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Head, heart or gut – who knows best?


I don’t know about you, but I’ve spent a lot of my life following my head.

For me, that means that I’ve done what I’ve been taught to do – like go to a good school, then go to university, then get my first job and then work my way up so that I can get a good job.

For me ,that means that I’ve listened to other people’s expectations of me and listened to their fears for me and I haven’t wanted to displease anyone, so I’ve followed what my head told me was sensible and logical.

For example, when I was looking at university my heart told me to do a journalism course down at a university called Rhodes University in South Africa. My boyfriend at the time went to school down in Rhodes so I may have had extra incentive to want to go there…However, I wanted to write, to learn to write – that has always been the case.

The problem was two fold – my folks didn’t have the money to send me away to university and also, they told me – there’s no money to be made in journalism…I listened and believed what I was told so I studied something different and took a different path to the one my heart was telling me to take.

I’ve been following my head for forty years now (a loooong time) and when I do dare to follow my heart – I become full of fear because I am going against what my head tells me is the ‘right’ thing.

Don’t get me wrong – there is a place for following your head – and if you just through caution and logic to the wind – then your choices may lead you down a very rocky path.

For example, Paul and I were looking at the possibility of opening a shop in Dorchester. The shop would have sold a combination of books (second-hand and new/paperbacks and collectables) but also supported local small businesses (we spoke to potters, glass makers, toy makers, scarf makers, jewellers). We wanted to devote some of the shop to Dream On – products which promote better health, wealth/careers and relationships. We wanted to make the shop a place of new talent, of inspiration – where you could find something to help you on your journey to a better life.

The bank liked the idea…Our friends liked the idea. My mom liked the idea.

However, after doing our business plan, and visiting Dorchester to look at shops, I did a yearly cash flow and looked at the start up costs and the relocation costs – it was too much money to risk on a complete unknown.

We still want to build up Masters and Harris – that was going to be the name of our shop – but we are going to do it in a less capital intensive way.

So, why is it that people tell you to follow your heart and your gut?

My theory is that your gut and your heart know things about you and about what is going on in life around you – that your head doesn’t know.

Your head gives you a certain kind of wisdom but a lot of that comes from what you are taught to believe.

I think that your heart and gut rely on a different kind of wisdom, something that surpasses logic.

The best example of this that I’ve seen recently is on a television programme called ‘The Voice’ which is aired on BBC one on a Saturday night.

Four of the biggest names in music (Jessie J, Will.I.Am, Tom Jones and Danny O’Donoghue) are looking for incredible singing talent to compete for the title of The Voice UK. They will be chosen purely on the quality of their voice.

So, on Saturday night Will.I.Am had 9 people in his team and he needed to find the last person for his team.

It came down to the last two singers and although the second last singer was brilliant – Will said that his gut was telling him to wait.

Then a guy called Jaz Ellington came on and absolutely floored everyone with his singing. Check out Jaz’s performance:

Will chose him for his team and he turned around to the camera’s and said:

“As a lesson to everyone on the planet, follow your gut.”

Somehow his heart and his gut knew to wait….

What I want to do is to start trusting my heart and my gut – because I think that if I do – they could take me to the stars.

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