the effort.
The more steps you speak on your behalf, the more likely it is that they will connect you and follow the path for you to follow your call.
As an example, in 2017, I rediscovered yoga, something I first did years ago, but did not enjoy. Gradually, I built up my yoga practice – I was going to yoga classes, which then turned into yoga retreats and festivals. I had a great desire to go to India to complete Yoga Teacher Training (YTT).
I didn’t know what the result of YTT would be – I wasn’t even sure I wanted to become a yoga instructor. However, I knew that, at the very least, I wanted to complete YTT for myself because I valued yoga so much! Through the process of YTT, I came to know that I really want to teach yoga to others.
“Follow your heart” is a short and simple phrase, yet to many it may seem like a long order. May be these three steps guide your heart to pursue dreams.