Our spiritual leaders should guide us and inspire us. Recently, my pastor did just that by sharing a phrase that has captured my interest more than some of the other wise words from this man, Dr. John Lockhart.
The phrase was:
“Your mind’s attention and your heart’s affection”
Dr. Lockhart attributes the context to Dr. Bruce Leafblad, a seminary professor who coined the phrase to talk about a true worship experience.
However, I, as a coach and mentor to young, aspiring managers and business leaders, find this phrase to be all inclusive of many of the points I try to teach. You see, I believe this phrase embodies the essence of finding a center for yourself.
If the focus of your effort has 100% of both your mind’s attention and your heart’s affection, you, my friend, have something very special happening.
I have seen so many entrepreneurs enter into a new venture with only part of this commitment. Perhaps their heart is into it, but their head says something different.
On the other hand, I’ve seen many young professionals make a job change because the logic made sense, but their heart was not in it. People stay in careers because the money is good, but often their heart is not with the position or industry.
And how many relationships get started with only one half of this balance in tact? When it comes to love, usually our hearts are influenced, but our minds can be ignored. Sadly, I have known too many couples who are madly “in love” (the heart), but have refused to let their minds make sense of the potential (no job, no home, bad history, etc.).
When it comes to living by faith, far too many people feel the tug in their heart, but let their minds steer them away because too many things of faith “don’t make logical sense.”
Getting It All Together
Yes, being able to muster both parts of heart and mind can be a powerful force. When setting a new course for your livelihood or your relationships, you should ask yourself these questions:
1. Is 100% of my heart dedicated? This is important because your emotional dedication to a cause or a choice is the force with which you sustain your effort when times get tough. The passion for your work and/or relationship(s) is what pumps energy into the situation.
If your heart is not in something all the way, the first sign of difficulty will cause you to flee. Having a whole-hearted approach keeps you strong in the face of adversity and strife. On the upside, having your full heart keeps the flames burning and can lift you to higher levels of joy and experience.
Plus having all of your heart invested gives you the greatest satisfaction once goals are achieved or progress is made.
2. Is 100% of my mind in this? Decision making should be as solid as possible based upon the facts and circumstances as you know them. Leaving out an important consideration or choosing to ignore red flags prevents you from being 100% in the right state of mind. No attention should be diverted elsewhere.
Yes, you might be prone to over-analyze things, but that is better than knowing about a fact or condition and letting it go. Being able to mentally commit gives you a resilience. This sets a foundation from which great things can build.
Your brightest ideas come from being fully engaged with all of your mind’s resources totally committed.
Your Best Ever
Think back on various chapters of your life when things did not work out as you had hoped or outcomes were not as fulfilling as you dreamed. I’ll bet the truth is that during those moments, either your mind was not fully engaged or your heart was holding back; either your heart’s affection was waning or your mind’s attention was distracted.
The ebb and flow between these two vitally important forces (heart and mind) has to be in perfect harmony to achieve the best results. Plus, going all-in with one without the other prevents you from maximizing the opportunity, whatever it may be.
I encourage you to make a quick check of your situation at home, at work, or in community service. Are both elements fully deployed? If not, run through the questions above; seek very basic but honest answers from yourself. Then make the adjustments that must be made.