Are you Following your Heart?

I recently watched the video of Omid Kordestani’s commencement address at SJSU and was reminded of an old post I wrote, titled “Your Heart“. At the end of the speech he quotes his son’s 2nd grade teacher saying “In life you make all the small decisions with your head and the big decisions with your heart.” The quote got me thinking about life as a whole. We are all taught from a very young age to do logical things, the ones that make the most sense, those with a higher degree of probability of being right, often based on past experiences of others. Individuals who make irrational decisions, those that do not make sense on the surface of things, are considered outcasts and “different”. In a way this fear of breaking away from logic and reason paralyzes us from doing what we may “feel” to be the right thing to do. In the above mentioned video, we learn that not following this path may lead us to pass up on the “aha” moments in life.

Many of us who have chosen the path of entrepreneurship, have in all probability experienced this “aha” moment, and have thus chosen to walk the path less traveled. It is likely that many of us have passed up job offers from reputable organizations where we would have had stability and  security and could plan out how our lives would be 5 years from now. Instead, we have chosen a path where we could well land up at the same spot we are at now, after 5 grueling years of hard work. On the surface it sounds like a crazy choice to make, but if someone were to ask me whether I would do anything differently, I would have to say “no”. Deep down inside I know I have followed my heart and believe in the feeling inside of me, believe that it is the right thing to be doing. This feeling cannot be rationalized, it has to be experienced. I think the speaker in the video did an excellent job of communicating it very well.

Giving up short term monetary gain led Omid Kordestani to become a billionaire. If he had chosen the investment banking route I really doubt he would have achieved the sort of success that he now has. Most importantly, even if he had, it would be questionable whether he was truly happy doing what he did. When you follow your heart, there is this inner sense of satisfaction and joy that makes all the challenging times bearable. Walking down the path less traveled is undoubtedly harder and more challenging. Done for the right reasons, following your heart makes it all worthwhile. No matter what you choose to do in life, remembering the teachers quote, “In life you make all the small decisions with your head and the big decisions with your heart” will help put things into better perspective.

Are you following your heart? If not, what is stopping you from doing so?

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