So someone I care about greatly and whom I respect greatly challenged me a bit tonight. So let me say right off her concern is a valid one. She basically challenged me that the voice in your head is not always a bad thing. But then she went on to say that some people listen to their heart which she does. I trust her completely on this. And while she thinks I am saying that is a bad thing, I am not. Assuming I understand her (which might be a bad assumption) let me address this.
If you asked me what mattered in life, how I knew what mattered in life a few years ago, I would have said something all together different than I believe now. But I’ve learned so much about myself the last few years, I have to answer that question differently now.
I lived in a tent for three months at the top of a mountain with no water, no electricity, and the knowledge that every night something might be lurking outside that might literally kill me. It is that experience of myself that changed me. We were warned about mountain lions, bears and other assorted animals that I might provoke into harming me EVERY night. That changed me.
I also was broke. No money. There was a study done that said that during the recession people ate at a place like Wendy’s because you could literally get a great meal (taste wise) for less than five dollars. Kelly and I were in that group.
And what I learned was how little I needed to be happy.
I awoke one morning to seven moose outside of my tent and I got to watch Nature do its thing. Nothing has moved me so much as that did. This entire experience allowed me to let go of something– the belief that I know exactly what makes me happy.
So in addressing my good friend’s concern, here it is. There is a huge difference between listening to the voice in your head and listening to the music of your heart that then needs your head to figure out how to keep the song going.
What I mean by the voice in your head is that there is some game you must win to judge yourself adequate. This is the con game and it is strictly defined by the use of words, words fused into stories by which you measure yourself.
But my friend knows she does not live this way. She listens to her heart, then uses her head to get what she needs to keep it going, to keep singing and dancing and playing. Words are more like lyrics. To use her words, her head helps her know what’s next, but only because her heart tells her what direction to head.
I’ve worked with a fair number of high level athletes and once they get good at their sport, I see a similar pattern. They chose their sport from their heart, but once they got good they stopped listening to their heart and got into their head. Why? Because they forgot that they fell in love with what they did. They loved swimming or basketball or whatever it was. Then they turned it over to their head and lost the love. They talk about winning instead of playing, Winning became more important than the actual doing of the thing. Winning became more important than love.
So here’s the key difference. Love does not reside in your head. Love is what is in your heart. Listen to the music or song in your heart and then use your head to figure out where you take that.
The goal it seems to me with anyone is to quiet the voice in your head just long enough for you to realize that it is not you, not the voice from your heart. Once you realize that, you don’t need to quiet it or silence it necessarily, but you will listen to it very differently. And if you choose not to listen to the voice in your head, eventually it will slip back into the recesses where it came from….
Without love for who you are and what you do, my experience, my belief is you will never get where you want to go–because you will have no idea where you want to go or why.