Feb 17, 2021

People often talk about "following your heart". It is apparently the right way to approach things.

I find this phrase a bit ambiguous and problematic. What does "following your heart" mean in practice? In real life, it is often difficult to distinguish the desire of your "heart" from your hedonistic impulse to run away from anything that feels even remotely unpleasant. At least for me.

Yet, somehow, I think I get it. I have made some difficult decisions under heavy pressure, such as dropping out of school, rejecting compulsory military service and more recently quitting my freelance work as a podcast editor.

These were all leaps towards the unknown, with uncertain outcomes, yet it was always crystal clear for me I was doing the right thing.

It often has come down to a few key things to consider:

- Am I living up to my full potential?

- Am I living according to my personal values?

- Am I miserable?

- If I kept doing what I'm doing indefinitely, would I regret it at my deathbed?

Minimize misery and regrets, realize and manifest your potential and live according to your values. This might not be the perfect framework for life but at least it's more practical than just "following your heart".

It's also fair to note that practice makes perfect; Life can feel a bit difficult at times but when you just keep moving forward and stay calm it gets better over time. That's my observation, at least.