We, those of us who work in the business world, work all day, sometimes from morning till night, in our head, doing math, working things out, trying to sort problems, even with people we can be doing the emotional math of coaching or persuading someone to be happier.
And during this day, or in the evening when we get home, we say “hi honey, I love you” and really want to communicate this, but fail to morph from head to heart, and miss the targeted intent completely. In this form of expression the only person who feels the love, is ourselves. Why? Because we’ve failed to be honest with ourselves.
To be self honest we need to know and respect the difference between our heady self, our emotional self and our heart self – the true self.
The heady mindful self adds things up. So, it’s a key and powerful asset in business life. The emotional self is a feeling self, it’s not so important for rational things but is a key ingredient of communication – especially when engaging others is important, such as romance and dealing with diversity at work.
But these two self’s are invented self’s. The heady mindful self that rationalises things comes from a part of your brain/mind that can’t love. The emotional self is completely vulnerable to perspectives, beliefs, ideas, ideals, circumstances, so, it can’t love either, the parts of your brain/mind that emote, can only take information from the external world, chew it around, and spit out a feeling about it. Hence, garbage in – garbage out. It’s unreliable, constructed from historic experience and is therefore not real, and certainly can’t express personal honesty, love.
We can’t give what we haven’t got. If we do not feel the love, the love that is separate from mind and emotion, how can we give it. We end up in a hybridised potpourri of mind, emotion and heart all bundled up, confused between what we think rationally, what we feel emotionally, and what we are inspired about, deeply.
Communication with the one you love, your significant other is the pinnacle of this complex world because if you walk in the door all heady, (worried or thinking about work) or emotional (elated about a win, depressed about a loss) your words “I love you” will land right where they deserve to be, on the floor. If your heart isn’t open when you say “I love you” to your significant other – or children for that matter (it’s the same love at a heart to heart level) – their heart doesn’t feel it.
But this differentiation between emotion, head and heart is not limited to your domestic life, not at all.
When I walk people up a mountain in Nepal, emotion will get them the first 30% up, mind will get them another 30% and then crash bang. If the heart isn’t in it, the person goes out of it.
There are no half hearted relationships that last. There are no sporting achievements that reach high standards without 100 shift from emotion, to mind to heart. Emotion gets us just so far in life, mind can get us a bit further, but heart is needed at the top.
There is no greater example of this than business leadership. Over the past 40 years of working in human development I have worked with an untold number of struggling artists, business people and relationships, not the least of which, actually the worst of which has been myself.
When the heart goes out, the person goes out. Whether it’s relationship, business, sport or art. When the heart goes out, the person goes out. So, self honesty is truly knowing the difference between head, heart and emotion. And here are a few flags that might help you.
When you feel things, anything, whether it’s love, attraction, repulsion, elation, depression, happy, sad, infatuation or resentment, fear or guilt, this is an emotion. Label this clearly because we can, (and that’s what I teach people who want to get to the top how to do) manipulate our emotions, easily. So we can, if we label them correctly, turn any emotional drama into an emotional bliss at the flick of a finger, no meditation or therapy required.
When you think things, usually with the words “should I or shouldn’t I?” you’re experiencing thought. For example, “should I hire or fire that person?” or “Should I stay or leave that marriage” or “should I buy or sell my shares?” the part of the brain you’re using can’t love, can’t have emotion, it’s looking for logic. It’s good to be logical – especially separating emotion from logic, especially when buying a new car, so, it’s really important to know when you’re “in your head” because this part of you can’t say “I love you” or “I lead you” honestly.
Finally, heart. My old friend Athena Starwoman, once wrote “for those who are ready no words are necessary, for those who are not, no words are possible.” The Buddha said it too “teach them the illusion (mind and emotion) until they are ready for the truth (heart). Jesus also spoke words similar to “I will tell them what they want to hear until they are ready to hear what I want to tell them.”
So, what is so complicated about the heart that these, and many other great teachers have had to hold back the truth in order to gain acceptance from those who are not ready for it? And if it is so complex, what am I, Chris Walker, without any knowledge of psychology, therapy or mind science doing suggesting I can help you open your heart and keep it open?
- I had to let go the notion of doing what I do for money, building a network, creating a tribe, building a following. To do that, one must teach the illusion that emotion is heart and heart and mind can think collusively.
- I know that all human suffering comes from mistaking mind or emotion for truth, and every human being has a heart that sits waiting.
So what are the secrets to living with an open heart?
- Value emotion supremely but never make decisions on it or think that they are the truth. I can change your emotions (how you feel and what you judge) easily, so that’s an unreliable source as the core for your life. Isn’t it? Your emotions want to feel pleasure. Just know that this is low hanging fruit in the reality of love, leadership, achievement and motive.
- Value your mind but don’t become trapped by it. Your mind, at best, can evaluate information and make educated guesses based on information at hand. So mind is spectacular for business and rational choices, and if you want a relationship built on rational choices “like does this get me what I want” – or business decisions like “will this give us what we want?” mind – free of emotion, is the power house.
- Value heart – If there is such a thing as a journey through life, one that leads from one place to another, meanders it’s way through careers, family changes, financial ups and downs, health gains and losses, ego building and ego shattering events, then a compass, not a moral one so much as it is a friendship with yourself irrespective of events, then the heart is this. It needs nothing, wants nothing, but has everything. It is empty of appetite to fix or gain nor worried about loss and breakages. This heart might be called your Innerwealth…. your core, your totem, soul, but I prefer to call it “Soul” and to know that it can only love.
When people speak to me about resilience, I hear the arguments for emotional and mental resilience, but I have never met a successful person who has emotional nor mental resilience. I’ve never got a person to the top of a mountain with mental or emotional resilience, they always burn out, get sick, fry their nerves or end up compromised and saying “I didn’t want it anyway.” The true resilience we all seek is to know that we can love, lead, succeed, give and find meaning in life, no matter what… And this is the power of knowing how to differentiate between head (what you want), emotion (how you feel) and heart (truth).