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Your Default Setting - Head or Heart?

By Eoin McCabe

What is your default setting in life? Do you habitually look at life around you from the analytical, cautious and logical perspective of the head or from the open, curious and engaging perspective of the heart?

No doubt you do both. But one of these settings will be more comfortable and familiar with you than the other. For many people the head is where it is at. The head is the master and all decisions and choices are made from this perspective. The idea of listening to their heart and following what is in their heart is fanciful at best and foolish at worst. People who prioritize the head over the heart view the heart as all about emotions and so it is unreliable and unpredictable. External reality is sacrosanct, facts, evidence and tangible proof are all seen as essential in making decisions about their own lives. Matters of the heart come second, at best.

This is not to say that physical proof and facts are not important, of course they are. But great achievements and inspirational events over the history of mankind rarely happened when enough evidence was collected or once the facts were verified. Life's inspirational moments came about in spite of the lack of evidence or facts to back up the idea. People thought that the Wright brothers were mad to be attempting to fly, Elvis was told to get a real job (whatever the hell that is!) and people laughed at Susan Boyle when she first walked out on stage in the X factor talent contest. These people, and millions like them followed their hearts. If they had listened only to their heads then we may never have heard of them.

The heart does not criticize, it is not afraid of failure, it does not judge or blame. The heart is the centre of each of our individual universes and to place it in second place to the head is the greatest injustice we can ever perpetuate against ourselves. In the words of Einstein, "We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift." The head is and should be the servant to the heart. Putting the heart centre stage in our life means we are back fully in our power. We are taking full responsibility for who we are in this life and by following our heart we are becoming all that we were meant to be.

Setting your default position to the heart means you are finally respecting You. All the dreams and ambitions you have deep within you are taken seriously by you. You become a priority in your life and consequently, everyone benefits. We can only love when we are in our heart. To love is to be real and fully present to and with another person. It is about doing and action, like William Shakespeare said: "They do not love, that do not show their love."

The heart knows how to love, all we have to do is open our hearts and let it happen. We have all we need within us to create loving and rewarding relationships both personally and professionally. Unlike the head, the heart needs no proof or detailed research to simply love and let the passion for life flow from our very core through the work we do and the conversations we have.

As usual none of this is rocket science (much to the disappointment of the head), it is about less thinking and more being. Choose to focus on others and life around more from your heart and you will increasingly find yourself feeling at peace, content and satisfied. Life is much better, and so much easier when we choose to be all heart more often.

And of course, we need the head, so use it wisely and fairly often (at least once a day). Your heart will know when the head is required.

Eoin McCabe has been involved in Coach Training since 2001 and is a Founder Director of one of Ireland's leading Coach Training institutes, the Irish Lifecoach Institute (ILI). He is one of the few coaches in Europe trained and certified in the 7 Spiritual Laws of Success (Dr Deepak Chopra). Eoin has spent almost 20 years working with individuals and groups enhancing their self-awareness and releasing their potential, to create more enriching and successful personal and professional lives. Eoin gives workshops, talks and seminars in the areas of career coaching, personal and business coaching and personal development. See his website, Eoin

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