Sandeep Maheshwari is a name among millions who struggled, failed and surged ahead in search of success, happiness and contentment. Just like any middle class guy, he too had a bunch of unclear dreams and a blurred vision of his goals in life. All he had was an undying learning attitude to hold on to. Rowing through ups and downs, it was time that taught him the true meaning of his life.
One thing I’ve noticed more and more lately is that most of my anxiety and fear comes from being too much in my head. And then when I can exist more in my “heart” space, I feel more joyful, purposeful, and peaceful. So I wrote this quick list to help you determine what each feels like so you can discern which is running your life.
The mind is not supposed to be running your life. It’s here to help you get things done and keep you safe. Living from this space typically results in more doubt, fear, and worry because the mind/ego is always on alert for dangers and how it can minimize pain and stay comfortable. It only knows what it has already experienced. The heart (also sometimes called intuition) is better at guiding you toward a fulfilling life filled with joy and purpose. I know this is sometimes confusing, so have a look at the list:
What following your mind feels like:
- The voice speaks to you in your head as “should” or “ought to”
- Doing what society says is best
- Fear is a primary motivator
- Based on logic and reason
- Taking the safe route. Avoiding risks.
- Choosing based on reviews and opinions of others
- If you get an inspired idea, it’s followed up with “but what if…”
- Thinking of the worst case scenarios
- Feeling like you can only rely on your intellect
- A desperation or constant “hustle” to keep going
- Forecasting the future and wanting certainty
- Feels safe, but stagnant after a while
- Trying to figure it all out
What following your heart feels like :
- A lot more feeling based, not based on logic or reason
- A sense of trust in something greater than yourself
- You have courage to face fear
- Leap of faith, jumping off a cliff
- You feel fully alive
- In a state of flow and grace
- A gentle ease of life where things just happen
- A sense of magic abounds
- A feeling of timelessness
- Synchronicity or crazy coincidences happen
- Not motivated by fear, but love
- Your first reaction is inspiration (then the mind comes in to doubt)
- It feels joyful and fun
- You act out of curiosity and wonder
- You are driven to create because it’s fun
- Feels expansive and like you are growing or evolving
- You are more present and aware
I’ve noticed that I can be leading from my heart and then sensing the mind running fear/doubt in the background of what I am doing. Which voice should I listen to? I have this deep intuition or sense that what I am doing is right, but I still have doubts. Is this job right for me? Is this relationship right for me? Is this house right for me? Big questions!
Often times you will feel a warm, uplifted, or expansive feeling of hope or inspiration when deciding if it’s right for you. That can be followed by the nagging voice of doubt, like “But what if?” Just recognize that both voices are valid. Life can be exhilarating if you can recognize the fearful voice but still move toward where you heart sings. Sometimes the fearful voice is super loud, but as you learn to trust the heart and you are not only still alive, but living a life far beyond what your mind even thought was possible, it begins to recede further into the background. The mind will learn it doesn’t need to be in control and you will feel much lighter as a result.