Remember the the three-legged race on Field Day in elementary school? Your leg would be strapped tight to a classmate’s, and somehow, some way you’d awkwardly move in unison towards the finish line, often falling flat on your face in the process.
What if one side of this three-legged being was your heart and the other was your head? Here’s what happens to most people.
The heart cuts a sharp left, dashing at high-speed towards its passion. You consider quitting your job, moving to another country and spending all your time painting or laying by the seaside.
Then it’s your head’s turn. It yanks you to the right. “No, no, no, you’ve got financial responsibilities,” and “Where will that leave us on our career track?”
Until we end up veering toward an escape, a nice little vacation to get away from all this tension- tension between the outer world and what’s inside ourselves.
What if we could learn to walk, hand in hand, or foot tied to foot rather, like that three-legged race we once had figured out. We cannot choose between our heart and our head. Simply, we need both. We can however set our sights on that finish line, where Mrs. Hendrix is waiting with the first place ribbon and cookies.
What I mean is, to step forward, equally valuing your head and your heart, you need a common goal or purpose, a finish line. Otherwise, these two parts of ourselves end up pulling us like taffy in opposite directions!
Try this fabulously simple 5-10 minute self-balancing tool.
1. Make two columns on a sheet of paper. For column, 1 write heart. For column 2, write head.
2. Write the first three things each wants without censorship. (Keep it to three maximum for simplicity.) Here’s what mine looks like. Send me yours.
Heart: Become a professional dancer. / Travel to new lands non-stop. / Give my coaching services away to amazing non-profits and social justice and environmental start-ups.
Head: Hello, I need money San Francisco. / I need a trajectory of growth and goals for my coaching career. / I need stability of living environment for my health and wellness.
3. Match the first line from both columns, and brainstorm what both sides have in common in terms of what they will give you. Repeat for the second and third lines.
Example of what my first lines have in common: Dancing and needing money are both bringing me an experience of greater freedom in my self-expression.
4. Name one “finish line” goal you could focus on this year that will bring you toward your shared goals, balancing and supporting both your head and your heart. If you have more than one, that’s fantastic!
Example of a shared goal (supporting my heart and my head) that will bring me greater freedom in my self-expression: Post a blog article on a wider platform, like Huffington Post.