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All Heart, No Brain

'You can't behave in a calm, rational manner - you've got to be out there on the lunatic fringe.' -- Jack Welch, ex-CEO of GE

Do you remember the old Warner Bros. Road-Runner cartoons? The ones where Wile E. Coyote runs off a cliff and keeps on going forward until he looks down and realizes there is nothing under his feet...then, 'uh-oh', he plummets down with a little cloud of dust?

Launching into a new commitment can sometimes seem like that. Embarking on the road to creating the future you really want means making new commitments, doing something different than what you've done in the past.

In a new commitment, whether it be a new project, a new business, a new relationship, a new whatever, you've got to lead with your passionate, intuitive, faith-full Heart, and set your 'logical' Brain aside.

Why? Brain excels at processing and storing the torrent of input coming from the senses. The problem is that brains need a framework to classify and order all of this information. This filter, the Belief System, consists of all of the accumulated learning, assumptions, experiences, emotions, daydreams and other assimilated information that you've built up over all of the years of your life so far.

In other words, your Belief System, or 'B.S.' is a context built of all of the stuff of your past. That is the limitation of using your Brain in a new environment: it can only process new information by reference to an old context.

So how can you create new results if all you have to go by are your old reference points? It's like trying to drive a twisting road looking only at your rearview mirror!

Heart, on the other hand, has no context except the now. Each moment is a new, blank, page, where everything is possible. Heart does not need any past data to extrapolate; it is able to grasp what the future can be, simply by accepting that the future can exist. Then the path from Now to Future can easily be plotted.

Heart and Brain speak two different languages...

  • -> Heart builds on faith that success is possible - Brain needs proof that failure can be avoided

  • -> Heart reaches forward - Brain holds on to the past

  • -> Heart embraces what's possible - Brain clings to what's 'realistic'

  • -> Heart celebrates victory - Brain judges failure

  • -> Heart plays - Brain works

  • -> Heart wishes for the best - Brain assumes the worst

  • -> Heart anticipates the taste of the wine in the glass - Brain regrets that the glass is empty

  • -> Heart responds to the environment - Brain reacts to events

  • -> Heart sees life as unlimited (win/win) - Brain interprets everything as 'zero-sum' (win/lose)

  • -> Heart values the return on investment - Brain counts the cost of everything

  • -> Heart explores the path ahead - Brain analyzes the road taken

  • -> Heart aims for the exceptional - Brain looks to the average

  • -> Heart welcomes new sensations and experiences - Brain shuts out the unknown and unfamiliar

  • -> Heart pilots, guided by the stars - Brain steers, looking at the rear-view mirror

When you are building towards a new future, one different than what you are currently experiencing, which would you rather be guided by... Brain or Heart?

Most great accomplishments are made by people who follow a hunch and do something way, way, out of the ordinary, so different than everyone else that people say at first that they must be 'crazy'. Whether it be Thomas Edison and his 10000 attempts to make a light bulb that worked, or Jack Welch who single-handedly steered a huge corporation onto a new course, the Future is created only when someone does something other than what has been done before.

I've seen too many people follow their Heart and say YES to a great opportunity that can get them out of their jam, and then they quickly let Brain talk themselves out of it. Brain is always looking to cling to the past; to the way things were, because that's what fits with the nice, structured order of the B.S. The unknown frightens Brain, setting itself up to sabotage your success.

To succeed in new situations, a new environment, a new skill, business or role, you need to switch off your Brain, become 'unconsciously incompetent', realize you 'don't know what you don't know'... and follow your Heart, fearlessly and without doubt.

Heart will guide you to new successes that will start to overwrite that B.S. in the Brain, and before you realize it, you will be in a new Reality, closer to what you really want.

Those who succeed in life lead with Heart, not with Brain. Following Heart is the only way to successfully create a future that does not yet exist. To get extraordinary results, don't look down at your feet. Ignore your Brain, run with the passion in your Heart, and all of a sudden, you'll successfully cross the chasm between the Known and the Unknown, creating the Future You Really Want!

Judy’s note: I thought this newsletter was a refreshing view for some of us who tend to be ‘VERY mental’. Can we let go and lead with heart; Allowing the brain to control ‘ somewhat loosely’? (c)2003 Davender Gupta/The Visioneering Institute. All rights reserved.

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