How to Be Happy: Trust the Heart as Your Compass


We humans are funny creatures. We often run from the things we most desire and chase the things that don’t truly fulfill us. If we are honest with ourselves, we can admit that we all want to be truly seen, understood and loved for who we are inside. When we are appreciated for outer things like achievements or looks, it gives us fleeting fulfillment as well as pressure to continue to produce more in order to receive further recognition. It’s a tiring and endless cycle.

When we feel comfortable to open up to someone and they easily understand and enjoy the essence of who we are, we feel joy. What a relief it is to be appreciated by simply being ourselves and not having to “do” anything. This type of genuine connection may seem like pure luck. In fact, the key to experiencing it more is to open our hearts.

As children our hearts are fully open and often unprotected. After a few (or many) hurtful and often confusing experiences, the instinctual response is to shut the heart tightly, construct thick protective barriers and move into the security of the intellect. The intellect feels safe because there are clear rules and parameters. 1+2=3. Using the intellect, the formula for fulfillment appears simple: Just figure out which actions are needed to create which results. So we follow the formula and achieve our goals yet somehow it leaves us feeling empty.

We are unique beings.  Logic doesn’t unlock the door to what makes us special; only our heart knows what lights us up inside.  How could society’s cookie cut norms perfectly fit the one-of-a-kind puzzle piece that we are?  When we engage in life from our hearts, we will experience the cold world coming alive again.  We will reawaken our childhood wonderment.   We will realize that life is not uncaring; we had simply shut down the pathway to the love, joy and passion available through the heart.

The heart and the intellect aren’t adversaries.  Utilized together, they form a powerhouse for our success and fulfillment.  Let the heart be our compass and the intellect be the navigator.  The heart points the way to our happiness.