Nothing can be more powerful than the exact moment you harness the power of your mind’s attention and your heart’s affection.
Projects, life changes, new directions, and many other parts of our life can become monumental successes when these two dynamics come into perfect alignment.
“Have you realized that today is the tomorrow you talked about yesterday? It is your responsibility to change your life for the better.”
― Jaachynma N.E. Agu, The Prince and the Pauper
Let’s break it down.
Your Mind’s Attention
So much of what we do requires mental focus. In the U.S., our economy has swung towards a service oriented business model. Providing services is a very mental exercise. Anyone in the services sector must call upon the education and training we have to solve problems and create solutions.
Being mentally engaged is a valuable asset. Allowing your mind to reach for new ideas and explore unknown horizons is a powerful commodity.
The absence of a mind connection with your work can have negative consequences. We have all had some experience when our work is not stimulating. We can endure dull, repetitive tasks for just so long, then burnout starts to set in.
This notion of failing to be mentally motivated by our work manifests itself at early ages. School children are occasionally identified as being “ahead of their grade”. In the vast majority of public schools this becomes a problem. When it happens, the child is frustrated and acts out in class. Teachers are challenged by the student who is ready to move on because the structure of the classroom prevents such accelerated advancement.
The human brain has amazing capacity. When used to its fullest extent, great things can happen. Just run down your favorite list of big achievements during the past 20 years.
Your Heart’s Affection
Another word for the heart’s affection is Passion. Having a passion to do something is, in itself, a powerful force. Obstacles can be conquered when passion drives the effort.
We often isolate passion as being something philanthropists do. I argue that every person can and should find their passion for how they are spending their days. We see passion and a heart’s affection played out in sports. You hear commentators talk about an athlete as having “heart” or “the heart of a champion”.
Heart gives us a will to persevere when the going gets tough. Heart is not just for philanthropists and athletes. There is heart in every one of us.
The problem is, we too seldom allow our heart to be part of the equation. Ironically, as soon as we deny the affection of the heart, we can easily become disinterested or non committal to the cause.
Harness the power of your mind’s attention and your heart’s affection.
Mind In – Heart Out
We can operate for some time doing what we have to do with just our minds engaged. Yes, we can do the work. We can make things happen.
I’ve seen people spend whole careers doing something because they are smart and have knowledge, but they never had the passion. They accepted a grind of a job because they needed the paycheck. They had responsibilities, so they worked. Unfortunately, within these same people I see a growing frustration, sometimes hostility as the years go on. Why? Because their hearts are aching for something they didn’t do.
Believe me, I saw this played out time and time again in my jobs ministry after the crash of 2008 when so many people lost jobs. We coached over 4,500 job seekers in a five-year period. Many of my clients were suffering this very thing. The loss of the job was actually a blessing. They had, through no fault of their own, been freed from the grind they had formerly accepted. Now, there was a chance to explore the passion they had and launch in new directions. Some of our most successful transition stories were just that; people seeking their passion versus a paycheck.
Heart In – Mind Out
As big a fan as I am for including passion in your work effort, there must be a dose of reality. Your mind needs to be involved too.
Basic facts need to be addressed. If you have a family, are they safe, secure, and cared for? Chasing a passion for years, perhaps decades without ever achieving a level of financial security and civil responsibility is a tragedy.
Sometimes it can be slow-going getting something up and running that fulfills your heart’s affection. You need buy-in from those around you who may be counting on your success.
Putting It Together
When you or I have the opportunity to harmonize our mind’s attention and heart’s affection, we can be unstoppable. Harnessing the force of each of these powerful attributes, making them work as one, creates a confidence and a drive that can make great things happen.
Plus, not only will the outcomes be bigger and better, your personal satisfaction will climb off the chart. Your endurance will be greater. Your creativity will be sharper. Life will seem so much more fulfilling.
Take a personal assessment today. Ask yourself these key questions:
- Do I feel stimulated mentally by the work I do or the pursuits I am undertaking?
- Is my heart on fire for the cause?
- Are my recent accomplishments still valuable to me?
- Is passion for my work effort strong?
- Do I get frustrated easily?
- Do I feel fatigue and/or discouragement with work lately?
- Am I missing something that I once intended to do?
Score yourself accordingly. If the mix of your answers to these simple questions leave any doubt about whether you have harmony with your mind’s attention and your heart’s affection, a change is needed.
Quotes to Ponder
What is success? I think it is a mixture of having a flair for the thing that you are doing; knowing that it is not enough, that you have got to have hard work and a certain sense of purpose. – Margaret Thatcher
Efforts and courage are not enough without purpose and direction. -John F. Kennedy