Should You Follow Your Dreams or Your Heart?



image by epsos


People often talk about following their hearts and following their dreams interchangeably. But, what if you have too many dreams? What if some of those dreams are incompatible? What if your dreams change as you grow and your life changes?

Following dreams is a good thing, but what’s even better is following your heart. When you follow your heart, you are doing what is really right for you. It may not be right forever, but it is right when you make the decision.

The difficult part is knowing, being absolutely certain that you are following your heart.

You do have to follow your heart, otherwise you’re living a false life.

– Eric Mabius

People get it wrong all the time. They take pride in passing off their bad decisions by saying they followed their heart. Usually, it’s just an excuse for not having thought things through. The truth is, if you are in touch with your inner self, if you know who you are, then your heart never leads you to making bad decisions. It may lead you to make a decision that feels like a mistake in hindsight, but mistakes are not the same as bad decisions.

Bad decisions are things that you regret, things that you accept to be blatantly wrong. Bad decision is developing a drug or smoking habit. Bad decision is submitting to violent behaviour from someone, just because you love them. Bad decision is marrying the guy who has never respected you, and has been lying to you from day one, but your illusions of saintliness makes you think you will change him.

Mistake is taking a job you loved, and ending up getting stuck in a career. Mistake is falling in love with a nice guy, getting married too soon, and realising you are not right for each other. Mistakes are not bad decisions by themselves. They are simply the thing that add detours in your life, but also on the positive side, add invaluable life experience that adds to your character growth.

A large part of becoming a Kaizen Warrior, of living a Kaizen Life is gaining a level of self-awareness that allows you differentiate between an impulse and an intuition. Following our hearts becomes much easier when we get better at listening to it. When you consistently start following your heart, the path leads you automatically to following the best of your dreams.

It’s not an easy thing to achieve. It’s also not infallible. I have been working towards attaining self-awareness for over a decade and there are still times when I don’t know what my heart says. But fortunately, there always comes the time – usually momentous moment – when instinct screams and I listen. But I keep focusing on learning to listen to my heart better, so that I wouldn’t need the screaming instinct. 

Do you agree with the difference between following your heart and following your dreams? How well do you listen to your heart? Share in the comments below.


Do a quick free-writing exercise about how well do you listen to your heart.