A friend in distress recently sent me a message, asking if I thought she had done the right thing.
She had made the decision to quit her job to follow her passion.
She undoubtedly felt good and relieved at finally following through with the decision to step into her own power. But then she had to confront the doubters around her.
I, too, had the same experience when I decided to turn my back on a recording contract. And what was said to me by friends and family was what I tried to capture when I wrote Happiness & Honey.
The excerpt I’m about to share with you is when the protagonist, Billy (a bee), finally plucks up the courage to tell his family he’s quitting his job to follow his dream.
“Once he had sat them down and laid out his plans, this is what they said:
‘We don’t understand. Why pursue something so idiotic? You’re going to end up hurting yourself. What are you thnking! You’re going to fail. You’re going to make a fool of yourself – and us, for that matter. We thought you had grown out of all this irrational, dreaming malarkey. You’re too old to be chasing childhood fantasies. You’re going to bring shame to the family. What about all of your responsibilities? Don’t expect us to pick up the pieces after you. Why can’t you be like every other bee? Why do you always have to be different? We don’t understand. You’ve got so much honey and you’re still not satisfied. What’s wrong with you? You’re wrong in the head. We wish you would listen to us. We know you and love you and know what’s best for you.’
“Billy just sat there, scared. But happy.”
This is what happens when we step out of the head and into the heart – we emanate joy!
So why does it take courage?
Because we can’t see the road laid out before us.
This is why our heart calls out for us to invest our faith in it.
All we can do is put one foot in front of the other and hope our feet are met with the comforting solidity of earth.
If you listen carefully, though, you will hear, with every step, your smiling heart saying, “You see? – You see? – You see?”
The way to live a life full of meaning is to learn to follow our heart, instead of our head.
It has been said thousands and thousands of times, for thousands of years.
It’s like an art, and just like any art, it takes practice.
To quote Happiness & Honey again: “A dreamer’s life is one of trials and errors. If the trials outnumber the errors, success is inevitable.
Many quit because the trials force them to be so overcome with doubt, that they feel they have no choice but to wave the white flag and surrender.
You cannot fail if you do not quit, for success is in the trying.
Now, I don’t want to give you the wrong impression, that when you decide to follow the calling of our heart, you’ll have a smooth journey ahead of you.
I hear many teachers and speakers saying it’s easy. If it is, then I’ve been doing it wrong for over 20 years.
I believe they are just trying to promote false hope.
It’s not easy; it’s the hardest route to take – but if you are sensitive to the pleas of your heart, you really have no choice.
Why is it hard?
I can only theorize, but let’s say it’s because whatever we want wants to be fought for. Only then will we appreciate it once it’s within our grasp.
The struggle, doubt, and everything else I go through when I follow my heart, is nothing compared to the internal upheaval I experience when I follow my head.
Because every time I’ve followed my head, it has been through fear.
The heart forces us to grow and expand.
The head suppresses growth and promotes fear.
My friend asked me this question: Is it wrong to trust myself?
Never-ever-ever-ever-ever is it wrong to trust yourself – your intuition – your heart. It’s the only legitimate guiding tool you have. In that one question of hers I could hear how much doubt was racing through her head.
There are two kinds of doubt:
Natural and unnatural.
The unnatural doubt arises when we listen to others, when we over-identify with our outdated self-image and inaccurate sense of self.
The natural kind of doubt is what we experience when we step out of our comfort zone. It’s unknown territory, so we doubt it naturally.
When you follow your heart, you become a leader. Not necessarily with hundreds and thousands of followers, but you become a leader of your own life.
And what could be more important than that?