The Ultimate Guide to Following Your Heart

The Path to Following Your Heart - Tree Tunnel

This post is a part of the Follow Your Heart series.

Would you like to follow your heart, but your mind or something else is stopping you?

Does it feel uncomfortable, uncertain, and maybe even confusing to follow your heart?

What you are experiencing is very normal and very common when you are beginning to follow your heart.

It is just the sign that you are heading in the right direction, because your mind and body are making adjustments to a new way of being and living.

Your mind wants proof that heart-centered living works. The only problem is that you won’t get proof until you start to follow your heart.

It will feel awkward and weird at first, like anything new, but once you see that your heart is leading you on exactly the path you need, your mind will automatically begin to trust.

The Battle Between Your Mind & Your Heart

When you’re a novice in heart-centered matters, it feels safer to follow your mind.

This sense of comfort is an illusion, because if you look at your past, you see that solely following your mind hasn’t helped you create the life you truly want.

This is what I discovered when I began listening to my heart. I was miserable, pessimistic and always proud of my impeccable “logic.”

Your heart, however, is connected to something bigger than you. You may call it spirit, the unconscious, god, higher-self, or the universe.

I don’t worry too much about what label to put on it. What I care about are the results it produces in my life.

The Art of Not-Knowing

This is not to say that you have to kill your mind, because it has its uses. It means that you aim for a more balanced approach.

Let your heart and mind integrate and work as a team. When you follow your heart more, and your mind sees the results, the integration will naturally occur.

However, you have to take that initial leap of faith to get the process going. We’ve been taught that we should know everything before we do anything.

We spend our whole lives avoiding the unknown, but the truth of the matter is that you don’t have to know everything to know enough.

You only have to know your next step, and the next step can be given to you by listening to your heart.

It may come as a gentle nudge, a thought, a feeling, or even a song on the radio.

How to Take Action and Acquire Proof

If you’ve been reading my articles for awhile, you already have some proof that heart-centered living works, and works well.

You’ve probably seen others follow their hearts. It looks good, but you may doubt your own abilities.

You may even look at other people living their passion and think that you would never be able to do that. They must have some kind of magical ability, right?

They must be better than you in some way. But they aren’t. They have simply learned how to listen to their hearts and move forward.

They aren’t fearless. They simply take things one day at a time, one step at a time. They feel fear, overwhelm, and confusion, just like you.

The difference is that they have developed the trust in themselves, just like you are doing right now, to overcome fears and work with them.

The fact that you are feeling what you are feeling now is a sign that you are heading in the right direction, because “negative” feelings will always be there to greet you when you embark on a path worth traveling.

Always remember that.

How to Follow Your Heart

I can’t give you the exact steps for following your heart, because your signals will differ from mine, but what I can do is share what my experiences have been.

Most people overlook messages from their heart because they are looking in the wrong direction. If you focus on the grass on the ground, you will miss the birds above.

Keep your eyes open and your focus wide, because you never know where your heart will nudge you.

One of the main ways that I follow my heart is simply by noticing my feelings. To put this into concrete terms, someone may contact me about doing a business partnership.

What I’ll do is stay open and notice how things feel. Most of the time it won’t feel right, or something will feel off, so I either say no, or decide to wait.

Sometimes I’ll feel uncertain. In that case, I’ll explore the opportunity further and see how things go and how they feel.

Now, I’ll also use my mind to assess things, such as if I have time, if I want to do this, and so on. There’s never any rush to jump into an opportunity, even if it may seem like it.

There will always be enough opportunities. Saying no doesn’t mean missing out, because there will be other trains coming along.

Being Right is Not the Goal

I do my best to trust my heart, but sometimes the feelings and nudges I get aren’t authentic.

By that I mean that I can misinterpret what they are all about. Sometimes the messages from my heart can be clouded by the emotions I feel inside.

And I’m okay with that. I know that I won’t get it right all the time, and this small amount of uncertainty adds a bit of spice to my life.

Sometimes it’s fun, and sometimes it isn’t. It’s all a part of the game we call life.

The more you follow your heart, the better you get at it. It’s like with anything else; it’s not about being perfect, it’s about learning and trusting the process.

That’s the way I see it.

You won’t always be right, but you will always be heading in the right direction, even when you feel like you’re not.

Your Life is Changing

The fact that you’re reading this means that something inside of you is looking for a change. You are already changing inside, and you can feel it, can’t you?

This happened to me in my late teens. I knew that I wasn’t heading in the right direction. Something had to change, and it did.

It didn’t happen overnight, but as I put one foot in front of the other, change took place, and I discovered what passionate living is all about.

And while you may feel confused from time to time, know that it’s just a sign that you are growing and evolving in the best way for you.

Follow Your Heart Book

I wrote a book on how you can tap into the wisdom of your heart. Click the cover above to learn more.

There’s a reason why you’ve read this article. Something resonates with you, and you may not even know what it is, and that’s okay.

The positive feeling inside is a message from your heart.

It’s a sign that you’re already following your heart. You’re already on the right path.

You already have what it takes to live a heart-based life.

Now it’s up to you to expand how much you listen to you heart, and that can only happen through listening and experimenting.

So have fun with it.

If you want to read more about heart-based living, remember to check out the Follow Your Heart series here.

Image by Brian

Get the FREE Ebook and Discover:

  • How to turn your passion into a lifestyle business
  • The two ways to find your profitable passion
  • The biggest mistake you can make (and how to avoid it)
  • And so much more!

Comments

  1. Henri:
    You’ve made a very important point at the end of you post. The very nature of growth (what you are calling “change”) is that it is almost impossible for the person undergoing it to recognize what is happening. That is why benchmarks are a good idea – like a mark on the wall to show a kid how much he grew the last year. That is why as a teacher I often advised students to review material they had covered six months before. They were always amazed at how what had stumped before had now become easy.
    Shlomo

  2. So true about following your heart. Sometimes you dont even realize that your are changing and are already doing the things you love. Setting benchmarks is definitely neessary as that is the only way you will be able to see growth in your new direction.

    Good luck to you and keep on inspiring.

    Ingrid

  3. Good article, Henri. So much is about balance of heart and mind. Even when you lose a prized customer, it’s not always a loss, but a new beginning for another one. The benchmark should not always be about numbers, how many, how much, but it should be about quality. I would rather spend my time working with fewer, and doing it passionately that working with many and only working out of necessity.

  4. Great post again!

    I like how you describe the way you follow your heart: if it does not feel right: don’t do it, if you don’t know: explore. It sounds a very interesting idea that I like to ‘explore’ :-)

    What I find difficult is making the difference between the emotions of the body and the feelings of the heart. Sometimes I feel very excited about something or somebody, but don’t know whether is an outside motivation or an inside inspiration from the heart. For example: ‘is this an exciting course to follow?” What I do is waiting for one day and evaluate it again and in most cases I can decide then. This works, but it takes at least one day. It is not a fast decision making tool :-)

    • Hey Marc!

      I have the same challenge; I can’t always distinguish the signals, but that’s okay. The interesting thing about waiting is that it may take an extra 24 hours, but the more you practice it, the better you get at it.

      So it may start off as a slower decision making tool, but in time becomes a fast one, when you become better at it ;)

      • It is indeed a slower decision making tool and I believe that it can become faster in time, but what what I truly like about it is, that it is VERY accurate. I cannot remember I ever made a bad decision with this one.

      • Cosmic Lettuce says:

        I’ve learned that my heart makes a particular “sound” that is distinguishable from other “sounds” this body I’m occupying makes. The challenge is to 1) figure out what the heart “sounds” like, and 2) be able to tell if this is a “heart sound” or some other kind of sound. I find that my head (call it the “mind” if you want) and my ego make the most noise and can sometimes even mimick the sound of my heart. But at least in my case, my heart has a pretty distinctive sound so it’s usually not too hard to know for sure. The sound of my ego is usually that of a child jumping up and down and repeating the same thing over and over (“I want ice cream! I want ice cream! I want ice cream!”). The sound of my mind is much more smart-ass (“This is a really dumb thing to do!”). The sound of my heart, however, is more like a strong rumble than anything else and comes from a deep, dark place.

        Meditation helped me first discover these various sounds, and further meditation helped me distinguish between them. But my various allies really sealed the deal for me and now I’m almost always able to tell which aspect of “me” is speaking.

        I should also mention that whatever my heart tells me, it has always (ALWAYS!!!!) been 100% correct — even though mind and ego might be going crazy telling me that it’s all wrong.

        Peace to All

        • Interesting idea. So if I understand well, you can “hear” you heart versus I “feel” my heart. What kind of meditation did you use to get this insight?

          • Cosmic Lettuce says:

            Meditation is usually some form of TM. Just concentrating on the breath and floating in silent darkness between the thoughts. The Heart comes in loud and clear, then, because the mind/ego has been quieted enough.

            Yes — I hear my heart rather an feel it. Of course the sound I hear does evoke a feeling, so I guess I’d rather say that I hear it AND feel it. ‘Tis a beautiful, beautful thing.

            Peace to All

  5. jonathanfigaro says:

    Our heart is the key to achieving our wildest dreams. If we follow our hearts we obtain our goals!!! The mind is good but the heart take the cake.

  6. I can’t begin to explain how inspiring today has been. To put things into a nutshell, during college (and even graduate school) I never developed a dream career or life-goal, just sort of picked a major, graduated and went to work thinking that’s just the way life is. While I’m successful at what I do, it was never my dream to wind up where I am, I just sort of ended up here and still feel like I’m looking for something. Over the past year or two I’ve been contemplating working on a few product development projects I have in my head but had no idea where to start and sort of used that as an excuse to put it off (not to mention lack of money). But all that changed this morning during my commute, I had an epiphany; I figured out this is what my passion is and realized this must be what it feels like to have a dream. Then I found this blog during my lunch-break and it just convinced me that this feeling is my heart telling my mind which way I should go. All of the sudden I feel like a little kid on the eve of my first trip to Disney World. I’m 44 years old and have finally decided what I want to do when I grow up!

  7. Hey Henri,

    I wrote a similar post on listening to the heart over the head. Many believe that since the head mind is on top that we should follow it but this simply isn’t true.

  8. Thanks..i really needed to hear that.

  9. Archan Mehta says:

    Henri,

    Thank You.

    I appreciate your point of view. You have an intuitive approach and trust your feelings.

    Listening to your heart is important. There are too many talking heads in today’s world. These so-called “experts” will give you information and opinions which are often contradict. So, it becomes difficult to make up your own mind. Which path should you pursue?

    This is where your post comes into play. Listen to your intuitive self: it whispers a secret which is silent, but you must learn how to access it. I have become much better at this game ever since I started to meditate. That was several years ago, so I am glad I have stuck to my guns.

    The daily practice of meditation has enabled me to listen to my heart. I always wanted to be a writer, so I am exploring this option right now. And my heart enabled me to avoid becoming a doctor, lawyer, engineer, accountant, etc. I was never interested in these professions, although I could have pursued these professions. However, my heart was not in it, so I decided to travel by the road not taken. I am happier and wiser for this decision–for I listened to my heart.

    Cheers.

  10. Aaron Turner says:

    I love this post man, it’s so true and inspirational. The Art of Not Knowing is so important to the whole process of following your dreams. Not knowing what the end product is isn’t what we should focus on but what our next step is. If we keep making steps eventually the end product will come and it will be greater than we wanted

  11. Thank you Henri. I needed this. I’m thinking of going solo again – quitting the day job I should have never taken to deliberately live as a writer.

    *Hugs*
    Annie

  12. Great article. You make some really good points. I try to follow my heart in everything I do as well as my mind. Yes, you will make mistakes but I feel that’s the best way to go.

  13. Thanks for the reminder, Henri. I love to follow my heart and do the things that my heart wants me to do. Sometimes, I question my heart because the heart can make some mistakes.

    Like you said – it’s all about the balance.

  14. i started following my heart at the age of 26, when i was released from prison, i wanted to change my life. my friends told me i was crazy for not selling drugs, i was going to be broke, i was going to suffer, they said everything….. but i had to follow my heart, i just felt like i would be betraying myself if i didn’t and i do fully trust and believe in myself, so i took the leap of faith…. i done it i followed my heart, i suffered, i struggled, i found a job and then quit the job and became self employed.

    i found something in the deep dark corners of my soul. i found ambition, i found motivation, i found a long lost dream, i found myself, i found a purpose, and i think i might have just found love. I FEEL SO PEACEFUL RIGHT NOW

  15. Thank you so much for this article. It really resonated with me. I didn’t know how to follow my heart but my heart did it for me. I was faced with a big decision, a life changing decision and I was scared but my heart helped me realize that although change is scary, difficult and emotional, it was ok, because there is a new door opening for me. In order to grow, I need to be ok with walking through that door and being strong in order to deal with what lies beyond.

    • Glad you liked it, Ashley. I loved what you said about your heart guiding you even though you didn’t know how, because that’s often what happens. Our hearts guide us even if we aren’t paying attention. And when you want more from your heart, you only have to listen..

      Hope all goes well!

Speak Your Mind

*

Here's How You Can Turn Your Passion into a Thriving Business

Sign-up to the FREE Wake Up Cloud newsletter, and grab my special report (MP3 audio included), where you'll learn:

  • How to discover your passion in 10 minutes or less, even if you haven't had any luck in the past
  • Why just "following your passion doesn't work (and what does)
  • How your fears trick you into submission, which keeps you stuck, frustrated and unhappy (and a simple mindset tweak that will set you free)
  • How to figure out exactly what people want (so you can make a living doing what you love)

Simply put in your email below, and we'll get started.