Discover How to Follow Your Heart by Jack Zufelt

Jack ZufeltYou have to master not only the art of listening to your head, but you must also master listening to your heart.  When you become aware of the root of achievement, every door you wish to go through will open wide. It truly is the key to success. Whether you use it to open the door or not is your choice, something you have total control over. Whether you choose to open the door or not depends solely on your heart-set, not your mind-set. A mind-set is a fixed mental attitude formed by experience, education, and tradition. A mind-set is not the reason you succeed. In fact, it is often the reason you fail. The things you have your mind set on are often either expediencies and emergencies or idle reveries, so your prevailing mind-set lacks the power to sustain effort over time toward the kinds of lifetime achievements that bring real fulfillment. There simply isn’t enough passion and emotional power behind a mind-set to clear the pull of habitual “gravity” and launch you into orbit. NULL

Core Desires create emotions that originate from your heart. These are the emotions of intrinsic motivation, the power within. I refer to this as your heart-set-or simply what your heart is set on having, being, seeing, feeling, achieving, and experiencing.

Your heart-set is a much more accurate guide and source of success than your mind-set… so follow your heart. Perhaps you have heard people say, “When he sets his heart on something, watch out!” Or “When her heart is set on something, get out of her way.” Maybe you have even used this phrase to describe something you really wanted: “I really have my heart set on going to college” or “I have my heart set on having a big wedding.” Have you noticed that when you have your heart set on something it usually happens? Why? Because in the pursuit of your heartfelt desires, you exercise real initiative, resourcefulness, creativity, and endurance. You simply find a way to make it happen. You do whatever it takes to get what you want.

Why is great literature so replete with references to the feelings, desires, wisdom, and truth of the heart? Because the heart is the great center of our emotional intelligence and the ultimate arbitrator in the test of truth as we know it.

We look to the heart, to our true feelings and our Core Desires, to determine a course of action. We look to the heart when making important decisions. We also look to the heart to assess what’s best for us. The first time I saw my wife, Marci, I was impressed with her beauty. On our first date, we went to a lovely restaurant and enjoyed a delicious five-course meal… and then sat there for another four hours, just talking. We opened up our hearts and discussed things that mattered dearly to us. We both took a great risk by sharing everything, including the not-so-good things about ourselves. We probably achieved a greater degree of emotional intimacy in that one evening than most couples do in six months of dating. We fell in love that night. I had never felt so comfortable with a woman in my life. I felt as if she knew me inside and out. By the time we ended our date, she knew my fears, my failings, and my doubts- including my fear that she might not like what she was learning about me. And she accepted me for the person I was and the person I could be. She also shared similar things about herself. We trusted each other with our hearts, and we liked what we saw. I knew then that I wanted to share my life with her. Five months later, we were married. I didn’t need to make a goal of having Marci for my wife, writing it down and affirming it each day. Instead, I simply followed my heart.

Success is all about setting your heart on something you truly desire.

So why are we sometimes so reluctant to follow our hearts? As children, young adults, and maturing adults, we experience heartaches – and they hurt. As a result, the idea of heart-set may connote a negative experience, such as the disappointment we feel when something we have our hearts set on doesn’t happen. We are then “heart-broken.” Marilyn Carlson Nelson, CEO of the Carlson Companies “You may see me as a woman who has power – the leader of a large company. But the power that matters is the power in my heart. It doesn’t matter if you are trying to make a deal that makes a huge difference, or trying to fix a problem within a company. Ultimately, you have to have faith in yourself. You have to have a sense that you will be personally accountable and do everything in your power to influence this world and make a difference. And, you have to know that there’s a limit to what you can do and a place where only God can make a difference. If you get that right, you will be successful. Don’t let anyone tell you that success has to do with money or power. Success has to do with living on your terms, and ultimately to make a difference. To live your days in such a way that if the time comes where you face some kind of illness, or if something happens that changes your path and shortens your days, that you can say, ‘Okay. If today is my last, I’m prepared.'” Carly Fiorina, Former CEO of Hewlitt-Packard “At any one moment you often can’t see where your path is heading and logic and intellect alone won’t lead you to make the right choices, won’t in fact take you down the right path. You have to master not only the art of listening to your head, but you must also master listening to your heart. You have all the tools you need up in your head and in your heart. All you have to do is engage your heart and your mind in every decision you make – engage your whole self and the journey will reveal itself with the passage of time. The lesson I learned early in life was to love what you do – or don’t do it. Don’t make a choice of any kind, whether in career or in life, just because it pleases others or because it ranks high on someone else’s scale of achievement, or even because it seems the logical thing to do. Make the choice to do something because it engages your heart and your mind – all of you. Remember that the freedom to choose is yours. To make the most of that freedom, use your mind and your heart.” Cathy Lee Crosby “I once lost everything that I’d worked my entire life to achieve – everything I thought mattered – and yet I regained my connection with who I am. It’s almost as if the ‘wounding’ was sacred in its ability to reconnect me with the Divine purpose of my life. We can regain our sense of awe and wonder, our ability to create life from the core of our heart, and reenter the realm of pure possibility. We know that there is a better way to live, but often we keep this thought to ourselves because we are not sure what to do about it. We also know that we have gone outside of ourselves as far as we can possibly go, searching for answers to living a successful, yet meaningful, creative, and connected life. Now we come to the conclusion that there is no other direction to go but inside ourselves. “I’ve learned that this circle consists of the Divine energizing each of us, and each one of us, in return, utilizing this dynamic, creative force to glorify, reignite, and reconnect with the pure innocence of living from the core of the heart. The foundation of who I am is now cast in gold, and eternally fired by a direct connection to my heart.” Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, University of Chicago Professor and Author “This creativity in the way that you experience life – with originality, openness, and freshness – is creativity that makes life enjoyable, but does not necessarily result in fame or fortune. Everybody can have creativity at the personal level and make his or her life more interesting and more like a process of discovery. When you’re creative, you’re not always dancing to someone else’s tune. You develop your own rhythm of work and rest. For original ideas to come about, you have to let them percolate in a place where you have no way to make them obey your own desires or your own directions. Random combinations a
re those that are driven by forces we don’t know about. Creative people are playful and responsible at the same time. They work not for the result of the work they are doing, or for fame. They work for the sheer joy and exhilaration of doing it. They no longer worry as much about the opinions of others. The drive comes from within, from a sense that ‘I have to do this.’ It comes from a deep desire to create something beautiful. Each of us can spend our lives doing what we love to do.” By Jack M. Zufelt


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